Dr. Raymond Neff is a Senior Research Associate in the School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, working in the ARC Training Center for Fire Retardant Materials and Safety Technologies. His current roles include supervising and conducting research into sustainable flame resistant materials, firefighting chemicals and gas sensing nanotechnology, in addition to coordinating projects between UNSW and Flame Security International. Dr. Neff received his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota in 1995. After two years as a NRC Postdoctoral Associate at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (Gaithersburg, MD, USA), he joined BASF Corporation (Wyandotte, MI, USA) in 1997 as a Senior Research Scientist, where he conducted basic research and product development for polyurethanes. He joined UNSW in February 2020.
Currently I supervise and conduct research into sustainable flame resistant materials, firefighting products and gas sensing nanotechnology. The flame resistant materials include flexible polyurethane foam for comfort applications, coatings and membranes to protect flammable building cladding and timber, and treatments for textiles. Firefighting products are primarily used to protect structures from bushfires, either through direct application of the product to the structure or to the surrounding vegetation. The gas sensors have broad application to detect emission from fire, toxic materials or explosives.
As a Senior Research Scientist at BASF, I conducted basic research and product development in polyurethanes, including flexible foam, elastomers, fertilizer coatings and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU).