Associate Professor Rona Chandrawati
Associate Professor

Associate Professor Rona Chandrawati

School of Chemical Engineering

Scientia Associate Professor and NHMRC Emerging Leadership Fellow

UNSW School of Chemical Engineering


A/Prof Rona Chandrawati graduated with a BSc (Biotechnology) from Monash University and obtained her PhD in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from The University of Melbourne in 2012. She was then a Marie Curie Fellow at Imperial College London before returning to Australia in 2015 to establish her research group. She completed an Executive Leadership Program at the University of Oxford in 2020.


  • PhD, The University of Melbourne, 2012
  • Marie Curie Fellow, Imperial College London, 2012-2015
  • Lecturer, The University of Sydney, 2015-2017
  • ARC DECRA Fellow, The University of Sydney and UNSW, 2017-2020
  • Scientia Senior Lecturer, UNSW, 2018-2020
  • NHMRC Emerging Leadership EL2 Fellow, UNSW, 2020-2025
  • Scientia Associate Professor, UNSW, 2021-


A/Prof Chandrawati heads the Nanotechnology for Food and Medicine (NanoFAM) Laboratory and her research interests include:


  • colorimetric nanosensors for disease diagnosis, food safety and environmental monitoring
  • enzyme-like catalysts for the delivery of drugs (nitric oxide) and cell signaling molecules
  • nanocoatings on implantable medical devices


Since 2012, she has successfully attracted over AUD 4M in competitive funding as a Lead Chief Investigator + AUD 6M in funding as a co-Chief Investigator. She published in prominent journals including Science, Advanced Materials, Advanced Science, Small, Angewandte Chemie, Nano Letters, ACS Nano with >4500 citations.


A/Prof Chandrawati serves in the World Economic Forum Global Future Council in Biotechnology, World Economic Forum's Expert Network, and MIT Technology Review Global Panel.


Awards and Honors:

2022 Materials Today Rising Star Award

2022 40 Under 40 Most Influential Asian-Australian Award, Science & Medicine Category Winner

2022 UNSW Engineering Research Supervisor Award Honourable Mention

2022 Chemistry of Materials Up and Coming, American Chemical Society

2022 Rising Stars, Wiley

2021 NSW Early Career Researcher of the Year (Physical Sciences), NSW Premier's Prizes for Science and Engineering

2021 Eureka Prize for Outstanding Early Career Researcher Finalist

2020 Australia's Most Innovative Engineers, Engineers Australia

2020 Derek Hart Memorial Award

2020 Polymer Chemistry Emerging Investigator, Royal Society of Chemistry

2020 Engineering Goldstar Award, UNSW Sydney

2020 NHMRC Emerging Leadership Fellowship

2018 Outstanding Postgraduate Research Supervisor Award, UNSW Sydney

2018 World Economic Forum 40 Young Scientists Under 40

2018 World Economic Forum Global Future Council in Biotechnology

2018 Top 1% reviewers for Chemistry of Materials

2017 Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Early Career Research, The University of Sydney

2017 Engineering Dean’s Research Award, The University of Sydney

2017 ARC DECRA Fellowship

2017 NSW Fresh Scientists

2017 30 Stars of Sunway, Jeffrey Cheah Foundation

2015 Elsevier Woman in Chemical Engineering Award

2015 Monash Engineering Women’s Leadership Award

2013 Young Persons’ Lecture Competition Finalist, IOM3

2012 Marie Curie Fellowship

2011 Young Scientist Research Prize Finalist, Royal Society of Victoria

2007 Monash University Dean’s List Fellowship Award

2007 Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) Award for Excellence in Chemistry



2022-2023 Cooperative Research Centre Project Grant (Lead CI)

2021 ARC Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities LE210100156 (co-CI)

2021-2023 Ramaciotti Health Investment Grant (Lead CI)

2020-2025 NHMRC Emerging Leadership EL2 Fellowship APP1173428 (Lead CI)

2017-2022 ARC Training Centre for Innovative BioEngineering IC170100022 (co-CI)

2017-2020 ARC Linkage Project LP160100988 (co-CI)

2017-2020 ARC DECRA Fellowship DE170100068 (Lead CI)


Editorial Activities:

Editor - Nature Communications Materials

Editorial Advisory Board - Advanced Sensor Research

Editorial Advisory Board - JACS Au

Guest Editor - Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews

Guest Editor - Sensors Special Issue "Biennial State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Australia 2019-2020"


Undergraduate and Postgraduate Teaching:

CHEN6703 Advanced Particle Systems Engineering (2018 - present)

CEIC4951, CEIC4952, CEIC4953 Research Thesis (2018 - present)

CEIC9951, CEIC9952, CEIC9953 Advanced Research Thesis (2018 - present)

BMET5931 Nanomaterials in Medicine (2017 - present)


Chandrawati NanoFAMily Lab Members:

1. Dr Federico Mazur (2017 - present)

2. Andy Pham (Research Assistant, 2022 - present)

3. Yingzhu Zhou (PhD candidate, 2019 - present) - Metal-organic frameworks for therapeutic gas delivery

4. Yuan Gao (PhD candidate, 2019 - present) - Colorimetric sensors for food monitoring and disease diagnosis

5. Theatin van Leeuwen (PhD candidate, 2019 - present, primary supervisor: Per Zetterlund)

6. Angie Davina Tjandra (PhD candidate, 2020 - present) - Colorimetric sensors for disease diagnosis

7. Vina Putra (PhD candidate, 2020 - present, primary supervisor: Kris Kilian)

8. Shu Geng (PhD candidate, 2021 - present)

9. Qingqing Fan (PhD candidate, 2021 - present)

10. Annabelle Jiann Huey Lee (PhD candidate, 2021 - present, joint supervision with Alice Lee)

11. Gustavo Sant'Anna (PhD candidate, 2021 - present, primary supervisor: Nick Bedford)

12. Eliza Otton (Undergraduate research student, 2022)

13. Xuanyu Fan (Undergraduate research student, 2022)

14. Frances Daphne Garela (Postgraduate research student, 2022)

15. Junrong Wang (Postgraduate research student, 2022)

16. Vishva Patel (Postgraduate research student, 2022)

17. Fuhe Dai (Postgraduate research student, 2022)

18. Yingkun Sheng (Postgraduate research student, 2022)

19. Yiyi Yin (Postgraduate research student, 2022)

20. Iris Li (Postgraduate research student, 2022)


Chandrawati NanoFAMily Lab Alumni:

Dr Fabio Lisi - The University of Tokyo (JSPS Fellow)

Dr Tao Yang - Imperial College London (Marie Curie Fellow)

Dr Zijie Luo - Monash University

Dr Max Weston - Combined Energy

Sanna Deano - BE Campbell

Paulaena Franco - Ecolab

Linyang Liu - The University of Sydney

Aileen Lu - Amazon Web Services

Larissa Reihberg-Laaksonen - City Water Technology

Junwei Tang - vivoPharm

Jennessa Tubman - Goodman Fielder

Andy Wang - Boston Consulting Group

Jonson Zhou - Macquarie Group


Chandrawati NanoFAMily Lab Awards and Honors:

2022 Winner UNSW Founders New Wave Program (Angie Tjandra)

2022 Winner JCEC NSW Annual Postgraduate Championship (Angie Tjandra)

2022 NSW International Student of the Year - Higher Education Finalist (Angie Tjandra)

2022 UNSW Engineering Research Candidate Award (Angie Tjandra)

2022 Best Oral Presentation at the International Nanomedicine Conference (Angie Tjandra)

2022 Best Poster Presentation at the RACI PolyNSW Symposium (Yuan Gao)

2022 Australian Centre for Nanomedicine Travel Award (Yuan Gao)

2022 Australian Centre for Nanomedicine Travel Award (Yingzhu Zhou)

2022 Lyceum Club Thesis Prize (Andy Pham)

2021 Dean's Award for Outstanding PhD Thesis (Tao Yang)

2021 Innovyz Commercialisation Poster Prize (Tao Yang)

2021 UNSW Student Award (Angie Tjandra)

2020 Nature Communications Materials Training Grant for Early Career Researchers (Fabio Lisi)

2020 UNSW Early Career Academic Seed Funding (Fabio Lisi)

2020 Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre Image of the Month (Yingzhu Zhou)

2019 Australian Nanotechnology Network Overseas Travel Fellowship (Tao Yang)

2019 Australian Centre for Nanomedicine Travel Award (Tao Yang)

2019 Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre Image of the Month (Tao Yang)

2019 Australian Nanotechnology Network Travel Bursary (Federico Mazur)

2018 Royal Society of Chemistry Materials Horizon Oral Presentation Prize (Federico Mazur)

2018 UNSW Student Award (Federico Mazur)

2017 Best Postgraduate Thesis from the IChemE Joint Chemical Engineering Committee (JCEC) NSW (Federico Mazur)



To prospective students and postdoctoral fellows, please contact for more info.



+61 2 9385 5132
Room 418, Science and Engineering Building E8
  • Journal articles | 2020
    Weston M; Ciftci M; Kuchel R; Boyer C; Chandrawati R, 2020, 'Polydiacetylene for the Detection of α-Hemolysin in Milk toward the Diagnosis of Bovine Mastitis', ACS Applied Polymer Materials,
    Journal articles | 2020
    Weston M; Phan MAT; Arcot J; Chandrawati R, 2020, 'Anthocyanin-based sensors derived from food waste as an active use-by date indicator for milk', Food Chemistry, pp. 127017 - 127017,
    Journal articles | 2019
    Yang T; Oliver S; Chen Y; Boyer C; Chandrawati R, 2019, 'Tuning crystallization and morphology of zinc oxide with polyvinylpyrrolidone: formation mechanisms and antimicrobial activity', Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, vol. 546, pp. 43 - 52,
    Journal articles | 2018
    Fuhrmann G; Chandrawati R; Parmar PA; Keane TJ; Maynard SA; Bertazzo S; Stevens MM, 2018, 'Engineering Extracellular Vesicles with the Tools of Enzyme Prodrug Therapy', Advanced Materials, vol. 30, pp. 1706616 - 1706616,
    Journal articles | 2017
    Chandrawati R; Chang JYH; Reina-Torres E; Jumeaux C; Sherwood JM; Stamer WD; Zelikin AN; Overby DR; Stevens MM, 2017, 'Localized and Controlled Delivery of Nitric Oxide to the Conventional Outflow Pathway via Enzyme Biocatalysis: Toward Therapy for Glaucoma', Advanced Materials, vol. 29, pp. 1604932 - 1604932,
    Journal articles | 2017
    Chandrawati R; Olesen MTJ; Marini TCC; Bisra G; Guex AG; de Oliveira MG; Zelikin AN; Stevens MM, 2017, 'Enzyme Prodrug Therapy Engineered into Electrospun Fibers with Embedded Liposomes for Controlled, Localized Synthesis of Therapeutics', Advanced Healthcare Materials, vol. 6, pp. 1700385 - 1700385,
    Journal articles | 2015
    Jumeaux C; Chapman R; Chandrawati R; Stevens MM, 2015, 'Synthesis and self-assembly of temperature-responsive copolymers based on N-vinylpyrrolidone and triethylene glycol methacrylate', Polymer Chemistry, vol. 6, pp. 4116 - 4122,