Dr Vipul Agarwal
Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr Vipul Agarwal

School of Chemical Engineering

Lecturer and UNSW Safety Net Fellow

UNSW School of Chemical Engineering


Dr Vipul Agarwal graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Chemistry from the University of Delhi, India in 2005, MApplSc in Chemistry from University of Tasmania, Australia in 2010, and PhD in Chemistry from The University of Western Australia, Australia in 2015. In 2016, he joined the Indian Institute of Science, India on the SERB-DST Postdoctoral Fellowship. He returned to Australia in 2018 on NHMRC Early Career Research Fellowship and joined the Cluster for Advanced Macromolecular Design (CAMD) within the School of Chemical Engineering at UNSW Sydney. Vipul’s current research interest is in materials chemistry especially in developing multifunctional two-dimensional coatings and three-dimensional foams for a range of applications including in neuronal tissue regeneration.


  • PhD, The University of Western Australia, 2015
  • SERB-DST National Postdoctoral Fellow, Indian Institute of Science, 2016-2017
  • NHMRC Peter Doherty Biomedical Research Fellow, The University of New South Wales, 2018-2022
  • Lecturer, University of New South Wales, 2020-present
  • UNSW Safety Net Fellow, University of New South Wales, 2022-2024


Dr Agarwal’s current research projects include:

  • Controlling filler arrangement in polymer nanocomposites coatings
  • Nanocomposite foams with tuneable physiochemical properties
  • Self-healing composite coatings
  • Electrically responsive nanocomposite implants for neuronal regeneration


Since 2015, he has successfully attracted a total of AUD $4.10M in competitive funding including AUD 3.11M as a Lead Chief Investigator. He has contributed 1 book chapter, 48 journal publications, 2 patents and 9 invited presentations, which received >1200 citations with an H-index of 20 (Google Scholar).


Awards and Honors:

2023    ACS Polymer Materials: Science and Engineering (PMSE) Future Faculty Fellow

2022-2023 NSW Nyholm Youth Lectureship (The Royal Australian Chemical Institute)

2021-2023 Young Professional Editorial Board – Journal: Particuology (Elsevier)

2013    Australian Academy of Science Lindau Fellowship

2010    Tasmanian state AusBiotech-GSK Student Research Excellence Award


Selected Grants:

2022-2025 AusIndustry Advance Finding and Cooperative Research Centre Project Grant (Lead CI)

2022-2025 ARC National Intelligence and Security Discovery Research Grants Program (co-CI)

2022 Research Contract – Nitto Belgium NV (co-CI)

2022-2023 Research Contract – Kinaltek Pvt Ltd (co-CI)

2022-2024 UNSW Safety Net Fellowship (Lead CI)

2019-2020 Lincoln Centre Seed Grant (Lead CI)

2018-2019 Neurotrauma Research Program Grant (co-CI)

2018-2022 NHMRC Early Career Fellowship (Lead CI)

2016-2018 Science Engineering Research Board-DST National Postdoctoral Fellowship (Lead CI, India)

2016-2018 DST Postdoctoral Fellowship in Nano Science and Technology (Lead CI, India)


Editorial Activities:

Editor – Frontiers of Neuroscience


Undergraduate and Postgraduate Teaching:

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

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

GSOE9011-Eng PGCW Research Skills (2021-2022)

CEIC2005 Chemical Reaction Engineering (2021)

CEIC2004 Industrial Chemistry for Chemical Engineering (2019)


Current members:

1. Dr Tuan Sang Tran (Postdoctoral Fellow, 2023 - present)

2. Dr Le Ngoc Minh Dinh (Research Assistant, 2023 - present)

3. Siti Humairah Binti Harun (PhD candidate, 2022 - present, primary supervisor: Per Zetterlund)

4. Arinola Isa (PhD candidate, 2022 - present, joint supervision with Per Zetterlund)

5. Nasera Rizwana (PhD candidate, 2021 - present, primary supervisor: Manasa Nune (MAHE, India))


Graduated students:

Dr Yasemin Fadil – Postdoctoral Fellow at University of New South Wales

Dr Rabiatul 'Adawiah Mat Noor – Era Polymer

Dr Le Ngoc Minh Dinh – Research Assistant at University of New South Wales

Dr Bich Ngoc Tran – Era Polymer

Namrata Maslekar (MEng)

Yiting Cai (MPhil)

Sushma Indrakumar (MSc) – PhD candidate at Indian Institute of Science (India)

Neethu Varghese (MSc) – PhD candidate at University of Genova (Italy)

Rishav Prasad (Honours)

Yue Zhang (Honours)

Nurul Nas Alia Binti Azman (Honours)

Amal Fakhira Walid (Honours)

Nicholas Simon (Honours)

Runyu Shi (Honours)

Alice Wan (Honours)

Monique O. Y. Yap (Honours)

Le Ngoc Minh Dinh (Honours)


Previous research staff:

Dr Maricruz Saborio

Namrata Maslekar


To prospective students and postdoctoral fellows, please contact vipul.agarwal@unsw.edu.au for more info.

Room 218, Hilmer Building E10
  • Book Chapters | 2023
    2023, 'Polymeric Nanocomposite Foams in Biomedical Engineering', in Multifunctional Polymeric Foams, CRC Press, pp. 85 - 110, http://dx.doi.org/10.1201/9781003218692-6
  • Journal articles | 2023
    2023, 'Development of Chitosan/Whey Protein Hydrolysate Composite Films for Food Packaging Application', Journal of Composites Science, 7, pp. 94 - 94, http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcs7030094
    Journal articles | 2023
    2023, 'Glutathione for Food and Health Applications with Emphasis on Extraction, Identification, and Quantification Methods: A Review', Metabolites, 13, pp. 465 - 465, http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/metabo13040465
    Journal articles | 2023
    2023, 'Maintaining Colloidal Stability of Polymer/Reduced Graphene Oxide Nanocomposite Aqueous Dispersions Produced via In Situ Reduction of Graphene Oxide for the Preparation of Electrically Conductive Coatings', ACS Applied Nano Materials, 6, pp. 5177 - 5186, http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsanm.2c05076
    Journal articles | 2023
    2023, 'Schwann cell-matrix coated PCL-MWCNT multifunctional nanofibrous scaffolds for neural regeneration', RSC Advances, 13, pp. 1392 - 1401, http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d2ra05368c
    Journal articles | 2022
    Railian S; Fadil Y; Agarwal V; Junkers T; Zetterlund PB, 2022, 'Synthesis of electrically conducting nanocomposites via Pickering miniemulsion polymerization: Effect of graphene oxide functionalized with different capping agents', European Polymer Journal, 178, pp. 111498 - 111498, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eurpolymj.2022.111498
    Journal articles | 2022
    2022, 'Antioxidant for neurological diseases and neurotrauma and bioengineering approaches', Antioxidants, 11, pp. 72 - 72, http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/antiox11010072
    Journal articles | 2022
    2022, 'Ionic-Electronic Conductivity in Ternary Polymer/Reduced Graphene Oxide/Polyelectrolyte Nanocomposite Coatings for Potential Application in Energy Storage', ACS Applied Nano Materials, http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsanm.2c04649
    Journal articles | 2022
    2022, 'Physicochemical, Morphological, and Functional Characterization of Edible Anthocyanin-Enriched Aloe vera Coatings on Fresh Figs (Ficus carica L.)', Gels, 8, pp. 645 - 645, http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/gels8100645
    Journal articles | 2022
    2022, 'Polymer/Reduced Graphene Oxide/Lignosulfonate Nanocomposite Films as Pseudocapacitor Cathodes', ACS Applied Nano Materials, 5, pp. 3686 - 3700, http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsanm.1c04358
    Journal articles | 2022
    2022, 'Synthesis of Highly Stretchable and Electrically Conductive Multiwalled Carbon Nanotube/Polymer Nanocomposite Films', ACS Applied Polymer Materials, 4, pp. 1867 - 1877, http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsapm.1c01738
    Journal articles | 2022
    2022, 'Synthesis of graphene-based polymeric nanocomposites using emulsion techniques', Progress in Polymer Science, 125, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.progpolymsci.2021.101476
    Journal articles | 2021
    Agarwal V; Fadil Y; Wan A; Maslekar N; Tran BN; Mat Noor RA; Bhattacharyya S; Biazik J; Lim S; Zetterlund PB, 2021, 'Influence of Anionic Surfactants on the Fundamental Properties of Polymer/Reduced Graphene Oxide Nanocomposite Films', ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 13, pp. 18338 - 18347, http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.1c02379
    Journal articles | 2021
    Agarwal V; Zetterlund PB, 2021, 'Strategies for reduction of graphene oxide – A comprehensive review', Chemical Engineering Journal, 405, pp. 127018 - 127018, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cej.2020.127018
    Journal articles | 2021
    Maslekar N; Zetterlund PB; Kumar PV; Agarwal V, 2021, 'Mechanistic Aspects of the Functionalization of Graphene Oxide with Ethylene Diamine: Implications for Energy Storage Applications', ACS Applied Nano Materials, 4, pp. 3232 - 3240, http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsanm.1c00412
    Journal articles | 2021
    Rawal A; Che Man SH; Agarwal V; Yao Y; Thickett SC; Zetterlund PB, 2021, 'Structural Complexity of Graphene Oxide: The Kirigami Model', ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 13, pp. 18255 - 18263, http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.1c01157
    Journal articles | 2021
    2021, 'Erratum: Mechanistic Aspects of the Functionalization of Graphene Oxide with Ethylene Diamine: Implications for Energy Storage Applications (ACS Appl. Nano Mater. (2021) 4:3 (3232-3240) DOI: 10.1021/acsanm.1c00412)', ACS Applied Nano Materials, 4, pp. 8637 - 8640, http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsanm.1c01645
    Journal articles | 2021
    2021, 'In Situ Surfactant Effects on Polymer/Reduced Graphene Oxide Nanocomposite Films: Implications for Coating and Biomedical Applications', ACS Applied Nano Materials, 4, pp. 12461 - 12471, http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsanm.1c02950
    Journal articles | 2021
    2021, 'Influence of Polymer Matrix on Polymer/Graphene Oxide Nanocomposite Intrinsic Properties', ACS Applied Polymer Materials, 3, pp. 5145 - 5154, http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsapm.1c00897
    Journal articles | 2021
    2021, 'Influence of surface charge of graphene quantum dots on their uptake and clearance in melanoma cells', Nanoscale Advances, 3, pp. 3513 - 3521, http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0na00935k
    Journal articles | 2021
    2021, 'Nanodiamonds synthesis using sustainable concentrated solar thermal energy: Applications in bioimaging and phototherapy', Nanotechnology, 32, http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1361-6528/ac1cbd
    Journal articles | 2021
    2021, 'Quantum dots as a theranostic approach in Alzheimer's disease: A systematic review', Nanomedicine, 16, pp. 1595 - 1611, http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/nnm-2021-0104
    Journal articles | 2020
    Dinh LNM; Ramana LN; Agarwal V; Zetterlund PB, 2020, 'Miniemulsion polymerization of styrene using carboxylated graphene quantum dots as surfactant', Polymer Chemistry, 11, pp. 3217 - 3224, http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0py00404a
    Journal articles | 2020
    Dinh LNM; Ramana LN; Kuchel RP; Agarwal V; Zetterlund PB, 2020, 'Miniemulsion polymerization using carboxylated graphene quantum dots as surfactants: Effects of monomer and initiator type', Polymer Chemistry, 11, pp. 5790 - 5799, http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0py00925c
    Journal articles | 2020
    Maslekar N; Mat Noor RA; Kuchel RP; Yao Y; Zetterlund PB; Agarwal V, 2020, 'Synthesis of diamine functionalised graphene oxide and its application in the fabrication of electrically conducting reduced graphene oxide/polymer nanocomposite films', Nanoscale Advances, 2, pp. 4702 - 4712, http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0na00534g
    Journal articles | 2020
    Samantaray PK; Indrakumar S; Chatterjee K; Agarwal V; Bose S, 2020, ''Template-free' hierarchical MoS2foam as a sustainable 'green' scavenger of heavy metals and bacteria in point of use water purification', Nanoscale Advances, 2, pp. 2824 - 2834, http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c9na00747d
    Journal articles | 2019
    Cai Y; Fadil Y; Jasinski F; Thickett SC; Agarwal V; Zetterlund PB, 2019, 'Miniemulsion polymerization using graphene oxide as surfactant: In situ grafting of polymer', Carbon, 149, pp. 445 - 451, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.carbon.2019.04.063
    Journal articles | 2019
    Fadil Y; Agarwal V; Jasinski F; Thickett SC; Minami H; Zetterlund PB, 2019, 'Electrically conductive polymer/rGO nanocomposite films at ambient temperature: Via miniemulsion polymerization using GO as surfactant', Nanoscale, 11, pp. 6566 - 6570, http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c9nr00816k
    Journal articles | 2019
    Fadil Y; Dinh LNM; Yap MOY; Kuchel RP; Yao Y; Omura T; Aregueta-Robles UA; Song N; Huang S; Jasinski F; Thickett SC; Minami H; Agarwal V; Zetterlund PB, 2019, 'Ambient-Temperature Waterborne Polymer/rGO Nanocomposite Films: Effect of rGO Distribution on Electrical Conductivity', ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 11, pp. 48450 - 48458, http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.9b19183
    Journal articles | 2019
    2019, 'Comparative study of keratin extraction from human hair', International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 133, pp. 382 - 390, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2019.04.098
    Journal articles | 2019
    2019, 'Engineering a 3D MoS2 foam using keratin exfoliated nanosheets', Chemical Engineering Journal, 374, pp. 254 - 262, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cej.2019.05.185
    Journal articles | 2019
    2019, 'In situ preparation of multicomponent polymer composite nanofibrous scaffolds with enhanced osteogenic and angiogenic activities', Materials Science and Engineering C, 94, pp. 565 - 579, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.msec.2018.09.055
    Journal articles | 2018
    Li B; Agarwal V; Ho D; Vede JP; Iyer KS, 2018, 'Systematic assessment of surface functionality on nanoscale patterns for topographic contact guidance of cells', New Journal of Chemistry, 42, pp. 7237 - 7240, http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c7nj04914e
    Journal articles | 2018
    2018, 'In Situ Silication of Polymer Nanofibers to Engineer Multi-Biofunctional Composites', ChemistrySelect, 3, pp. 3762 - 3773, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/slct.201703124
    Journal articles | 2018
    2018, 'Recent advances in the field of transition metal dichalcogenides for biomedical applications', Nanoscale, 10, pp. 16365 - 16397, http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c8nr04284e
    Journal articles | 2017
    2017, 'Direct correlation of PNIPAM thermal transition and magnetic resonance relaxation of iron oxide nanoparticles', Materials Chemistry Frontiers, 1, pp. 2335 - 2340, http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c7qm00202e
    Journal articles | 2017
    2017, 'Paediatric radiation dose measurements undergoing X-ray examination in Tasmania', Radiation Protection Dosimetry, 174, pp. 382 - 386, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/rpd/ncw143
    Journal articles | 2017
    2017, 'Polymeric nanofibre scaffold for the delivery of a transforming growth factor β1 Inhibitor', Australian Journal of Chemistry, 70, pp. 280 - 285, http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/CH16332
    Journal articles | 2016
    2016, 'Enhancing the efficacy of cation-independent mannose 6-phosphate receptor inhibitors by intracellular delivery', Chemical Communications, 52, pp. 327 - 330, http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c5cc06826f
    Journal articles | 2016
    2016, 'Functional Reactive Polymer Electrospun Matrix', ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 8, pp. 4934 - 4939, http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.5b11447
    Journal articles | 2016
    2016, 'Influence of aspect ratio of magnetite coated gold nanorods in hydrogen peroxide sensing', Sensors and Actuators, B: Chemical, 235, pp. 492 - 497, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.snb.2016.05.090
    Journal articles | 2016
    2016, 'Magnetically Directed Assembly of Nanocrystals for Catalytic Control of a Three-Component Coupling Reaction', Crystal Growth and Design, 16, pp. 4773 - 4776, http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.cgd.6b00582
    Journal articles | 2016
    2016, 'Regulation of collagen expression using nanoparticle mediated inhibition of TGF-β activation', New Journal of Chemistry, 40, pp. 1091 - 1095, http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c5nj03115j
    Journal articles | 2015
    Ho D; Zou J; Chen X; Munshi A; Smith NM; Agarwal V; Hodgetts SI; Plant GW; Bakker AJ; Harvey AR; Luzinov I; Iyer KS, 2015, 'Hierarchical patterning of multifunctional conducting polymer nanoparticles as a bionic platform for topographic contact guidance', ACS Nano, 9, pp. 1767 - 1774, http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/nn506607x
    Journal articles | 2014
    2014, 'Evaluating the effects of nacre on human skin and scar cells in culture', Toxicology Research, 3, pp. 223 - 227, http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c4tx00004h
    Journal articles | 2013
    Eroglu E; Chen X; Bradshaw M; Agarwal V; Zou J; Stewart SG; Duan X; Lamb RN; Smith SM; Raston CL; Iyer KS, 2013, 'Biogenic production of palladium nanocrystals using microalgae and their immobilization on chitosan nanofibers for catalytic applications', RSC Advances, 3, pp. 1009 - 1012, http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c2ra22402j
    Journal articles | 2013
    2013, 'Chemometric study of graft copolymerization of guar-g-(acrylamide-co- diallyl dimethylammonium chloride)', Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 127, pp. 3970 - 3979, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/app.37716
    Journal articles | 2012
    Eroglu E; Agarwal V; Bradshaw M; Chen X; Smith SM; Raston CL; Swaminathan Iyer K, 2012, 'Nitrate removal from liquid effluents using microalgae immobilized on chitosan nanofiber mats', Green Chemistry, 14, pp. 2682 - 2685, http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c2gc35970g
    Journal articles | 2011
    2011, 'Synthesis of guar gum-graft-poly(acrylamide-codiallyldimethylammonium chloride) and its application in the pulp and paper industry', BioResources, 6, pp. 4168 - 4180
  • Conference Papers | 2019
    2019, 'Electrically conductive polymer/rGO nanocomposite films at ambient temperature via miniemulsion polymerization using GO as surfactant', in ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, AMER CHEMICAL SOC, San Diego, CA, presented at Fall National Meeting and Exposition of the American-Chemical-Society (ACS), San Diego, CA, 25 August 2019 - 29 August 2019, http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/C9NR00816K
    Conference Papers | 2011
    2011, 'Use of a new novel grafted Guar Gum-copolymer as a pitch fixative', in Appita Annual Conference, pp. 65 - 69

My Research Supervision

PhD Students:

1. Yasemin Fadil (co-supervision with Prof. Per Zetterlund) - graduated 2020

2. Rabiatul 'Adawiah Mat Noor (2018- present, co-supervision with Prof. Per Zetterlund)

3. Le Ngoc Minh Dinh (2019- present, co-supervision with Prof. Per Zetterlund)

4. Bich Ngoc Tran (2019- present, joint-supervision with Prof. Per Zetterlund)

5. Siti Humairah Binti Harun (2022- present, co-supervision with Prof. Per Zetterlund)


Master by Research Students:

1. Yiting Cai (2017- 2019, co-supervision with Prof. Per Zetterlund)


Master by Coursework Students:

1. Namrata Maslekar (co-supervised with Prof. Per Zetterlund) - graduated 2019

2. Sushma Indrakumar (co-supervised with Assoc/Prof. Kaushik Chatterjee, Indian Institute of Science) - graduated 2017

3. Neethu Varghese (co-supervised with Assoc/Prof. Kaushik Chatterjee, Indian Institute of Science) - graduated 2016


Undergraduate Honours Research Students:

1. Nicholas Simon (2019, co-supervision with Prof. Per Zetterlund)

2. Runyu Shi (2019, co-supervision with Prof. Per Zetterlund)

3. Alice Wan (2019, co-supervision with Prof. Per Zetterlund)

4. Le Ngoc Minh Dinh (co-supervised with Prof. Per Zetterlund) - graduated 2019

5. Monique O. Y. Yap (co-supervised with Prof. Per Zetterlund) - graduated 2019