Dr David Fengwei Xie

Honorary Research Fellow

School of Chemical Engineering
Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology


I hold a PhD (2009) in Polysaccharide Engineering from South China University of Technology (China) and a Graduate Certificate degree (2014) in Higher Education from The University of Queensland (Australia). Since 2008, I have worked as a research fellow at University of Guelph (Canada), Université de Strasbourg (France), and The University of Queensland (Australia), being involved in multiple research projects supported by governments and industry. As a materials scientist, I am highly interested in creating advanced materials with superior properties and appealing functions that can not only improve our daily life but also addresses sustainability and a circular economy. Regarding this, I am passionate about innovative, cost-effective processes that would be able to achieve novel, sophisticated material structures to realise the potential of naturally-derived polymers. I see molecular design, chemical modification, and materials hybridisation as key enablers for future materials. My research focuses on exploring the mechanisms behind the relationship between processing, structure and properties of materials particularly based on “green” polymers. I am currently a WIRL-COFUND fellow at the University of Warwick (UK), working on innovative manufacturing technologies to create next-generation sustainable nanocomposite materials for high-value (e.g. biomedical) and high-volume (e.g. automotive) applications.

Research Interests

  • Biopolymer fundamentals
    - Supramolecular structure of native starch granules - Phase transitions (gelatinisation, melting, dissolution, glass transition) of starch - Chemical and physical modification of biopolymers (starch, chitosan) - Non-derivitising dissolution of biopolymers
  • Biopolymer processing
    - Processing techniques and rheology for biopolymers - Plasticisation and structural evolution of biopolymers during processing - Reactive processing of biopolymers - 'Green' processes for biopolymers
  • Biopolymer-based/derived materials
    - Biopolymer-based blends and (nano)composites - Biopolymer-based/derived materials with novel structures and functionalities - Biopolymer-based/derived materials for high-value applications - Processing-structure-property relationships for biopolymer-based materials


  • Graduate Certificate in Higher Education, The University of Queensland
  • Doctor of Engineering, South China University of Technology
  • Bachelor of Engineering, South China University of Technology


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View all Supervision


Featured Publications

Book Chapter

  • Xie, Fengwei, Zhang, Binjia and Wang, David (2017). Starch thermal processing: technologies at laboratory and semi-industrial scales. In Marcelo Vilar, Silvia Elena Barbosa, Maria Alejandra García, Luciana Castillo and Olívia Valeria Lopez (Ed.), Starch-based materials in food packaging: processing, characterization and applications (pp. 187-227) London, United Kingdom: Academic Press. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-809439-6.00007-8

  • Xie, F., Avérous, L., Halley, P. J. and Liu, P. (2015). Mechanical performance of starch-based biocomposites. In Misra, Manjusri, Pandey, Jitendra K and Mohanty, Amar K (Ed.), Biocomposites: Design and Mechanical Performance (pp. 53-92) Cambridge, United Kingdom: Woodhead Publishing. doi:10.1016/B978-1-78242-373-7.00011-1

  • Xie, Fengwei, Pollet, Eric, Halley, Peter J. and Avérous, Luc (2014). Advanced nano-biocomposites based on starch. In Kishan Gopal Ramawat and Jean-Michel Mérillon (Ed.), Polysaccharides: bioactivity and biotechnology (pp. 1-75) Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-03751-6_50-1

  • Xie, Fengwei, Liu, Peng and Yu, Long (2014). Processing of plasticized starch-based materials: state of the art and perspectives. In Peter J. Halley and Luc R. Avérous (Ed.), Starch Polymers: From Genetic Engineering to Green Applications (pp. 257-289) Burlington, MA, USA: Elsevier. doi:10.1016/B978-0-444-53730-0.00024-5

  • Xie, Fengwei (2012). Biodegradable starch-based nano-composites. In Luigi Nicolais, Assunta Borzacchiello and Stuart M. Lee (Ed.), Wiley encyclopedia of composites 2nd ed. (pp. 102-113) Hoboken, NJ, USA: John Wiley & Sons. doi:10.1002/9781118097298.weoc014

  • Xie, Fengwei, Halley, Peter J. and Averous, Luc (2011). Bio-nanocomposites based on starch. In Vikas Mittal (Ed.), Nanocomposites with biodegradable polymers: Synthesis, properties and future perspectives (pp. 234-260) New York, United States: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199581924.001.0001

Journal Article

Conference Publication

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Completed Supervision