Professor Peter Halley

Professor

School of Chemical Engineering
Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology
p.halley@uq.edu.au
+61 7 336 54261

Overview

I am a Professor in polymer processing in Chemical Engineering, an Adjunct Group Leader in the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN), a chief investigator in Advanced Materials Processing and Manufacturing (AMPAM) centre and a founding member of UQ Plastics.

I work at the translational research interface between universities and industry. Specifically my research involves rheology, processing and product design of bio-based materials, polymers and nanocomposite materials. I have worked in industry (SRI international, Sola Optical, Moldflow), have worked in four cooperative research centres (CRCs -Food Packaging, Sugar Innovation, Polymers and Fighting Food Waste), have acquired and managed continuous government and industry research projects since 1994, was heavily involved in the spinoff of Plantic Technologies from the CRC food packaging in 2002 (and ongoing research support with them until 2016), and was involved in the research that led to the TenasiTech (TPU nanocomposite) spinoff from UQ in 2007. I have led translational research projects in biopolymers and biofluid platforms for agrifood, biomedical and high-value manufacturing sectors which have attracted more than $14 million in government and industry funding; and produced patents, licences and new industrial know-how.

I am a fellow of the institute of chemical engineers (IChemE) and a fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI). I am on the editorial board of the Plastics, Rubbers and Composites, Starch, the Journal of Renewable Materials, Green Materials and Functional Composite Materials-Springer-Nature. I have experience on the boards of the UQ Dow Centre, the UQ RTA Centre, and the UQ-HBIS Sustainable Steel Innovation Centre. I won IChemE Shedden Uhde Award and Prize for excellence in Chemical Engineering (2004), the CRC Sugar innovation award (2008), the CRCPolymers Chairman’s award for research and commercialisation (2011), and have received the CRC Association Technology Transfer Award, twice, in 2002 and 2015.

Research:

Current projects are focused on developing new sustainable and bio-based polymers and biochemicals from formulation through to degradation/disposal, understanding processing of nanostructured polymers, developing smarter biopolymers and materials for biomedical, drug delivery, food and high value applications, understanding rheology and processing of a range of polymer, foods and liquids and is involved in new initiatives in circular plastics.

Teaching and Learning:

My teaching has spanned Introduction to Engineering Design, Engineering Thermodynamics, Polymer Engineering, Process Economics, Research Thesis and Engineering Management. I am developing courses in Sustainability and the Circular Economy. My overall teaching goal is to be a relevant, well organised, enthusiastic and empathetic enabler of learning using multiple teaching and learning modes, and be highly connected to current industrial practices and cutting edge research.

International links

I have been a visiting or invited professor at ENSICAEN-University Normandy, University of Nottingham, Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Strasbourg and Institut national des sciences appliquées (INSA) de Lyon in France. I have strong international collaborations with the US Department of Agriculture, Albany, USA; Colorado School of Mines, USA; AnoxKaldnes, Sweden; University of Bradford, University of Warwick, University of Nottingham, University of Sheffield, UK, SCION, NZ; Michigan State University, USA, and many Australian universities.

Research Interests

  • Sustainable materials and polymers
    Current projects are focused on developing new sustainable and bio-based polymers and biochemicals from formulation through to degradation/disposal, understanding processing of nanostructured polymers, developing smarter biopolymers and materials for biomedical, drug delivery, food and high value applications and understanding rheology and processing of a range of polymer, foods and liquids, and circular plastics.

Research Impacts

I am is a leading international expert in bio-based polymers and translational polymer research. My initial work on Australia's first biodegradable thermoplastic starch polymers led to the establishment of spin-off company Plantic Technologies, more than $75 million in venture financing, sales of commercially-viable products and a continued research provider relationship with Plantic. I have has led translational research projects in biopolymers and biofluid platforms for agrifood, biomedical and high-value manufacturing sectors which have attracted more than $14 million in government and industry funding; and produced patents, licences and new industrial know-how.

Qualifications

  • Graduate Cert of Higher Education, The University of Queensland
  • PhD, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Engineering, The University of Queensland

Publications

View all Publications

Grants

View all Grants

Available Projects

  • Scholarships available, up to $45,000 p.a. tax free (which includes a 12-month industry placement)

    There is unprecedented growth in demand for bioderived and biodegradable materials. The new ARC Training Centre in Bioplastics and Biocomposites will capitalise on Australia’s abundant natural bioresources to drive advances in technology for the development of bioplastic and biocomposite products for the new bioeconomy. We are a collaboration between industry, The University of Queensland (UQ) and Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Our vision is to perform leading edge research and to develop industry-ready specialists to underpin Australia’s transition to a globally significant bioplastics and biocomposites industry.

    Up to 3 scholarships are available for outstanding PhD candidates to work in a multidisciplinary research team, embedded in industry. PhD projects are available in each of the following themes: Bioresource transformation, Bioplastic manufacture, Bioplastics applications, Effecting change and sustainability assessment.

    We have a critical focus on providing an exceptional PhD experience. We will deliver targeted training and development opportunities including: leadership, innovation, emotional intelligence, critical thinking and project management.

    As a Centre student you will receive mentoring from academic and industry leaders, access internal funding opportunities, and gain real world experience through extensive industry placements.

    Link to our FindaPhD advertisement https://www.findaphd.com/phds/project/phd-scholarship-in-bioplastics/?p145292

    Link to our PDF here

  • New phd scholarship in an ARC discovery project on self reinforced biopolymer composite materials with UQ, Deakin and UWarwick (UK)

    More details on link above

View all Available Projects

Publications

Book

Book Chapter

  • Nikoli, M, Colwell, J., Yeh, C.-L., Cash, G., Laycock, B., Gauthier, E., Halley, P., Bottle, S. and George, G. (2022). Real-world factors that impact polyolefin lifetimes. Lifetimes and Compatibility of Synthetic Polymers. (pp. ---) edited by James Lewicki. Hoboken, NJ, United States: John Wiley and Sons.

  • Xie, Fengwei, Pollet, Eric, Halley, Peter J. and Avérous, Luc (2015). Advanced nano-biocomposites based on starch. Polysaccharides: bioactivity and biotechnology. (pp. 1467-1553) edited by Kishan Gopal Ramawat and Jean-Michel Mérillon. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-03751-6_50-1

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

  • Tan, I. and Halley, Peter J. (2014). "Structure-Property" relationships of genetically modified starch. Starch Polymers: From Genetic Engineering to Green Applications. (pp. 31-73) edited by Peter J. Halley and Luc Avérous. Burlington, MA, USA: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-53730-0.00020-8

  • Averous, Luc and Halley, Peter J. (2014). Introduction. Starch polymers: from genetic engineering to green applications. (pp. xxi-xxi) edited by Peter J. Halley and Luc Avérous. Burlington, MA USA: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-53730-0.09986-3

  • Chaléat, C., Halley, Peter J. and Truss, R. W. (2014). Mechanical properties of starch-based plastics. Starch Polymers: From Genetic Engineering to Green Applications. (pp. 187-205) edited by Peter J. Halley and Luc R. Avérous. Burlington, MA, USA: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-53730-0.00023-3

  • Maliger, R. B. and Halley, Peter J. (2014). Reactive extrusion for thermoplastic starch-polymer blends. Starch Polymers: From Genetic Engineering to Green Applications. (pp. 291-315) edited by Peter J. Halley and Luc R. Avérous. Burlington, MA, USA: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-53730-0.00030-0

  • Laycock, Bronwyn G. and Halley, Peter J. (2014). Starch applications: state of market and new trends. Starch Polymers: From Genetic Engineering to Green Applications. (pp. 381-414) edited by Peter J. Halley and Luc R. Avérous. Burlington, MA, USA: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-53730-0.00026-9

  • Shrestha, Ashok K. and Halley, Peter J. (2014). Starch modification to develop novel starch-biopolymer blends: state of art and perspectives. Starch Polymers: From Genetic Engineering to Green Applications. (pp. 105-137) edited by Peter J. Halley and Luc R. Avérous. Burlington, MA, USA: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-53730-0.00022-1

  • Avérous, Luc R. and Halley, Peter J. (2014). Starch polymers: from the field to industrial products. Starch Polymers: From Genetic Engineering to Green Applications. (pp. 3-10) edited by Peter J. Halley and Luc R. Avérous. Burlington, MA, USA: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-53730-0.00018-X

  • Nikolić, Melissa A. L., Dean, Katherine and Halley, Peter J. (2012). Biodegradation and applications of nanobiocomposites. Environmental silicate nano-biocomposites. (pp. 409-422) edited by Luc Avérous and Eric Pollet. London, United Kingdom: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4471-4108-2_16

  • Halley, Peter J. (2012). Rheology of thermosets: the use of chemorheology to characterise and model thermoset flow behaviour. Thermosets: structure, properties and applications. (pp. 92-117) edited by Qipeng Guo. New Delhi, India: Woodhead Publishing. doi: 10.1533/9780857097637.1.92

  • Chaleat, C. M., Nikolic, M., Truss, R. W., Tan, I., McGlashan, S. A. and Halley, P. J. (2012). Thermoplastic starch polymer blends and nanocomposites. Biobased monomers, polymers and materials. (pp. 323-334) Washington, DC, United States: American Chemical Society. doi: 10.1021/bk-2012-1105.ch019

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

  • McCrossan, K., McClory, C., Mayoral, B., Thompson, D., McConnell, D., McNally, T., Murphy, M., Nicholson, T., Martin, D. and Halley, P. (2011). Composites of poly(ethylene terephthalate) and multi-walled carbon nanotubes. Polymer–carbon nanotube composites: preparation, properties and applications. (pp. 545-586) edited by Tony McNally and Petra Pötschke. Oxford, United Kingdom: Woodhead Publishing. doi: 10.1533/9780857091390.2.545

  • Halley, Peter J. (2010). Morphology development in thermoset nanocomposites. Optimization of polymer nanocomposite properties. (pp. 21-40) edited by Vikas Mittal. Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-V C H Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA. doi: 10.1002/9783527629275.ch2

  • Halley, Peter J. and George, Graeme A. (2009). Physics and dynamics of reactive polymers. Physics and dynamics of reactive polymers. (pp. 169-194) CAMBRIDGE: CAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511581403.003

  • Halley, Peter J., Truss, Rowan W., Markotsis, Martin G., Chaleat, Celine, Russo, Melissa, Sargent, Anna Lisa, Tan, Ihwa and Sopade, Peter A. (2007). A review of biodegradable thermoplastic starch polymers. Polymer Durability and Radiation Effects. (pp. 287-300) edited by M. C. Celina and R. A. Assink. United States: American Chemical Society. doi: 10.1021/bk-2007-0978.ch024

  • Cichero, Julie and Halley, Peter (2006). Variations to the normal swallow. Dysphagia: Foundation, theory and practice. (pp. 47-91) edited by Julie Cichero and Bruce Murdoch. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.

  • Halley, P. J. (2005). Thermoplastic starch biodegradable polymers. Biodegradable polymers for industrial applications. (pp. 140-162) edited by Ray Smith. Boca Raton, Fla. ; Cambridge, England: CRC Press; Woodhead.

  • Sopade, P. A., Bhandari, B. R., D'Arcy, B. R., Halley, P. J. and Caffin, N. A. (2002). A study of vitrification of Australian honeys at different moisture contents. Amorphous Food and Pharmacentical Systems. (pp. 168-183) edited by Harry Levine. UK: Royal Society of Chemistry.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Edited Outputs

  • Sopade, P. A., Halley, P. J. and Jumming, L.M. eds. (2002). Viscoelastic property of starchhoney Systems during gelatinisation. Innovations in Food Processing Technology and Engineering, Bangkok, 11-13 December. Bangkok, Thailand: Food Engineering and Bioprocess Technology Program Thailand.

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Completed Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • Scholarships available, up to $45,000 p.a. tax free (which includes a 12-month industry placement)

    There is unprecedented growth in demand for bioderived and biodegradable materials. The new ARC Training Centre in Bioplastics and Biocomposites will capitalise on Australia’s abundant natural bioresources to drive advances in technology for the development of bioplastic and biocomposite products for the new bioeconomy. We are a collaboration between industry, The University of Queensland (UQ) and Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Our vision is to perform leading edge research and to develop industry-ready specialists to underpin Australia’s transition to a globally significant bioplastics and biocomposites industry.

    Up to 3 scholarships are available for outstanding PhD candidates to work in a multidisciplinary research team, embedded in industry. PhD projects are available in each of the following themes: Bioresource transformation, Bioplastic manufacture, Bioplastics applications, Effecting change and sustainability assessment.

    We have a critical focus on providing an exceptional PhD experience. We will deliver targeted training and development opportunities including: leadership, innovation, emotional intelligence, critical thinking and project management.

    As a Centre student you will receive mentoring from academic and industry leaders, access internal funding opportunities, and gain real world experience through extensive industry placements.

    Link to our FindaPhD advertisement https://www.findaphd.com/phds/project/phd-scholarship-in-bioplastics/?p145292

    Link to our PDF here

  • New phd scholarship in an ARC discovery project on self reinforced biopolymer composite materials with UQ, Deakin and UWarwick (UK)

    More details on link above