Professor Russell Varley

Professor of Composite Materials

Before joining Deakin in July 2016 he was team leader of the Composites team at CSIRO, where he worked for 27 years. Russell is a graduate of the University of Adelaide and completed his PhD at Monash University on the subject of thermoplastic toughening of highly crosslinked epoxy networks. 

Since then, his work has focused on network and engineering polymers, specifically understanding how to control network properties for improved performance or processing.

He has published about 70 papers in peer reviewed journals, four book chapters and submitted about 40 major client project reports to various multi-national companies and Australian SMEs.  His research interests include new polymer matrices for advanced composites, self-healing materials, nanocomposites and processable thermoplastic composites. 

Dr Luke Henderson

Carbon Fibre Surface Modification

Dr. Henderson was awarded his PhD in synthetic organic chemistry in 2008, followed by postdoctoral positions at Oxford University, UK and as an Alfred Deakin research fellow at Deakin University which concluded with an academic appointment at Deakin University. 

The focus of Dr Henderson’s research is broad but focuses on the surface functionalization of materials for structural reinforcement – such as those required for carbon fibre, or for medical applications.

Dr Henderson's projects include, the construction of novel organic compounds which are amenable to the surface functionalisation of carbon fibre; the synthesis of amphiphiles which self-assemble into micelles and liposomes for materials and medical applications; applying novel architectures to the construction of catalysts which are able to facilitate asymmetric organic reactions; and the application of plasmonic nanostructures to the treatment and diagnosis of cancer.

Find out more about Dr Luke Henderson

Dr Minoo Naebe

High Perfomance Carbon Fibre

Dr Minoo Naebe received her PhD from Deakin University and joined the Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM) as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in 2008. Dr Naebe’s research has been focused on the structure-property relationship of carbon based nanoreinforced composites and nanofibres. Her current research interests include developing novel functional and structural hierarchical composites for light weight ballistic armour and aerospace/automotive composites.

Dr Naebe's recent work has included development of applied nano-technology solutions for multifunctional high performance composite systems. The focus of the activities has been on developing commercially applicable solutions for human protection and advanced structural applications.

Find out more about Dr Minoo Naebe

Dr Claudia Creighton

Carbon Fibre Structure Property Relationships

Dr Creighton has a background in the field of composites processing, characterisation and sandwich structures. She completed her PhD in collaboration with Eurocopter in the area of out-of-autoclave resin infusion processes for textile preforms and flow modelling in 2011. The research involved modelling-based cure kinetics characterisation and process parameter optimisation.

Her current research interests lie in the fundamental understanding of the effect of the carbon fibre production process on the fibre morphology and resulting properties, low-cost manufacture of carbon fibre and the influence of fibre sizing on the composite performance.

Find out more about Dr Claudia Creighton

Dr Mandy de Souza

Carbon Fibre Composites

Dr de Souza's primary research focus is in carbon fibre composite materials, for both automotive and aerospace applications. She currently holds a Research Fellow position working on the characterisation and optimisation of carbon fibre properties and the development of carbon fibres for the automotive industry.

In 2011, she was awarded a Victoria Fellowship by the Victorian Government to visit leading automotive and composite organisations in Europe and the United States to establish new relationships and collaborations for her automotive surface finish related research and for the Australian Future Fibres Research and Innovation Centre.

Find out more about Dr Mandy de Souza

Mr Madhu Suryanarayana

Research Engineer in Composites

Mr Madhusudan Suryanarayana received his Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering specialising in 'Automotive Product Development' from Deakin University, Australia in 2009 and has since been part of the Composites group.

Madhu has worked on a range of research and industry based projects in carbon fibre, composites, plastics and armour systems. The projects involved material characterisation, testing, process development and design. He has worked with local Australian companies and with various research organisations including Aircraft Plastics, Quickstep, CSIRO, DTMC, ADA and DSTO.

His current work involves working with high curvature armour systems developing novel commercially viable technologies for ballistic protection.

Dr Steven Agius

Research Fellow

Dr Steven Agius received his PhD from Deakin University in 2011, where his research focused on the effect of heating rate on cure kinetics, void development and fracture toughness within low pressure cured composites. After completing his PhD, Dr Agius continued a postdoctoral research fellowship in collaboration with Carbon Revolution, which involved a broad range of research topics, namely the cure optimisation and characterisation of a composite used for an automotive primary structure.

Dr Steven Agius continues his industry links through a linkage scheme in collaboration with Deakin, RMIT and Carbon Revolution, where his research lies in understanding, improving and predicting the onset of failure within a carbon fibre wheel.