Abel Santos

Associate Professor Abel Santos

Associate Professor

School of Chemical Engineering

Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Technology

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD, but is currently at capacity - email supervisor to discuss availability.


I have pursued an independent research leadership role in materials science, nanofabrication, nanophotonics, optical sensing and biosensing, drug delivery and nanotoxicity, and photocatalysis. I have held full-time positions since my PhD (Magna Cum Laude—highest distinction for a PhD in Spain), by the Rovira i Virgili University (URV, Spain). After a postdoctoral research position (2011–12) at the Department of Electronic Engineering (URV), I undertook an academic Level A position in the School of Chemical Engineering (SCE) at the University of Adelaide (UoA) in January 2012. I secured an ARC DECRA (2014–16), and took up a Level B position at UoA’s SCE in 2014. In September 2015, I was promoted to research-only Level C position. In 2016, I gained a competitive Vice-Chancellor Fellowship (2017–19) (success rate ~10%) by UoA in recognition of outstanding research performance during my DECRA (42 articles, two books, four book chapters, and four PhD completions, of which I was principal supervisor for one, and took the primary role for three; all completions gained Dean’s Commendations and two UoA medals).

In 2019, I was appointed Senior Lecturer and gained a permanent position at UoA’s SCE, and I was promoted to Associate Professor in November 2021. My current role incorporates research (60%), administration (10%), and teaching (30%). I lead a dynamic research group comprising two early career researchers, nine PhDs (eight principal supervisor and one co-supervisor), two research Masters (principal supervisor), five PhD and MPhil visitors, and four Honours students, and have a research laboratory for my group. I am also actively involved in teaching and hold several leadership positions at UoA’s SCE, including Associate Head of School (Research), PGC Coordinator, and and coordinator of UoA’s Quantum Materials Initiative for SCE.

I have a well-demonstrated ability to conduct high quality interdisciplinary research with an excellent publication track record: five books, eight book chapters and 120 research articles. I have been consistently productive throughout my career, publishing an average of ~10 papers per year with an average IF of 7.4. My publications have generated >5,200 cites (GS, one article >200 cites and 12 articles >100 cites), with an h-index of 45 (i10-index: 94 and total h-index >830), a Category Normalized Citation Impact of 1.3 (CNCI, InCites), and a Field Weighted Citation Impact of 1.76 (FWCI, Scival). >80% of my work has been published in the top 10% journals of the materials science discipline (Scival), ~75% of which have been published in journals with IF >8 and >80% in Q1 quartile journals of the materials science discipline. I have been corresponding author on ~75% of these publications, which further demonstrates my leadership and genuine contribution to science.

Research Interests

TOPICS

  • Structural engineering of nanoporous materials by electrochemical oxidation (anodisation)
  • Photocatalysis, Electrophotocatalysis, and energy generation and storage
  • Nanophotonics and plasmonics
  • Optical sensing and biosensing
  • Surface coatings for biomedical applications
  • Iontronics and electrochemical sensing

SUPERVISION

  • Postdoctoral research fellows: three
  • PhDs supervised: 16 (eight as principal supervisor and one as co-supervisor) and six PhD/MPhil visitors
  • PhDs completions: seven (all Dean's Commendation and four University of Adelaide Medals)
  • PhDs in progress: nine (eight as principal supervisor and one as co-supervisor)
  • Research Masters: ten (nine completions and four in progress for timely completion)
  • Honours undergraduates: 32 completions

RECENT POSITIONS

  • Associate Professor (2022—Present) The University of Adelaide, School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials, Adelaide, SA, Australia
  • Associate Head of School (Research) (2022—Present) The University of Adelaide, School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials, Adelaide, SA, Australia
  • HDR Coordinator (2021—Present) The University of Adelaide, School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials, Adelaide, SA, Australia
  • Research Seminar Coordinator (2020—24) The University of Adelaide, School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials, Adelaide, SA, Australia
  • Director Master in Materials Engineering (2019—24) The University of Adelaide, School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials, Adelaide, SA, Australia
  • Senior Lecturer (2019—2021) The University of Adelaide, School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials, Adelaide, SA, Australia
  • UoA 'Research for Impact' Fellow (2017—18) The University of Adelaide, School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials, Adelaide, SA, Australia
  • ARC-DECRA Fellow (2014—16) The University of Adelaide, School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials, Adelaide, SA, Australia
  • Postdoctoral Fellow (2012—13) The University of Adelaide, School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials, Adelaide, SA, Australia
  • Postdoctoral Fellow (2011) Rovira i Virgili University, Departament of Electronic, Electric and Automatised Engineering, Tarragona, Spain

STUDENTSHIPS & FELLOWSHIPS

  • UoA 'Research for Impact' Fellowship (2017—19) The University of Adelaide, School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials, Australia
  • ARC - Discovery Early Career Researcher Award Fellowship - DECRA (2014—17) The University of Adelaide, School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials, Australia
  • Rovira i Virgili Fellowship (2011—12) Rovira i Virgili University, Departament of Electronic, Electric and Automatised Engineering, Tarragona, Spain
  • Fellowship for mobility to obtain the European Doctorate Award (2010) Rovira i Virgili University, Departament of Electronic, Electric and Automatised Engineering, Tarragona, Spain - Universität Hamburg, Institut für Angewandte Physik, Hamburg, Germany
  • Rovira i Virgili Studentship (2006—10) Rovira i Virgili University, Departament of Electronic, Electric and Automatised Engineering, Tarragona, Spain

 GRANTS AND AWARDS

  • Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) (2023) Developing Enabling Technologies for Manufacture of Precision mRNA Vaccines
  • PIRSA - AgTech Growth Fund (2022) Smart Sensors for Animal Welfare Monitoring
  • ARC - Discovery Project: DP220102857 (2022) Bioinspired Photo-Iontronic Membranes for Smart Neuron-Mimicking Systems
  • Agrifood and Wine FAME Strategy (2021) Pesticide Biosensors for Viticulture and Winemaking Industries
  • European Cooperation in Science and Technology (EU COST) Action (2021) Netpore
  • ARC - LIEF: LE210100153 (2021) Integrated In situ-characterisation Facilities for Energy Studies
  • AISRF Round 13 COVID19 Collaborative Research Projects: AIRXIIICO000063 (2021) Photonic Viropsy: Harnessing Light on Chip for Precise SARS-CoV-2 Diagnosis
  • ARC - Discovery Project: DP200102614 (2020) On-Chip Detection and Molecular Fingerprinting of Emerging Toxicants
  • ARC - LIEF: LE200100174 (2020) X-Ray Nanolithography Facility: Towards the Ultimate Resolution
  • Waite Research Institute Seed Funding (2019) Smart Colorimetric Labels for In-Field Risk Mitigation and Monitoring of Pesticides Use
  • APRIL Innovation and Commercialisation Project by the Australian Pork Research Institute Ltd (2019) A Lab on a Chip for Real Time Pain and Animal Welfare Biomarker Measurement
  • UoA 'Research for Impact' (2017) Label-Free Lab-on-a-Chip Nanophotonic Sensing System for Multiplexed and High-Throughput Detection of Cancer Biomarkers
  • National R&D Project (2017) Development of Photovoltaic Organic Solar Cells and Photonic Biosensors based on Micro-Nanoporous Structures and Nanostructured Polymers, the Spanish Ministry of Industry and Competitiveness as a Partner Investigator in collaboration with Prof. Marsal (URV, Spain)
  • ECMS OCL Travel Support Scheme (2016) 8th International Conference on Technological Advances of Thin Films and Surface Coatings (Singapore)
  • IPAS Best Paper Competition (2015) Realisation and Advanced Engineering of True Optical Rugate Filters Based on Nanoporous Anodic Alumina by Sinusoidal Pulse Anodisation
  • ARC - LIEF: LE150100187 (2015) SA Facility for High Resolution Imaging and Material Characterization
  • ARC - LIEF: LE150100040 (2015) Advanced Capabilities for Surface Engineering, Thin Films, Nanoparticles and Nano-Patterns Fabrications
  • ECMS Research Support Scheme (2014) Development of a Smart Point-of-Analysis System for Label-Free Fingerprint Identification of Wines by Optical Signatures
  • ARC - DECRA: DE14010054 (2014) Stratiform Optical Barcoding System for Cardiac Biomarkers: Towards Smart Computerised Clinical Prognosis of Cardiovascular Disease
  • ANFF-SA Start-UP Award (2013) Nanoporous Anodic Alumina Nanochannels for Chromatography-on-a-Chip

    COURSES

    • CHEM_ENG_7046A/B — Masters Project (Semesters 1 & 2) (2012—Present)
    • CHEM_ENG_4055 — Research Practice (Semester 1) (2012—20)
    • CHEM_ENG_4054 — Research Project (Semester 2) (2012—Present)
    • CHEM_ENG_3029_7055 — Materials Science and Engineering (Semester 1) (2014—Present)
    • CHEM_ENG_7101 — Materials Characterisation (Semester 2) (2019—20)
    • CHEM_ENG_7104 — Advanced Optical Engineering of Materials (Semester 1) (2019—Present)
    • CHEM ENG_7107 — Engineering of Semiconductor Materials (Semester 1) (2021—Present)
    • CHEM_ENG_7122A/B — Materials Engineering Projects (Semesters 1 & 2) (2019—Present)
    • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

      Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
      2024 Co-Supervisor Nonadiabatic quantum control of valley states in silicon Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Martin Leang Yiv
      2024 Principal Supervisor Development of Integrated Microfluidic Chips for mRNA nanomedicines Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Vijaykumar Devjibhai Bodarya
      2023 Principal Supervisor Rational Design and Advanced Engineering of 1D nanoporous photonic crystals Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Zichu Zhao
      2023 Principal Supervisor Rational Design and Advanced Engineering of High-Quality Nanoporous Photonic Crystal Structures Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Jairo Alberto Baron Jaimez
      2022 Principal Supervisor Engineering of light-matter interactions in semiconductor structures for photocatalysis Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Van Truc Ngo
      2022 Principal Supervisor Bioinspired Engineering of Iontronic Membranes for Osmotic Energy Generation Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Khanh Nhien Vu
      2022 Principal Supervisor Engineering of light–matter interactions in hybrid plasmonic–photonic crystal structures Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Nguyen Que Huong Tran
      2021 Principal Supervisor Harnessing Light–Matter Interactions in Nanoporous Photonic Crystal Structures for Gas Sensing Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Khoa Tran
      2020 Principal Supervisor Engineering of Nanoporous Platform Materials for Sensing Applications Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Juan Wang
      2020 Principal Supervisor Rational Design and Advanced Engineering of High-Quality light-Emitting Nanoporous Photonic Crystal Structures Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Satyathiran Gunenthiran
    • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

      Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
      2017 - 2020 Principal Supervisor Advanced Photonic Crystals for Efficient Light-Trapping in Photocatalytic Applications Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Siew Yee Lim
      2015 - 2019 Principal Supervisor Advanced Engineering of Nanoporous Anodic Alumina Photonic Crystals for Optical Sensing Applications Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Cheryl Suwen Law
      2013 - 2015 Co-Supervisor Synthesis of Anodic Alumina Nanotubes for Drug Delivery and Nanotoxicity Study: understanding of bio-nano interactions by a nanomaterial model Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Ye Wang
      2013 - 2016 Co-Supervisor Carbon Nanotubes Composites: Engineering, Properties and Applications Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Mohammed Obid Alsawat
      2012 - 2014 Co-Supervisor Carbon Nanotube Composites: Advanced Properties for Emerging Applications Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Tariq Ateeq J Altalhi
      2012 - 2015 Co-Supervisor Development of Nanopore Based Label-Free Optical Sensors Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Tushar Kumeria
    • Position: Associate Professor
    • Phone: 83135056
    • Email: abel.santos@adelaide.edu.au
    • Campus: North Terrace
    • Building: Engineering North, floor First Floor
    • Room: N117
    • Org Unit: Materials Engineering

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