Abel Santos

Dr Abel Santos

Senior Lecturer

School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials

Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - 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 and Advanced Materials (CEAM) 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 CEAM in 2014. In September 2015, I was promoted to research-only Level C position by the Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences (ECMS, UoA). 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 CEAM. My current role incorporates research (55%), administration (15%), and teaching (30%). I lead a dynamic research group comprising two postdoctoral fellows, four PhDs (principal supervisor), three research Masters (principal supervisor), two PhD visitors, and four Honours students, and have a research laboratory for my group. I am also actively involved in teaching, and I am Director of the Master in Materials Engineering and HDR coordinator at UoA’s CEAM.

I have an outstanding publication track-record for a researcher in my fields at my career stage, having published: five books (one as sole author; one as co-author; three as editor), eight book chapters, and 103 research articles: 1st author: 31; 2nd author: 19; corresponding author: 78; last (lead) author: 40; journal covers: 9; invited: 14; featured: 2; conferences and symposia: 54. My publication performance over the last five years (2015–20) has been sustained, following an upward trajectory (Google Scholar— GS). I have been consistently productive throughout this period, publishing an average of 10 papers per year, with an average IF of 6.8. >70% of these were published in journals with IF >6. I have been corresponding and last (lead) senior on ~80% and ~40% of these publications, respectively, which further demonstrates my leadership and genuine contribution to research. My publications have received >3600 citations and I have several highly cited articles (one article >200 citations and four articles >100 citations). I have an h-index of 38 (GS), an i10-index of 81 (GS), an m-index of 3.6, a total IF of 630, a Field Weighted Citation Impact of 1.66 (FWCI, Scival)—global indicator that demonstrates that I perform 66% above the world’s average in my research fields (i.e. materials science and engineering). Since 2015, I receive an average of ~500 citations per year with an increasing trajectory (GS).

Research Interests

  • Structural engineering of nanoporous materials by electrochemical approaches
  • Nanophotonics
  • Optical sensing and biosensing
  • Smart drug delivery from nanocarriers and surface coatings for biomedical applications
  • Microfluidic lab-on-a-chip systems for all-in-one sensing applications

Do you want to join our research group?

PhD Scholarships

University scholarships for Australian students are known as Australian Postgraduate Awards (APA). These scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit and in designated areas of research strength within the University. If a student does not secure an APA, then the School of Physical Sciences considers the option of divisional scholarships (based on academic merit and budget limits). The University also offers a range of Scholarships for international students.

Application involves filling in the "application form for admission/scholarship".

When applying for domestic scholarships please remember to tick both the APA and Divisional box.  After the closing date, the Graduate Centre will forward your application to the School to consider. If an APA is not awarded then the school will consider offering a divisional scholarship.  Further details can be found at the scholarship websites http://www.adelaide.edu.au/scholarships/

Further information on international PhD scholarships can be found at:  https://www.adelaide.edu.au/graduatecentre/scholarships/research-international/opportunities/

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  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2019 Senior Lecturer The University of Adelaide
    2016 - 2018 Research-only academic Level C The University of Adelaide
    2014 - 2016 Research-only academic Level B The University of Adelaide
  • Language Competencies

    Language Competency
    Catalan; Valencian Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
    English Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
    German Can read, write, speak and understand spoken
    Spanish; Castilian Can read, write, understand spoken and peer review
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    Universitat Jaume I Spain Bachelor in Chemical Engineering
    Universitat Rovira i Virgili Spain Master in Electronic Engineering
    Universitat Rovira i Virgili Spain PhD in Electronic Engineering
  • Research Interests

STUDENTSHIPS & FELLOWSHIPS

  • ARC - Discovery Early Career Researcher Award Fellowship - DECRA (2014-2017) The University of Adelaide, School of Chemical Engineering, Australia
  • Rovira i Virgili Fellowship (2011-2012) Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Departament d'Enginyeria Electrònica, Elèctrica i Automàtica, Tarragona, Spain
  • Fellowship for mobility to obtain the European Doctorate Award (2010) Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Departament d'Enginyeria Electrònica, Elèctrica i Automàtica, Tarragona, Spain - Universität Hamburg, Institut für Angewandte Physik, Hamburg, Germany
  • Rovira i Virgili Studentship (2006-2010) Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Departament d'Enginyeria Electrònica, Elèctrica i Automàtica, Tarragona, Spain

 GRANTS

  • 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 - LE150100187 (2015) SA Facility for High Resolution Imaging and Material Characterization
  • ARC - 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 - 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
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    • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

      Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
      2021 Principal Supervisor Harnessing Light–Matter Interactions in Nanoporous Photonic Crystal Structures for Gas Sensing Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Khoa Nhu 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 Suwen Cheryl 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: Senior Lecturer
    • Phone: 83135056
    • Email: abel.santos@adelaide.edu.au
    • Campus: North Terrace
    • Building: Engineering North Annex, floor 2
    • Room: A2 05
    • Org Unit: School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials

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