Naba Dutta

Naba Dutta

School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials

Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences

I have been engaged in fundamental and applied research in the areas of Advanced Polymer Materials, Polymer Composites & Nanocomposites, Biomimetic Polymers, Biomaterials Engineering, Energy Materials for energy conversion devices including Fuel Cells, Thin Films & Coatings and Advanced Manufacturing for more than 25 years, after finishing my PhD (Polymer Science and Engineering in 1991 from Indian Institute of Technology, India). I have achieved distinction at the national and international level through original, innovative and distinguished contributions to scholarship, research and research supervision in the discipline of chemical science, materials engineering, and multidisciplinary research on complex interfaces. My research activities focused on both fundamental and industrial significance and now has established a research portfolio in highly interdisciplinary areas of Structured Polymer Materials, Polymer Interfaces and Nanomaterials' Science. I have taken the leading role to assemble many nationally competitive and internationally collaborative proposals (e.g. ARC-DP, ARC-LP, ARC-LIEF, SIEF, ARENA), and demonstrated capacity and vision to lead a diverse, innovative, and interdisciplinary research team. I have also been the team leader of many successful research projects supported by commercial companies with key role in the direction of the project, financial control, planning, liaison with the collaborator, supervision of staff/students, and deliver successful outcome.

I strongly believe in the value of transformational innovation through transdisciplinary approach  and a culture of research excellence. My research is at the transdisciplinary, crossing the areas of Materials Engineering, Biomaterials Engineering, Chemical Science and Advanced Manufacturing. Through the convergence of Molecular Biology, Material Science, Physical Chemistry and Chemical Engineering the multidisciplinary team, I lead, has performed ground-breaking research on the following areas of science.

 Demonstrated the power of directed self-organization/self-assembling of biomimetic polymers, block-copolymers to harnessed pre-organized templates for confined synthesis of noble metal nano and sub-nano particles, light harvesting nano-structures and functional nano-objects.

 World class research in materials for renewable energy technology, which has the potential to be game changing in the enabling of critical energy technology.
 Design and synthesis of supported Platinum and Platinum alloy nano & sub-nano particles- the most effective electrocatalyst for oxidation and reduction reactions for fuel cell using a aqueous media, mild conditions from sustainable resources.
 Design of electrode materials, Pt/C heterostructure and membrane electrode assembly as gas diffusion electrodes for proton exchange membrane for fuel cells.
 Development of novel ion selective membranes for energy conversion and energy storage devices

 Pioneered research in the areas of amino acid sequence heuristics essential to encode phase behaviour in multifunctional intrinsically disordered protein (IDP) polymers and to design novel LCST or UCST-exhibiting protein polymers that consist of biologically-active peptide repeats;
 Engineered bio-mimetic multi-responsive protein polymer with extraordinary responsiveness and exquisite functionality;
 Set the foundation to predict and encode phase behaviour of IDPs at the sequence level and to identify at a proteome-level, proteins that might exhibit advanced multi-responsive behaviour.
 Use of Australian Neutron scattering facility to probe both structures and dynamics of intrinsically disordered protein and other condensed matter- probe size range covers from the near Angstrom sizes to the near micron sizes.
 Development novel method/protocol to precisely identify the interfacial interactions in a composite materials and in-depth understanding of the consequence of reinforcement
 Generated fundamental knowledge in understanding of interfacial interaction and its consequences on elastomer/polymer reinforcement.
 Fundamental understanding of the structure/property/performance and rheological behaviour of multicomponent soft materials and gels.
 Long-term viscoelastic behaviour of thermo-rheologically complex materials and development of realistic constitutive equations that does not follow WLF type simple rules.

With right balance of background knowledge, skill, experience, expertise, and academic integrity, I am passionately committed to conduct research at the highest quality.

Research  Grants  and  Funding: Past and Current 

P6170: 2017-2: Neutron: “Understanding the effect of crowding interactions on the conformational ensemble of multi-responsive protein polymer rec1-resilin” Dutta/Choudhury/Balu/ Mata (ANSTO - ACNS), Rehm (ANSTO - ACNS) /Knott (ANSTO - ACNS)

2017-NDF6169: 2017-2: “Deuteration: Bio-synthesis of deuterated Rec1-resilin”Dutta/Rekas (ANSTO - NDF)/ Choudhury/Balu/ Mata(ANSTO - ACNS)

2016-2017: Structure evolution mechanism of Protein-based Hydrogels, Choudhury, Balu, Dutta, Mata, Rehm, De Campo, ANSTO Bragg’s Award, ~A$ 100,000 (2017).

2016-2017: SANS investigation of the effect of functionalised fullerene additives in P3HT:PCBM nanoparticle dispersions for organic solar cells applications, Choudhury, Balu, Dutta, Mata, Rehm, De Campo, ANSTO Bragg’s Award (2017).

2016-2017: P5246: "USANS and SANS Investigation of Structure and Toughening mechanism of Protein-based Hydrogels"  Dutta/Choudhury/Balu/Mata/Knott/Rehm/de Campo.Total Value: A$82,185

2015-2016: P4485: ANSTO: Neutron Beam Instrument Proposal:  Fundamental understanding of the effect of solvent choice in the catalyst ink dispersion on the morphology of the solid MEA and its influence on fuel cell performance. Dutta,/Balu/Junaiz Rehmen. Total: ~A$103,000

2015-2016: Industry Funded project: Large Scale Synthesis of Ultra-small Platinum Nanoparticles for PEMFC (ITEK , BioSA, NOVAKAT) , CI Naba K. Dutta, N, Roy Choudhury. Total A$ 79,783

2016-2018: ARC DP160101267: A Tough Resilin Based Hydrogel Platform for Repair and Regeneration, CI1 N. Choudhury, CI2 N. K.  Dutta (w), PI- A. Hill (CSIRO), A. Zannettino, (Uni. Adelaide), J. C. Liu, (Purdue University, USA). Total A$ 342,814

2014-2018: International Science Linkage Grant: Interfacial Engineering and facile Fabrication of BHJ Plastic solar cell, N. Roy Choudhury, M. Andersson, N. K. Dutta  Total: A$ 400,000

2015: LE150100187: ARC  LIEF Grant:2 A Facility for high resolution imaging and material characterization ( CI: RoyChoudhury/ N. Dutta/ Andersson/ Follink/ Lambertus/ Losic/ Prestidge).  A$ 590,000

2015 P4033: ANSTO: Neutron Beam Instrument Proposal:  Structural analysis of Fuel cell Ink Engineered using directed self-assembly of biomimetic polymer template. CI N. K. Dutta,  R.  Balu. (SANS, USANS time to ANSTO facility). Total  A$103,960

2014 P3603: ANSTO: Neutron Beam Instrument Proposal Understanding the self-assembly of novel multi responsive biomimetic protein polymers CI N. K. Dutta,  R.  Balu. (SANS, USANS time to ANSTO facility). Total: A$ 64,525

2013-2015: Clever Green Commercialisation Grant with NovaKat as Industry Partner: Unique fuel cell catalyst layer. N. K. Dutta, N. Roy choudhury.  Total: A$ 200,000.

2013-2016: DP120103537-ARC Discovery Project.: Engineered Nanoassemblies for Energy Conversion. ARC Discovery Project . CI-Naba K. Dutta,  PI-Steve Holdcroft, PI-.Anita Hill),  A$300,000.

2011-2013: LP110100439 ARC Linkage Project: Nanostructured anticorrosive Coating for Wave Energy Conversion Module: (CI1- Namita Roy choudhury, CI-2: Naba K. Dutta) Total ARC Contribution: 350,000. Total Industry Contribution =300,000. Total- A$ 650,000.

2010-2012: DP1092678:ARC Discovery Project.  Shape Controlled Nanostructured Electrocatalyst for Clean Energy Generation, (CI1-Naba K. Dutta, CI2-Namita Roy Choudhury, PI1- Steven Holdcroft (Simon Fraser University), PI2- Anita Hill(CSIRO), PI3-Chris Elvin (CSIRO).Total = A$430,000

2007: LE 07775773- ARC LIEF Grant: Integrated Electrochemical facility, , (N. R. Choudhury, N. Dutta, N. Voelcker, S.  Bandyopadhyay Total Funding.A$ 400,000.

2006-2008: DP0557964- ARC Discovery Project: New High Temperature Proton Conducting Polymer Electrolyte for Sustainable Energy Conversion, (Naba K. Dutta, Namita Roy Choudhury, Anita Hill, S. Holdcroft ) ~A$ 600,000 

2006-2008: LP0667864- ARC Linkage Project: Novel Multifunctional Sealer for Asphalt Pavement,  (N. Dutta, N. Roy Choudhury, Mr M J Butcher) (withdrawn).  Total Funding A $ 410,000

2005-2008: DP0451406-ARC Discovery project:  Novel Biomimetic Nanospring: Protein-based Elastomer for Engineering Applications, (N. Dutta, N Roy Choudhury, A. Hill, C. Elvin) A$450,000.

2004-2007: LP0453937- ARC-Linkage project: Development of Multilayered Packaging Materials with Controlled Barrier Properties, (N.K. Dutta, N.Choudhury:) ~A$ 450,000.

2003-2005: LP0347027 Linkage APAI with VISY Recycle: Novel Approach for colour and degradation control in post consumed polyethylene terephthalate during recycling, CI-Roy Choudhury, Naba  K. Dutta, A$99,000

2003-2005: Australian Manufacturing Centre of Excellence: Emerging Thematic Priorities Fund, University of South Australia (Lin / Stumptner/Thomas/ N. Dutta/ Choudhury/ Griesser/ Schrefl/ Nagalingam/ Hsu/ Bensley) A$250,000/Year over 3 years.

2002: LE0238096: ARC LIEF Grant: Upgrade of Advance Materials: Processing, Rheology and Thermal Analysis Facility, CIs: N. K. Dutta / N. Roy Choudhury, J. Matisons. A$150,000

2000-2002: ARC SPIRT Scheme with Bridgestone: Molecular Tailoring of Elastomer Surface by Controlled Plasma Engineering. CIs:  N. Dutta, D. Williams, W.van Ooij, J. Mark): A $330,000

2000-2001: University of South Australia, Grant–in-Aid:  Rapid Micro-Thermal Analysis for Nano-Structure Probing of Complex Polymeric Materials.CI: N. Choudhury, N. K. Dutta, D. Williams, J. Matisons. Total A$25,000

2001-2002: University of South Australia Collaborative Scheme: Development of New Thermoplastic Elastomers to Replace Thermosetting Rubber in High Pressure/Temperature Application, CIs: J. Matisons/Lin/N. Dutta/Spiridonov/Lambrinos); Total ~A$ 40,000

2001-2002: ARC SPIRT Scheme with Tiwest; Titania Pigment Surface Modification for Improved Plastics Dispersion and Opacity (G.Morris,  L.Britcher,  Naba K.Dutta A$320,000.

2001-2002: R & D Core START Program with Dominant: Gel Technology System for Commercial and Industrial Cleaning Sectors. CIs: J. Matisons, N. Dutta, T.Wilks, A$150,000.

  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2013 - ongoing Member  Instrument Advisory Team (IAT) for Bilby: Time-of-Flight Small-Angle Neutron Scattering Australian Nuclear Science & Technology Organization-ANSTO Australia
    2008 - 2014 Member Instrument Advisory Team (IAT) for KOOKABURRA – Kookaburra- Ultra-Small-Angle Neutron Scattering (USANS)
    2007 - ongoing Member ANSTO Small-Angle Neutron Scattering for the OPAL reactor at Lucas Heights, Advisory Committee, Australian Nuclear Science & Technology Organization-ANSTO Australia
    2003 - 2004 Chair Polymer Division SA state RACI Australia
  • Memberships

    Date Role Membership Country
    2017 - 2002 Member Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) United States
    2000 - ongoing Member Polymer Processing Society( PPS ) Australia
    2000 - 2017 Member The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) United States
    1997 - ongoing Member Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) Australia
    1997 - ongoing Member Member of American Chemical Society (ACS) United States
  • Consulting/Advisories

    Date Institution Department Organisation Type Country
    2016 - ongoing Nature Publishing Group Nature Materials Scientific research United Kingdom
    2015 - ongoing Americal Chemical Society Langmuir Business and professional United States
    2015 - ongoing Nature Publishing Group Scientific Reports Scientific research United Kingdom
    2014 - ongoing American Chemical Society Journal of Physical Chemistry Business and professional United States
    2014 - ongoing RSC Publishing, Royal Society of Chemistry Journal of Materials Chemistry Business and professional United Kingdom
    2014 - ongoing American Chemical Society Journal of American Chemical Society Business and professional United States
    2009 - ongoing Wiley Journal of Polymer Science : Polymer Physics Business and professional Netherlands
    2009 - ongoing National Science Foundation (NSF, USA International Research Fellowship Program Scientific research United States
    2007 - ongoing American Chemical Society Macromolecules United States
    2007 - ongoing National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) NHMRC Project Scientific research Australia
    2005 - ongoing Wiley J. Appl. Polymer Science Business and professional Netherlands
    2005 - ongoing Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage and Discovery Projects, LIEF, Future Fellow Scientific research Australia
    2002 - ongoing Wiley Polymer Engineering and Science Business and professional Netherlands
    2001 - ongoing Wiley Polymer International Business and professional Netherlands
  • Editorial Boards

    Date Role Editorial Board Name Institution Country
    2015 - 2017 Editor Coatings mdpi

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