Connal Group

Members

The Connal Group (September 2015). From left to right: Zeyun, Chao, Will, Mitch, Luke, Milena, Joe, Ross, Emma and Ayana.

Group Leader

Dr Luke Connal

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View Luke Connal’s profile

Post Doctoral Researchers

Zeyun Xiao

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Project

Natural secrets

Bio

Zeyun obtained his bachelor degree from Zhejiang University, and his PhD degree from Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry in the field of supramolecular chemistry and self-assembly. After working on enzyme mimics for asymmetric catalysis in Lund, Zeyun moved to Melbourne first working on organic electronic materials, and now on mimics of 'catalytic triad'.


PhD Students

Mitchell Nothling

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Project

Mimicking your guts: The enzymes that make you work can do other tricks too

Bio

Hailing from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, my first experience with advanced polymer chemistry was with the fierce beach gangs of outer Noosa. What they lacked in formal qualifications, they made up for with studious motivation, and I soon moved into the city to graduate with distinction in Chemistry from QUT. Following some travel, I accepted a job with one of the worlds largest mining companies, and moved through engineering roles in operations and research for several years. Now, breaking the mould of my Sunshine Coast breathren, I’ve moved into a PhD at the University of Melbourne in polymer science with the Connal Group.

Emma Brisson

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Project

Temperature sensitive and other interesting polymers for the efficient flotation of fine copper sulphides

Bio

Hailing from the very cold and small town of Kirkland Lake in Canada, Emma has come searching for the sun in Melbourne. Having studied nano things and made organic electronic materials at the University of Toronto, Emma hopes to make some interesting polymers that can improve the processing of minerals.

Wei Sung Ng (Will)

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Project

The synthesis and application of temperature-responsive polymers for use as flocculants and collectors for flotation

Bio

May our great overlords above shine upon us and grant us with sufficient project funding to finish our PhDs. May the machine spirits not fail us in time of need and provide us with data when required. May the mighty peer reviewers have mercy and allow us to have our discoveries published.


Joe Collins

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Project

Oxime Chemistry and Dynamic Polymers

Bio

After completing my undergraduate degree in chemistry at the University of Otago, NZ, and backpacking across Europe I have made the move to Melbourne to join the Connal Group. My current research is on synthesising new oxime-based polymers with the eventual goal of working in industry and starting my own business.

Ayana Bhaskaran

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Project

Exploring the Enzymes

Bio

Born in Kerala, a southern state of India, Ayana graduated from Mahatma Gandhi University, India with a Bachelor of Technology in Polymer Engineering. She then pursued Masters in Technology from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Kharagpur in Materials Science with specialization in polymer processing and fabrication. After a short stint of research at the Indian Institute of Science Education & Research (IISER)-Thiruvananthapuram in multifunctional nanostructured materials, Ayana has moved in to Melbourne as a graduate researcher in the Connal Group.

Milena Nadgorny

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Project

3D printing of smart polymers and functional materials

Bio

After completing my undergraduate studies in chemical engineering and my masters in materials engineering at the Technion-IIT, I spent 3 years as R&D researcher at HP. I’ve come a long way from Israel to Melbourne to join the Connal group and show that printing is more than just a colour and polymers can be really smart! I hope that my research will make a contribution to the world of 3D.


Chao Chen

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Project

Shape control of Block copolymer

Bio

After completing my degree in Chemical Engineering at Imperial College, I moved to California working in an emulsion polymer plant for 2 years. Apart from the ins and outs in a process, I am also interested in the insights of polymer, and thus I made the move to the University of Melbourne to pursue my PhD degree in Connal Group.

Ross A.L. Wylie

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Project

Lithium conducting polymers

Bio

Ross Wylie received his BSc (Chemical Systems) in 2011 and M.E (Chemical Engineering) in 2014 from The University of Melbourne, with a period in 2012 spent working for SGS Lakefield in Canada. He undertook the research component of his master’s degree with Professor Greg Qiao, where he completed two projects on organic solar cells and core cross-linked star polymers, and Dr Greg Martin, investigating floating sludge at the Melbourne Water Western Treatment Plant. He is completing his PhD candidature under the supervision of Luke Connal with an interest in polymers for lithium batteries.


Research assistants and visitors

Christopher Bennett

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Project

Enzyme Mimics

Bio

Chris began a northern migration from his coastal hometown of Geelong to the Melbourne metropolis in search of an education and career. It was here that he obtained both a Bachelor of Science and Master of Engineering (Chemical) at the University of Melbourne, with plans to pursue a PhD in the near future.

Justine Beck

Project

Self healing gels

Bio

Hailing from France and studying at Mines Albi, a French graduate school of engineering, Justine has come looking for adventure in Australia. As she likes investigating how to improve material performances especially in the polymer field, she joins the Connal Group for an internship as a research assistant to take part of an innovation project involving polymer synthesis, characterization and application in self-healing.


Past Members

Andrea Espinosa Gomez

Lucas Levin

Sean Lowe


Contact Us

Dr Luke Connal

T: +61 3 9035 3578
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