Professor George Franks

  • Room: Level: 03 Room: 3.19
  • Building: Chemical Engineering #1
  • Campus: Parkville

Research interests

  • Materials, Ceramic Powder Processing, Mineral Processing, Flotation and Flocculation, Colloids, Surface Chemistry, Rheology, Suspensions

Personal webpage


George Franks is Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at The University of Melbourne. He is the leader of the Ceramics and Minerals Processing Group.

Research interests focus on the innovative application of controlled particle interactions to develop new processes for mineral processing and advanced ceramics materials. He has fundamental interests in nano-scale interactions and how to control them via surface and colloid chemistry . 

Understanding the factors that influence suspension rheology (flow behaviour) are studied in order to develop applications in mineral flotation and tailings disposal and near net shape ceramic component fabrication. In mineral processing flocculation and flotation are prime interests as areas to improve the sustainable use of water and improve recovery of valuable minerals. In addition to developing processes for producing complex shaped ceramic components, processing to produce multi scale porous ceramics is a strength. Several projects relate to difficult to densify ceramics such as ultra high temperature ceramics for aerospace applications and for personal protective armour systems in defence applications. Recently inks for 3D printing ceramics have been developed. In addition, he is developing multiscale materials microstructure-property models using Density Functional Theory, Lattice Monte Carlo and Finite Elements Analysis modelling techniques.

Recent publications

  1. Franks G, Tallon C, Studart AR, Leo S. Colloidal processing: enabling complex shaped ceramics with unique multiscale structures. JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CERAMIC SOCIETY. American Ceramic Society. 2017, Vol. 100, Issue 2.
  2. Ng W, Connal L, Forbes E, Mohanarangam K, Franks G. In situ investigation of aggregate sizes formed using thermo-responsive polymers: Effect of temperature and shear. JOURNAL OF COLLOID AND INTERFACE SCIENCE. Academic Press. 2017, Vol. 494.
  3. Mignone PJ, Echlin MP, Pollock TM, Finlayson T, Riley DP, Sesso M, Franks G. Modelling the elastic properties of bi-continuous composite microstructures captured with TriBeam serial-sectioning. COMPUTATIONAL MATERIALS SCIENCE. Elsevier. 2017, Vol. 131.
  4. Brisson E, Xiao Z, Franks G, Connal L. Versatile Synthesis of Amino Acid Functional Polymers without Protection Group Chemistry. BIOMACROMOLECULES. American Chemical Society. 2017, Vol. 18, Issue 1.
  5. Oshitani J, Teramoto K, Yoshida M, Kubo Y, Nakatsukasa S, Franks G. Dry beneficiation of fine coal using density-segregation in a gas-solid fluidized bed. ADVANCED POWDER TECHNOLOGY. VSP. 2016, Vol. 27, Issue 4.
  6. Tallon Galdeano C, Franks G. Exploring inexpensive processing routes to prepare dense TiB2 components. ADVANCES IN APPLIED CERAMICS. Maney Publishing. 2016, Vol. 115, Issue 7.
  7. Brisson E, Xiao Z, Levin L, Franks G, Connal L. Facile synthesis of histidine functional poly(N-isopropylacrylamide): zwitterionic and temperature responsive materials. POLYMER CHEMISTRY. Royal Society of Chemistry. 2016, Vol. 7, Issue 10.
  8. Tallon Galdeano C, Chuanuwatanakul C, Dunstan D, Franks G. Mechanical strength and damage tolerance of highly porous alumina ceramics produced from sintered particle stabilized foams. CERAMICS INTERNATIONAL. Elsevier. 2016, Vol. 42, Issue 7.
  9. Leo S, Tallon Galdeano C, Franks G. Pressureless Sintering of ZrB2 Prepared by Colloidal Processing: Particle Packing, Sintering Conditions, and Additives. JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CERAMIC SOCIETY. American Ceramic Society. 2016, Vol. 99, Issue 12.
  10. Ng W, Connal L, Forbes E, Franks G. Xanthate-functional temperature-responsive polymers as selective flocculants and collectors for fines recovery. 7th International Flotation Conference (Flotation). Pergamon-Elsevier Science. 2016, Vol. 96-97.
  11. Ng W, Forbes E, Franks G, Connal L. Xanthate-Functional Temperature-Responsive Polymers: Effect on Lower Critical Solution Temperature Behavior and Affinity toward Sulfide Surfaces. LANGMUIR. American Chemical Society. 2016, Vol. 32, Issue 30.
  12. Noi K, Roozmand A, Bjoernmalm M, Richardson J, Franks G, Caruso F. Assembly-Controlled Permeability of Layer-by-Layer Polymeric Microcapsules Using a Tapered Fluidized Bed. ACS APPLIED MATERIALS & INTERFACES. American Chemical Society. 2015, Vol. 7, Issue 50.
  13. Hunter TN, Usher S, Biggs S, Scalesb PJ, Stickland A, Franks G. Characterization of bed densification in a laboratory scale thickener, by novel application of an acoustic backscatter system. 7th World Congress on Particle Technology (WCPT). Elsevier BV. 2015, Vol. 102. Editors: Ge W, Han Y, Wang J, Wang L, Liu X, Zhou J, Li J.
  14. Franks G, Forbes E, Oshitani J, Batterham R. Economic, water and energy evaluation of early rejection of gangue from copper ores using a dry sand fluidised bed separator. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MINERAL PROCESSING. Elsevier Science. 2015, Vol. 137.
  15. Ng W, Sonsie R, Forbes E, Franks G. Flocculation/flotation of hematite fines with anionic temperature-responsive polymer acting as a selective flocculant and collector. MINERALS ENGINEERING. Pergamon-Elsevier Science. 2015, Vol. 77.

View a full list of publications on the University of Melbourne’s ‘Find An Expert’ profile