Research Staff

Associate Professor Tadeusz (Tad) Bak

Dr. Bak's research is in solid state chemistry and defect chemistry. The research is focused on the development of solar energy conversion systems that are based on photosensitive oxide semiconductors. The work aims at the development of the processing technology of both n- and p-type TiO2-based semiconductors, as well as TiO2 metallic conductors, of controlled Fermi energy and reactivity with water and its solutes. The ultimate of research is the development of high-performance photocataloysts for solar water disinfection and solar hydrogen generation.

Dr Bak's research interests include oxide semiconductors and the science of titania. The research includes the determination of a wide range of chemical and physical properties of oxide materials, including electronic structure, charge transport via electronic and ionic charge carriers as well as chemical diffusion and self diffusion.

Dr. Bak has published over 200 scientific papers in refereed journals and book chapters. He has developed the processing technology of both n- and p-type TiO2-based semiconductors, as well as TiO2 metallic conductors, of controlled chemical potential of electrons. His work shows that performance of zirconia-based oxygen conductors is determined by the charge transfer across interfaces rather than bulk ionic diffusion.

Dr  Wenxian Li

Dr Li completed his Phd in 2010 at the Institute for Superconducting and Electronic Material, School of Engineering Physics, Faculty of Engineering, University of Wollongong, Australia. He has won several awards including the Vice Chancellor's Award for for Outstanding Achievement in Research Partnership 2012at the University of Wollongong. He is currently a Post Doctoral Fellow in Solar Technology at the Western Sydney University.

His Research has included exploring the generation high efficiency thermoelectric materials and modules for waste heat recovery in steelworks, nanostructured transition metal oxides for detoxification of industrial emissions and the transition of metal oxides to achieve superior catalytic properties through application of high magnetic field processing.

Professor Janusz Nowotny

Janusz Nowotny earned his Ph.D. in solid state chemistry at the Institute of Physical Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences, 1967, and obtained Sc.D. degree (habilitation) from the AGH University of Science and Technology, Krakow, in materials science. His research is focused on mass and charge transport in ionic solids. His work aims at the development of photosensitive oxide semiconductors for solar energy conversion and electrochemical gas sensors. He has been visiting professor at University of Bourgogne, Max-Planck-Institute for Solid State Research, University of Nancy, University of Marseille and Tokyo Institute of Technology. He obtained the US NSF award to support a major international project on oxide semiconductors (1974-78) and was a research coordinator of the international project on zirconia supported by the New Energy Development Organization, NEDO (1994-97). He was the director of NATO Advanced Research Workshop on Nonstoichiometric Compounds, 1988. He received the award of the International Association for Hydrogen Energy, 2008, for outstanding research contributions in the development of TiO2-based systems for solar hydrogen production. He published over 460 refereed papers and 17 books in the area of solid state electrochemistry

Dr Leigh Sheppard

Leigh Sheppard is a Senior Lecturer at the Solar Energy Technologies Research Group, School of Natural Sciences. He received his Ph.D. from the UNSW School of Materials Science and Engineering in 2007. His research areas includes solid state chemistry and photoelectrochemistry.

Dr Sheppard is currently an Australian Research Fellow and co-leader of the Solar Energy Technologies Research Group. He is actively involved in the development of novel titanium dioxide based semiconductors as photoelectrode materials for solar-driven water splitting. Dr Sheppard has a PhD in Materials Science and Enegineering from the University of New South Wales, where his project was titled "Defect Chemistry and Charge Transport in Niobium-Doped Titanium Dioxide". Dr Sheppard also has a Bachelor of Engineering (Ceramic - Hon I). At present Dr Sheppard has 50 published refereed journal papers.

Dr Rong Zeng

Dr Zeng has more than 20 year's research experience in materials, physics, and chemistry, including fundamental mechanism, technical innovation and commercialization investigation. In the first 15 years, my research work was mainly focused on high temperature superconducting materials and their application at university, industry research institutes and companies. I have involved in and organized Chinese "863 high-tech" Key project on high superconducting materials application. His group's work was always at the leading position in the "863 high-tech" Key technology program evaluation. Due to his significant contribution to high temperature superconducting materials research, I was promoted to senior engineer in 1993.

Since 2007, He returned to the University of Wollongong and commenced my full-time research-only academic career. In the past 4 years, I have extended my research from Superconducting materials only to nanostructures, nano-magnetism, magnetic materials and their applications. I have accumulated extensive research experience, strong knowledge in my research fields, and established an extensive network of research collaborations. I have published 3 refereed journal papers in 2007, 13 in 2008, 18 in 2009, 16 in 2010 and 17 in 2011.