Prize recruit continues to bring in the prizes

Deakin University's Associate Professor Qipeng Guo has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC), the largest organisation in Europe and the oldest in the world for advancing the chemical sciences.

Qipeng Gu
Qipeng Gu

Deakin University's Associate Professor Qipeng Guo has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC), the largest organisation in Europe and the oldest in the world for advancing the chemical sciences. "It was a wonderful honour for me," he said.

"The names of all the people who were elected at the same time as me were published in The Times in London. "I did not expect to see my name among all these famous people."

The other chemists made Fellows included: - Nora De Leeuw, Professor, University College London - Duncan Graham, Professor, University of Strathclyde, UK - Peter Douglas, Professor, University of Waterloo, Canada - Michael Gratzel, Professor, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland - Alfred Hassner, former President of the Israel Chemical Society, Professor Emeritus, Bar-Ilan University, Israel - Jinghai Li, Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Fellow of the CAS, China - Stephen B. H. Kent, Professor, University of Chicago, USA - Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Member of the French Academy of Sciences, Directeur de recherche CNRS, France

One person not surprised by Professor Guo's inclusion in such exalted academic company is the man who helped bring him to Deakin, Professor Andrew Parratt, head of BioDeakin.

"Qipeng was described as a "prize international recruit" when he first joined Deakin in 2006," Professor Parratt said. "He came to us as part of a major and obviously now highly successful international recruiting drive.

"He has been working within the Centre for Material and Fibre Innovation on the Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds and quite clearly the work he has been doing there has been of the highest international standards.

"It is fantastic for Deakin to find its name among such an elite group of researchers, and it is fantastic for Qipeng. "Everyone at the new Institute for Technology Research and Innovation is absolutely thrilled for him."

Associate Professor Guo, an expert in polymeric materials, has won many honours in his career.

In his homeland, he worked at the prestigious Chinese Academy of Sciences.

In Germany, while at the University of Freiburg, he was the Alexander von Humboldt Fellow.

Charles Darwin described von Humboldt as the greatest travelling scientist who ever lived.

"I don't think of myself as a great scientist, but I am turning out to be a great traveller. Already my work has taken me to a lot of places around the world," said Professor Guo.

"It is because research is so international now."

In addition to China, Germany and now Australia, he has worked in Japan, Belgium and the United States. "I came to Australia after working at the University of Minnesota in the US," he said.

"I worked at the University of Queensland where I was a Queen Elizabeth II Fellow which was also a big honour for me." Qipeng has had more than 180 publications, including over a 110 in internationally refereed journals.

He believes polymers will play a crucial role in the future lifestyle of generations to come.

"Polymers already have a significant impact on our world," he says.

"They have a wide range of uses, from adhesives to biomedical materials. My research is focussing on four main areas ? thermosets; polymer blends and composites, polymeric nanomaterials and polymeric biomaterials.

"Polymeric biomaterials are used wisely in biomedical applications. Both natural biopolymers and synthetic polymers have a long history of clinical use as scaffolds in tissue engineering and for drug delivery in pharmaceutical applications.

"My recent research involves novel polymeric biomaterials and includes the design, preparation and characterisation of multi-component polymeric biomaterials. These will be based on biodegradable polymers and monomers and will combine the advantages of individual component polymers.

"They will show an adjustable chemical structure as well as a controllable morphology. In addition, they will have excellent properties, biocompatibility and biodegradability for biomedical and biotechnological use, and especially for applications like cell proliferation and tissue engineering."

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