Professor Andrew Whittaker
Professor Andrew Whittaker

BSc (Hons) UQ, PhD UQ
ARC Australian Professorial Fellow and Group Leader


Telephone: +61 7 334 63885 Email:

Research: Polymer chemistry, nanotechnology, photolithography, biomaterials science, magnetic resonance

Professor Andrew Whittaker's research aims to develop innovative solutions to major health and nanotechnology challenges. He is an Australian Research Council (ARC) Australian Professorial Fellow, a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute and the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry and a member of the ARC College of Experts. He directs research funded through more than $52 million in competitive grants since 2002. Professor Whittaker’s work in synthesis and characterisation of polymeric materials has underpinned major development programs in several key areas. In the field of materials for photolithography this has been supported by funding from leading semiconductor companies Intel, Sematech and the Dow Chemical Company. Outcomes include novel high-index resists for 193nm immersion lithography, new concepts for design of non-chemically amplified resists for EUV lithography, and more recently novel approaches to healing roughness in IC features. In the field of biomaterials science, Professor Whittaker is most active in developing novel imaging agents for MRI, and introduced a new class of 19F polymeric agents. He is an expert in the fundamentals of diffusion process in complex solids. He has an international reputation in the field of NMR and MRI of polymeric systems.

International links

Professor Whittaker is a member of numerous international committees of governing bodies in polymer science and technology, and is involved in organising major international conferences. He is past-president of the Pacific Polymer Federation. He has active collaborations with scientists at Nagoya Institute of Technology (NIT), Japan; Hubei University, Shanghai University, Fudan University, National Center for Nanoscience and Technology, China; the University of Nottingham, UK; IMEC, Belgium; Dow Electronic Materials, US; and the Intel Corporation, USA. He is currently a visiting professor at Hubei University, and has held visiting professor positions at INSA Lyon and NIT and was DICE Chair at University of Nottingham.

Awards and plenaries

Professor Whittaker has been plenary, keynote or invited speaker at many international conferences including within the past 18 months years plenary speaker at the International Conference on Innovation in Polymer Science and Technology 2013, October 2013, Yogyakarta; the 13th Pacific Polymer Conference, November 2013, Kaohsiung; Polychar 2014, April 2014, Stellenbosch; Nanomedicine 2014, July 2014, Sydney. Professor Whittaker has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the RACI Polymer Division Citation (1998), the RACI Polymer Division Polymer Science and Technology Achievement Award (2000), an ARC Australian Professorial Fellowship in 2011, the World Famous Scientists Lecturing in Hubei Project (2013), the National High-end Foreign Experts Recruitment Project of the PRC (twice, in 2013 and 2014), the Paul J. Florey Polymer Research Prize for excellence in polymer research by the Polychar World Forum (2014), and the President’s International Fellowship (Visiting Scientist) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (2015).

Recent Publications

UQ eSpace List of Publications by Professor Andrew Whittaker

Xie, Fengwei, Flanagan, Bernadine M., Li, Ming, Sangwan, Parveen, Truss, Rowan W., Halley, Peter J., Strounina, Ekaterina V., Whittaker, Andrew K., Gidley, Michael J., Dean, Katherine M., Shamshina, Julia L., Rogers, Robin D. and McNally, Tony (2014) Characteristics of starch-based films plasticised by glycerol and by the ionic liquid 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate: a comparative study. Carbohydrate Polymers, 111 841-848. PDF

Pearce, Amanda K., Rolfe, Barbara E., Russell, Pamela J., Tse, Brian W.-C., Whittaker, Andrew K., Fuchs, Adrian V. and Thurecht, Kristofer J. (2014) Development of a polymer theranostic for prostate cancer. Polymer Chemistry, . PDF

Zhang C., Peng H. and Whittaker A.K. (2014) NMR investigation of effect of dissolved salts on the thermoresponsive behavior of oligo(ethylene glycol)-methacrylate-based polymers. Journal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry, 52 16: 2375-2385. PDF

Ardana, Aditya, Whittaker, Andrew K. and Thurecht, Kristofer J. (2014) PEG-based hyperbranched polymer theranostics: optimizing chemistries for improved bioconjugation. Macromolecules, 47 15: 5211-5219. PDF

Zhang H., Zhou L., Noonan O., Martin D.J., Whittaker A.K. and Yu C. (2014) Tailoring the void size of iron oxide@carbon yolk-shell structure for optimized lithium storage. Advanced Functional Materials, 24 27: 4337-4342. PDF

Santander-Borrego, Miriem, Green, David W., Chirila, Traian V., Whittaker, Andrew K. and Blakey, Idriss (2014) Click functionalization of methacrylate-based hydrogels and their cellular response. Journal of Polymer Science Part A: Polymer Chemistry, 52 13: 1781-1789. PDF

Ooi H.W., Cooper S.J., Huang C.-Y., Jennins D., Chung E., Maeji N.J. and Whittaker A.K. (2014) Coordination complexes as molecular glue for immobilization of antibodies on cyclic olefin copolymer surfaces. Analytical Biochemistry, 456 1: 6-13. PDF

Al Abdulla, Wael A., Hill, David J. T. and Whittaker, Andrew K. (2014) Photodegradation of some low-density polyethylene-montmorillonite nanocomposites containing an oligomeric compatibilizer. Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 131 18: . PDF

Wang, Kewei, Peng, Hui, Thurecht, Kristofer J., Puttick, Simon and Whittaker, Andrew K. (2014) Biodegradable core crosslinked star polymer nanoparticles as 19F MRI contrast agents for selective imaging. Polymer Chemistry, 5 5: 1760-1771. PDF

Rolfe, Barbara E., Blakey, Idriss, Squires, Oliver, Peng, Hui, Boase, Nathan R. B., Alexander, Cameron, Parsons, Peter G., Boyle, Glen M., Whittaker, Andrew K. and Thurecht, Kristofer J. (2014) Multimodal polymer nanoparticles with combined 19F magnetic resonance and optical detection for tunable, targeted, multimodal imaging in vivo. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 136 6: 2413-2419. PDF

Yan, Kai, Li, Huan, Wang, Xin, Yi, Changfeng, Zhang, Quanyuan, Xu, Zushun, Xu, Haibo and Whittaker, Andrew K. (2014) Self-assembled magnetic luminescent hybrid micelles containing rare earth Eu for dual-modality MR and optical imaging. Journal of Materials Chemistry B, 2 5: 546-555. PDF

Keen, Imelda, Cheng, Han-Hao, Yu, Anguang, Jack, Kevin S., Younkin, Todd R., Leeson, Michael J., Whittaker, Andrew K. and Blakey, Idriss (2014) Behavior of lamellar forming block copolymers under nanoconfinement: implications for topography directed self-assembly of sub-10 nm structures. Macromolecules, 47 1: 276-283. PDF

Wang, David K., Varanasi, Srinivas, Strounina, Ekaterina, Hill, David J. T., Symons, Anne L., Whittaker, Andrew K. and Rasoul, Firas (2014) Synthesis and characterization of a novel POSS-PEG macromonomer and POSS-PEG-PLA hydrogels for periodontal applications. Biomacromolecules, 15 2: 666-679. PDF

Ooi, Huey Wen, Peng, Hui, Jack, Kevin S. and Whittaker, Andrew K. (2014) Understanding the diffusion of dextrans in 'Click' PNIPAAm hydrogels. Australian Journal of Chemistry, 67 1: 85-92. PDF

Wang, David K., Varanasi, Srinivas, Fredericks, Peter M., Hill, David J. T., Symons, Anne L., Whittaker, Andrew K. and Rasoul, Firas (2013) FT-IR characterization and hydrolysis of PLA-PEG-PLA based copolyester hydrogels with short PLA segments and a cytocompatibility study. Journal of Polymer Science Part A: Polymer Chemistry, 51 24: 5163-5176. PDF

Ooi, Huey Wen, Jack, Kevin S., Peng, Hui and Whittaker, Andrew K. (2013) "Click" PNIPAAm hydrogels - a comprehensive study of structure and properties. Polymer Chemistry, 4 17: 4788-4800. PDF

Wang, Kewei, Peng, Hui, Thurecht, Kristofer J., Puttick, Simon and Whittaker, Andrew K. (2013) pH-responsive star polymer nanoparticles: potential F-19 MRI contrast agents for tumour-selective imaging. Polymer Chemistry, 4 16: 4480-4489. PDF

Ooi, Huey Wen, Jack, Kevin S., Whittaker, Andrew K. and Peng, Hui (2013) Photo-initiated thiol-ene "click" hydrogels from RAFT-synthesized poly(N-isopropylacrylamide). Journal of Polymer Science. Part A, Polymer Chemistry, 51 21: 4626-4636. PDF

Dargaville, Bronwin L., Vaquette, Cedryck, Rasoul, Firas, Cooper-White, Justin J., Campbell, Julie H. and Whittaker, Andrew K. (2013) Electrospinning and crosslinking of low-molecular-weight poly(trimethylene carbonate-co-L-lactide) as an elastomeric scaffold for vascular engineering. Acta Biomaterialia, 9 6: 6885-6897. PDF

Professor Andrew Whittaker section

Polymer Chemistry Group

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Whittaker Group: Current Research Projects

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