Gordon Wallace (professor)

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Gordon Wallace, DSc, FAA, FTSE, FIOP, FRACI CChem
Born Gordon George Wallace
(1958-06-09) 9 June 1958 (age 58)
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Residence Wollongong, Australia
Title Professor

Gordon Wallace (born 9 June 1958 in Belfast, Northern Ireland) is a leading scientist in the field of electromaterials. His students and collaborators have pioneered the use of nanotechnology in conjunction with organic conductors to create new materials for energy conversion and storage as well as medical bionics.

Professor Wallace’s research interests include organic conductors, nano-materials and electrochemical probe methods of analysis. A current focus involves the use of these tools and materials in developing bio-communications from the molecular to skeletal domains in order to improve human performance via medical bionics. He has co-authored over twenty patents in the field of electromaterials.

He is Executive Research Director at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science and Director of the Intelligent Polymer Research Institute at the University of Wollongong.

Early years[edit]

Gordon Wallace was born in the city of Belfast in Ireland where he attended primary school. His boyhood ambition was to become a professional soccer player. However, in 1972 his family emigrated to Australia and settled in Geelong where he completed his high school education. He became interested in Science while at Oberon High School.

He went to Deakin University in Geelong and played soccer for the local Geelong football club. Gordon Wallace played soccer for the All Australian University team winning a University Blue for Sport at Deakin.

Gordon Wallace graduated with a BSc Honours (Chemistry and Physics) in 1979 and then received a PhD in 1983. He returned to his home country, Ireland, where he lectured for two years at University College in Cork. In 1985 he decided to return to Australia to take up an appointment at the University of Wollongong. In 1990 at the age of 32 he was appointed a Professor.

He was awarded an Australian Research Council QEII Fellowship in 1991, an ARC Senior Research Fellowship in 1995, an ARC Professorial Fellowship in 2002 and a Federation Fellowship in 2006. He was awarded a DSc from Deakin University in 2000.

Research years[edit]

Gordon Wallace’s first major contribution to science was to challenge the conventional wisdom that instability in polymer materials should always be eliminated. He asserted that this instability could, if understood, be directed and controlled, allowing the creation of “intelligent” polymers – materials that sense and respond to stimuli.

In 1990, Professor Wallace established the world’s first intelligent polymer research laboratory in NSW. His work has more recently been focused on exploring research into the application of nanotechnology with intelligent materials. He is now a recognised world expert and pioneer in the emerging area of Nanobionics, a field that bridges nanotechnology and human biology. He has developed collaborative research relationships with the inventor of the Cochlear Bionic Ear, Professor Graeme Clark as well as Professor Stephen O'Leary, Professor Peter Choong, and Professor Mark Cook which have led to significant developments in the field of new materials for medical bionics.

Professor Wallace and his team have successfully used electrical stimulation to release nerve growth factors from polymers, significantly enhancing growth from nerve cells, with great potential for nerve cell repair in damaged hearing and spinal cords.

Professor Wallace and his team developed the world’s first conducting polymer muscle fibres containing carbon nanotubes, which have broken world records, performing well even when subjected to significant loads.

He has pioneered electromaterial applications for nanostructured carbons (carbon nanotubes and graphene).

He made a significant contribution to the development of electronic textiles including the development of wearable human movement sensors for the Australian Football League[1] and the design and development of better sports bras.

Current history[edit]

In the past five years, Professor Wallace and his team have attracted over $40 million in research funds, which includes research contracts from BlueScope Steel, Rio Tinto and others.

Professor Wallace has forged collaborative research linkages around the globe including works with Australian Football League, Boston Scientific, Cochlear Pty Ltd, CAP-XX, Allied Signal, Australian Research Council, Bionic Technology Australia, Bluescope Steel, Chemtronics, CRC Hear, CRC Polymers, CRC Intelligent Manufacturing, CRC Smart Print, CRC Waste Management & Pollution Control, CSIRO, DARPA (USA), DEST, DSTO, Fauldings, Gamma Biologicals, Geelong Football Club, HW Electrochem, Illawarra Area Health Service, Industrial Research Limited (NZ), MM Cables, Monsanto, MTI, NICOP (USA), NSW Government (DSRD), Polartechnics, Quantum Technologies, Rio Tinto, Santa Fe Science & Technology, Science Foundation Ireland, Tecra Diagnostics, USARO, Victorian Government ( STI Initiative) and SMR.

Professor Wallace has played a significant role in helping to lift the international research reputation of the University of Wollongong. He has hosted more than twenty international symposia in Wollongong, the largest being the International Conference on Synthetic Metals that attracted 1,000 delegates in 2004.

He has published more than 700 refereed papers (430 since January 2000) and a monograph on inherently conducting polymers for intelligent material systems.[2] He has an h index of 57 and has amassed in excess of 16,000 citations. He has supervised the work of 75 PhD students. In addition to being awarded a number of research prizes, Gordon Wallace was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering in 2003 and of the Australian Academy of Science in 2007.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) and a member of the American Chemical Society, the Materials Research Society and the Electrochemical Society. He received the Inaugural Polymer Science and Technology award from the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) in 1992. He was awarded an ETS Walton Fellowship by Science Foundation Ireland in 2003. He was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering in 2003. He received the RACI Stokes Medal for research in Electrochemistry in 2004 and was elected as a Fellow of the Institute of Physics (UK). In 2007 he was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science. In 2009 he was awarded a lifetime achievement award by SPIE.[3]

In September 2008, Professor Wallace’s team moved to research facilities at the University of Wollongong’s new Innovation Campus[4] based at North Wollongong.

He was instrumental in developing the vision and securing the funding for the Processing and Device Fabrication Facility opened in 2012.

Publications history[edit]

  1. Haines, C. S., Lima, M. D., Li, N., Spinks, G. M., Foroughi, J., Madden, J. D. W., Kim, S. H., et al. (2014). Artificial Muscles from Fishing Line and Sewing Thread. Science, 343(6173), 868-872.
  2. Romano, M. S., Li, N., Antiohos, D., Razal, J. M., Nattestad, A., Beirne, S., Fang, S., et al. (2013). Carbon Nanotube - Reduced Graphene Oxide Composites for Thermal Energy Harvesting Applications. Advanced materials (Deerfield Beach, Fla.), 1-5.
  3. Sayyar, S., Murray, E., Thompson, B. C., Gambhir, S., Officer, D. L., & Wallace, G. G. (2013). Covalently linked biocompatible graphene/polycaprolactone composites for tissue engineering. Carbon, 52, 296-304.
  4. Fabretto, M. V., Evans, D. R., Mueller, M., Zuber, K., Short, R. D., Wallace, G. G., Murphy, P. J., et al. (2012). Polymeric Material with Metal-Like Conductivity for Next Generation Organic Electronic Devices. Chemistry of Materials, 24(20), 3998-4003.
  5. Molino, P. J., Higgins, M. J., Innis, P. C., Kapsa, R. M. I., & Wallace, G. G. (2012). Fibronectin and bovine serum albumin adsorption and conformational dynamics on inherently conducting polymers: a QCM-D study. Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids, 28(22), 8433-45.
  6. Li, D., Muller, M.B., Gilje, S., Kaner, R.B., Wallace, G.G. “Processable aqueous dispersions of graphene nanosheets”, Nature Nanotechnology 2008, 3, 101-105.
  7. Razal, J.M., Gilmore, K., Wallace, G.G. “Carbon Nanotube Biofiber Formation in a Polymer-Free Coagulation Bath”, Advanced Functional Materials 2008, 18, 61-66.
  8. Chen, J., Minett, A.I., Liu, Y., Lynam, C., Sherrell, P., Wang, C., Wallace, G.G. “Direct Growth of Flexible Carbon Nanotube Electrodes”, Advanced Materials 2008, 20, 566-570.
  9. Wallace, G.G., Spinks, G. “Conducting Polymers – Bridging the Bionic Interface”, Soft Matter 2007, 3, 665-671.
  10. Lynam, C., Moulton, S.E., Wallace, G.G. “Carbon-Nanotube Biofibers”, Advanced Materials 2007, 19, 1244–1248.
  11. Kim, S.J., Spinks, G.M., Prosser, S., Whitten, P.G., Kim, S.I., Wallace, G.G. “Surprising shrinkage of expanding gels under an external load”, Nature Materials 2006, 5, 48-51.
  12. Spinks, G.M., Mottaghitalab, V., Bahrami-Samani, M., Whitten, P.G., Wallace, G.G. “Carbon Nanotube Reinforced Polyaniline Fibres for High Strength Artificial Muscles”, Advanced Materials 2006, 18, 637-640.
  13. Mottaghitalab, V., Spinks, G.M., Wallace, G.G. “The development and characterisation of polyaniline-single walled carbon nanotube composite fibres using 2-acrylamido-2 methyl-1-propane sulfonic acid (AMPSA) through one step wet spinning process”, Polymer 2006, 47, 4996-5002.
  14. Wang, J., Wang, C.Y., Too, C.O., Wallace, G.G. “Highly-flexible fibre battery incorporating polypyrole cathode and carbon nanotubes anode”, Journal of Power Sources 2006, 161, 1458–1462.
  15. Thompson, B.C., Moulton, S.E., Ding, J., Richardson, R., Cameron, A., O’Leary, S., Clark, G.M., Wallace, G.G. “Optimising the incorporation and release of a neurotrophic factor using conducting polypyrrole”, Journal of Controlled Release 2006, 116, 285-294.
  16. Badaire, S., Zakri, C., Maugey, M., Derre, A., Barisci, J.N., Poulin, P., Wallace, G.G., “Liquid Crystals of DNA-Stabilized Carbon Nanotubes”, Advanced Materials 2005, 17, 1673–1676.
  17. Pornputtkul, Y., Kane-Maguire, L.A.P., Innis, P.C., Wallace, G.G., “Asymmetric proliferation with optically active polyanilines”, Chemical Communications 2005, 36, 4539-4541.
  18. Winther-Jensen, B., Chen J., West K., Wallace, G.G., “Vapour Phase Polymerisation of Pyrrole and Thiophene Using Iron(III) Sulfonates as Oxidizing Agents”, Macromolecules 2004, 37(16), 5930-5935.
  19. Barisci, J.N., MacFarlane, D.R., Baughman, R.H., Wallace, G.G., “Investigation of ionic liquids as electrolytes for carbon nanotube electrodes”, Electrochemistry Communications 2004, 6, 22-27.
  20. Chen, J., Huang, J., Swiegers, G.F., Too, C.O., Wallace, G.G., “A readily-prepared electrocatalytic coating that is more active than platinum for hydrogen generation in 1 M strong acid”, Chemical Communications 2004, 308-309.


  1. ^ Development of Human Movement Sensors "Intelligent knee sleeve to save costly sporting injuries", CSIRO Media Release, 2001-11-16. Retrieved on 2009-07-10.
  2. ^ Selected Works Of Professor Gordon G. Wallace "Selected Works Of Professor Gordon G. Wallace", Berkeley Electronic Press. Retrieved on 2009-07-10.
  3. ^ SPIE Lifetime Achievement Award "UOW scientist honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award", Source News, 2009-03-13. Retrieved on 2009-07-10.
  4. ^ Research Team Move To Innovation Campus "New Innovation Campus centre will reshape world", Illawarra Mercury, 2009-03-09. Retrieved on 2009-07-10.