Our Program Leaders

Health Therapies & Delivery

Dr Helmut Thissen (CSIRO) obtained his PhD in Chemistry from RWTH Aachen University in Germany. He is currently a Team Leader at the CSIRO Manufacturing Flagship. His main research interests are in the interdisciplinary fields of biomaterials and regenerative medicine and here in particular in the surface modification of polymers and the control of biointerfacial interactions. Apart from outstanding academic achievements, his strong translational focus has resulted in valuable intellectual property and successful biomedical products. The service to his field of research and his international standing is reflected by his position as Vice-President of the Australasian Society for Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering as well as frequent engagements as conference and symposium organiser and chair.


Water & Food Security

Prof. Russell Crawford (SUT) is Professor of Chemistry in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology at Swinburne University of Technology in Victoria. He obtained a Master of Science from Swinburne in 1987 and a PhD from The University of Melbourne in 1995. Russell’s research is in the area of surface and colloid science, and more recently on investigated the ways in which biological organisms interact with solid substrate surfaces. Russell has held the positions of Dean of Science, Dean, Faculty of Life & Social Sciences and Head, School of Biophysical Sciences and Electrical Engineering at Swinburne, and is also the Immediate Past President of the Australian Council of Deans of Science.

Polymer Solar Cells

Prof. David Officer (Wollongong) is a Professor of Organic Chemistry in the Intelligent Polymer Research Institute and the ARC Centre of Excellence in Electromaterials Science at the University of Wollongong. Prior to moving to Wollongong in 2007, he was on the staff at Massey University, New Zealand where he was Director of the Nanomaterials Research Centre and Professor of Chemistry. His research interests are to develop functional material and nanomaterial systems. This includes functionalised conducting polymers and graphene, and an internationally recognised program on the synthesis and use of porphyrins (artificial chlorophyll) in solar cells, which has produced the best porphyrin-based solar cells in the world.


Mr Steve Wright (CRCP) is the Business Manager at the CRC for Polymers. Steve commenced with the CRCP in 1997 and has a BEc (ANU) and an Executive MBA (UNSW). His role encompasses all the necessary administrative functions such as finance, staffing, governance, legal and contract arrangements. He is also Company Secretary for Polymers CRC Ltd, the registed company managing and operating the CRC for Polymers.