Researcher biography

Professor Darren Martin FTSE

A Translational Materials Scientist and Intensive Connector, Darren's work sits at the nexus of three key themes of strong fundamental materials science, safe biomaterials and nanomaterials and scalable advanced manufacturing

Darren has always had a strong passion for translation, as evidenced by the following four major research translation outputs, which share the capacity of advanced materials to enable impacts in health, sustainability, and social empowerment:

1996-2012 - Aortech Biomaterials Ltd: We developed a more biostable pacemaker lead insulation which is now implanted in over 80 million people worldwide (Abbott Medical).

2001-2020 - TenasiTech Pty Ltd: In 2020 our scratch resistant and break-proof acrylic glass technology was sold to RTP, a multinational plastics compounder who now sell into several large markets (appliances, personal care, construction, cell phone cases, automotive parts, etc).

2011-2022 - Spinifex Nanocellulose Platform Technology: In 2021, this technology was licensed to Brisbane startup Trioda Medical Pty Ltd for the development of injectable medical gels.

2015-Present - Sorghum-derived Microfibrillated Cellulose (MFC): My team have demonstrated that sorghum grasses can be pulped and refined into MFC in a far more sustainable manner than wood biomass.

International Collaborators and Industry Partners

Professor Martin's current international collaborators include Stony Brook University (USA), DTU (Denmark) and IIT-Delhi (India). He also has several materials co-development projects and collaborations with companies such as Advanta Seeds, GSA Innovation, Opal Paper, Cardia Bioplastics, GMG, Duromer, OPS, Dulux and others.

Prizes, Honours and Awards

Excellence & Commercialisation

• 2020 - UTS Chancellor's Award (awarded to the top Alumni from the whole of UTS each year)

• 2020 - UTS Alumni Award for Excellence - Faculty of Science • 2016 & 2019 - 2 UQ Partners in Research Excellence Awards (PIREAs) (Spinifex project Bulugudu partnership)

• 2015 - State finalist in the 2015 Telstra Business Awards (TenasiTech Pty Ltd)

• 2010 - UQ Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology Commercialisation Award

• 2010 - Engineers Australia Nanoengineering Panel

• 2007 - iLab Prize at the QLD Enterprise Awards (lead to TenasiTech pre-seed investment from UniSeed)

Service & Leadership

• 2021 - ATSE Reconciliation Action Plan reference group and Industry and Innovation Forum

• 2021 - ATSE President Nominations and Interview Committee to deliberate on the current ATSE President

• 2019 - UQ Teams Leadership Award (Spinifex project Bulugudu partnership)

• 2019 - Business Higher Education Round Table Award (Community Engagement Bulugudu partnership)

• 1993 - Member of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute RACI and the RACI QLD Polymer Group