Simon Biggs

BSc(Hons) PhD Brist. FREng FTSE CEng FIChemE FIEAust, Professor

  • The University of Western Australia (M464), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile


Simon Biggs is currently the Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of Western Australia, a role he took up at the start of March 2018. Prior to this, and since early 2014, he was the Executive Dean for the Faculty of Engineering, Architecture & Information Technology at the University of Queensland.

Previously, he was the Royal Academy of Engineering/NNL Chair in Particle Science and Engineering at the University of Leeds from 2002 until 2014. He took this position after spending 8 years at The University of Newcastle (New South Wales, Australia). In his early career, he developed his research through post-doctoral positions at the Institut Charles Sadron (Strasbourg, France) and the University of Melbourne (Australia). His undergraduate and doctoral education was undertaken in the UK at the University of Bristol from where he has a PhD in Colloid Science.

The main research interests of Professor Biggs are in the field of colloid and interface engineering. He has a strong interest in the measurement, control, and manipulation of inter-particle forces to allow more efficient process engineering of particulate systems. He has been the chief investigator on numerous research projects and he is an author of over 270 refereed publications as well as 20 patents; his work has received in excess of 8000 citations with an H-index of 52 (Google Scholar). He received the 2005 Beilby Medal from the RSC/IMMM/SCI awarded for “a substantial contribution towards fundamental research of practical significance”. His work has led to a substantial number of research partnerships with a wide cross section of industrial partners covering diverse sectors such as pharmaceuticals, personal care, foods, minerals processing and water treatment. Whilst at Leeds, his group developed a strong partnership with the UK nuclear industry working on legacy waste clean-up problems. He was a key member of a team that won the IChemE ‘Core Chemical Engineering’ award in 2011 for a project on the “Development of Fluidic Mixers for Processing of Intractable Sludge” and also the 2012 Core Chemical Engineering Award for a project on ‘Jet Interactions and Resuspension of Solids’. Both these awards were from the partnership between the University of Leeds and Sellafield Ltd. and arose as a result of the translation of our basic research into process engineering applications at Sellafield Site.

More recently his research interests have moved towards the bottom-up manufacture of functional particles, capsules and surface coatings which have application in a range of industrial products and processes.

He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2011. The citation for his fellowship states that he is ‘distinguished for achievements in the application of colloid and interface science to the development of new functional materials and innovations in the engineering of particulate systems in the chemical, minerals and nuclear sectors.’ In 2016 he was also elected as a fellow of the Australian Academy for Technological Sciences and Engineering.

Education/Academic qualification

Polymer and Colloid Chemistry, PhD, University of Bristol

… → 1990

Chemistry, BSc (Hons), University of Bristol

… → 1986

External positions

Board Member, Board of Professional Engineers Queensland

Board Member, Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities

Director, Escubed Ltd UK

Board Member, Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research


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