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Innovating with Light Forum

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This article was published on 7 September 2017

A forum dedicated to leading edge synchrotron techniques for soft materials

Join us at a half day forum, focused on showcasing the possibilities of the synchrotron - imagine an X-ray machine the size of a sports stadium!

The forum will be headlined by global experts David Cookson from the Australian Synchrotron, the only synchrotron facility in Australasia, and Cheng Wang, from Berkeley National Laboratory in the United States.

If you want to learn how synchrotron methods can revolutionise your R&D, help drive efficiencies and optimisation, as well as build connections with current users, and gain access to this world-class facility and scientific support, then this event is a must-attend.

We encourage those businesses working in food and beverage, natural products, textiles, leather, fibres, polymers, plastics, packaging, composites, and other soft materials to register.

About synchrotrons

Synchrotrons are large-scale research facilities that use intense X-ray beams to probe the molecular structure of materials.

With numerous advantages over standard lab instruments, this massive smart machine gives you the ability to look at the structure of materials on a small scale, such as real time chemical reactions, structural changes upon heating and stretching, watching the formation of cellular structures, trace elements and thermal behaviour. For more information, see the Australian Synchrotron website or email


Dr Bridget Ingham

Dr Bridget Ingham
Senior Research Scientist, Advanced Materials Group Callaghan Innovation

Dr Bridget Ingham is one of New Zealand’s most experienced synchrotron researchers, and has spent the last 12 years travelling to synchrotron facilities around the world to conduct experiments to study a wide variety of materials, including nanoparticle formation, mineral particles in milk, thermal behaviour of polymers, corrosion of steel, and even watching paint dry!

Dr David Cookson

Dr David Cookson
Industry Engagement Team, Australian Synchrotron

Dr David Cookson's job is to make sure that the Australian Synchrotron facility reaches out to, and helps solve problems for industry.  

After completing a PhD at Monash University, David worked for Kodak Australasia before moving back into basic research, working to further Australia’s national scientific interests in Japan and the US.

In 2007, when Australia finished building its own world-class synchrotron David returned home. To complement his role at this facility, he is also an adjunct Associate Professor with the University of Melbourne School of Chemistry.

Using our world-class research capabilities to add value to innovation-driven businesses is now David’s personal and professional mission.

Dr Cheng Wang

Dr Cheng Wang,
Physicist Research Scientist, Advanced Light Source
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

Dr Cheng Wang obtained his bachelor degree in physics from Jilin University, China, and received his Ph.D. in Physics from North Carolina State University.

Cheng has led the development of Resonant Soft X-ray Scattering for soft materials and the construction of a dedicated beamline at the Advanced Light Source synchrotron facility. 

His research interest is to develop and utilise advanced synchrotron X-ray methods such as soft X-ray scattering and spectroscopy to understand the morphology, chemistry and interfacial structure of a broad range of soft materials.

Dr Sujay Prabakar

Dr Sujay Prabakar
Scientist, NZ Leather Research Association (LASRA)

Dr Sujay Prabakar leads the materials chemistry research team. Sujay received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the Victoria University of Wellington. 

At LASRA, Sujay is studying collagen based biomaterials for biomedical applications, and investigating leather technology and materials chemistry to understand molecular level changes in collagen during leather processing.

Andrea Bubendorfer

Andrea Bubendorfer
Senior Research Scientist and Microfabrication Team Leader, 
Callaghan Innovation

Andrea Bubendorfer background is in microfluidics, the technology used to make lab-on-a-chip devices work. These devices enable fast point of care testing with low volumes. 

With the rapidly increasing number of biomarkers identified, these low-cost, credit card sized polymer chips will one day be used for easy mass-screening of diseases such as bowel cancer. But of course, their physical behaviour must be understood properly first. Using synchrotron testing, Andrea could identify a critically limiting aspect of the technology.

Dr Stefan Hill

Dr Stefan Hill
Research Leader, advanced Chemical Characterisation Team

Dr Stefan Hill’s focus is on delivering analytical solutions for research and industry, and his main area of interest is using solid state NMR spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction techniques to uncover the nanostructure of natural cellulose to understand its biosynthesis.

Stefan initiated, and maintains Scions’ interactions with the Australian Synchrotron, and has used the synchrotron to study cellulose nanostructure, silica nano-particles and wood ultrastructure. 

Dr Hill is the NZ representative in the development of new ISO standards related to nanocellulose characterisation


From 8.30 

Introduction & housekeeping

9:05 Welcome
Callaghan Innovation

Synchrotrons: history, development, and future opportunities
Bridget Ingham, Callaghan Innovation

The Australian Synchrotron overview and case studies
David Cookson, Australian Synchrotron

Morning tea & networking

Case study: Soft X-ray methods for soft materials

Cheng Wang, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory 

Case study: Understanding tanning mechanisms in leather processing
Sujay Prabakar, LASRA

Case study: Why doesn't my polymer behave?
Andrea Bubendorfer, Callaghan Innovation

Case study: Cellulose
Stefan Hill, Scion 

How to access synchrotron facilities and expertise
Bridget Ingham, Callaghan Innovation

Q&A / Panel discussion


Event details

  • 9.00am - 12.30 noon
  • Thursday 9 November 2017
  • Quality Hotel Parnell, Gladstone Road, Parnell, Auckland
  • There is no charge to attend the forum but spaces are limited.