Design and development of microstructured fluid materials by understanding their kinetic behavior, particle shape effects on materials performance, interactions of soft matter with biological systems, and scale-up of soft matter manufacturing processes.
Fields of Research (FoR)Soft Condensed Matter, Rheology, Colloid and Surface Chemistry, Powder and Particle Technology, Food Chemistry and Molecular Gastronomy (excl. Wine), Crop and Pasture Protection (Pests, Diseases and Weeds), Pharmaceutical Sciences
Patrick Spicer is an Associate Professor in UNSW’s School of Chemical Engineering. He is leader of the Complex Fluids group, a team that works with industry and academic partners to design smart fluids with unique response and flow behaviour linked directly to product and material performance. His lab at UNSW combines broad microscopy, microfluidic, and rheology capability that can be used to understand the behaviour of fluid coatings,...view more
Patrick Spicer is an Associate Professor in UNSW’s School of Chemical Engineering. He is leader of the Complex Fluids group, a team that works with industry and academic partners to design smart fluids with unique response and flow behaviour linked directly to product and material performance. His lab at UNSW combines broad microscopy, microfluidic, and rheology capability that can be used to understand the behaviour of fluid coatings, films, and other complex products. Before UNSW, Pat ran a central engineering research department for the Procter & Gamble Company in the US for 15 years. His group developed new product and process technology there for all of P&G’s billion-dollar brands. He is co-inventor of P&G’s $30 million cubosome patent portfolio that Children’s Hospital Cincinnati used to develop the first product to prevent life-threatening infections in premature infants. He is also the inventor of P&G's recently-patented responsive droplet technology.
My Research Activities
Areas of focus:
Formulated product development and scale-up - Develop and evaluate innovative microstructured fluid products with biological and industrial relevance.
Rheology measurement and design - Novel approaches to understanding the microstructure behind commercial fluid flows and performance
3D printing - Use surprising materials to print three-dimensional designs. How will your new food, biomaterial, cosmetic, or coating behave when you try to 3D print with it?
Engineered nanocellulose - Harness bacterial producers of cellulose nanofibers to weave, template, and manufacture advanced materials.
Emulsions and their shapes - Emulsion droplets are used in vaccines, pesticides, cosmetics, and foods by dispersing one liquid, like an oil, in another, like water.
Cubosome and hexosome nanoparticles - Nanostructured liquid crystal particles with unique shape and biological function.
Recent Funded Project History:
ARC Linkage Project LP200201026 - Plant plasters: Efficient spray micro-coatings for plant delivery - Study and commercially scale the production of natural cellulose films to diverse plant leaves, stalks, and fruit to improve delivery of active chemicals, protection from pests, reduction of environmental runoff, and shelf-life of food.
2022 Procter & Gamble - High-throughput extensional rheology for automated learning - Develop an automated microrheometer system able to measure thousands of commercial and developmental fluids to produce machine learning training sets and accelerate new product development efforts.
2022 v2Food - Plant-based meat microstructure modeling - Provide fundamental imaging characterization of commercial plant-based meat formulations to link raw material and process variables with performance relative to animal meat.
ARC LIEF Project LE200100221 - Australian Rheo-Scattering Facilities - Build rheoscattering facilities at ANSTO Lucas Heights and Clayton campuses, enabling study of high-speed, stretching, and other complex flows, matching applied processes.
ARC Discovery Project DP190102614: Engineering better sprays for leaf coating - Develop and test new high-performance sprays with unique cling to harmful plants and insects.
ARC Discovery Project DP190100376: Cause and effect: new mechanisms of particle formation in thunderstorms - Perform the first studies of pollen rupture behavior in extreme conditions.
ARC Discovery Project DP150100865: Smartdrops: Shaping the future of particle technology - Develop novel shaped aerosol particles to greatly enhance drug delivery.
CEIC4007: Product Design Project Thesis A
CEIC4008: Product Design Project Thesis B
CEIC6711: Complex fluid microstructure and rheology