About the group
The Geopolymer and Mineral Processing Group is an internationally acknowledged leader in the study of the formation, molecular structure, and performance properties of novel advanced geopolymeric materials, and in the development of unconventional technology for precious metal extraction.
The Geopolymer and Mineral Processing Group (GMPG) was founded by Professor Jannie van Deventer, who continues to work with us as Honorary Professorial Fellow. From 2007 to mid 2012 the group was managed by Professor John L. Provis (currently at University of Sheffield) who contributed in a significant way to the activities and development of the group. He continues to participate at a high level in our activities in an honorary capacity. Between 2001 to mid 2012 Dr Dingwu Feng, as Senior Research Fellow, contributed substantially to our activities, especially in mineral processing. Dr Susan Bernal (currently at University of Sheffield) was a Research Fellow from late 2010 to late 2012. Dr Claire White (currently at Los Alamos National Laboratory) who completed her PhD with us continues to contribute to our activities, especially in advanced modelling and beamline techniques. In 2011 Dr Rackel San Nicolas started as a research fellow in the group and became in 2012 manager and research leader of the group, the position she is still holding currently.
The fundamental research interests of the group include the following areas:
- Alkali activated materials and heopolymers: for both cement-type and ceramic-type applications.
- Sustainable materials for constructions: Blended cements, recycled raw materials, aggregates, etc.
- Durability of materials for construction: Permeability, porosity, carbonation, chlorite migration, corrosion, etc.
Collaborations and partnerships
Members of the group undertake active multidisciplinary collaborations with Zeobond Pty Ltd and other industrial partners; academic institutions around Australia and internationally including China, Malaysia, USA, Colombia, Brazil, UK, Spain, France, Germany, Norway, South Africa and Ukraine; and with various departments within the University of Melbourne. We also work actively in consulting projects in materials science, chemical engineering and hydrometallurgy.
The research activities of the group are primarily funded by industrial projects and by competitive grants from the Australian Research Council (ARC). The group forms part of the Particulate Fluids Processing Centre, a Special Research Centre of the Australian Research Council, and contributes significantly to the research outcomes of this Centre.
Enquiries regarding consulting projects in the above or related areas are always welcome. We offer professional-quality service and top-level scientific and engineering advice at competitive prices.
If you would like to enquire about our expertise and capabilities, please email:
Dr Rackel San Nicolas
Professor Jannie van Deventer
We specialise in the study of the formation, molecular structure, and performance properties of novel advanced sustainable materials for construction. We have acquired and developed multiple techniques to assess and estimate durability of current and future construction materials in multiple environments.
To work with us contact Dr Rackel San Nicolas
Design and development of materials for construction
Durability of materials for construction
Macrostructure of materials for construction
Durability of geopolymer concrete in aggressive environment
Partners: Zeobond, RCPA and Vantage pipe
ARC Nanocomm Hub
Nano-engineered novel cements.
Tailing waste valorisation
Partner: Rio Tinto
Lignosulfonate for future concretes
Development of new lignosulfonates for use in chemical admixture for concrete, bended concrete and geopolymers.
Partners: Research council of Norway and Borregaard AS.
Dr Rackel San Nicolas
Prof Jannie van Deventer
Honorary Professorial Fellow
Prof John L Provis
Honorary Senior Research Fellow
Dr Susan Bernal
Honorary Research Fellow
Former group members/Alumni
Brant Walkley (PhD 2017)
Alireza Kshani (PhD 2016)
Sima Mohammadnejad (PhD 2014)
Idawati Ismail (PhD 2013)
Ailar Hajimohammadi (PhD 2011) (thesis)
Neesan Yap (PhD 2010)
Louise Keyte (PhD 2008)
Redmond Lloyd (PhD 2008) (current location)
Catherine Rees (PhD 2007) (thesis)
Hui Tan (PhD 2007) (current location)
Sindhunata (PhD 2006) (current location)
Sjoerd van Zijll de Jong (PhD 2005)
Christina Yip (PhD 2004)
William Lee (PhD 2003) (thesis)
Hua (Linda) Xu (PhD,2002; postdoc 2003–2006) (thesis)
John Phair (PhD 2002)
Johan van Jaarsveld (PhD 2000)
Kevin Rees (PhD,2000)
The facilities directly controlled by the Geopolymer and Minerals Processing Group include:
- Two recently-renovated laboratories
- Full suite of Perkin-Elmer thermal analysis equipment (TMA, TGA/DTA, TAM)
- Rheological assessment of new concrete
- Size analyses
- Reactivity potential
- Microstructure analyses of cements
- Performance based for life span prediction of new concrete/cements
- State-of-the-art Hot Disk thermal property measurement system
- Crushing and grinding facilities
- Compressive strength testing facilities
- Environmentally controlled chambers
- Concrete durability testing facilities (chlorides and sulphates migration, controlled carbonation chambers, corrosion cell)
The group is also a major stakeholder in X-ray diffractometry (XRD) equipment.
Collaborations with colleagues within the University include Materials Characterisation and Fabrication Platform for nano-indentation and x-ray diffraction, Bio21 Institute, and with the School of Chemistry providing ready access to various microscopic techniques including scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM), an inductively coupled plasma (ICP-OES) spectrometer, and an ATR-FTIR spectrometer, as well as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy.
We work at synchrotron and neutron beamlines around the world.