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Dr John Chiefari

Senior Principal Research Scientist


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Dr Chiefari's research career has developed to encompass research leadership, business development, commercialisation and technology transfer. He has a track record for the development and implementation of new relationships and collaborations attracting funding from multi national companies across a range of industry sectors including; oil and gas, agricultural, personal care, chemicals, coatings and renewable energy such as battery manufacturers and the hydrogen economy. He has led major cross-disciplinary research in these diverse areas and through these relationships and collaborations, his main focus is to translate research and technologies into commercial applications.
He has demonstrated national leadership through his work as a senior policy advisor in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet developing and implementing science and technology policy to the Australian Government in the area of national security. On behalf of the Australian Government he has developed Australian capability through bilateral relationships and programs with the USA and UK governments and agencies.
Dr Chiefari’s professional career has been complemented by other roles he has fulfilled including; board member of the Cooperative Research Centre for Advanced Composites Structures and reviewer for a number of leading polymer journals, membership of the Royal Australian Chemical Society and the American Chemical Society.
Dr Chiefari maintains an active research profile and continues to develop young researchers and currently mentors early to mid career researchers and supervises PhD students from local and international universities.

Other Interests

Currently, Dr Chiefari is leading the effort to develop new capability and commercialise new technologies in the polymer drug delivery, new battery electrolyte systems and hydrogen reforming for the hydrogen economy.
Dr Chiefari is collaborating with key experts in Prof. Patrick Stayton (University of Washington) and Prof. Mike Jensen (Seattle Children's Research Institute) to develop a new immunotherapy technology based on polymer therapeutic delivery and engineered cells for the treatment of cancer. The technology is moving towards a limited Phase 1 clinical trial and is seeking investors for a new company spin out.
In addition, Dr Chiefari is leading the effort for the development and commercialisation of new solid polymer electrolyte materials as part of the CSIRO-Deakin University Battri Hub (Prof. Maria Forsyth). In this effort, a new class of polymer materials are being developed to address the current safety concerns surrounding Lithium batteries. This is being extended to the development of the next generation of all solid state high energy devices with leading Korean and Japanese battery manufacturers.
Dr Chiefari is also leading and developing a new program of research for the next generation of hydrogen reforming as a mobile hydrogen fuel system.

Academic Qualifications

  • 1990

    Flinders University

Professional Experiences

  • 2015-Present

    Senior Principal Research Scientist

  • 2014-2015

    Dupont, Experimental Station, (Secondment)
    DuPont, USA

  • 2011-2014

    Manager, Polymer Science

  • 2009-2011

    Program Leader, Polymer Materials

  • 2006-2009

    Senior Advisor and Program Manager
    Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

  • 2002-2006

    Group Leader, Advanced Composites

Achievements and Awards

  • 2011

    Des Goddard Award
    Society of Cosmetic Chemists

  • 2008

    Contributions made to AUS-USA bilateral relationship
    US Department of Homeland Security

  • 2008

    Contributions made to AUS-USA bilateral relationship
    US Department of Defence

  • 2003

    Science Medal