Neeraj completed his Ph.D. at the University of Sydney then moved to the Bragg Institute at Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) for a post-doc. He started at the School of Chemistry, UNSW on a Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering (AINSE) Research Fellowship followed by an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA). He is currently an Associate Professor and ARC Future Fellow. Neeraj has been the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) Nyholm Youth Lecturer (2013/2014) and has won the NSW Premiers Prize for Science and Engineering (Early Career Researcher in Physical Sciences, 2019), Australian Synchrotron Research Award (2018), RACI Rennie Memorial Medal for Chemical Science (2018), UNSW Postgraduate Supervisor Award (2017) and a NSW Young Tall Poppy Award (2014). Neeraj has over 150 publications and has been invited to present his work at over 30 conferences. Neeraj’s research interests are based on solid state chemistry, designing new materials and investigating their structure-property relationships. He loves to undertake in situ or operando experiments of materials inside full devices, especially batteries, in order to elucidate the structural subtleties that lead to superior performance parameters. Neeraj’s projects are typically highly collaborative working with colleagues from all over the world with a range of skillsets.
2019: New South Wales (NSW) Premier’s Prize for Science and Engineering – Early Career Researcher (Physical Sciences)
2018: Australian Synchrotron Research Award
2018: Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) Rennie Memorial Medal for Excellence in Chemical Science
2017: Postgraduate Research Supervisor Award, Postgraduate Council UNSW
2016: Featured as one of UNSW’s “20 rising stars who will change our world” (http://www.20risingstars.unsw.edu.au/)
2014: UNSW Faculty of Science Staff Excellence Award, Excellence in Early Career Research
2013: New South Wales Young Tall Poppy Award
2013-2014: Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) Nyholm Lectureship
2021-2024: Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowship, Electrochemically activated solid state chemistry: A new synthetic avenue
2020-2022: ARC Discovery Project, All-solid-state: new hybrid materials for next-generation lithium batteries
2020-2022: ARC Linkage Program, Engineering Nanoionic Interfaces towards High Performance Cathode Coatings with AOTOL PTY LTD, QI-AO New Material Technology Development Co., LTD.
2020: ARC Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) for High Performance Solid State NMR Spectroscopy for Materials Research
2019: ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hubs, ARC Research Hub for Microrecycling of Battery and Consumer Wastes
2019-2023: NEXTGENNA – next generation sodium-ion batteries, Faraday Institution, Australian collaborator lead by Dr. Robert Armstong, Prof. John Irvine (St Andrews) & Dr. Nuria Tapaz-Ruiz (Lancaster)
2019-2021: Le Projet International de Coopération Scientifique (PICS), CNRS, Primary collaborator lead by Dr. Marie Guignard, ICMCB, France
2018: ARC LIEF for a Thermo-gravimetric Infra-red Imaging System
2017-2019: ARC Discovery Project, Scaffolding layered structures to improve insertion electrodes
2017: ARC LIEF grant for Powder X-ray Diffraction under Extreme Conditions
2016-2018: ARC Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA), A new method to realise zero thermal expansion materials
2016: International Synchrotron Access Program
2016: Royal Society of Chemistry Researcher Mobility Grant
2015: Australian Academy of Science France-Australia Science Innovation Collaboration (FASIC) Program Early Career Fellowships
2013-2015: UNSW Early Career Researcher / Faculty Grants
2012-2016: AINSE Research Fellowship
- Solid state and Materials Chemistry
- Towards the next generation of batteries: Sodium-ion & Potassium-ion batteries
- Developing better lithium-ion batteries
- Tuning negative thermal expansion to produce zero thermal expansion materials
- In situ studies of materials
- Development of new ionic conductors
- Structural investigations using neutron and X-ray scattering
We chemically tune the atomic arrangement (crystal structure) of solid state materials to enhance their physical properties such as energy storage capacity, ionic conductivity or thermal expansion.
We use a combination of techniques to characterise our materials, including but not limited to X-ray and neutron diffraction (at the Australian Synchrotron and ANSTO), solid state NMR, electrochemical and impedance analysis, and electron microscopy.
Our goal is to fully characterise materials, place them into real-world devices such as batteries and solid oxide fuel cells, and then characterise how they work in these devices.
I currently teach at various levels in the School of Chemistry. I also coordinator the Honours programs and the undergraduate research programs. I run the Faculty of Science Talented Students Program.