I obtained my PhD in 1978 from the Flinders University of South Australia. From there I obtained a post-doctoral fellowship at Imperial College London where I became interested in the conduction processes that occur in ion conducting solids. In 1982, I took up a position with the Materials Division of the CSIRO and remained there until 1996, rising to the position of Principal Research Scientist. I was attracted to The University of Queensland in 1996 to take up the position as Deputy Director of the Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis (CMM) and was appointed as an Associate Professor. In 2000 I became Director of the Centre and at the same time was promoted to Professor. I continued to play a role in the national organisation, the Australian Microscopy and Microanalysis Research Facility (AMMRF). I was the Associate Dean of Research for the Faculty of Science and an Affiliate Group member in the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) and an affiliate of the School of Chemistry and Biological Sciences. I am currently an Emeritus Professor with the CMM.
My research projects have all centered on obtaining microstructural information of materials with a view to improving their physical properties. As an experienced electron microscopist, I have developed considerable experience in determining microstructure/physical property relationships in a wide variety of materials. The principle focus of these studies has been in developing improved materials for application in high temperature fuel cells. At present we have funded research programs examining the interface structure of fuel cell parts with the view to developing more robust systems. In addition to improving conducting materials, I have developed expertise in tackling a wide range of materials problems using microstructural information, and these include, the production of AlN from aluminium, the characterization of Ni bearing mineral ores, the formation of high pressure high temperature minerals, the microscopy of art conservation and a new interest in developing structural ceramic solutions to protecting surfaces of hypersonic flight vehicles.