Our staff

Meet the team
Our experts help you get the most from our state–of-the-art tools and techniques.

Operations Team

Professor Margaret Sunde, Academic Director

Margie Sunde is a Professor in the School of Medical Sciences at the University of Sydney. Her research is focused on the structure and formation of functional amyloid structures in microorganisms, in particular amyloids with a biological role in infection or immune evasion.


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Professor Chris Ling, Deputy Director

Chris Ling is Professor and Theme Leader for Functional Energy Materials in the School of Chemistry. His research into inorganic solid-state chemistry makes particular use of neutron and synchrotron X-ray scattering methods to characterise the structures and dynamics of new materials.

See Professor Ling's publications and research


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Dr Peter Southon, Operations Manager

Dr Peter Southon’s scientific background is in materials chemistry, with over 15 years’ experience as a postdoctoral researcher and laboratory manager. He has a particular interest in characterisation of the properties and structure of novel microporous materials such as coordination frameworks and metal-organic frameworks. As Operations Manager, Peter’s job is to know a little bit about everything and keep the cogs turning in the background. He has general oversight of administration, reporting, finance, policy, procurement and outreach.

See Dr Southon's publications and research.


Amanda Young, Administration Officer

Amanda Young has extensive experience in administration, finance and Human Resources, working across multiple industries. Amanda successfully operated her own small start-up business for six years where she was able to use her passion for customer service and communication. Amanda supports the Directors, Facility Managers and Operations Manager, manages enquiries and billing, and improves and streamlines operational management systems, processes and best practices.


Vibrational Spectroscopy team

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Dr Elizabeth Carter, Facility Manager, Vibrational Spectroscopy

Dr Liz Carter has worked at the University since 2000 and has had the opportunity to assist researchers from a wide range of fields. This exposure has strongly influenced her own research interests which include microplastics, natural glasses (obsidian, tektites, fulgurites), hard and soft biological materials (cells, tissues, teeth, hair, wool) and cultural heritage objects (ceramics, coffins, textiles, pigments, manuscripts). Liz is the manager of the Vibrational Spectroscopy node which is the largest facility of its type in Australia.  Liz is responsible for all day-to-day management and operating activities. She also provides advice, research support and assistance to researchers, students and other technical staff working in the facility.

See Dr Carter's publications and research.


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Dr Michelle Wood, Staff Scientist, Vibrational Spectroscopy

Dr Michelle Wood gained a BSc (Hons) in Analytical Chemistry – Forensic Science at UTS before moving to The University of Sydney to begin a PhD in bio-inorganic chemistry. After completing her PhD she joined the Vibrational Spectroscopy Core Facility, which has since become part of Sydney Analytical. Michelle has experience in a wide a range of analytical and microscopic techniques, including vibrational spectroscopy, XPS, XRF, UV-Vis, AFM and fluorescence microscopy, as well as data analysis and chemometric techniques. Michelle assists in running the Vibrational Spectroscopy facility, including maintenance of the instruments and other facilities as well as the development and implementation of safety protocols. She provides guidance, support and training for researchers using the facility.


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Thérèse Harrison, Professional Officer, Cultural Heritage

Thérèse Harrison has a background in Fine Arts and Chemistry. She specialises in the analysis of Cultural Heritage across a number of analytical techniques including vibrational and X-ray spectroscopy. Thérèse acts as the liaison between Sydney University Museums and Sydney Analytical. She offers training and support to internal and external users working in the field of Cultural Heritage. With an emphasis on non-destructive analysis, Thérèse provides researchers with assistance in the development and application of techniques suitable to the varied needs of different artefacts and materials using both portable and benchtop instrumentation to help achieve high quality research outcomes.


Lorraine Leung, Senior Technical Officer

Lorraine Leung has a background in Archaeological Science. She has experience working on a wide range of interdisciplinary projects with archaeological, museum and cultural heritage material using analytical techniques including vibrational spectroscopy and X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy techniques. Lorraine supports and trains users from archaeological, museum and cultural heritage fields. She provides technical project specific assistance in the development of research methodology and the application of non-destructive portable and benchtop instrumentation to characterise a diverse range of samples/objects. Most recently, she has undertaken the scientific analysis of jade objects, paint pigments and ancient Egyptian papyrus.


Dr Majharul Haque Khan (Reyad)

Dr Majharul Haque Khan (Reyad), Senior Technical Officer

Dr Reyad Khan has an educational background in material science and metallurgy. He has worked for about five years as a postdoc in the EPFL, Switzerland and the UTS, Australia. He has expertise in two-dimensional material syntheses, characterizing nanomaterials using AFM, SEM, Raman, FTIR, and bulk materials by TGA, DSC and GC-MS instruments. Reyad provides technical support to researchers in the Sydney Analytical. He is the primary contact person for instrumentation training and support in the Engineering Building J03.

See Dr Khan's publications and research.


X-ray techniques team

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Dr William Lewis, Facility Manager, X-ray techniques

Dr William Lewis graduated with a BSc(Hons) with a project under Professor Ward Robinson and PhD  with Professor Peter Steel, both in Chemistry at the University of Canterbury. Following a short postdoctoral position with Professor Steel, he moved to the School of Chemistry, University of Nottingham as Manager of the Crystal Structure Service in 2008. He was promoted to Senior Research Fellow in 2014. In 2018 he moved to the University of Sydney to take up the role of Core Facility Manager: X-ray in Sydney Analytical and the School of Chemistry. William is the manager of the X-ray arm of Sydney Analytical, and an expert in small molecule X-ray diffraction.

See Dr Lewis's publications and research.


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Dr Paul Fitzgerald, Professional Officer, X-ray Techniques

Dr Paul Fitzgerald did his PhD at the University of Sydney in soft-matter and complex fluids, predominantly studied through small angle scattering and atomic force microscopy.  He has expertise in the structure and behaviour of surfactant micelles, lyotropic liquid crystals, self-assembling polymer solutions, polymer latices, proteins in solution, microgels, emulsions and foams. Paul provides instruction, training and support for the X-ray instruments in Sydney Analytical with a particular focus on Small and Wide Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS/WAXS).

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Dr Samuel Duyker, Professional Officer, X-ray Techniques

Dr Sam Duyker completed a PhD at the University of Sydney, after which he undertook post-doctoral work at ANSTO and Oxford before returning to Sydney on a Gritton Fellowship in the School of Chemistry. His experience lies in the physical and chemical characterisation of advanced functional materials with a focus on in situ experiments under non-ambient conditions. Sam supports researchers using X-ray powder diffraction techniques at Sydney Analytical. This includes training users in instrument operation and data analysis, including database matching and Rietveld refinements.

See Dr Duyker's publications and research.


David Mitchell, Professional Officer, CaP Laboratory

David Mitchell commenced at the University of Sydney Marine Studies Centre moving to Geology and then Geoscience with the move to the Madsen Building.  Marine geophysics (underwater imaging) was his full time role evolving to more general fieldwork. Rockwork became part of his portfolio when the Madsen facility was refurbished. The Cutting and Polishing (CaP) Laboratory cuts rocks half as thick as human hair (30 microns) allowing examination under polarised light. David has started back, part time, with Sydney Analytical to invigorate rock sample preparation for the variety of scanners at Sydney Analytical.  

Dr Alireza Samiee

Dr Alireza Samiee, Senior Technical Officer

Dr Ali Samiee is experienced in the fields of scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscope, atom probe tomography, conventional XRD, mechanical testing, electrochemical corrosion tests, heat treatments of titanium, aluminium alloys, stainless steel, cast iron, and nanomaterials. He developed several novel methods for sample preparation, and he published several papers in the field of mechanical properties of metallic alloys. Ali is managing both cutting and polishing (CaP) and Stress Analysis laboratories along with managing WHS requirements in Sydney Analytical. Based on his experience in residual stress analysis, he will provide clients with utter through-thickness residual stress measurements from full-size components, which prove critical in the next stages of multidisciplinary domain analysis.

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Dr Xun (Rex) Geng, Senior Technical Officer, X-ray Techniques

Dr Rex Geng completed his doctoral degree at UNSW and has worked as a postdoctoral researcher in material science at the University of Newcastle. His expertise lies in synthesis and characterization for diverse functional materials. Rex provides technical expertise, scientific knowledge and training/qualifications for lab-scale X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and X-ray emission spectroscopy (XES) techniques, resolving complex research problems.

See Dr Geng's publications and research.


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Dr Hare Aryal, Professional Officer, X-ray Techniques

Dr Hare Aryal has a PhD in Electrical and Electronics Engineering and has subsequently held research and technical positions at Chubu University, Japan, Nagoya Institute of Technology, Japan, University of Tasmania and The University of Adelaide. He has a significant surface science experience and has had the opportunity to assist researchers on surface modification by plasma engineering and characterisation. Hare has experience in a wide range of analytical  techniques, including XPS, Raman, AFM. Dr Aryal supports XPS users in training, operation and data analysis.

Drug Discovery team

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Dr Lorna Wilkinson-White, Facility Manager, Drug Discovery

Dr Lorna White has a BSc (Hons I) and PhD from the University of Sydney. Following her PhD, she spent eight years as a postdoctoral researcher in the field of protein structural biology, characterising a variety of protein:protein and protein:nucleic acid complexes. Since 2016 she has helped set up and manage the Fragment Based Drug Discovery (FBDD) platform at Sydney University, which has been part of Sydney Analytical since 2018. Lorna works with researchers to characterise protein:protein, protein:nucleic acid and protein:small molecule interactions using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) and Isothermal Titration Calorimetry (ITC). She also carries out FBDD screens for internal research groups as well as for the wider Sydney researcher community on a variety of protein targets using either NMR or SPR methodologies.


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Dr Daniel Clayton, Senior Technical Officer

Dr Dan Clayton earned his PhD in biochemistry from the University of Queensland, where he researched the structure and interactions of key proteins involved in plasma lipid homeostasis. He then conducted postdoctoral research on bacterial mechanosensitive ion channels in the United States. His research has focused on the chemical synthesis of polypeptides and the use of biophysical and bioanalytical techniques, including SPR, CD, NMR, electrophysiology, and mass spectrometry, to study biomolecular structure and function. Since returning to Australia, he has worked in both industrial and academic research environments, focusing on drug discovery, protein engineering, and microneedle-based vaccine delivery. At Sydney Analytical, Dan's role involves using and training others on SPR and other techniques to identify and characterise small molecule and polypeptide-based drug leads.

See Dr Dan Clayton’s publications and research.

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Dr Mario Torrado del Rey, Staff Scientist, Protein Production

Dr. Mario Torrado del Rey joined Sydney Analytical after a four-year postdoctoral experience at The University of Sydney, working in protein production, structure, function and interactions. Mario completed his BSc in Biochemistry (2002) and his PhD in Molecular Biology (2012) at the Autonoma University of Madrid, Spain. Mario is a Staff Scientist at Protein Production and Characterisation in the Drug Discovery node of Sydney Analytical. He is focused on helping scientists with their protein-related research problems, both training them and performing experiments for them.

See Dr Torrado del Rey's publications and research.


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Dr Chandrika Deshpande, Staff Scientist, Protein Production

Dr Chandrika Deshpande is a biochemist and molecular biologist with a strong background in protein research. Chandrika completed her PhD from Macquarie University and thereafter joined the structural biology group in Centenary Institute, Sydney, working on structural and functional characterization of important bacterial and eukaryotic membrane proteins. Chandrika’s role is to provide advice and support to researchers in projects involving protein expression and purification (including membrane proteins), functional characterization and structural studies using x-ray crystallography.

See Dr Deshpande's publications and research.


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Sneha Desa, Research Assistant, Drug Discovery

Sneha completed a BSc (Hons I) in biochemistry from the University of Queensland, under the supervision of Professor Bostjan Kobe. Her honours project focussed on the expression, purification and characterization of Arabidopsis immune proteins. Sneha is a research assistant in the Protein Production and Characterisation team within the Drug Discovery node at Sydney Analytical where she provides essential technical professional support to staff and researchers. Her role includes undertaking laboratory work involving protein expressions and purifications in bacterial, insect and mammalian expression systems, as well as carrying out functional studies. 


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Dr. Miguel Hernández-Prieto, Senior Technical Officer

Dr. Miguel Hernández-Prieto holds a BSc in Biology and a PhD in Biochemistry. Following his doctoral studies, he seamlessly integrated bioinformatics with laboratory-based techniques to conduct interdisciplinary research. He significantly contributed to the ARC Centre of Excellence for Translational Photosynthesis at the University of Sydney from 2014 to 2021. Miguel collaborates with Dr. Toby Passioura on ultra-high-throughput screening and technological innovation of cyclic peptide drug discovery, bridging theory and experimentation.


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Dr Ling Chen, Staff Scientist

Dr Ling Chen has a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Chongqing University and joint PhD training at Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, Sydney with a focus on respiratory diseases and immunology. During her postdoc, she utilized both in vitro and in vivo models to investigate the pathophysiology of acute and chronic airway diseases and develop therapeutical approaches. Additionally, she established her expertise in mucosal spheroids/organoids 3D culture (lung and gastrointestinal tract). She has extensive experience in developing 3D cultures as tools for drug discovery and diagnostic tests for personalised medicine (asthma, COPD, cystic fibrosis and lung cancer). Ling's role is to develop the Organoid Innovation Centre and provide advice and technical support to researchers regarding automated and comprehensive 3D culture platforms.

See Ling's publications and research.


NMR team

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Dr Ian Luck, Facility Manager, Magnetic Resonance

Ian has a background in organometallic and organic chemistry, having worked with analytical and spectroscopic techniques in industry and the tertiary research sector. He has more than 20 years’ experience in managing NMR and EPR facilities and has interests in heteronuclear NMR methods and small molecule and natural product characterisation by NMR. Ian is the manager of the Magnetic Resonance node and has overall responsibility for the management and functioning of Sydney Analytical’s NMR and EPR capabilities. He provides specialist support for research activities in magnetic resonance, with  particular focus on small molecule and chemical applications of NMR. 


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Dr Biswaranjan Mohanty, Staff Scientist, Biomolecular NMR

Dr Biswaranjan Mohanty undertook his PhD in soft condensed matter physics at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India. Before joining Sydney Analytical at the University of Sydney, he worked with Professor Martin Scanlon at Monash University, Australia and Nobel Laureate Professor Kurt Wüthrich at Scripps Research in the USA on various structural biology and biophysics projects using solution NMR techniques. Biswaranjan's role at Sydney Analytical primarily focuses on managing and supervising biomolecular NMR laboratory facilities, including continuous wave EPR and solid-state NMR in materials science and chemical engineering research. In addition, Biswaranjan provides research support to the University researchers with his research expertise in Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy.

See Dr Mohanty's publications and research.


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Ahmad Nassar, Instrumentation Engineer, NMR

Ahmad Nassar has a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering, he graduated in 2008 from Cairo University, Egypt, and started his career as a field service engineer in 2009 in the healthcare and medical equipment sector. He has experience working on medical systems and equipment including anesthesia, life support and critical care systems, patient monitoring, incubators, medical beds, bed head units, ultrasound, dermatology and laser systems. He has experience working with Picture Archiving and Communication Systems PACS, Radiology Information Systems RIS, and Hospital Information System HIS using DICOM, HL7 and other medical, laboratory and healthcare standards. Ahmad’s roles have included planned preventative maintenance, troubleshooting, corrective repair and installation of biomedical equipment and integration with healthcare IT infrastructure. Ahmad joined Sydney Analytical as an Instrumentation Engineer, his role is to provide technical maintenance and support for diverse scientific instrumentation and support specialist applications to best meet the requirements of the Core Research Facilities. Ahmad’s role is focused supporting the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectrometers, with an extension of support to all Sydney Analytical equipment and instruments.


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Dr Paige Hawkins, Senior Technical Officer

Dr Paige Hawkins has a BSc (Hons I) from UNSW (2015) and a PhD with Professor Richard Payne from the University of Sydney (2020). Paige’s PhD work was centred in the area of medicinal organic chemistry with a particular focus on peptide natural products and antibiotic resistance. Paige is responsible for providing management, user support and training for the chemistry NMR laboratory facilities (1H frequencies of 300/400/500 MHz). In addition, Paige provides training and user support for the Sydney Analytical benchtop EPR.



Sydney Analytical

  • Sydney Analytical maintains instruments in locations across the Camperdown / Darlington campus. Our principal locations are the Madsen Building (F09), Chemistry Building (F11), and Molecular Bioscience Building (G08), with satellite locations in the Sydney Nano Hub (A31) and the J03 Engineering Precinct Building. Our administration is in room 222, Madsen Building (F09), Camperdown Campus, University of Sydney.