How analytical chemistry can keep us safe

Invited Speaker: Professor Michael Breadmore (UTAS)

Michael obtained his PhD in Analytical Chemistry in 2001 from UTAS, and was awarded his DSc in 2017. He has published over 180 peer-reviewed papers (8100 citations; h= 46), supported over the past 17 years at UTAS with over $22M of research funding. He has held 3 ARC fellowships (APD 2—4-2008; QEII 2009 – 2013; Future Fellowship 2014-2017). His work has been recognised through various prizes and awards. These include the Eureka Prize for Outstanding Science for Safeguarding Australia, Finalist for the 2011 Eureka prize for the best young scientist in Australia aged 35, “analytical chemistry” field leader by the Australian Research Magazine (2018; 2019), and Analytical Scientist’s power list of the top 100 analytical chemists in the world (2014, 2017, 2019, 2020). He is co-inventor on a number of patents and has 3 commercial products at market based on his research.

Presentation: How analytical chemistry can keep us safe

The job of an analytical chemist is to tell people what is in a sample, and how much of it there is. This is commonly done in a laboratory and time taken between obtaining the sample and knowing the result can be lengthy. Although examples exist of rapid and accurate measurements – blood glucose, breath alcohol, and pregnancy status – the way they work make them limited in application. True portable analysis needs to be done with miniaturised laboratory equipment. Over the past decade, we have focused on the development of functional portable systems that can produce high quality analytical data in the field. I will provide an overview of some of our work in developing and making portable analytical systems for use in the field, and highlight their potential for forensics.