Profile image for Feng Wang

Professor Feng Wang

Professor of Chemistry
PhD, The University of Newcastle, Australia; MSc (Quantum Chemistry by Research), Sichuan University, China; BSc (Physical Chemistry), Sichuan University, China


Professor Feng Wang is a world leading theoretician in molecular science, computational spectroscopy and digital chemistry with outstanding evidence of performance relative to opportunity, with active theoretical research programs with strong ties to experiments. As a theoretical chemist and molecular physicist, she enables game changing for computational spectroscopy from support and interpret experimental results, to design and guide theory led discoveries, by sitting above the maze in molecular and material science. Her research areas covers function and property based inverse-design in molecule structures and spectroscopy (MW, IR, Raman, X-ray, XPS, PES, EMS, UV-vis, NMR and gamma-ray) for molecular isomers, including electronics and energy materials and chiral compounds, using quantum computing combining with digital technology. Her research is towards using augmented intelligence and artificial intelligence for automatic investigation in chemical discovery.

Professor Wang has engaged with significant international collaboration in the development of molecular science, both experimental science (such as synchrotron spectroscopy) and theoretical development such as positron-electron annihilation processes, including countries from Italy, Germany, UK, Czech Republic, China, Japan, Canada and USA. She sits on the Expert Panel for National Research Councils for a number of countries including Ireland, Czech Republic, Portugal, Romania, Canada (Quebec). She holds research appointments in institutions such as University of Melbourne (Honorary), Sichuan University, Shanxi Normal University and Chongqing University of Science and Technology (Adjunct, China), Elettra-Sincrotrone (Trieste, Director’s Senior Visitor Italy) and National Research Council (Senior Visitor, Rome, Italy).

Professor Wang is elected Fellow of Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI C Chem) and elected Fellow of Australian Institute of Physics (AIP). She is a selected member on the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) allocation committee and a member of the College of Experts of the Australian Research Council. Professor Wang becomes the Deputy Head of Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology (Head of Chemistry) in 2016. 

Professor Wang also an excellent lecturer, she teaches undergraduate chemistry units for all levels from first, second, third year and honours. She supervises postgraduate students. Her units receive excellent student feedback and she recently was awarded “FSET transforming learning in STEM Grant (2018)” for the project “Teaching undergraduate chemistry units in digital age.”(Here is the link for the Video: 

Research interests

Scientific Computing and Visualisation; Molecular Modelling; Theoretical and Computational Chemistry; Molecular Spectroscopy; Computer Guided Materials Design

PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Masters & Doctoral students as Principal Supervisor.

PhD topics and outlines

Artificial Photosynthesis: A Study of Metal oxides : Metal oxides and metal sulfides are increasingly being investigated for their roles in artificial water splitting.  In this project you will make series of metal oxide phases and test both their efficiency for water oxidation catalysis under guiding principles.   You will learn about detailed chemical analysis techniques including the Australian synchrotron (In collaboration with Dr R. Hocking).

Crosslinked 3D graphene oxide structures for a variety of applications: Crosslinked graphene oxide membranes have advantages over uncrosslinked membranes in terms of stability and functionality. The aim of this project is to employ our well developed technology to prepare crosslinked graphene oxide membranes for separation and biosensor applications. (In collaboration with Dr X. J. Hao of CSIRO Manufacturing Flagship)

Mixed matrix membrane for pervaporation: The project aims to develop a novel type of organic–inorganic mixed matrix membranes that can be prepared by in situ mixing of inorganic nanoparticles to achieve high performance and long stability for pervaporation separation of organic-water mixtures as often required in chemical and biotechnology industries.  (In collaboration with Dr Z. L. Xie of CSIRO Manufacturing Flagship)

Quantum dot based sensors for metal ion detection: A facile and quick detection method for metal ions in contaminated water can be achieved by fabrication of quantum dot modified electrodes that show electrochemical difference before and after adsorption of metal ions. The proposed detection method will take a very short time to get result with a very low limit of detection. (In collaboration with Dr X. J. Hao of CSIRO Manufacturing Flagship)

Solid polyelectrolytes for lithium/sodium ion battery applications : The use of liquid electrolytes in batteries exposes humans in a danger by potential explosions. The use of solid polyelectrolytes can overcome this safety issue. The RAFT based technology offers a great opportunity of synthesising polyelectrolytes with tailored properties. (In collaboration with Dr X. J. Hao of CSIRO Manufacturing Flagship)

Surface engineering of fullerenes (C60) for early detection and treatment of cancers: In this project, polymer modification of fullerenes will be applied to improve the stability of fullerenes, and yet provide functional handles for attachment of active components such as drugs and targeting ligands. (In collaboration with Dr X. J. Hao of CSIRO Manufacturing Flagship)

Water vapour resistant DeNOx catalyst:  The project aims to develop mixed metal oxides based catalysts with strong water vapour resistance and high NOx abatement efficiency for potential application in industrial emission control through selective catalytic reduction of nitrogen oxides with ammonia at low temperatures.  (In collaboration with Dr Z. L. Xie of CSIRO Manufacturing Flagship)


Available to supervise honours students.

Honours topics and outlines

10. Optimization of perovskite complexes for solar cells : Recently developed and synthesised photostable inorganic-organic hybrid perovskite solar cells (PSCs) will be optimised by computer to harvest light. (In collaboration with Dr G. Wilson of CSIRO Energy Flagship). 

Computer aided metal complex catalysis study: Computational chemistry methods will be applied to study structures of tricarbonyl(η4-diene)Iron and/or salicylaldiminato Nikle (II) in the application of catalyst design. In collaboration with on-going projects with the Univ. of Melb. 

Design more efficient perovskite complexes for solar cell applications: Chemical deravitives of high-performance perovskite complexes will be designed to improve the efficiency for solar cell applications. (In collaboration with Dr G. Wilson CSIRO Energy Flagship). 

Does the colour of anticancer drugs help us to understand how they work?: Quinazoline based pharmacophores are a class of organic compounds used in the clinic to help stop the growth of tumours. This project aims to measure and understand the basis of drug color and drug interactions through their UV-vis and/or fluorescence spectroscopy. (In collaboration with A/Prof. A. Clayton (CMP)).

Electronic structure and fragmentation patterns of fatty acids: Supercomputers and synchrotron sourced spectroscopic methods are employed to study fatty acids. Fatty acids provide an avenue of ion dynamics and photoionization mass spectroscopy of biomolecules. At low photon energies, we wish to know if soft ionization can reduce fragmentation.(In collaboration with Prof. Kevin Prince (Elettra, Italy))

Probe small chiral drugs using vibrational spectroscopic methods: Chirality of drug can affect the potency of the drugs. The project aiming at study drug chirality using vibrational spectroscopy supported by computational chemistry.

Fields of Research

  • Theoretical And Computational Chemistry - 030700
  • Physical Chemistry (incl. Structural) - 030600

Teaching areas

Molecular Modelling;Physiccal Chemistry;Organic Chemistry;Molecular Spectroscopy;Computational and Advanced Organic Chemsitry


Also published as: Wang, Feng; Wang, F.; Wang, F
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Recent research grants awarded

  • 2018: Spectroscopy and Theoretical Study of a Potent Anticancer Drug (Student Award - Muhammad Khattab) *; Excellerate Australia
  • 2013: Electron Spectroscopy of quorum sensing molecules *; International Synchrotron Access Program
  • 2013: Visiting Researcher Scheme 2013 - Dr Prince *; Research Advisory Group - Visiting Researcher Scheme 2013
  • 2011: Gamma-ray spectra from electron-positron annihilation in molecules *; ARC Discovery Projects Scheme
  • 2011: X-ray spectroscopy of building blocks of antibiotics in gas phase (ISP4682, ISAP 2011/4) *; International Synchrotron Access Program
  • 2010: Molecular spectroscopy of beta lactam and related compounds *; International Synchrotron Access Program

* Chief Investigator