Profile image for Feng Wang

Professor Feng Wang

Professor, 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-renowned theoretician in molecular science, computational molecular spectroscopy, and digital chemistry. With an outstanding research track record, she leads active theoretical research programs that have strong ties to experiments. As a trained theoretical chemist and molecular physicist, she enables game-changing research in computational spectroscopy, from supporting and interpreting experimental results to designing and guiding theory-led discoveries and innovations. She has a unique perspective that allows her to sit above the maze in drug discovery and material science research.

Her research areas cover function and property-based inverse-design in molecule structures and spectroscopy, including MW, IR, Raman, X-ray, XPS, PES, EMS, UV-vis, NMR, and gamma-ray spectroscopies. Her work encompasses a range of molecular isomers, including electronics and energy materials and chiral compounds, using quantum computing combined with digital technology. Her research is geared towards using augmented intelligence and artificial intelligence for automatic investigations in chemical discovery.

Professor Wang has engaged in significant international collaborations in the development of molecular science, both in experimental science (such as synchrotron spectroscopy) and theoretical development, such as positron-electron annihilation processes. Her collaborations have included countries such as Italy, Germany, the UK, the Czech Republic, China, Japan, Canada, and the USA.

Prof Wang is a member of the ARC College of Experts for the Australian Research Council (ARC) ( She has also served on the Expert Panel for National Research Councils for several countries, including Ireland, the Czech Republic, Portugal, Romania, Canada (Quebec), and Singapore. She has held research visiting appointments at institutions such as the University of Melbourne, Elettra-Sincrotrone (Trieste, Director’s Senior Visitor Italy), and the National Research Council (Senior Visitor, Rome, Italy).

Professor Wang has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI C Chem) and the Australian Institute of Physics (AIP). She is current Chair, Deputy Chair (2020-2021) and selected member (2018-2019) of the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) merit allocation committee (NCMAS) and a member of the College of Experts (CoE) of the Australian Research Council (ARC). She was appointed as the Deputy Head of the Department  of Chemistry and Biotechnology and Head of Chemistry (2016-2018).

Chemical research at Swinburne University of Technology ranks high in the ERA National Research Assessment, with several areas achieving impressive ratings. Specifically, the university's research in medicinal and biomolecular chemistry (0304) and physical chemistry (incl. structural) (0306) were rated as "well above the world standard" at ERA-5. The research in analytical chemistry (0301), macromolecular and materials chemistry (0303), and theoretical and computational chemistry (0307) were rated as "above the world standard" at ERA-4.

Professor Wang also an excellent lecturer, she teaches undergraduate chemistry units for all levels from first, second, third year and honours students. She supervises postgraduate students and mentors young and earlier career researchers. Prof Wang also mentored her colleagues for academic promotions for many years. 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.”

Useful Links
Video1: Professor Feng Wang discusses her recent research in robust quantum mechanical optical reporting of EGFR inhibitors at Faculti (, Dec 2022)
Video2: Rational New Dye Design (for Organic dye DSSCs) with Machine Learning and AI (DyeMaker) (, Mr Minh Tai Nguyen, May 2019)
Video3: Girls4STEM for high school students (, August 2019)
Video4: Teaching undergraduate chemistry units in digital age. (, Dec. 2018)
Audio1: Audio recording of Professor Feng Wang's Digital Chemistry Research Laboratory (, Feng Wang)

Useful links about Professor Feng Wang's output

Web of Science:
Google Scholar:

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 - 340700
  • Medicinal And Biomolecular Chemistry - 340400
  • Macromolecular And Materials Chemistry - 340300
  • Physical Chemistry - 340600

Teaching areas

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


Also published as: Wang, Feng; Wang, F.
This publication listing is provided by Swinburne Research Bank. If you are the owner of this profile, you can update your publications using our online form.

Recent research grants awarded

  • 2023: Unlock the deadlock in steel corrosion research for preventing catastrophes *; ARC Discovery Projects Scheme
  • 2023: Unlocking the optimal hydrogen management issues: techno-economic analysis of cyclic and circular liquid hydrogen carriers (CCLHC) *; Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
  • 2022: Unlocking the optimal hydrogen management issues: techno-economic analysis of cyclic and circular liquid hydrogen carriers (CCLHC), CSIRO and SUT/VH2, PhD scholarship *; CSIRO Post-Grad Scholarships
  • 2021: Optical reporting of anticancer drugs and EGFR protein binding dynamics *; Defence Science Institute
  • 2019: Two dimensional (2D) nanomaterials for gas sensing applications *; Swinburne and FAPESP Priority Partnership Fund
  • 2019: Visiting Fellowships Scheme 2019 - Dr Lorenzo Avaldi *; Swinburne Research, DVCR&D - Internal contributions
  • 2018: Spectroscopy and Theoretical Study of a Potent Anticancer Drug (Student Award) *; Excellerate Australia

* Chief Investigator