Research Team Leader

Professor Deanna D'Alessandro

Deanna grew up in Cairns, Far North Queensland, Australia. She attended James Cook University in Townsville, Queensland and earned a B.Sc. (studies in Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Economics) with Honours in Chemistry (2000) and the University Medal. She earned her Ph.D. with E/Prof Richard Keene (2006), conducting part of her PhD. research at the University of Sydney (with Prof. Jeff Reimers and E/Prof. Noel Hush) and Northwestern University, USA (with Prof. Joe Hupp). She subsequently moved to the University of Sydney as a post-doctoral researcher with the Molecular Electronics group (2006). Deanna received post-doctoral research fellowships to study at the University of California at Berkeley, with internationally-renowned Metal-Organic Framework chemist Prof. Jeff Long (2007-2009). Here she held a Dow Chemical Company American-Australian Fellowship and an 1851 Royal Commission Fellowship. She returned to the University of Sydney in 2010 as an independent L'Oreal-UNESCO Australia For Women in Science Fellow and USyd Post-doctoral Research Fellow. From 2011-2016 she held an ARC QEII Fellowship, during which time she was promoted from Lecturer to Associate Professor. She was Deputy Head of School from 2017-2018, whereupon she was awarded an ARC Future Fellowship to focus on new research directions and industry collaborations (2018-2022). She was promoted to full Professor in 2021.


Deanna has successfully supervised to graduation 24 Honours students, 10 Ph.D. students, and mentored 4 post-docs. As of 2022, she has published 155 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters which have received >9000 citations, and is the author of 3 patents related to industry projects. Her group's research been recognised by a number of national and international awards.

Deanna D'Alessandro Brief CV

Education

James Cook University, Queensland, Australia

  • Doctor of Philosophy (awarded with PhD Medal for Excellence), 2006; Thesis Title: “Stereochemical Effects on Intervalence Charge Transfer” (Supervised by E./Prof. Richard Keene)

  • Bachelor of Science with Honours in Chemistry (Class I, University Medal), 2000

  • Bachelor of Science (studies in Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Economics), 1997-1999

Professional Career Experiences

  • Promoted to Professor Jan 2021 (currently 0.8FTE)

  • Australian Research Council Future Fellow, School of Chemistry (2018-2022*) *Maternity leave (50 weeks full time) undertaken during 2019-2020

  • Promoted to Associate Professor Jan 2017

  • Australian Research Council QEII Fellow, School of Chemistry (2011-2016*) *Maternity leave (14 weeks full time, 38 weeks part time) undertaken during 2015-2016

  • Appointed Lecturer, School of Chemistry, University of Sydney (2010 - deferred to 2017)

  • L'Oreal-UNESCO Australia For Women in Science Fellow (2010)

  • Independent Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at University of Sydney, School of Chemistry, “Conducting Metal-Organic Frameworks” and “Carbon Dioxide Capture” (2010)

  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, USA, Supervised by Professor Jeffrey R. Long, (2007-2009) “CO2 Capture in Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs)” and “Conducting MOFs”

  • Dow Chemical Company Fellow, American-Australian Association, University of California, Berkeley, USA (2008-2009)

  • Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 Research Fellow, University of California, Berkeley, USA (2007-2009)

  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Molecular Electronics Group, University of Sydney, (2006) “Porphyrin-Appended Dendrimers in Organic Solar Cells for Molecular Electronics”

  • Doctoral Research, Department of Chemistry, James Cook University, Project: (Mar. 2001-Aug. 2005) “Stereochemical Effects on Intervalence Charge Transfer”, Supervised by E./Prof. Richard Keene

  • Doctoral Research, Centre for Nanotechnology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA, (Aug.-Oct. 2003) “Evaluating the ‘Actual’ Charge Transfer Distance in Metal-Metal Charge Transfer”, Supervised by Professor Joseph T. Hupp

Academic & Research Highlights: Selected Prizes and Awards

  • Royal Society of Chemistry Australasian Lectureship (2023)

  • Australian Academy of Science Le Févre Memorial Medal (2017)

In recognition of outstanding basic chemistry research within 10 years post-PhD

  • Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) Alan Sargeson Lectureship (2017)

For significant and innovative individual contributions to the field by researchers within 10 years post-PhD

  • ChemComm Emerging Investigator Lectureship (2015)

One of two awarded internationally by Royal Society of Chemistry (UK) to recognise an emerging scientist in the early stages of their independent academic career

  • Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) Rennie Medal (2014)
    For a researcher within10 years of their PhD who has contributed most to chemical science in Australia

  • Distinguished Lectureship Award (The Chemical Society of Japan) (2012)

  • NSW Young Tall Poppy Award (Australian Institute of Policy & Science) (2011)

  • L'Oreal-UNESCO Australia For Women in Science Fellowship (2010)

One of 3 awarded from 160 applications Australia-wide

  • James Cook University (JCU) Outstanding Early Career Alumni Award (2010)

One of five awarded for the past 10 years

  • International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) Prize for Young Chemists (2007)

One of five awarded world-wide for the most outstanding PhD theses in the chemical sciences

  • Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) Cornforth Medal (2006)

For the most outstanding PhD thesis submitted in chemistry in Australia

  • JCU PhD Medal for Excellence for a Doctoral Research Thesis (2006)

  • University Medal (2000) for Honours in Chemistry

  • G.N. Richards Medal in Chemistry (1999)

For the best overall performance and ability in undergraduate chemistry subjects

  • Joe and Val Baker Prize for Third Year Organic Chemistry

For the highest achievement in third year Organic Chemistry

  • H.J. Priestly Memorial Prize (1998)

For the best overall performance and ability in second year mathematics and physics subjects

  • Royal Australian Chemical Institute (North Queensland Branch) Prize for Second Year Chemistry (1998)

For the best overall performance in second year chemistry subjects

  • Royal Australian Chemical Institute (Queensland Branch) Prize for First Year Chemistry (1997)

For the best performance in first year chemistry subjects

  • Faculty of Science and Engineering First Year Prize (1997)

As the most outstanding student in first year science and engineering disciplines

Major Grants Awarded

  • Musk Foundation XPRIZE Carbon Removals (Student Team Prize), "Direct Air Capture" (US$250,000, 2022-24)

  • Australian Research Council Future Fellowship, “Harnessing Electroactivity in Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs)” ($860,000, 2018-2022, sole-CI)

  • Sydney Research Accelerator Research (SOAR) Fellowship, University of Sydney ($100,000, 2017-18)

  • Australian Research Council Discovery Grant, “Putting Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) to Work at Interfaces” ($463,000, 2018-2021, co-CI) with V. Chen

  • Australian Research Council Discovery Grant, “A Radical Approach to Multifunctional Coordination Solids” ($483,000) with B. Abrahams and R. Robson ($483,000, 2015-17, lead-CI)

  • Australian Research Council Linkage Infrastructure and Equipment Grant, (2015) “Fabrication Facility for Oxygen Sensitive Electronic Materials” ($240,000) with D. R. McCamey, T. Schmidt, G. Lakhwani, J. J. Gooding, J. N. Hart

  • Australian Research Council Discovery Project, (2012-2014) “Advanced Functional Properties in Metal-Organic Framework Materials” ($420,000, co-CI) with Prof. C. Kepert

  • Australian Research Council Linkage Infrastructure and Equipment Grant, (2012) “A State-of-the-art Magnetic Property Measurement Facility for the Development of Advanced Materials and Biomedical Technologies in the Sydney Basin” ($375,000) led by Prof. S. Li

  • University of Sydney Major Equipment Grant Scheme (2011) for CARY5000 UV-Vis-NIR spectrometer

  • Science Industry and Endowment Fund Grant, (2011-2016) “Solving the Energy Waste Roadblock” ($6M) with 17 colleagues across Australia

  • Australian Research Council Queen Elizabeth Fellowship-Discovery Project (2011-20150 “Conducting Nanoporous Materials: toward Molecular Devices” ($788,000)

  • AINSE Research Award,(2011) “Electro- and Spectro-electrochemical Characterisation of Metal-Organic Frameworks and Lanthanide-based Solid Materials” ($6,200) with C. Fabian and G. Lumpkin

  • University of Sydney ARC ‘near-miss’ Bridging Support Scheme Grant (2010)

  • University of Sydney Minor Equipment Grant Scheme (for supercritical CO2 dryer) 2010

  • Sustainable Products and Solutions Program Grant, (2007-2009) “CO2 Capture in Alkylamine-Appended Metal-Organic Frameworks” (D. M. D’Alessandro and J. R. Long, US$250,000, 2008-2009)

  • Dow Chemical Company Fellowship, American-Australian Association (2008-2009)

  • Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 Research Fellowship (2007-2009)
    One of 6 awarded across Commonwealth countries in 2007

Teaching Highlights

  • Lecturer for 3rd Year “Materials Chemistry” (2021-present), School of Chemistry, University of Sydney

  • Lecturer for 3rd Year “Metal Complexes: Medicine and Materials” (2012-2020), School of Chemistry, University of Sydney

  • Lecturer & tutor for 2nd Year “Coordination Chemistry” (2010-2018), School of Chemistry, University of Sydney

  • Lecturer for 3rd Year “Advanced Topics on Electron Transfer” (2012) School of Chemistry, University of Sydney

  • Guest Lecturer for various 1st and 3rd Year subjects (e.g. "Chemistry and Physics Interdisciplinary Unit")

  • Laboratory supervisor 1st, 2nd and 3rd Year (2010-present)

Selected Major Invited Research Presentations

  • Invited Lecture, Australian Institute of Physics (AIP) Summer Meeting, Symposium “Electronic and magnetic properties of metal-organic frameworks”, Brisbane, Australia (Dec. 2021)

  • Invited Lecture (Webinar), Crystal Growth and Design Online webinar series “Talking Crystal Growth and Design” (Aug. 2021)

  • Keynote Lecture (Webcon), Faraday Discussion on MOFs for Energy and the Environment, Manchester, UK (Jun. 2021)

  • Invited Lecture (Webinar), Department of Chemistry, State University of New York (SUNY), USA (May 2021)

  • Keynote Lecture (Webcon), International Conference on Metal-Organic Frameworks, Dresden, Germany (Oct. 2020)

  • Royal Society of Chemistry Materials Interest Group (Webinar) (Apr. 2020)

  • Invited Lecture (Webinar), Department of Chemistry, University of Washington, USA (Apr. 2020)

  • Plenary Lecture, 7th Asian Conference on Coordination Chemistry (ACCC7), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Oct. 2019)

  • Keynote Lecture, AsCA 2018/CRYSTAL 32 a combined conference of the Asian Crystallographic Association (AsCA) and the Society of Crystallographers in Australia and New Zealand (SCANZ), Auckland NZ (Dec. 2018)

  • Keynote Lecture, International Conference on Coordination Chemistry, Sendai, Japan (Aug. 2018)

  • Plenary Lecture, RACI Victorian Branch Student Symposium, La Trobe University (2017)

  • Keynote Lecture, MacDiarmid Institute Annual Symposium, Victoria University, Wellington NZ (2017)

  • Keynote Lecture, International Symposium on Macrocyclic and Supramolecular Chemistry, Cambridge UK (2017)

  • Fundamentals and Applications of Advanced Porous Materials Conference, Adelaide (Dec. 2016)

  • The Bond Electroanalytical Symposium, “An Electrochemical Symposium to celebrate Alan Bond’s past, present and future contributions”, University of Melbourne (Dec. 2016)

  • Materials Research Soceity (MRS) OnDemand Webinar Series “Metal-Organic Frameworks for Electronics and Photonics” (Nov. 2016)

  • 5th International Conference on Metal-Organic Frameworks and Open Framework Compounds, USA (Sept. 2016)

  • ChemComm Emerging Investigator Lecture, The International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies “Pacifichem2015”, Hawaii, USA (Dec. 2015)

  • Gordon Research Conference in Nanoporous Materials, New Holderness School, New Hampshire, USA (Aug. 2015)

  • Inaugural Student Seminar Series Lecturer, Research School of Chemistry, Australian National University (Jun. 2014)

  • International Symposium, Asian Chemical Society Annual Meeting, Tokyo, Japan (Mar. 2012)

  • Keynote Lecture at the RACI Inorganic Division Conference, Perth, Australia (Dec. 2011)

  • Metal-Organic Frameworks Symposium, 9th International Meeting of the Pacific Rim (PACRIM), Cairns, Australia (Jul. 2011)

  • Nanoporous Materials Symposium at the 238th American Chemical Society Meeting, Washington DC, USA (Fall 2009, session co-Chair)

  • Gordon Research Conference in Inorganic Chemistry, University of New England, Maine, USA (Jun. 2009)

  • Inaugural Robert H. Dalton Seminar in Chemical Catalysis, The Beckmann Institute, California Institute of Technology, California, USA (Feb. 2009), Invited by Prof. Harry Gray

  • ‘New Faces’ Symposium Lecture, Royal Australian Chemical Institute-New Zealand Chemical Institute Inorganic Chemistry Conference, Christchurch, New Zealand (Dec. 2008)

  • 41st IUPAC World Chemistry Congress, Torino, Italy (Aug. 2007). Invited as one of 5 recipients of a 2007 IUPAC Prize for Young Chemists.

  • Symposium on Electron Transfer to Commemorate the 80th Birthday of Em./Prof. Noel Hush AO FAA FRS (University of Sydney, May 2005)

  • Don Stranks Symposium Lecture, RACI Inorganic Chemistry Division National Conference, (University of Melbourne, Feb. 2003). This presentation received one of two Don Stranks Awards for the best student presentation at the conference.

Other Research Presentations

  • “Harnessing Electroactivity in Metal-Organic Frameworks” – Online University talks for SUNY The State University of New York, Apr. 2021; York University UK, Nov. 2020. Oral presentations on this topic at Curtin University, May 2017; University of Western Australia, May 2017; Massey University, NZ, June 2017; University of Otago, NZ, June 2017; RACI 100th Year Congress, Melbourne, July 2017; James Cook University, August 2017; University of Tasmania, October 2017; University of South Australia, November 2017; University of Adelaide, November 2017; Australian National University, November 2017; University of Queensland, March 2018; University of New South Wales, March 2018; Department of Chemistry, Colorado State University, USA, May 2016; Department of Chemistry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA, May 2016; Department of Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, May 2016; School of Physics and Advanced Materials, University of Technology Sydney, March 2015; RACI National Congress, Adelaide, December 2014; Department of Chemistry, University of Wollongong, May 2013; Osaka University, Japan, March 2012; SCANZ Crystal’29 Conference, Gold Coast, April 2014; University of Adelaide, April 2014; International Conference on Coordination Chemistry (ICCC’41), Singapore, July 2014; 4th International Conference on Metal-Organic Frameworks and Open Framework Compounds, Kobe, Japan, October 2014.

  • “From Spin-based Electronics to Carbon Capture in Metal-Organic Frameworks” – Oral presentations at University of Queensland, August 2011, University of Melbourne, August 2010; University of Sydney, October 2010; University of New South Wales, November 2010; University of Wollongong Innovation Campus, December 2010.

  • “Towards New Materials for Carbon Dioxide Capture” – Oral presentations on this topic at the Carbon Capture and Storage Technical Showcase, Melbourne, August 2011; School of Chemistry, University of Sydney, June 2010; School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Sydney, March 2010; Department of Chemistry, Monash University, February 2010; Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering (ANSTO), Sydney, December 2009; 2nd International Asian Conference on Coordination Chemistry, Nanjing, China, November 2009; Kenan Research Seminar in Inorganic Chemistry, University of New England, USA, June 2009; Osaka University Forum on Bio-Environmental Chemistry, San Francisco U.S.A., December 2008.

  • “Mixed Valency: From Discrete Molecules to Electrically-Conducting Metal-Organic Frameworks” – Poster presentation on this topic at Gordon Research Conference on Electron Donor Acceptor Interactions, Rhode Island U.S.A., August 2008.

  • “Porphyrin-Appended Dendrimers for Molecular Electronics” – Oral and poster presentations on this topic at National Conference of the Division of Inorganic Chemistry, Royal Australian Chemical Institute, Hobart, Australia, February 2007; British Council Australia Study Tour of the UK, Departmental Seminar Series, University of Durham and University of Southampton, April 2007;Australian Research Council Nanotechnology Summer School, Stradbroke Island, Queensland, Australia, December 2006; Symposium in honour of Professor Bob Gilbert, University of Sydney, September 2006; 4th International Conference on Porphyrins and Phthalocyanines, Rome, Italy, July 2006 (This presentation received one of two New Journal of Chemistry poster prizes).

  • “Stereochemical Effects on Intervalence Charge Transfer in Polymetallic Assemblies” – Oral and poster presentations on this topic at Gordon Research Conference on Electron Donor-Acceptor Interactions, Rhode Island, Newport, U.S.A., August 2006; Symposium on Supramolecular Chemistry to mark the Retirement of Professor Leonard F. Lindoy FAA, University of Sydney, February 2006; 12th National Convention of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute, Sydney, Australia, July 2005; National Conference of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute, Sydney, Australia, July 2005 (This presentation received an Inorganic Chemistry Division poster prize); XXIX International Symposium on Macrocyclic Chemistry (XXIX ISMC), Cairns, Australia, July 2004; Townsville Festival of Life Sciences, Townsville, November 2004 (This presentation received two poster prizes sponsored by Progen Biosciences and Livingstone International).