Professor George Franks

  • Room: Level: 03 Room: 3.19
  • Building: Chemical Engineering #1
  • Campus: Parkville

Research interests

  • Materials, Ceramic Powder Processing, Mineral Processing, Flotation and Flocculation, Colloids, Surface Chemistry, Rheology, Suspensions

Personal webpage


George Franks is Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at The University of Melbourne. He is the leader of the Ceramics and Minerals Processing Group.

Research interests focus on the innovative application of controlled particle interactions to develop new processes for mineral processing and advanced ceramics materials. He has fundamental interests in nano-scale interactions and how to control them via surface and colloid chemistry . 

Understanding the factors that influence suspension rheology (flow behaviour) are studied in order to develop applications in mineral flotation and tailings disposal and near net shape ceramic component fabrication. In mineral processing flocculation and flotation are prime interests as areas to improve the sustainable use of water and improve recovery of valuable minerals. In addition to developing processes for producing complex shaped ceramic components, processing to produce multi scale porous ceramics is a strength. Several projects relate to difficult to densify ceramics such as ultra high temperature ceramics for aerospace applications and for personal protective armour systems in defence applications. Recently inks for 3D printing ceramics have been developed. In addition, he is developing multiscale materials microstructure-property models using Density Functional Theory, Lattice Monte Carlo and Finite Elements Analysis modelling techniques.

Recent publications

  1. Ng W, Connal L, Forbes E, Franks G. A review of temperature-responsive polymers as novel reagents for solid-liquid separation and froth flotation of minerals. Minerals Engineering. Pergamon-Elsevier Science. 2018, Vol. 123. DOI: 10.1016/j.mineng.2018.03.027
  2. Leo S, Jukes L, Pinches S, Tallon C, Franks G. Freeze casting for near-net-shaping of dense zirconium diboride ceramics. JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CERAMIC SOCIETY. American Ceramic Society. 2018, Vol. 101, Issue 7. DOI: 10.1111/jace.15451
  3. Sung Ng W, Connal L, Forbes E, Mohanarangam K, Franks G. In situ study of aggregate sizes formed in chalcopyrite-quartz mixture using temperature-responsive polymers. Advanced Powder Technology. VSP. 2018, Vol. 29, Issue 8. DOI: 10.1016/j.apt.2018.04.027
  4. Luetzenkirchen J, Franks G, Plaschke M, Zimmermann R, Heberling F, Abdelmonem A, Darbha GK, Schild D, Filby A, Eng P, Catalano JG, Rosenqvist J, Preocanin T, Aytug T, Zhang D, Gan Y, Braunschweig B. The surface chemistry of sapphire-c: A literature review and a study on various factors influencing its IEP. ADVANCES IN COLLOID AND INTERFACE SCIENCE. Elsevier Science. 2018, Vol. 251. DOI: 10.1016/j.cis.2017.12.004
  5. Ng WS, Cooper L, Connal L, Forbes E, Jameson GJ, Franks G. Tuneable collector/depressant behaviour of xanthate-functional temperature-responsive polymers in the flotation of copper sulfide: Effect of shear and temperature. MINERALS ENGINEERING. Pergamon-Elsevier Science. 2018, Vol. 117. DOI: 10.1016/j.mineng.2017.12.008
  6. Sutton C, Da Silva G, Franks G. Bonding of Aqueous Citrate with Zn2+ and ZnO Nanoclusters: A Theoretical Study. CHEMISTRYSELECT. Wiley-VCH. 2017, Vol. 2, Issue 6. DOI: 10.1002/slct.201602011
  7. Franks G, Tallon C, Studart AR, Sesso M, Leo S. Colloidal processing: enabling complex shaped ceramics with unique multiscale structures. JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CERAMIC SOCIETY. American Ceramic Society. 2017, Vol. 100, Issue 2. DOI: 10.1111/jace.14705
  8. Sesso M, Franks G. Fracture toughness of wet and dry particulate materials comprised of colloidal sized particles: role of plastic deformation. SOFT MATTER. Royal Society of Chemistry. 2017, Vol. 13, Issue 27. DOI: 10.1039/c7sm00814g
  9. Crouch IG, Franks G, Tallon C, Thomas S, Naebe M. Glasses and ceramics. SCIENCE OF ARMOUR MATERIALS. 2017. Editors: Crouch IG. DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-08-100704-4.00007-4
  10. Ng W, Connal L, Forbes E, Mohanarangam K, Franks G. In situ investigation of aggregate sizes formed using thermo-responsive polymers: Effect of temperature and shear. JOURNAL OF COLLOID AND INTERFACE SCIENCE. Academic Press. 2017, Vol. 494. DOI: 10.1016/j.jcis.2017.01.067
  11. Mignone P, Echlin MP, Pollock TM, Finlayson T, Riley DP, Sesso M, Franks G. Modelling the elastic properties of bi-continuous composite microstructures captured with TriBeam serial-sectioning. COMPUTATIONAL MATERIALS SCIENCE. Elsevier. 2017, Vol. 131. DOI: 10.1016/j.commatsci.2017.01.026
  12. Brisson E, Xiao Z, Franks G, Connal L. Versatile Synthesis of Amino Acid Functional Polymers without Protection Group Chemistry. BIOMACROMOLECULES. American Chemical Society. 2017, Vol. 18, Issue 1. DOI: 10.1021/acs.biomac.6b01618
  13. Oshitani J, Teramoto K, Yoshida M, Kubo Y, Nakatsukasa S, Franks G. Dry beneficiation of fine coal using density-segregation in a gas-solid fluidized bed. ADVANCED POWDER TECHNOLOGY. VSP. 2016, Vol. 27, Issue 4. DOI: 10.1016/j.apt.2016.05.032
  14. Tallon Galdeano C, Franks G. Exploring inexpensive processing routes to prepare dense TiB2 components. ADVANCES IN APPLIED CERAMICS. Maney Publishing. 2016, Vol. 115, Issue 7. DOI: 10.1080/17436753.2016.1172166
  15. Brisson E, Xiao Z, Levin L, Franks G, Connal L. Facile synthesis of histidine functional poly(N-isopropylacrylamide): zwitterionic and temperature responsive materials. POLYMER CHEMISTRY. Royal Society of Chemistry. 2016, Vol. 7, Issue 10. DOI: 10.1039/c5py01915j

View a full list of publications on the University of Melbourne’s ‘Find An Expert’ profile