Dr Amanda Barnard

Dr Amanda Barnard, Research Team Leader with CSIRO Materials Science and Engineering.

Dr Amanda Barnard: investigating materials at the nanoscale

Dr Amanda Barnard's work is increasing our understanding of structure/property relationships at the nanoscale, and addresses issues of sustainability that underpin a range of emerging technologies.

  • 20 August 2010 | Updated 8 April 2013


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Current activities

Dr Amanda Barnard is currently the leader of the Virtual Nanoscience Laboratory (VNLab) for CSIRO Materials Science and Engineering.  The VNLab is a team of dedicated computational and theoretical physicists, chemists and materials scientists who investigate a range of fundamental properties of nanostructures under different thermochemical conditions.

Energy and Environmental Science Journal

Featured by Energy and Environmental Science in February 2011.

Dr Amanda Barnard has made a number of important contributions to the field of nanoscience. In particular, she has undertaken ground-breaking research into how nanoparticles interact with the environment and how environmental changes may affect their stability – a field known as Thermodynamic Cartography.

This technique forms the basis for much of her work on nanoscale structure/property relationships.

She is also active in developing new approaches to modelling ensembles of nanoparticles, and is a pioneer in the area of Statistical Nanoscience.  In particular, her work on carbon-based nanomaterials has lead to new understandings of how polydispersivity and structural uncertainty can impact performance.

Dr Barnard also contributes to our understanding to the social and environmental impacts of nanoparticles, and has developed new approaches of predicting potential hazards.

This work has earned her invitations to write an article for Nature Materials and Nature Nanotechnology, and other articles outlining collaborative strategies for predicting the risks and hazards associated with nanomaterials in Materials Today and Nanoscale.


Dr Barnard graduated with Honours from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University, Victoria, Australia, in 2001 and gained her Doctorate in 2003 (in a record 17 months) , with a thesis in computational modelling of carbon nanostructures. The thesis resulted in 17 journal publications and one book chapter.

Since graduating, Dr Barnard has held Postdoctoral and Senior Research Fellow positions at several distinguished research institutions including:

Journal of Materials Chemistry

Featured by Journal of Materials Chemistry in January 2010.

  • Distinguished Research Fellow at the Center for Nanoscale Materials in Argonne, Illinois, USA
  • Violette and Samuel Glasstone Fellow at the University of Oxford and the Queen’s College, Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Inaugural Future Generation Fellow at The University of Melbourne, Australia
  • Australian Research Council Queen Elizabeth II Fellow (current).

Within the physics community, Dr Barnard has been invited to speak at several international conferences and has co-chaired symposia in the USA, Australia, Japan and Europe.

Dr Barnard has received numerous awards for her work.