PROF George Franks

PROF George Franks


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



  • George Franks is Professor in the Department of Chemical 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.



Member of

  • Advanced Powder Technology. Ececutive Editor and Advisory Board 2006 -
  • American Ceramic Society. Associate Editor 2004 -
  • Australasian Ceramic Society. Member 2004 -
  • Institution of Engineers Australia. Member Australian Particle Technology Society 2004 -
  • International Association of Colloid and Interface Scientists. Member 2004 -
  • Society of Rheology, USA. Member 2004 -


Selected publications


Investigator on

Additional Grant Information

  • 2011: G. Franks, MERIT Visiting Scholars Fund, Melbourne School of Engineering, $3K

    2007: G. Franks, 'Charging behaviour of alumina surfaces in aqueous solution', Melbourne Research Grants Scheme, University of Melbourne, $14K   


Education and training

  • PhD, University of California - Santa Barbara 1997
  • BSc, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1985

Awards and honors

  • CRC Award for Excellence in Innovation 2015, Light weight boron carbide personal armour, (Franks was part of a team), CRC Association, 2015
  • National Industry Innovation Award of Land Defence Australia, Light weight boron carbide personal armour, (Franks was part of a team), Land Defence Australia, 2014
  • R & D 100 Award (1991) for developing zirconia-silicon nitride composite with tailored coefficient of thermal expansion for electronic packaging appli, R&D Magazine, 1991
  • H. Kent Bowen Extra Mile Award (1990) for ;going the extra mile; in performing my responsibilities as a development engineer at Ceramic Process System, Ceramic Process Systems Inc, 1990
  • Kathlyn Langford Wolfe Award (1985) for excellence in combining research in Materials Science with Humanities. The Massachusetts Institute of Technolo, MIT, 1985



Available for supervision

  • Y