Mark Biggs

Mark Biggs

Pro Vice-Chancellor and Head of College

College of Science and Technology


Prof. Mark Biggs is Pro Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Science and Technology, which is made up of two schools: The School for Science and Technology based at the Clifton Campus, and the School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences, which wholly occupies the Brackenhurst Campus.

As a member of the University Executive Team, Mark works with the College Management Team and relevant Heads of Professional Services to drive the strategic direction of the College and oversee the management of the academic provision and research and enterprise activities within the schools of the College.

Mark is also the chair of the NTU Athena Swan Self-Assessment Team.

Career overview

Prof. Mark Biggs joined NTU in March 2018 after holding the Dean of Science role at Loughborough University since August 2014. Prior to this he was Professor of Chemical Engineering (2008-14) and Head of School of Chemical Engineering (2010-13) at The University of Adelaide in Australia. This period in leadership roles was preceded by academic posts at The University of Edinburgh (2001-2008), Surrey University (1996-2000) and Middlesex University (1994-96). Mark also held a visiting lectureship at the University of Stuttgart (2000-07).

Mark gained his PhD in Chemical Engineering in 1996 from the University of Adelaide, and his Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering (Honours) in 1987 from the University of New South Wales. He is also a recipient of a Royal Academy of Engineering/Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowship (2007-08) and is a Visiting Professor of The University of Adelaide (2014-).

Mark is a Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineering (FIChemE) and a Chartered Engineer (CEng). He was also a Fellow of Engineers Australia (FIEAust), although he has allowed this to lapse. Mark has served on the boards of the Chemical College of Engineers Australia (2011-14) and the Centre for Engineering Leadership and Management (South Australia) of Engineers Australia (2011-12), which is now known as the College of Leadership and Management. He was also the founding Chair of the Australian Carbon Society and Carbon Division of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI).

Mark has been a member of the EPSRC's Peer Review College since 1998 and has been a member of many EPSRC grant prioritisation panels, including ten as chair. He was also a member of the Australian Research Council’s College of Experts for a three year term (2010-13); this body of around 100 people (at that time) identify research excellence, moderate external assessments and recommend fundable proposals. He has also reviewed for a range of other funding bodies from across the world.

Mark has been involved in the organisation of many conferences, including a number as Chair. He is a former member of the Editorial Boards of Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group) and Chemical Engineering Science (Elsevier), and has guest edited for a range of other international journals, including twice for Powder Technology (Elsevier).

Mark has taught extensively over the two and more decades of his career, including in mathematics, mechanical engineering and chemical engineering. He has sought to innovate in teaching, including use of personal response systems (aka ‘clickers’) in the early 2000s and the flipped classroom since 2013, particularly with large classes. Reflecting this personal interest in innovation in the learning and teaching contexts, as Head of School at Adelaide and Dean at Loughborough Mark founded teams of specialist staff to support academics engage more with this agenda.

Research areas

Prof. Mark Biggs’ research is focused on interfacial science and engineering. This is done in a range of contexts, including carbon materials of various types, multiphase fluids and granular materials, and protein adsorption. He started out as a mathematical modeller but has also increasingly done experimental work in the past decade, particularly in the areas of carbon materials for energy applications (secondary batteries and solar cells) and granular materials. Mark has supervised around 20 PhD students to completion and nearly 10 postdoctoral fellows who have gone on to posts in academia, research institutes and industry. He has held more than ten major grants as principle investigator and a similar number as co-investigator. Mark has given around 100 invited talks around the world, published around 120 papers that have been extensively cited, and holds a number of patents.

Mark can be found on Google Scholar, LinkedIn, ResearchGate and AZoNano.

Sponsors and collaborators

Prof. Mark Biggs’ research has been funded extensively by the UK’s EPSRC (£2M+) and the Australian Research Council ($3.2M+) in addition to a number of other agencies.

Mark has collaborated extensively with researchers around the world, including most recently with researchers in Japan, Spain, US, France and Australia. These collaborations are reflected in numerous joint publications.


A full listing of Prof. Biggs’ publications maybe found at his Google Scholar profile.  A selection of recent publications are (* indicates corresponding authors):

J.A. Ross-Naylor, M. Mijajlovic, H. Zhang and M.J. Biggs*, Characterizing the switching transitions of an adsorbed peptide by mapping the potential energy surface, Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 121, 11455-11464, 2017.

V. Zivkovic, N. Ridge and M.J. Biggs, Experimental study of efficient mixing in a micro-fluidized bed. Applied Thermal Engineering, 127, 1642-1649, 2017 (invited).

R. Futamura, T. Iiyama, Y. Takasaki, Y. Gogotsi, M.J. Biggs, M. Salanne, J. Ségalini, P. Simon* and K. Kaneko*, Partial breaking of the Coulombic ordering of ionic liquids confined in carbon nanopores. Nature Materials, 16, 1225-1232, 2017.

C. Hu, C. Kirk, Q. Cai, C Cuadrado-Collados, J. Silvestre-Albero, F. Rodríguez-Reinoso and M.J. Biggs*, A high-volumetric-capacity cathode based on interconnected close-packed N-doped porous carbon nanospheres for long-life Lithium–Sulfur batteries. Advanced Energy Materials, 7, 1701082 (9 pages). 2017.

M. Navvab Kashani, V. Zivkovic, H. Elekaei, L.F.H. Diaz, K. Affleck and M.J. Biggs*, A new method for reconstruction of the structure of micro-packed beds of spherical particles from desktop X-ray microtomography images. Part B. Structure refinement and analysis, Chemical Engineering Science, 153, 434-443, 2016.

M. Navvab Kashani, V. Zivkovic, H. Elekaei, H. Zhang and M.J. Biggs*, Explicit numerical simulation-based study of the hydrodynamics of micro-packed beds, Chemical Engineering Science, 145, 71-79, 2016.

S. Sedghi, S.H. Madani, C. Hu, A. Silvestre-Alberto, W. Skinner, P. Kwong, P. Pendleton, R.J. Smernik, F. Rodríguez-Reinoso and M.J. Biggs*, Control of the spatial homogeneity of pore surface chemistry in particulate activated carbon. Carbon, 95, 144-149, 2015.

M.J. Penna, M. Mijajlovic, C. Tamerler and M.J. Biggs*, Molecular-level understanding of the adsorption mechanism of a graphite-binding peptide at the water/graphite interface, Soft Matter, 11, 5192-5203, 2015 (selected as front cover article).

H. Yang, R. Li, P. Kong, Q.C. Sun, M.J. Biggs and V. Zivkovic*, Avalanche dynamics of granular materials under the slumping regime in a rotating drum as revealed by speckle visibility spectroscopy, Physical Review E, 91, 042206, 2015.

M. Batmunkh, M.J. Biggs and J.G. Shapter*, Carbon nanotubes for dye-sensitized solar cells, Small, 11, 2963-2989, 2015.

C. Hu, S. Sedghi, A. Silvestre-Albero, G.G. Andersson, A. Sharma, P. Pendleton, F. Rodríguez-Reinoso, Katsumi Kaneko and M.J. Biggs*, Raman spectroscopy study of the transformation of the carbonaceous skeleton of a polymer-based nanoporous carbon along the thermal annealing pathway, Carbon, 85, 147-158, 2015.

C. Hu, A.C.Y. Liu, M. Weyland, S.H. Madani, P. Pendleton, F. Rodríguez-Reinoso, Katsumi Kaneko and M.J. Biggs*, A multi-method study of the transformation of the carbonaceous skeleton of a polymer-based nanoporous carbon along the activation pathway, Carbon, 85, 119-134, 2015.

V. Zivkovic* and M.J. Biggs, On importance of surface forces in a microfluidic fluidized bed, Chemical Engineering Science, 126, 143-149, 2015.

M.J. Penna, M. Mijajlovic and M.J. Biggs*, Molecular-level understanding of protein adsorption at the interface between water and a strongly-interacting uncharged solid surface, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 136, 5323-5331, 2014. (selected as cover article, Editors’ Choice, JACS Spotlight, cover article and JACS cover article podcast).