Section: Overview
Overview
Key publications
Research funding
Supervising & teaching
Career

Key details

Areas of expertise

  • Chemistry
  • Advanced active packaging systems for food storage & transport
  • Oil spill and wildlife remediation using magnetic polymer particles
  • Non-isothermal chemical kinetics and its application to lifetime prediction in polymeric materials
  • Laser-based time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy of photostabilizers

Available to supervise research students

Not available for media queries

About Stephen Bigger

Professor Bigger is a graduate of the University of Melbourne. He is currently a professor of international standing and senior academic in the First Year College at Victoria University and has published widely in his scientific research fields of polymer science and physical chemistry as well as in the peer-reviewed chemical education literature.

His longstanding interest in STEM-related education has been manifested through his life membership of the Chemistry Education Association which fosters chemical education across the transitional interface between senior secondary school and first-year university level science.

Professor Bigger has served on the subject expert committee for state university entrance examinations and has received a number awards for his contributions to learning and teaching including the:

  • Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence
  • Australian Teaching and Learning Council Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning “For developing and disseminating over a sustained period original and innovative approaches to teaching chemistry to students with diverse backgrounds and interests”.

Qualifications

  • PhD, University of Melbourne, 1983
  • BAppSci, University of Melbourne, 1978
  • GradCertTertEduc, Victoria University, 2019

Key publications

Year Citation
2022 Arun, M., Bigger, S., Guerrieri, M., Joseph, P., & Tretsiakova-Mcnally, S. (220401). Thermal and Calorimetric Investigations of Some Phosphorus-Modified Chain Growth Polymers 1: Polymethyl Methacrylate. Polymers, 14(7),

doi: 10.3390/polym14071447

2022 Arun, M., Bigger, S., Guerrieri, M., Joseph, P., & Tretsiakova-McNally, S. (220401). Thermal and Calorimetric Investigations of Some Phosphorus-Modified Chain Growth Polymers 2: Polystyrene. Polymers, 14(8),

doi: 10.3390/polym14081520

2022 Bastante, C. C., Cran, M. J., Cardoso, L. C., Serrano, C. M., & Bigger, S. W. (220101). Mass Transfer and Optical Properties of Active PET/PP Food-Grade Films Impregnated with Olive Leaf Extract. Polymers, 14(1),

doi: 10.3390/polym14010084

2021 Joseph, P., Arun, M., Bigger, S., Guerrieri, M., Pospiech, D., & Harnisch, C. (211001). Mode of action of condensed-and gaseous-phase fire retardation in some phosphorus-modified polymethyl methacrylate-and polystyrene-based bulk polymers. Polymers, 13(19),

doi: 10.3390/polym13193402

2021 Sedayu, B. B., Cran, M. J., & Bigger, S. W. (210201). Effects of surface photocrosslinking on the properties of semi-refined carrageenan film. Food Hydrocolloids, 111

doi: 10.1016/j.foodhyd.2020.106196

2020 Sedayu, B. B., Cran, M. J., & Bigger, S. W. (201105). Improving the moisture barrier and mechanical properties of semi-refined carrageenan films. Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 137(41),

doi: 10.1002/app.49238

2020 Cejudo-Bastante, M. J., Cejudo-Bastante, C., Cran, M. J., Heredia, F. J., & Bigger, S. W. (200601). Optical, structural, mechanical and thermal characterization of antioxidant ethylene vinyl alcohol copolymer films containing betalain-rich beetroot. Food Packaging and Shelf Life, 24

doi: 10.1016/j.fpsl.2020.100502

2020 Sedayu, B. B., Cran, M. J., & Bigger, S. W. (200501). Reinforcement of refined and semi-refined carrageenan film with nanocellulose. Polymers, 12(5),

doi: 10.3390/POLYM12051145

2019 Sedayu, B. B., Cran, M. J., & Bigger, S. W. (190715). A Review of Property Enhancement Techniques for Carrageenan-based Films and Coatings. Carbohydrate Polymers, 216 (287-302).

doi: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2019.04.021

2019 Cejudo, Bastante., Cran, M. J., Casas, Cardoso., Mantell, Serrano., Martinez, de., & Bigger, S. W. (190301). Effect of supercritical CO2 and olive leaf extract on the structural, thermal and mechanical properties of an impregnated food packaging film. Journal of Supercritical Fluids, 145 (181-191).

doi: 10.1016/j.supflu.2018.12.009

Research funding for the past 5 years

Please note:

  • Funding is ordered by the year the project commenced and may continue over several years.
  • Funding amounts for contact research are not disclosed to maintain commercial confidentiality.
  • The order of investigators is not indicative of the role they played in the research project.

Development of sustainable bio-materials for mitigating climate change.
From: PVC (Research and Research Training), College of Engineering and Science
Other investigators: Dr Paul Joseph, Mr Nitin Muttil, Prof Khalid Moinuddin, Prof Vassili Novozhilov
For period: 2017-2020
$90,000

Concept development for reprocessing glass fines as an additive to recycled plastic to enhance the plastic mechanical and fire properties.
From: Sustainability Victoria, Institute for Sustainability and Innovation
Other investigators: Prof Stephen Gray, Dr Marlene Cran
For period: 2016-2018
$190,006
Innovations in food safety and security traceability system: Design and implementation.
From: Ningbo GaoxinQu HengNuo Technology Co., Ltd
Other investigators: Prof Todor Vasiljevic, Prof Yuan Miao
For period: 2016-2018
$225,000

The application of magnetic particle technology to wildlife remediation
From: Penguin Foundation
Other investigators: Prof John Orbell
For period: 2015-2018
$115,000

Supervision of research students at VU

Available to supervise research students

Not available for media queries

Currently supervised research students at VU

No. of students Study level Role
1 Masters by Research Associate supervisor
1 Master of Applied Research Associate supervisor
1 Master of Research Associate supervisor

Currently supervised research students at VU

Students & level Role
Masters by Research (1) Associate supervisor
Master of Applied Research (1) Associate supervisor
Master of Research (1) Associate supervisor

Completed supervision of research students at VU

No. of students Study level Role
9 PhD Principal supervisor
13 PhD Associate supervisor
1 Masters by Research Principal supervisor
3 Masters by Research Associate supervisor

Completed supervision of research students at VU

Students & level Role
PhD (9) Principal supervisor
PhD (13) Associate supervisor
Masters by Research (1) Principal supervisor
Masters by Research (3) Associate supervisor

Key academic roles

Dates Role Department / Organisation
Jan 2013 - Present
Director - Research and Research Training
College of Engineering and Science, VU
Aug 2012 - Dec 2012
Acting Executive Dean
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science, VU
Feb 2009 - Jun 2012
Deputy Dean
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science, VU
Jul 2006 - Feb 2009
Associate Dean - Teaching and Learning
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science, VU
Jan 2003 - Jul 2006
Head, School of Molecular Sciences
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science, VU
Show more academic roles
Dates Role & Department/Organisation
Jan 2013 -
Present
Director - Research and Research Training
College of Engineering and Science, VU
Aug 2012 -
Dec 2012
Acting Executive Dean
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science, VU
Feb 2009 -
Jun 2012
Deputy Dean
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science, VU
Jul 2006 -
Feb 2009
Associate Dean - Teaching and Learning
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science, VU
Jan 2003 -
Jul 2006
Head, School of Molecular Sciences
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science, VU
Show more academic roles

Awards

Year Award
2008

Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning - Australian Teaching and Learning Council

2005

VC Award for Research Excellence (Research Supervision) - Victoria University

2005

VC Award for Teaching Excellence - Victoria University

2005

Citation for Teaching Excellence - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science VU

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Keynote and invited speeches

Year Title/Description
2017

Advanced thermal analysis modelling for the characterization of active poly(lactic acid)/natural fibre food-packaging composite materials

Invited lecture presented at 253rd National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, San Francisco, USA, 2-6 April, 2017.

2014

Formulation and Characterization of Materials Containing Natural Antimicrobial Agents for Food Packaging Applications

Keynote address presented at 3rd International Conference on Materials Processing and Characterization (ICMPC 2014), Hyderabad, India, 8-9 March, 2014.

2013

Non-Isothermal Non-Single Step Arrhenius Polymer Degradation Studies

Invited lecture presented at 29th Polymer Degradation Discussion Group Meeting, Paris, France, 1-4 September, 2013.

2011

Developments in Non-Isothermal Degradation Studies

Keynote address presented at 29th Polymer Degradation Discussion Group Meeting, Sestri Levante, Italy, 5-7 September, 2011.

2011

The Properties and Use of Biodegradable Packaging Film Materials

Keynote address presented at the 2011 China Academic Conference on Green Printing and Packaging Materials, Harbin, China, 20-21 August, 2011.

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Professional memberships

  • Fellow, The Royal Australian Chemical Institute Inc.
  • Academic Member, American Chemical Society
  • Academic Member, Society of Chemical Industry UK
  • Academic Member, Australian Academy of Forensic Science
  • Academic Member, Chemistry Education Association