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Dr Elliot Gilbert

QUOKKA Instrument Scientist

Role at ANSTO

Elliot Gilbert is instrument scientist for the QUOKKA small-angle neutron scattering instrument and led the project for its design, construction and commissioning. Elliot also devised, initiated and now leads the Food Science project that applies materials science approaches to examine structure-property-process relationships in food-based systems; he has written a review on the application of neutron scattering to food science and technology. Read paper.

He received his PhD in chemistry from the Australian National University in 1998. Following a successful ARC Industrial Postdoctoral Fellowship, he joined the Intense Pulsed Neutron Source at Argonne National Laboratory in the United States where he provided scientific and technical support to researchers using small-angle neutron scattering and neutron reflectometry as well as developing teaching resources for the National School on Neutron and X-ray Scattering.

Elliot's interests lie in condensed matter science and he has investigated such diverse areas as colloids, polymers, phase separation, emulsion stabilisation, membranes, magnetic spin glasses, skyrmions, biocompatible ferrofluids and nanocomposites. More recently, his focus has been on the application of neutron and X-ray scattering to systems with an intrinsic health-related and / or industrial application; this has resulted in multiple reports in domestic and international media.

He has also sought to develop unique and specialised sample environments to extend the use of scattering instrumentation into new scientific areas. Such devices include the first differential scanning calorimeter capable of enabling the simultaneous measurement of SANS and a Rapid ViscoAnalyser that enables SANS to be measured during a small-scale emulated food process. Such approaches enable structure-process-property relationships to be revealed in real time.


Qualifications & Achievements 

  • Attracted over $6 m of research funding (incl. ARC Discovery, ARC LINKAGE)
  • Honorary Professor, Australian Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology and Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food innovation, University of Queensland
  • Diploma in Project Management
  • Diploma in Frontline Management


Committees, Affiliations & memberships 

  • Editorial Board, Journal of Applied Crystallography
  • Editorial Board, Food Structure
  • Member, International Union of Crystallography (IUCr) Commission on Small-Angle Scattering
  • Chair, International Conference on Small-Angle Scattering 2012
  • Chair, Neutrons and Food, Sydney 2010 and Sydney 2018
  • International Programme Committee for the 23rd IUCr Conference
  • International Advisory Committee for the International Small-Angle Scattering conferences: SAS2009 (Oxford), SAS2015 (Berlin) and SAS2018 (Traverse City)


Find me on Scopus:

Selected publications

“MULTI-SCALE MODEL FOR THE HIERARCHICAL ARCHITECTURE OF NATIVE CELLULOSE HYDROGELS”, Marta Martínez-Sanz, Deirdre Mikkelsen, Bernadine Flanagan, Michael J. Gidley and Elliot P. Gilbert*, Carbohydrate Polymers, 147 (2016) 542-555.

“Design and Implementation of a Differential Scanning Calorimeter for the Simultaneous Measurement of Small Angle Neutron Scattering”, Pullen S.A., Booth N., Olsen S.R., Day B., Franceschini F., Mannicke D. and Gilbert E.P.*, Measurement Science Technology, 25 (2014) 055606. 

 “Structural Changes during Starch Pasting using Simultaneous Rapid Visco Analysis and Small-Angle Neutron Scattering.”, James Doutch, Mark Bason, Ferdi Franceshcini, Kevin James, Douglas Clowes, Elliot P. Gilbert, Carbohydrate Polymers, 88, 15 April 2012,1061–1071.

 “Application of small-angle X-ray and neutron scattering techniques to the characterisation of starch structure: A review”, Jaroslav Blazek and Elliot Paul Gilbert*, Carbohydrate Polymers 85 (2011) 281-293.

 “The effect of enzymatic hydrolysis on native starch granule structure”, Jaroslav Blazek and Elliot Paul Gilbert, Biomacromolecules 11 (2010) 3275-3289.

"NEUTRON SCATTERING: A NATURAL TOOL FOR FOOD SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH", Amparo Lopez-Rubio and Elliot Paul Gilbert, Trends in Food Science and Technology 20 (2009) 576-586. 

Book and Book Chapters

“Characterisation Techniques in Food Materials Science”, Elliot Paul Gilbert, Amparo Lopez-Rubio and Mike Gidley in Food Materials Science And Engineering, Edited by Bhesh Bhandari and Yrjo Roos, Wiley-Blackwell, ISBN 9781405199223 (2012).

 “Time-Resolved Small Angle Neutron Scattering: Application to Non-equilibrium Kinetic Studies” Elliot P. Gilbert, Jitendra P. Mata and William A. Hamilton in Dynamics of Soft Matter, Sakai, Victoria García; Alba-Simionesco, Christiane; Chen, Sow-Hsin (Eds.), Chapter 11, p. 289-318, ISBN 978-1-4614-0726-3, Springer, New York (2012).