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Professor Elliot Gilbert

Lead, Food Materials Science Instrument Scientist, QUOKKA (Small-Angle Neutron Scattering) Honorary Professor, AIBN and CNFS, The University of Queensland

Role at ANSTO

Elliot Gilbert is an 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 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, University of Queensland
  • Honorary Professor, Centre for Nutrition and Food Sciences, The 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 Neutrons and Food 5 (Sydney, 2018)
  • International Advisory Committee, International Small-Angle Scattering Conference, SAS2009 (Oxford), SAS2015 (Berlin) and SAS2018 (Traverse City)
  • International Scientific Programme Committee, Asia-Oceania Neutron Scattering Association Conference (Kenting, Taiwan, 2019)
  • Scientific Committee, 11th World Conference on Neutron Radiography (Sydney, 2018)
  • International Programme Committee, 23rd Congress and General Assembly of the International Union of Crystallography (Montreal, Canada, 2014)
  • International Advisory Committee, Neutrons and Food 2 (Delft, Netherlands, 2012) and Neutrons and Food 3 (Paris, France, 2014)
  • International Advisory Committee, Innovative Techniques in the Development of Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals (Punjab, India, 2014)
  • International Advisory Committee, Synchrotron Radiation and Polymer Science Conference (Rolduc, Netherlands, 2009)
  • International Advisory Committee, canSAS-V (Gaithersburg, USA, 2007)


Find me on Scopus:

Selected publications

“Small Angle X-Ray and Neutron Scattering in Food Colloids”, Elliot Paul Gilbert, Current Opinion in Colloid & Interface Science, 42 (2019) 55-72.

“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

“Food Structure Characterisation using Small-Angle Scattering Methods”, Elliot Gilbert, Marta Martinez-Sanz, and Amparo Lopez-Rubio in Handbook of Food Structure Development; Food Chemistry, Function and Analysis No. 18, Editors: Fotis Spyropoulos, Aris Lazidis & Ian T. Norton, The Royal Society of Chemistry (2020).

“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).

Review and assessment activities

  • Australian Research Council Discovery Programme and National Competitive Grants Program (Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities)
  • Vinnova (the Swedish government research and development agency)