Research activity per year

Personal profile


Professor Wei Shen received his BEng (Chem) from Tsinghua University (China) in 1982. He then worked for four years at the Beijing Printing Institute. In 1987 he moved to Australia to pursue his PhD in physical Chemistry from La Trobe University, which he attained in 1991. This was followed by a postdoctoral appointment at La Trobe University.

Joining Monash University in 1995, researching paper surface modification and printing engineering. He leads several research projects at the Australian Pulp and Paper Institute (APPI) within the Department of Chemical Engineering at Monash University. Since 2008, he has led research in bioactive paper, and thread-based microfluidic sensors. His group has applied their skills in paper surface modification and printing to fabricate microfluidic systems on paper, thread and polymer films and has filed a family of patents in this field. More recently Professor Shen has begun new research into powder-liquid interfaces, constructing soft reactors using liquid drops and liquid marbles for stem cell research he has also applied surface engineering to modify powdery materials for oil spill control.  He invented the text-reporting paper sensors, this invention has led the commercial development of the text-reporting Technology for blood analysis. In 2012, he led his group to win the Australian Museum Eureka Prize and the IChemE Award (UK) for their innovation in bioactive paper diagnostics. In 2013 he was selected as a finalist in the Australian Innovation challenge.


Research interests

Professor Shen’s research group is currently investigating:

  • Surface engineering: surface engineering projects that aim to understand wetting and drying of particulate materials and design interfaces for engineering and biological applications.
  • Bioactive paper and bioactive thread: diagnostics and environmental sensors: Design of bio-functionalised papers for construction of sensory devices for diagnostics and environmental monitoring applications
  • Soft micro-reactors: liquid drops and liquid marbles are used to design highly efficient biological reactions for cell and stem cell research, and biochemical analysis
  • Functional printing
  • Super-hydrophobic paper for liquid and food packaging
  • Nano cellulose materials and their applications
  • Lignocellulose as an industrial absorbent

Major professional involvement

  • CRC for Hardwood Fibre and Paper Science. Project Leader for cellulose fibres paper surface modification.
  • National Printing Laboratory. A founding member and an Advisory board member.
  • CRC for Smartprint. Project leader for fundamental and industrial printing research.
  • Paper-based and thread based microfluidic sensor innovations, supported by an ARC DP as the lead CI, and first inventor. Eureka Prize, IChemE Prize.
  • Cellulosic and Paper-Based Biosensors for Blood Analysis, funded by ARC Linkage. Chief investigator and first inventor. Finalist in the Australian Innovation challenge.
  • MIME Seed project, collaborated with Monash Medical Centre on low cost diagnostics. Project leader and Chief Investigator.

Monash teaching commitment


  • CHE2164 – Thermodynamics 1
  • CHE2165 – Bio Nano Engineering
  • CHE3172 – nanotechnology and materials 1
  • CHE3175 – Sustainable engineering case studies
  • CHE4180 – Chemical engineering Projects
  • CHE5160 – Printing and coating engineering
  • CHE5201 – Special topics
  • CHE5292 – Chemistry and biomass processing
  • CHE5294 – Performance of paper products
  • CHE5297 – Recycling and contaminant removal

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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