Having obtained a bachelors degree from the University of London, he spent 5 happy alcohol-fuelled years at Cambridge completing a PhD into the failure mechanisms of carbon fibre-epoxy aerospace composites in partnership with Rolls Royce under the supervision of Prof. Derek Hull. In 1992 he left for a post-doc position at Sydney University working in Prof. Yiu-Wing Mai's research group on fatigue of adhesive bonds with DSTO and on the development of novel contact lens material with EYECON. In 1995 he took up a lecturing position at the ANU in the Department of Engineering to work on toughened polymer composite systems. After a break of several years during which time he managed the engineering educational portfolio, he changed research direction and concentrated on the development of nanostructured functional ceramics alongside long-standing collaborators in the Faculty of Engineering at the National University of Singapore. Recent years has seen international collaborations grow across the region - in particular, Nanyang Technological University, A*STAR (both in Singapore), Malaysia and Brunei. These collaborations have focused on thermoelectric nanomaterials, energy storage nano-oxides and other functional electroceramics, as well as the development of nanostructured functional oxides through electrochemical treatment of scrap metal.