Professor Neil Furlong


Emeritus Professor

School /
Work Unit

School of Science

Contact Details

No Phone


City campus


Science, Engineering and Health

Professor Neil Furlong


B Sc(Hons) Melb, PhD Brunel, FTSE

Professor Neil Furlong has been an active researcher in surface/surfactant chemistry, environmental technologies for the past 28 years in industry, universities and CSIRO in Australia and Europe.

Prior to joining RMIT, Professor Furlong was Chief Research Scientist and Program Manager at CSIRO, where he was responsible for a team of around 40 professional scientists working across the broad area of environmental management/specialty chemicals. This team focussed on developing/applying novel materials (e.g. biodegradable surfactants from sugar, coatings for paper, thin films for biosensors) and technologies for water and wastewater treatment (Sirofloc, magnetic ion exchange resins MIEX, froth flotation). Professor Furlong also led a multi-disciplinary team of around 20 chemists, biologists, physicists and engineers across five CSIRO Divisions towards biosensor technologies particularly for environmental applications.

An active contributor to the development of the chemistry profession in Australia, Professor Furlong has taken lead roles in the Royal Australian Chemical Institute and the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering as well as internationally via editorships and co-ordination of international forums and conferences. Since 1986 he has been invited to deliver more than 20 keynote international conference presentations.

Professor Furlong has actively developed international research and technology collaborations particularly around an Australia/Japan exchange program in colloid science. This collaboration has led to six bi-annual Conferences (alternating between Australia and Japan) and from 2004 has been formally endorsed by both the Australian and Japanese national colloid Divisions.

As a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, Professor Furlong’s work has been recognised through the awarding of the University of Melbourne Grimwade Prize in Industrial Chemistry in 1987, the CSIRO Directors Research Prize in 1997, the CSIRO Research Medal (MIEX Ion Exchange Project Team) in 1999 and the Australian Government Centenary Medal in 2002.

Professor Furlong has published more than 120 refereed journal research papers (including 'Best Research paper Award' (2001) by the American Oil Chemists Society), registered four patents (adhesives, surface cleaners and biosensors), produced more than 100 Technical Reports to industrial partners while at CSIRO and presented over 100 invited Research Seminars nationally and internationally. He has supervised six PhD and three BSc(Hons) students to successful completion.

Other professional contributions

  • Korea/Australia joint workshop on Sensors and Membranes in Environmental Management, Seoul, 1994
  • ASEAN Chemical Week Symposium, Bangkok, 1995
  • Dept. of Industry, Science and Technology (DIST) Mission on Environmental Monitoring and Instrumentation, Beijing 1996
  • SE Asian Biosensor Workshop, Beijing 1996
  • New Horizons Forum of India/Australian Govt, New Delhi 1996
  • DIST/Malaysian Environmental Ministry Workshop on Environmental Technologies, and Malaysian Chemical Congress, Kuala Lumpur, 1997
  • Water China ’98 (Plenary), Beijing 1998
  • Monbusho Joint Research Symposium, Shizuoka, 2000
  • OECD Emerging Research Workshops, Tokyo 2001 and Dublin 2002
  • Elsevier Science Editors Conference (Chairman), Singapore, 2002
  • Invited participation in the OECD Project ‘Developing R&D in emerging Higher Education Institutions (2002)
  • Technical trainee/university scholar/technical officer, ICI Australia Ltd – 1966 to 1972
  • Various technology training courses for research partners in industry in Australia, the UK and China.

Post-doctoral positions

  • Brunel University, UK (1975)
  • ETH Zurich (1976-1978)
  • University of Melbourne (1978 to 1981)
  • CSIRO – 1981 to 1999 – ending as Chief Research Scientist/Program Manager