Professor David Solomon AC FRS

David Solomon is known primarily for polymer research, and especially for his studies of free radical polymerisation and its mechanistic control, which led to novel block, graft and monodispersed polymers.

This understanding allowed the manufacture of unique nanogel particles, which are at present being exploited by Dupont and Gradipore. Another major project devised by David was the Australian plastic banknote. This technology has been extraordinarily successful and has earned hundreds of millions of dollars for the Reserve Bank worldwide. David has also played an important role in introducing modern polymer technology to industry, by example and through his papers and books.

Dave Solomon began his career at Dulux when he was 16 years old and soon developed an interest in organic polymers.  He soon realized the existing theories on polymers did not match what was happening in practice.


He is known for the development of controlled free radical polymerization (with Nitroxides).  He has received many awards including:  The Australian Bicentennial Science Achievement Award for the development of the Plastic (Polymer) Banknotes now used in most countries.

In 1990 he accepted the position of Head of School and ICI Australia and Masson Professor of Chemistry at the University of Melbourne with a remit to introduce the changes recommend by the recent review. In addition to these changes, David also addressed the criticism made in the reviews, Chemistry: A vision for Australia, re Safety and lack of understanding and importance of Intellectual property.

David returned to Chem Engineer in 1994.

Subject groups

  • Engineering

    Engineering, chemical, Materials science (incl materials engineering)

Professor David Solomon AC FRS
Elected 2004