PhD Researchers

Grace Talbot-Walsh

Grace Talbot-Walsh completed a double Bachelor Degree in Chemical Engineering (with Honours) and Science, graduating from Monash University in 2015 with a double major in Chemistry and a minor in Mathematics. She also completed a 3 month vacation placement at Catalent Pharma Solutions as an undergraduate engineering student, helping to update and develop chemical safety procedures. Grace is now completing her PhD project in the Chemical Engineering Department in partnership with Bega Cheese, in the field of product development.

Jonathan Chew

Jonathan Chew Yik Wai completed his undergraduate studies at Monash University and was awarded a Bachelor of Engineering in the field of Chemical Engineering in 2015. He commenced his PhD studies at Monash University in 2016 working under the supervision of Dr Meng Wai Woo (Monash University) on a joint initiative project between Bega and Monash. His project focuses on improving powdered infant formula by optimising and improving the manufacturing conditions.

Fernando Toledo Hernandez

Fernando Toledo Hernandez completed his studies in 2010 at the Universidad de Guadalajara, awarded a Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering and two minors, Food Technology and Biotechnological processes. He worked as a Research Scientist for 6 years (2010-2016) in Hershey Mexico. Responsible for the end-to-end development of new products (ideation to commercialisation) as well as continuous improvement projects generation and implementation. Main achievement: implemented company’s top saving projects in 2012, 2014 and 2016 generating $700K, $500K and $800K USD in yearly savings respectively. Finished his Masters of Advanced Chemical Engineering at Monash University in 2017 and started a PhD in March of the same year with Dr Meng Wai Woo and Dr Bernard Chen as supervisors, working with Dollar Sweets as an Industry partner. Main project objective is to improve and optimise their manufacturing processes.

Lavaraj Devkota

Lavaraj Devkota graduated with a Bachelors of Dairy Technology degree from College of Applied Food and Dairy Technology, Nepal in 2012. He then worked for about 2 years as 'Quality Assurance In-charge' at Hetauda Dairy Industries Pvt. Ltd, Nepal. In 2014, Lavaraj was awarded the 'Her Majesty Queen Scholarship' by Royal Thai Government and completed his M.Sc. degree in Food Engineering and Bioprocess Technology from the Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand in May 2016. He then worked as Research Associate at the same institute in Department of Food, Agriculture and Bio-resources for 8 months. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the department of chemical engineering, Monash University under the supervision of A/P Victoria Haritos and Dr. Lizhong He. Lavaraj's research interest lies in the application of novel technologies in food processing, food waste utilization, functional food development and is working in similar areas where his current sample of interest is food legumes. With his industry partner Simplot Australia Pty. Ltd., he is working on a research project aimed at optimization of legume processing and by-product utilization.


Daisy (Yongmei) Sun graduated with Bachelor degree of Fermentation Engineering from Hebei University of Science and Technology China in 2001. She has 16 years' experience in FMCG company as technologist. Daisy worked on surfactant and polymer development for laundry detergent powder in Proctor & Gamble Beijing innovation center and discovered new chemical for detergent suds profile. Then transferred to Pringles brand and worked on flavour development for Asia countries. And launched Pringles flavors line-ups from concept to commercial products as part of global billion brand. Before her PhD study, Daisy worked in P&G Singapore innovation center on Vicks brand and successfully launched Vicks Throat Drops in Australia early 2017. She commenced her PhD project at Monash University in July 2017. Now she is working on Low GI powder product development with industry partner NIS (Nutrition Innovation Singapore) and Dr Meng Wai Woo and Dr Bernard Chen as supervisors in Monash University.

Shalveen Raj

Shalveen Raj obtained his Bachelor of Science degree at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji. He taught chemistry for a couple of years before pursuing his MSc degree at the same University. Shalveen then took up the role of Assistant Project Manager at the Institute of Applied Sciences located at the University where he set up an accredited Biofuels laboratory. His current PhD research project is with industry partner CSIRO with the main objective of developing chromatographic metabolomics analytic techniques for characterising the biochemical/chemical changes that occur during lactic acid fermentation of plant biomass.

Isabella Russo

Isabella Russo  graduated with a Bachelor of Science from the University of Melbourne in 2014. During this time, Isabella also worked as a research assistant for the Healthy Lifestyles Program for Women at Monash University. In 2016, she graduated with Masters of Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Sydney. Isabella is now completing her PhD project in partnership with Lion Dairy and Drinks, to develop a sports recovery beverage.

Daniel So

Daniel So graduated with a Master of Nutrition and Dietetic Practice from Bond University in 2017. During this degree, he completed a 12-month research internship exploring the relationship between dietary fibre and the gut microbiota. Daniel is now undertaking his PhD project to investigate the efficacy of sugarcane fibre with the Department of Gastroenterology at the Alfred Centre, in partnership with Tamu Innovations.

Fang Wen

Fang (Mark) Wen graduated with a master degree in Civil Engineering (with focus on Environmental Engineering) from University of California at Los Angeles and a bachelor degree in Environmental Engineering from University of Guelph. He commenced his PhD project in March 2018 under supervision of Tony Patti. The overall objective of this project is to improve agricultural waste management with industry partnership between Monash University and Agriculture Victoria.


Zoya Huschtscha graduated with a Bachelor of Human Nutrition from La Trobe University in 2012. She then went on to complete her Honours and then Masters of Dietetics in 2015. Zoya has gained experience working in private practise and in the corporate setting as a consultant dietitian. Her most recent role was working for a genetic company as a research dietitian. Zoya is now completing her PhD project in partnership with Lion Dairy Drinks, to develop a beverage to support the active aging population.

Debarati Bhadury

Debarati Bhadury graduated with a bachelor degree in genetic engineering from SRM University, Chennai in 2015 .She has completed her masters in nanotechnology with specialization in Nano biotechnology, from Gujarat Forensic University, Gandhinagar, Gujarat in May 2017. She is currently a PhD student in the Department of Chemistry, Monash University, under the supervision of Dr.Kellie Tuck (Department of Chemistry) and Dr.Joanne Tanner (Department of Chemical Engineering) and Michael Lee (Meat Livestock Australia). The main aim of her project is to develop on pack visual indicators to check the freshness and quality of meat samples.

Laila Hossain

Laila Hossain graduated with a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) in 2017. She completed her Bachelor of Science from the same university. Laila has gained experience working in Environmental Engineering projects led by funding agency and different industries during her stay in Bangladesh. She is now undertaking her PhD project in the Bioresource Processing Research Institute of Australia (BioPRIA) in partnership with Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA). Her project focuses on developing superabsorbent to improve red meat quality.

Rachel Xueqing

Rachel (Xueqing) Liu obtained her Bachelor of Nutrition and Food Science from the University of Alberta in Canada, and graduated with a Graduate Diploma in Food Science and a Master of Agricultural Sciences from the University of Melbourne in 2016. Her Master research project is based on Australian Shiraz wine, including chemical and sensory analysis. She then worked as a research assistant for Asia Institute in the University of Melbourne, and as an Agricultural consultant in one of the Australian leading agricultural companies, focusing on Low GI oat products in Asia Pacific market. Rachel is completing her PhD project to explore opportunities presented by antioxidants from grape and wine in partnership with the TWE, under the supervision of A/P Victoria Haritos and Dr. Tom Karagiannis.

Abdalrahman Alrayyes

Abdalrahman Alrayyes obtained his Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). After that, he worked in the biofuels industry for two years, tackling big challenges in using novel processes to make biodiesel from used cooking oils, which has allowed him to gain invaluable industry and research experiences. Shortly after, he commenced his PhD in Chemistry at Monash under the supervision of Dr. Kei Saito (main) and Dr. Huanting Wang (co-). His project, a joint venture between the departments of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, and Meat & Livestock Australia, focuses on developing new polymer packaging materials for red meat vacuum packaging.