The Ian Wark Research Institute, or The Wark, was named in recognition of eminent Australian scientist, Sir Ian William Wark (1899-1985). It has been a proud and integral part of the University of South Australia since 1994 when it was established under the directorship of Laureate Professor John Ralston AO.
The Wark continues to forge ahead with research discoveries, postgraduate education, national and international linkages, and commercial outputs. Among other important achievements, we hold a unique position in Australian research as the designated ARC Special Research Centre for Particle and Material Interfaces.
Ian Wark Research Institute brochure (PDF 1.89MB)
Creative and flexible
The Wark is distinctive in its creative and flexible approach to research and development. Our fundamental and applied research is focused on chemistry and physics at interfaces, which covers a wide area, including bio and polymer materials, colloids and nanostructures, and mineral processing applications. Our structure combines academic rigour and inquiry and we are driven by industry needs and value to society.
One of our major functions is the education of graduate students. Students at The Wark are encouraged to think together with staff and other students and thereby exchange knowledge and ideas in a stimulating and rewarding environment. We bring together talented individuals from different generations, cultures and scientific disciplines to work towards common goals by consciously shifting between focused and reflective ways of working.
We hope that you are inspired to work with us in the future. Whether you are a student, a representative of industry or government or part of the general community, we can promise you an open research environment with the opportunity to ask questions, solve problems, learn and teach science. Perhaps most importantly, we encourage you to exchange ideas with us and contribute to the development of science at The Wark.
Sir Ian William Wark (1899 -1985)
"Research is the search for knowledge. That knowledge may not be of immediate use. Those who see a use for it, and apply it in industry, certainly have no cause to be apologetic."
Sir Ian William Wark
Sir Ian William Wark, after whom this institute is named, was one of Australia's most distinguished physical and colloid chemists who applied his formidable skills to the minerals and materials industries. The work of Sir Ian and his scientists made an indelible impact on Australian industry, helping companies to deal effectively with a multitude of technical problems.
Sir Ian also had a strong interest and experience in universities and was responsible for the establishment of the CSIRO Division of Industrial Chemistry.