Ph.D. research positions are available in the following areas:

  • Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition
  • Graphene - Fabrication and Applications
  • R.F. Plasma Polymerisation and thin films
  • Organic Semiconductors and Applications
  • Microwave Pyrolysis and waste treatment
  • Biomaterials for biomedical applications

Mohan Jacob is the Head of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, and he is also the Associate Dean Research Education for the College of Science and Engineering. 

Mohan is currently focusing on the development of sustainable, natural-resource-based environmentally friendly biomaterials and electronic and biomedical devices. He conceptualised this research area at JCU using essential oils or its constituents as a precursor for preparing polymer thin films using low-temperature plasma polymerization. He successfully demonstrated the fabrication of optically transparent polymer thin films over a variety of substrates including silicon and plastics; these approaches have been widely adopted.  He is also actively involved in developing graphene from sustainable sources using plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition and microwave plasma techniques.

Mohan is pioneering in the development of custom made Microwave Assisted Pyrolysis systems for processing various waste materials, and his reserach includes Waste to Resources, Waste to Energy and circular economy. 

He is an expert in non-destructive material characterisation, primarily dielectric and superconducting materials. 

20 PhD candidates completed their PhD under his supervision. He published over 230 peer reviewed Journal papers and conference papers.  

  • EE3400: Power Engineering 1 (Level 3; CNS & TSV)
  • EE4010: Analog Signals and Filters (Level 4; CNS)
  • EE4500: Electrical and Electronic Engineering Design (Level 4; TSV & CNS)
  • EE5300: Non-Conventional Electronics (Level 5; TSV)
  • EE5510: Advanced Electrical Engineering Design (Level 5; TSV)
  • Senior Member IEEE (www.ieee.org); Member, Institute of Engineers and Technologists; Chartered Physicist, Institute of Physics;
  • Polymer Thin Films; Organic Electronics; Biomaterials; Graphene; Microwave Pyrolysis; Implantable Electronics; Dielectric Characterisation; Material Characterisation; Dielectric Resonators; Filters for Communication; Superconductors; Microwave Characterisation of Dielectric Materials
  • Electromagnetics; High Frequency Applications; Electronics; System Design; Filter; Oscillator; High Power Amplifier
  • 2018 to present - Professor, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2017 to present - Associate Dean Research Education, College of Science and Engineering, James Cook University (Townsville/ Cairns/ Singapore)
  • 2017 to present - Adjunct Professor, Rajagiri School of Engineering & Technology (India)
  • 2016 to present - Head, Electrical and Electronics Engineering, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2013 to 2018 - Visiting Research Scientist, Toyo University (Japan)
  • 2009 to 2017 - Associate Professor, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2014 to 2016 - Associate Dean Research Education, College of Science, Technology and Engineering (Townsville)
  • 2015 - Visiting Professor, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (Malaysia)
  • 2009 to 2014 - Director Research Training/ Post Graduate Liaison Officer, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2013 - Visiting Research Fellow, Tokyo Institute of Technology (Japan)
  • 2012 - Associate Dean Research Training, Faculty of Science and Engineering, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2011 - Visiting Research Fellow, Tokyo Institute of Technology (Japan)
  • 2009 - Visiting Research Fellow, Tokyo Institute of Technology (Japan)
  • 2008 - Visiting Research Fellow, University of Warsaw (Warsaw, Poland)
  • 2006 to 2008 - Principal Research Fellow, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2004 to 2008 - Australian Research Fellow, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2006 - Visiting Research Fellow, Tokyo Institute of Technology (Japan)
  • 2000 to 2003 - Postdoctoral Fellow, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2000 - Visiting Research Fellow, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II (Napoli, Italy)
  • 1997 to 1999 - Visiting Research Associate, James Cook University (Townsville)
Research Disciplines
  • 2015 - TropEco Research Excellence Award
  • 2015 - Reperio Innovation Award
  • 2013 - Primary Advisor (PhD Supervisor) of the Year Award 2013
  • 2010 - Research Excellence Group Award, Faculty of Science and Engineering
  • 2006 - Vice-Chancellor's Research Excellence Group Award, James Cook University
  • 2006 - Dean’s Research Excellence Award,, FSEIT, James Cook University
  • 2005 - Highly Commended Dean’s Award, FSEIT, James Cook University
  • 2012 - Senior Member, IEEE
  • 2015 to 2016 - Vice Chair, IEEE Australia Council
  • 2015 - Vice Chair, IEEE Northern Australia Section
  • 2013 to 2014 - Secretary, IEEE Australia Council
  • 2013 to 2014 - Chair, IEEE Northern Australia Section
  • 2004 to 2013 - Chartered Physicist, Institute of Physics

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
Conference Papers

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 211+ research outputs authored by Prof Mohan Jacob from 1998 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

University of Melbourne - Contract Research

Pyrolysis of Waste Materials

Indicative Funding
$49,000 over 1 year
The custom-made Microwave Pyrolysis system at JCU will be used to recover various materials from the waste, and hence could be used for resource recovery. Various waste materials will be trailed to find the optimum conditions to manufacture various by-products.
Mohan Jacob (College of Science & Engineering)
Microwave Pyrolysis; Biochar; Pyrolysis; Waste Materials

Townsville Hospital and Health Service - Study Education Research Trust Account (SERTA)

Effective PPE waste processing using microwave pyrolysis

Indicative Funding
$29,900 over 1 year (administered by Townsville University Hospital)
This project aims to investigate the feasibility of processing the PPE waste materials using a Microwave Assisted Waste processing technology developed at James Cook University. The specific objectives of the project are: i. Identify the processing conditions (e.g. Microwave power, time) suitable to kill pathogens in the waste material ii. Investigate the presence of pathogens in the residual material or by-products iii. Understand the physical and chemical properties of the by-products to identify potential applications
John Boekamp, Mohan Jacob and Jeffrey Warner (Townsville Hospital and Health Service, College of Science & Engineering, College of Public Health and Medical & Vet Sciences)
Hospital Waste; Waste; Pyrolysis; Microwave Pyrolysis; Waste Processing

Department of Defence - Defence Innovation Hub

Deployable Waste to Energy System

Indicative Funding
$449,690 over 1 year (administered by Cubic Defence Australia Pty Ltd)
JCU has developed a customised microwave pyrolysis unit that can be used to conduct various experiments and control the pyrolysis conditions to convert different waste materials and generate by-products such as gas, oil and char. This project aims to develop a scale-up Deployable Waste to Energy processing unit that can process up to 50 kg of waste at a time. The project will be done in partnership with CUBIC, who will manage the project delivery.
Mohan Jacob and Graham Brodie (College of Science & Engineering)
Microwave Pyrolysis; Electrical power generation; Biochar; Renewable Energy; Biogas; Biooil

CRC for Developing Northern Australia Scheme - Scholarship

Plasma polymers from natural extracts for wound healing applications

Indicative Funding
$60,000 over 3 years
Radio Frequency Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapour Deposition (RF-PECVD) will be used to fabricate thin films from natural extracts and study their wound healing properties. RF-PECVD is a promising strategy to incorporate the developed thin films from volatile natural extracs, and thereby find applications in wound dressings. Wound healing will be enhanced by the inhibition of pro-inflammatory cytokines and the promotion of cell proliferation. This research also addresses optimising the wound healing properties of the thin films and conditions at which the desirable properties can be preserved/enhanced, so it could be effectively modified in order to fit specific wounds.
Jesus Romo Rico and Mohan Jacob (College of Science & Engineering)
Plasma Polymerisation; Wound healing; Functional surfaces; Biomaterials; Plant Secondary Metabolites; Medical devices

Queensland Pacific Metals - Contract Research

Sustainable use of tailings as land-fill and non-structural construction material - Phase 1

Indicative Funding
$30,000 over 1 year
The central aim of the project is the assessment of blended residue from Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub (TECH) for sustainable use. Tailings can be processed to remove the acidic content or mixed with binder to become safe backfill or non-structural materials. TECH proposed to process annually 600,000 tons of high grenade Nickel and Cobalt ore. Phase 1 of the project will undertake physical, chemical, geotechnical and engineering strength tests on tailings from TECH to estimate the limits and to assess characteristics, including the acid-insoluble content of the tailings. The understanding will help to develop research in phase 2 and 3.
Peter To, Siva Sivakugan, Yinghe He, Mohan Jacob and Rabin Tuladhar (College of Science & Engineering)
Tailings; Environmental Impact; Recycled Material; Backfill; Electro-Kinetic; Pyrolysis

CRC for Developing Northern Australia Scheme - Projects

Applying new technologies to enhance biosecurity and cattle quality.

Indicative Funding
$1,084,500 over 3 years (administered by Branir Pty Ltd & Trustee for Booloomani Unit Trust)
The vast natural environment of Northern Australia feeds the cattle industry; however, biosecurity threats have negatively impacted this. Conventional management of such threats such as weeds are not suited to such broad, harsh landscapes. The project will use an Internet of Things network with low-cost environmental sensors, drone mapping and big data analytics to develop and test data-driven, strategic pest management programs - ultimately improving both cattle industry and natural assets.
Ian Atkinson, Wei Xiang, Ron White, Stephanie Duce, Mohan Jacob and Karen Joyce (Research Infrastructure and College of Science & Engineering)
Biosecurity; Cattle; Drones; Weeds; Technology; Internet Of Things

Department of Industry - Communities Environment Program

Decompose plastic waste using a microwave technology

Indicative Funding
$20,000 over 1 year
The objective of the Resource Recovery Project at JCU is to develop technologies to convert waste materials into various value-added byproducts. We have a laboratory scale pyrolysis system to decompose plastic waste using microwave technology. The current microwave source is old, and needs to be replaced with high power and long life microwave source which can process materials faster and more effectively. This source will help to build a prototype system for waste processing and contribute to the circular economy. The funding will be used to procure a new microwave source, which will be used in conjunction with the existing chamber. Developed methodologies will help to develop byproducts from plastic waste and hence reducing the plastic waste.
Mohan Jacob (College of Science & Engineering)
microwave pryolysis; Landfill; plastic waste; Biochar; Waste Processing Plants; Plastics

Department of Industry - Innovations Connections

Development of Customised Hospital Waste Processing Technology

Indicative Funding
$50,000 over 1 year, in partnership with Medalfield Pty Ltd ($52,695)
Phase 1 aims to use microwave pyrolysis technology to process a mix medical waste supplied by Medafield Pty Ltd, and study the pyrolysis conditions and resulting byproducts (syngas, bio-oil and biochar) material analysis using the different analytical tools. Phase 2 of this project will focus on the optimisation of the material properties especially to increase the value of the byproducts of particular interest. We will also undertake the biological characterisation of the samples to better understand the hazardous nature of the syngas and the biochar.
Mohan Jacob in collaboration with Elsa Antunes (College of Science & Engineering)
Microwave Pyrolysis; landfill; hospital waste; Biochar; bio-oil; biodegradable waste

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • Design and Development of a Smart Automated Machine Learning Tool for User Assistance (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • Virtual/synthetic Inertia for the Future Grid with high Penetration of Renewable Energy (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • Green Synthesis of Graphene for Advanced Sensor Applications (Masters , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • Effect of Graphene Oxide on the properties and microstructure of concrete (Masters , Secondary Advisor)
  • Waste to Resources (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • Phytosynthesis and Characterization of Cerium Oxide Nanoparticles for visible light driven Photocatalytic and Antimicrobial applications (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • Low-temperature Synthesis of Graphene-based Transparent Conductive Electrodes for Organic Solar Cells (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • Synthesis and Investigations on Metal Organic Frameworks (MOFs) and their composites for high-performance Electrochemical Energy Storage (EES) Devices/Sensing Applications (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • Microwave Assisted Pyrolysis for synthesis of graphene from waste materials and sensor applications (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • Developing a Battery Free Bio-Sensor using Graphene (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Advanced manufacturing of Antennas and Microwave Components for Radio Astronomy and Space Applications (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • Implementing graphene-based devices into neuromorphic computing architectures (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • Internal Organ Motion Prediction in MRgRT (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • Load bearing zirconia scaffolds for bone tissue engineering (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • Simulation microwave pyrolysis process for production of the green hydrogen from agriculture waste (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • Eliminating the impact of solar photovoltaic power intermittency using curtailment driven by reinforcement learning (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • A data-driven maintenance decision-making framework for engineering asset management using economic modelling techniques (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • Ion-Selective Sensors for Environmental Monitoring (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • Carrageenan based Bio-composites for Multifunctional applications (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • Recycling of XLPE using Screw Extruder using Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Pump and also by Grinding (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • Facial Expression Detection and Deduction of the Relevant Emotions (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • Robust Large Languages Modes (LLMs) for Low Resource languages (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • Influence of Microwave Pyrolysis Methods and Biochar quantity on Soil Biology (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • Engineered Hybrid Nanomaterials for Acute and Chronic Wound healing applications (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Plant Extracts as a Renewable Resource for Preparative Photooxygenations (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Graphene based supercapacitors from renewable sources (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Modelling of Radiation Secondary Elecgtron Transport and Damage in Human Tissue (PhD , Secondary Advisor)

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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  • 14.111, Engineering & Physical Sciences 2 (Townsville campus)
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