Doctor Scott Willis

Doctor Scott Willis

Facility Research Manager - Biomedical Magnetic Resonance,
Research Services


BSc (Nanotechnology), BSc (Honours, Class 1), PhD (Nanotechnology).

Scott completed both undergraduate and graduate studies at Western Sydney University (WSU) and graduated with PhD in 2013. He is currently the manager of and a researcher in the Biomedical Magnetic Resonance Facility (BMRF) and is a member of the Nanoscale Organisation and Dynamics (NANO) group at WSU. His PhD was focused on developing new Brownian Ratchets using liquid crystal systems. His first postdoctoral position (2013 – 2015) focused on diffusion imaging in cancer tissue with Prof. William S. Price (WSU) and Dr Roger Bourne (USyd) and his second (2015 – 2017) focused on developing targeting MRI contrast agents for enhancing image contrast and better monitoring of cancer treatment with Prof. William S. Price (WSU), Prof. Paul Keall (USyd) and the Ingham Institute. Scott’s research interests lie in polymer materials and studying diffusion in anisotropic materials but has been involved with research projects ranging from simple self-diffusion measurements to studying battery electrolytes, signal suppression and calibration methods.

Typically these projects involve technical, theoretical and experimental work, such as: i) synthesis and characterisation of monomers/polymers/gels using techniques like NMR spectroscopy, gel permeation chromatography and polarised optical microscopy; ii) numerical simulations, analytical derivations and data analysis using software like MathCAD and OriginPro; iii) self-diffusion measurements of a range of molecules containing different nuclei, using techniques like pulsed gradient spin-echo (PGSE) NMR and using Bruker Topspin software; iv) development and implementation of NMR/MRI methods for use in Bruker Topspin software or Bruker Paravision software; v) changing equipment setup (e.g., changing NMR probes/inserts) and performing system calibrations (e.g., NMR gradients, temperature).

Aside from research positions and collaborations, Scott has also been involved with supervision of undergraduate classes and a Masters level unit, has given lectures to undergraduate students and visiting school groups, and has provided guidance and assistance to higher degree research students (both local and visiting international). Scott is the co-inventor on 1 patent (PCT) application and co-author of 4 book chapters, 16 journal/conference articles, 11 conference or symposium poster presentations, 20 conference oral/workshop/lecture presentations, and has been part of 4 successful grant applications. He has received 4 scholarships, 2 presentation awards, 2 prizes (Ellice Swinbourne Prize for Chemistry and Flender Prize in Mechatronics), the WSU Dean’s Medal and WSU University Medal for Outstanding Scholarship.

This information has been contributed by Doctor Willis.


  • PhD University of Western Sydney
  • BScHons University of Western Sydney
  • BSCNA University of Western Sydney

Organisational Unit (School / Division)

  • Research Services


Email: N/A
Phone: (02) 4620 3114
Location: 17.G.06

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Chapters in Books

  • Willis, S., Stait-Gardner, T., Torres, A., Zheng, G. and Price, W. (2018), 'NMR versatility', Diffusive Spreading in Nature, Technology and Society, Springer 9783319677972.
  • Willis, S., Stait-Gardner, T., Torres, A. and Price, W. (2017), ' Fundamentals of diffusion measurements using NMR ', Diffusion NMR of Confined Systems: Fluid Transport in Porous Solids and Heterogeneous Materials, Royal Society of Chemistry 9781782621904.
  • Willis, S., Stait-Gardner, T., Virk, A., Masuda, R., Zubkov, M., Zheng, G. and Price, W. (2014), 'Diffusion : definition, description and measurement', Modern NMR Techniques for Synthetic Chemistry, CRC Press 9781466592247.

Journal Articles

  • Wijesekera, N., Willis, S., Gupta, A., Torres, A., Zheng, G. and Price, W. (2018), 'NMR diffusion and relaxation studies of 2-nitroimidazole and albumin interactions', Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy, vol 193 , pp 318 - 323.
  • Stait-Gardner, T., Torres, A., Zubkov, M., Willis, S., Zheng, G. and Price, W. (2018), 'Diffusion NMR : a tool to investigate the dynamics of organic systems', Current Organic Chemistry, vol 22, no 8 , pp 758 - 768.
  • Willis, S., Zheng, G., Torres, A., Stait-Gardner, T. and Price, W. (2018), 'A simple and effective binomial block based pulse sequence capable of suppressing multiple NMR signals', Journal of Physical Chemistry A, vol 122, no 50 , pp 9712 - 9720.
  • Willis, S., Dennis, G., Stait-Gardner, T., Zheng, G. and Price, W. (2017), 'Determining a 'diffusion-averaged' characteristic ratio for aligned lyotropic hexagonal phases using PGSE NMR self-diffusion measurements, random walk simulations and obstruction models', Journal of Molecular Liquids, vol 236 , pp 107 - 116.
  • Zubkov, M., Dennis, G., Stait-Gardner, T., Torres, A., Willis, S., Zheng, G. and Price, W. (2017), 'Physical characterization using diffusion NMR spectroscopy', Magnetic Resonance in Chemistry, vol 55, no 5 , pp 414 - 424.
  • Virk, A., Torres, A., Willis, S. and Price, W. (2016), 'NMR diffusion studies of spherical molecules : tetramethylsilane and buckyballs', Journal of Molecular Liquids, vol 214 , pp 157 - 161.
  • Gupta, A., Willis, S., Stait-Gardner, T., Moghaddam, M. and Price, W. (2016), 'Fast determination of the 1H relaxivities of MRI contrast agents', Magnetic Resonance in Chemistry, vol 54, no 1 , pp 58 - 61.
  • Ganbold, B., Zheng, G., Willis, S., Dennis, G. and Price, W. (2015), 'The transport and conductivity properties of the ionic liquid EMIMTCM', Journal of Molecular Liquids, vol 201 , pp 96 - 101.
  • Gupta, A., Campo, L., Rehmanajan, B., Willis, S., Waddington, L., Stait-Gardner, T., Kirby, N., Price, W. and Moghaddam, M. (2015), 'Evaluation of Gd-DTPA-monophytanyl and phytantriol nanoassemblies as potential MRI contrast agents', Langmuir, vol 31, no 4 , pp 1556 - 1563.
  • Virk, A., Stait-Gardner, T., Willis, S., Torres, A. and Price, W. (2015), 'Macromolecular crowding studies of amino acids using NMR diffusion measurements and molecular dynamics simulations', Frontiers in Physics, vol 3 .
  • Gupta, A., Willis, S., Waddington, L., Stait-Gardner, T., Campo, L., Hwang, D., Kirby, N., Price, W. and Moghaddam, M. (2015), 'Gd-DTPA-dopamine-bisphytanyl amphiphile : synthesis, characterisation and relaxation parameters of the nanoassemblies and their potential as MRI contrast agents', Chemistry: A European Journal, vol 21, no 40 , pp 13950 - 13960.
  • Willis, S., Dennis, G., Zheng, G. and Price, W. (2013), 'Preparation and physical properties of a macroscopically aligned lyotropic hexagonal phase templated hydrogel', Reactive and Functional Polymers, vol 73, no 7 , pp 911 - 922.
  • Costa, V., Ribeiro, A., Sobral, A., Lobo, V., Annunziata, O., Santos, C., Willis, S., Price, W. and Esteso, M. (2012), 'Mutual and self-diffusion of charged porphyrines in aqueous solutions', Journal of Chemical Thermodynamics, vol 47 , pp 312 - 319.
  • Willis, S., Price, W., Eriksson-Scott, K., Zheng, G. and Dennis, G. (2012), 'Influence of polymer architecture on the averaging effects in PGSE NMR attenuations for bimodal solutions of linear and star poly(vinyl acetates)', Journal of Molecular Liquids, vol 167 , pp 110 - 114.
  • Willis, S., Dennis, G., Zheng, G. and Price, W. (2010), 'Averaging effects in PGSE NMR attenuations observed in bimodal molecular weight PMMA solutions', Macromolecules, vol 43, no 17 , pp 7351 - 7356.
  • Willis, S., Dennis, G., Zheng, G. and Price, W. (2010), 'Hydrodynamic size and scaling relations for linear and 4 arm star PVAc studied using PGSE NMR', Journal of Molecular Liquids, vol 156, no 1 , pp 45 - 51.
  • Stait-Gardner, T., Willis, S., Yadav, N., Zheng, G. and Price, W. (2009), 'NMR Diffusion Measurements of Complex Systems', Diffusion Fundamentals, vol 15 , pp 1 - 22.

Other Publications

  • 2014, 'Method and Apparatus for Separation of Mixtures', Patent
  • 2014, 'Method and Apparatus for Separation of Mixtures', Patent

Previous Projects

Title: Development of pulse sequences and phantom samples for magnetic resonance imaging.
  • University of Western Sydney
Western Researchers: Scott Willis and Bill Price
Years: 2013-09-09 - 2015-01-09
ID: P00021758

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