Dr Erica Smith

Senior Lecturer - School of Science and Technology

Erica Smith

Phone: +61 +61 2 6773 5130

Email: esmith32@une.edu.au


After completing a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Theoretical Chemistry at the University of Sydney, I relocated to the United Kingdom to work for Unilever as a Research Chemist. I completed a Master of Science degree in Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Greenwich in London, and then held several corporate roles within the European and Australian chemical and healthcare industries before moving to the United States to complete a PhD in Theoretical and Computational Chemistry at the University of Houston. I held a Lectureship in Chemistry at Lonestar College in the USA for 4 years before returning to Australia to complete a Postdoctoral Fellowship with CSIRO Livestock Industries in computational animal genetics. During this time, I became an Adjunct Lecturer in Chemistry at UNE and accepted a full time position as Lecturer in Chemistry in 2010. I was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2015.


BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD, CChem

Awards and Recognition

2017 – Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK)

2016 – Australian Awards for University Teaching Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning

2016 – University of New England Excellence in Teaching Award

2014 – Chartered Chemist of Royal Australian Chemical Institute

2007 – Peer Nomination for the Lonestar College (USA) Excellence in Teaching Award

2003 – University of Houston (USA) Graduate Student Award

Teaching Areas

Unit Coordinator and Lecturer: CHEM110 (General Chemistry I) and PHYS301/501 (Microscopic to Macroscopic Physics and Chemistry)

Lecturer: CHEM120 (General Chemistry II) and CHEM210 (Quantum and Thermochemical Structure).

Research Interests

My research interest is in using computer simulation techniques to assist in the generation new hypotheses and models, and also in using computational methods for the analysis of experimental and simulated data. Computer simulation provides a direct route from microscopic details of a system to macroscopic properties and with the advent of more powerful and cheaper computing, the use of molecular simulation to gain atomic level understanding of important biological systems is rapidly increasing. Research in this area involves utilization of molecular dynamics simulations, scientific programming and data analysis, high-performance parallel computing and applied statistical mechanics. Current areas of interest are (i) the specificity of the adsorption/desorption behaviour of polymers onto crystal faces to inform the design of compounds to stop scale from forming in industrial systems, (ii) the effect of localized water structure on the extent of clustering of monomer molecules in water/monomer mixtures in relation to models of kinetic parameters for polymerization reactions, (iii) charged polymer nanospheres as tunable modifiers of the water-air interface to help inform the design of  an economically and environmentally viable coating to reduce evaporation from water storage bodies can best be generated, and (iv) the stabilization and disruption of phospholipid membranes by antifreeze and antimicrobial peptides. I also have an active interest in the Science of Teaching and Learning, Chemical Education, Women in Science and Science Outreach.


Selected Publications

Reid, J., Smith, E., Iamsuk, N., Miller, J., (2016) “Balancing the Equation: Mentoring First-Year Female Students at a Regional University”, International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics, Vol 24, No 4, pp 18-30

Lye, P. Smith, E. (2016) “Teaching Undergraduate Chemistry by Distance and Online - Lessons from the Front Line”, in Teaching Science Online: Practical Guidance for Effective Instruction and Lab Work, Stylus Publishing.

Al-Hamzah, A., Smith, E., Fellows, C. (2015) “Inhibition of Homogeneous Formation of Magnesium Hydroxide by Low Molar Mass Poly(Acrylic Acid) with Different End-Groups”, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, Vol 53, pp 2201-2207

Al-Hamzah, A., Wallace, A., East, C., Doherty, W., Smith, E., Fellows, C. (2014) "Inhibition by Poly(Acrylic Acid) and Morphological Changes in Calcium Carbonate and Calcium Carbonate/Calcium Sulfate Crystallization on Silica Fibers", Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, Vol 53, pp 8793-8803.

Smith, E., Lye, P., Greatrex, B., Taylor, M., Stupans, I. (2013) “Enriching Learning for First Year Chemistry Students: Introduction of Adobe Connect“, European Journal of Open, Distance and e‐Learning, Vol 16, No 1, pp. 94-101.

Smith, E., Henshall, J. (2009) “Variability in the Distributions of Single Nucleotide Polymorphism Effects in Livestock Populations”, Proceedings of the Association for the Advancement of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Vol 18, pp 64-67.

Smith, E., Bryk, T., Haymet, A. (2007) “Reply to Comment on `Molecular dynamics study of solvation of Na+ and Cl- in the ice/water interface' [J. Chem. Phys.,123, 034706 (2005)]”, Journal of Chemical Physics, Vol 126, pp 237102.

Smith. E., Bryk, T., Haymet, A. (2005) “Free Energy of Solvation of Simple Ions: Molecular Dynamics Study of Solvation of Na+ and Cl- at the Ice/Water Interface”, Journal of Chemical Physics, Vol 123 Issue 3, pp 034706-1 - 034706-16.

Haymet, A., Bryk, T., Smith, E. (2005) “Solute Ions at Ice/Water Interface: A molecular dynamics study of the ion solvation and excess stress”, in Ionic Soft Matter: Modern Trends in Theory and Applications, Vol 206, pp 333-359, Springer.

Smith, E., Haymet, A. (2004) “Ion Solubility in Ice: Calculation of Potentially Favorable Positions of Na+ and Cl- Ions in the SPC/E Model of Ice 1h”, Molecular Simulation, Vol 30, pp 827-830.

Gay, S., Smith, E. Haymet, A. (2002) “Dynamics of Melting and Stability of Ice 1h: Molecular-Dynamics Simulations of the SPC/E Model of Water”, Journal of Chemical Physics, Vol 116, pp 8876-8880.

Conference Presentations

Wilkes, J., Smith, E. (2014) “Effectiveness of Chemistry tutorials based in UNE Colleges”, The Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education, Univierty of Sydney, Australia.

Fellows, C., Greatrex, B., Lye, P., Smith, E. (2011) “Engaging External Mode First Year Chemistry Students: The Introduction of Adobe Connect Recorded Lectures and Tutorials”, oral presentation at the UNE University Learning and Teaching Futures Colloquium, UNE Armidale, Australia.

Fellows, C., Al-Hamzah, A., East, C., Doherty, W., Smith, E. (2011) “Edge-Active Polymers for Tailoring Crystal Morphology”, oral presentation by C.M. Fellows at 12th Pacific Polymer Conference, Jeju, Korea.

Smith, E., Dalal, P., Madura, J., Haymet, A. (2007) “Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Antifreeze Proteins at a Lipid/Water Interface”, 234th ACS (American Chemical Society) National Meeting, Boston, United States of America (invited talk).

Smith, E., Bryk, T., Haymet, A. (2002) “Free Energy of Solute Transfer at the Ice/Water Interface”, American Physical Society March Meeting, Indianapolis, United States of America.

Gay, S., Smith, E., Basak, T., Haymet, A. (2001) “Differential solvation free energies across the ice-water interface: Simple solutes and the SPC/E model of water”, American Physical Society March Meeting, Seattle, United States of America.