Dr Erica Smith

Senior Lecturer , Chemistry - Faculty of Science, Agriculture, Business and Law; School of Science and Technology

Erica Smith

Phone: +61 2 6773 5130

Mobile: 0488 167 589

Email: erica.smith@une.edu.au

Twitter: @ericajsmith1


Erica completed a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Theoretical Chemistry at the University of Sydney, then relocated to the United Kingdom to work for Unilever as a Research Chemist. She completed a Master of Science 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. After completing her PhD, Erica was an Associate Professor of Chemistry at Lone Star College in the USA for 4 years, after which she returned to Australia to complete a Postdoctoral Fellowship with CSIRO Livestock Industries in Computational Animal Genetics. During this time, she became an Adjunct Lecturer in Chemistry at UNE. Erica accepted a full time position as Lecturer in Chemistry in 2010 and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2015. Erica is currently the Convenor of the School of Science and Technology Education Committee and Chair Elect of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute Chemical Education Division.


BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD, MRACI, CChem, SFHEA


2017 - Royal Australian Chemical Institute Chemistry Educator of the Year

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

2016 – University of New England Excellence in Teaching Award

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: CHEM210 (Quantum and Thermal Structure).

Primary Research Area/s

Molecular Modelling of Water and Aqueous Systems; Molecular Dynamics Simulations; Chemistry Education

Research Interests

My research interest is in using computer simulation techniques to assist in the generation of 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 utilisation of molecular dynamics simulations, scientific programming and data analysis, high-performance parallel computing and applied statistical mechanics. Some current areas of interest are the effect of localised water structure on the extent of clustering of monomer molecules in water/monomer mixtures in relation to models of kinetic parameters for polymerization reactions; 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 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. I also have an active interest in the Science of Teaching and Learning, Chemical Education, Women in Science and Science Outreach.


Selected Publications

Smith, E., Reid, J. (2018) “Using Curriculum Mapping to Articulate Transferable Skill Development in Science Courses: A Pilot Study”, International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics, 26 (7), pp 52-62

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, 24 (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, 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 Research, 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, 16 (2), 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, 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, 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, 123 (3),  pp 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, 206, pp 333-359

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, 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, 116, pp 8876-8880


Chartered Chemist

Senior Fellow of Advance HE (United Kingdom)

Member of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) and Chair Elect of the RACI Chemical Education Division

Member of the American Chemical Society and the Association of Molecular Modellers of Australasia

Community and Advocacy Organisation Collaborations

Board of Directors - New England Conservatorium of Music

Chair - Armidale Youth Orchestras

External Profiles