Stefan J. Hill


  • Phone: +64 7 343 5872
  • Email: Show email
  • Team: Bio/Organic Chemistry
  • Role: Portfolio Leader, High Value Biorefineries


Dr Stefan Hill specialises in the area of Solid State and Solution State NMR of organic materials and Synchrotron based X-ray diffraction techniques for nanostructure investigation and determination. He is a member of the ISO workgroup for the preliminary work item (PWI) of the cellulose elementary fibril, entitled “Nanotechnologies – Characterization of cellulose elementary fibril samples” (ISO TC 229 JWG2) and a member of the Standards Australia Committees and Joint Standards Australia/Standards New Zealand Committees (NT-001-01-02).


  • PhD (Physical Chemistry), Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand – 2010
  • MPhil (Forensic Chemistry), Waikato University, New Zealand – 2004
  • MSc (Environmental Chemistry), Waikato University, New Zealand – 1995
  • BSc (Chemistry/Biology), Waikato University, New Zealand – 1992

Research capabilities

  • Solution state NMR spectroscopy
  • Solid state NMR spectroscopy
  • MR imaging
  • NMR based metabolomic profiling
  • Environmental chemistry (heavy metals)
  • Synthetic chemistry (small molecule)

Career highlights

  • 2018 MBEI Endeavour Fund - Bark Biorefinery: Unlocking new hydrophobic polymers (PI/AI)
  • 2018 MBEI Smart Idea - New Zealand seaweeds: Unique cellulose nanocrystals for use in high-value products (PI)
  • 2017 MBEI Smart Idea - Fibre Grand Design: Small molecular change in cell walls for big impacts in pulp processing (AI)
  • 2017 MBEI Smart Idea  - Sequestering natural and anthropogenic trace metals from water [3D MIPs] (AI)
  • 2016 Catalyst Fund (Is that plastic really bio-based? Protecting the bio based economy)
  • 2015 Roger Newman Science or Engineering Excellence Award (Scion)
  • Research Leader, Advanced Chemical Characterisation, Scion 2011 – present
  • Keith Williamson Award for excellence in microscopy research – 2009

Selected papers

Sorieul M, Dickson A, Hill SJ, Pearson H. Plant fibre: Molecular structure and biomechanical properties, of a complex living material, influencing its deconstruction towards a biobased composite. Materials. 2016;9:618 doi:10.3390/mz908618.

Newman RH, Franich RA, Meder R, Hill SJ, Kroese H, Sandquist D, Hindmarsh JP, Schmid MW, Fuchs J, Behr VC. Proton magnetic resonance imaging used to investigate dewatering of green sapwood by cycling carbon dioxide between supercritical fluid and gas phase. J Supercritical Fluids. 2016;111:36–42.

Torr KM, Love KT, Simmons BA, Hill SJ. Structural features affecting the enzymatic digestibility of pine wood pretreated with ionic liquids. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2015;113:540–549.

McDowell RW, Hill SJ. Speciation and distribution of organic phosphorus in river sediments: a national survey. J Soils Sediments. 2015;15:2396–2379.

Donaldson LA, Kroese HW, Hill SJ, Franich RA. Detection of wood cell wall porosity using small carbohydrate molecules and confocal fluorescence microscopy. J Microsc. 2015;259:228–236.

Lu F, Karlen SD, Regner M, Kim H, Ralph SA, Sun R-C, Kuroda K, Augustin MA, Mawson R, Sabarez H, Singh T, Jimenez-Monteon G, Zakaria S, Hill S, Harris PJ, Boerjan W, Wilkerson CG, Mansfield S, Ralph J. Naturally p-hydroxybenzoylated lignins in palms. Bioenerg Res. 2015;8:934–952.