ACT Branch


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ACT Branch Contact

T. +61 (02) 6201 2089
F. +61 (02) 6201 2328

2016/17 Committee Members

President 2016-18

Dr Ashraf Ghanem -

President Elect 2016-18

John Hughes -

Treasurer 2016-17

Ali Fouad -

Branch Secretaries 2016-17

Maz Ali -

Mohammed Ali -

Committee Members 2016-17

Michael Cronin -

Ross McFarland -

Immediate Past President

Dr Mal McLeod
Australian National University

Titration Competition 2016

A video of the event can be found here (note: this opens Facebook).

Below are some photos of the event.

Public Lecture 21 August 2016

The RACI ACT Branch hosted a public lecture titled "Chemistry and the Restless Hunt for Life on Other Planets" on Sunday 21 August 2016 at the Shine Dome. The speaker was Dr Essam Heggy, University of Southern California, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Science in Action event, National Science Week 2016

Here are some photos from the Science in Action event held during National Science Week, 2016.

Crystal Growing Competition 2016

The National and ACT crystal growing competition is back!

As you may know, we have been running the competition free of charge over the last 5 years. Many trophies purchased last year haven’t been picked up by winners and we ended up with a hole in our budget. The Royal Australian Chemical Institute ACT decided to charge $30 (exc GST) per student as entry fee to cover the prizes. There is no registration form; you just need to email Pam Chantrell, RACI NSW & ACT Branch Coordinator at with your name and entry fee. I will take the full list from her and communicate with participants only.

Do you want to have fun with science? Would you like to do some simple chemical experiments? Then enter the ACT Crystal Growing Competition and learn all about growing beautiful crystals.

Crystals are everywhere. Just think of our daily lives. Sugar and salt are crystals. LCD computer and TV screens have many tiny crystals inside. Where else can you find crystals? How about your classroom? If you enter this competition, you can create your very own crystals.

Your school can order Potash Alum (potassium aluminium sulphate) as below.

Kids and families will grow their crystals in School term 2, from April 26 to July 1st. Winners will be announced during National Science Week (13-21 August 2016). More info please visit

To keep updated you may like our FB page:

Crystals are to be grown by individuals or small groups of up to 3 students. One (1) winning crystal and two (2) runners up will be chosen for each division, and the judging will require the actual crystals to be sent in (no photographs). Crystals will be judged on size, shape and clarity. Each state will choose up to seven (7) crystals per division to the National Competition judging panel.

This year we will have:
Preschool-kindy division
Year 1-3 division
Year 4-6 division
Year 7-10 Division
Year 11-12 and open division

How to register?

1. Send an expression of interest to
2. Purchase the Alum (if needed) from the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI):
3. Send your crystals, reports and list of students involved by 1 July 2016 to Dr Ashraf Ghanem, University of Canberra, Building 3, Office D41, 2601 ACT

Alum Costs 2016 (postage and handling inclusive): Please contact Pam Chantrell NSW & ACT Branch Coordinator Royal Australian Chemical Inst. for all financial matters.

0.5kg $40
1kg $60
1.5kg $80
2kg $100
For orders larger than 2kg, simply add $20 for each extra 0.5kg.

The alum will normally be sent by surface mail to arrive by the first week in Term 2.
Entries may be by class, team or an individual but must be registered (send an email to

Payment for the Alum (You do not have to order if you have the materials)
Cheques payable to RACI ACT Branch, RACI NSW & ACT, c/o School of Chemistry, UNSW, NSW 2052 T. +61 (0)2 9663 4960 Email:

How to grow crystals?

For more info about how to grow crystals please see this link

Please like our Facebook page for updated info

If you have any inquiry please do not hesitate to contact

Casual Chemist Positions

Available at University of Canberra

The Chirality group at the University of Canberra is looking for two enthusiastic chemists to fill casual positions working at UC with industry partner. Two of our co-workers have just filled positions with our industry partner and we are yet to replace them.

The job does require extensive knowledge in chemistry in particular organic/analytical chemistry. This position will suit someone who can pay attention to details and write scientific reports with high accuracy. Several opportunities may arise from this position, in particular strong network with industry. Applicants should bear in mind that placement with our industry partner might be required for training purposes.

For further details about our work with industry please click here.

For details about the position, please see or contact Dr Ashraf Ghanem at the University of Canberra (

Past Events

RACI ACT promotion of Science activities in ACT - UC High School Kaleen - April 2016

RACI ACT Crystal Growing Competition
Click here for information about the 2014 Crystal Growing Comp.

2013 Competition details

Photos: Promotion of Chemistry at UC High School Kaleen