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Dr Magdalena Wajrak

Senior Lecturer

Staff Member Details
Telephone: +61 8 6304 5654
Facsimile: +61 8 6304 5070
Campus: Joondalup  
Room: JO19.352  

Magdalena is a Lecturer in Chemistry within the School of Science. Her main research areas are: Electrochemistry, Quantum/Theoretical Chemistry and Chemical Education.

Current Teaching

  • SCC1123 - Chemistry for the Life Sciences
  • SCC1111 - General Chemistry
  • SCC1201 - Chemistry: Structure and Reactions
  • SCI3150 -  Natural Sciences Project


Dr Wajrak has a broad employment experience. Her main employment has been in academia at various Universities in WA and also in NSW, however, she has also gained experience working for private and government analytical laboratories and WA Environment Minister.

  • 2019-present: Chemistry Lecturer (Level C), School of Science, ECU, WA
  • 2006-2019: Chemistry Lecturer (Level B), School of Science, ECU, WA
  • 2001-2001: Chemistry Lecturer (Level B), Chemistry Department, University of New England, NSW
  • 2000-2001: Online Tutor Designer, CADRE Pty Ltd, Sydney, NSW; Research Officer, Monitoring Technologies International, Osborne Park, WA
  • 1999-2000: Computing Lecturer (Level A), Kurongkurl Katitjin School, ECU, WA
  • 1998-1999: Research Officer, Dr Judy Edwards, MLA, Maylands, WA
  • 1995-2005: Sessional Chemistry Tutor and Demonstrator, School of Natural Sciences, ECU, WA, Chemistry Lecturer (Level B), School of Pharmacy, UWA, WA and Research Assistant, Chemistry Centre, East Perth, WA

Professional Memberships

  • Member of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (MRACI C CHEM)
  • Member of the Australian Institute of Radiochemical Engineering (AIRE), Radiochemistry Education Committee
  • Member of the Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australia (HERDSA)
  • Member of the Advancing Science by Enhancing Learning in the Laboratory Project (ASELL)

Awards and Recognition

University and National Teaching Awards

  • 2019: Implementation of electronic lab books in first year chemistry lab classes, $1,983
  • 2018: ECU Super Development Fund Award - ATHENA SWAN
  • 2014-2015: Inspiring and Motivating Indigenous Students to Study Science at Tertiary, Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP), $87,936.
  • 2012: Office for Learning and Teaching, Australian Awards for University Teaching - '2012 Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning'
  • 2010: Development of Chemical Demonstrations Booklet and running PD workshops for high school lab technicians, ECU Visiting Scholar Grant, Mr Tim Harrison, Bristol University, UK, $2,693
  • 2007: National Teaching Award - ‘2007 Pearson Education RACI Chemical Educator of the Year Award’
  • 2006: Development of novel experiment for third-year environmental chemistry unit, which teaches students new skills and theory of solid phase microextraction of pesticides, ECU Visiting Scholar Grant, Dr Ian Jamie, Macquarie University, NSW, $1,170
  • 2003-2010: Improving the teaching and learning and development of teaching resources for chemistry students at ECU, ECU Teaching and Learning Grants, $26,096
  • 2003: National Teaching Award - ‘The Royal Australian Chemical Institute Centenary of Federation Teaching (Tertiary) Award in Chemistry’
  • 2004: ECU Award - The Vice-Chancellor's Excellence in Teaching Award

National and International Research Positions

  • 2010: HERDSA Fellow

Research Areas and Interests


  • Voltammetric methods for low level detection of arsenic and lead in water and soil samples.
  • Voltammetric method for the detection of barium, lead and antimony in gunshot residues.
  • Investigation of the factors that affect deposition of arsenic on the surface of solid gold electrode.

Chemical Education and Chemistry Outreach

  • Designing multimedia chemistry teaching resources, novel experiments and lecture demonstrations for chemistry students.
  • Inspiring Aboriginal students about science through 'Old Ways, New Ways' Program in collaboration with Jason Barrow from Kurongkurl Katitjin School and Caroline Bishop from Engagement
  • Presenting 'Chemistry Magic Shows' for schools and general public
  • Teacher professional development in collaboration with Mr Tim Harrison from Bristol University, UK

External Research Grant Projects

  • 2019: Innovations Connection Project Grant, Curtin University, 2019 - 2020, $99,748


  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Western Australia, 2002.
  • Graduate Diploma of Education Major in Science Education, Edith Cowan University, 2000.
  • Bachelor of Science with Honours, The University of Western Australia, 1992.
  • Bachelor of Science, The University of Western Australia, 1991.


Recent Research Grants

  • National Indigenous Science Engagement Program (NISEP) - Engaging Rural, Region and Indigenous Communities in Science,  The Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education ,  DIISRTE - Grant,  2012 - 2015,  $802,000.
  • Australian Synchrotron Access Program,  Australian Research Council,  Grant - Special Research Initiative in Synchrotron Science - 2012,  2012 - 2015,  $57,928,988.
  • Evaluation of Dewatech Water Treatment Plant - Laboratory Tests to Evaluate the Adsorption Capacity of DM165,  The Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education ,  Enterprise Connect - RiB,  2013,  $32,226.
  • Investigating factors which affect electrodeposition of arsenic film on solid gold electrode using SIMS instrument.,  Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering,  Grant,  2012,  $9,300.
  • Quantitative surface depth profiling of electrochemically deposited arsenic on gold electrode using ERD analysis,  Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering,  Grant,  2011,  $6,936.
  • Investigation of Arsenic Film Electrodeposited on Solid Gold Electrode Using Sims Instrument,  Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering,  Grant,  2010,  $13,675.
  • Investigation of the chemical profile of the gold electrode in ASV detection of arsenic,  Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering,  Grant,  2008 - 2009,  $10,425.
  • Investigating the Surface of Gold Electrode Subjected to Electrochemical Processes Using Soft X-Ray,  Australian Synchrotron,  Grant,  2008 - 2009,  $1,486.
  • Investigation of conditioning methods on the gold electrode surface employed in electro analyses of arsenic.,  Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering,  Grant,  2007 - 2008,  $13,525.
  • The development of accurate and reliable infield methods for the detection of arsenic in ground water using simple and inexpensive electroanalytical method called 'anodic stripping voltammetry'.,  Edith Cowan University,  ECU Early Career Researcher - Grant,  2003 - 2004,  $5,500.

Recent Publications (within the last five years)

Journal Articles

  • Paul Shylendra, S., Lonsdale, W., Wajrak, M., Nur-E-Alam, M., Alameh, K., (2021), Titanium Nitride Thin Film Based Low-Redox-Interference Potentiometric pH Sensing Electrodes. Sensors, 1(42), 1-15, DOI:
  • Ridgway, S., Wajrak, M., (2019), Development of an In-field Method for the Detection of Barium in Various Water Samples using Differential Pulse Anodic Stripping Voltammetry. International Journal of Electrochemistry, 2019(-), Article no. 5813492, DOI: 10.1155/2019/5813492.
  • Lonsdale, W., Shylendra, S., Wajrak, M., Alameh, K., (2019), Application of all solid-state 3D printed pH sensor to beverage samples using matrix matched standard. Talanta, 196(1 May 2019 ), 18-21, DOI: 10.1016/j.talanta.2018.12.037.
  • Wajrak, M., Bordas, N., Harrison, T., (2019), A Science 'Show and D': Teacher and Technician Training - Down Under. Journal of Emergent Science, 1(16), 46-49, UK.
  • Wajrak, M., Alameh, K., Lonsdale, W., Brouwer, S., Paul Shylendra, S., (2018), Application of ruthenium oxide pH sensitive electrode to samples with high redox interference. Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical: international journal devoted to research and development of physical and chemical transducers, 273(2018), 1222-1225, DOI: 10.1016/j.snb.2018.07.022.
  • Wajrak, M., Lonsdale, W., Alameh, K., (2018), Manufacture and application of RuO2 solid-state metal-oxide pH sensor to common beverages. Talanta, 180(1 April 2018), 277-281, DOI: 10.1016/j.talanta.2017.12.070.
  • Lonsdale, W., Maurya, D., Wajrak, M., Alameh, K., (2017), Effect of ordered mesoporous carbon contact layer on the sensing performance of sputtered RuO2 thin film pH sensor. Talanta, 164(1), 52-56, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.talanta.2016.11.020.
  • Lonsdale, W., Wajrak, M., Alameh, K., (2017), RuO2 pH Sensor with Super-Glue-Inspired Reference Electrode. Sensors, 17(9), Article No. 2036, Basel, Switzerland, MDPIAG, DOI: 10.3390/s17092036.
  • Robertson, F., Barrow, J., Wajrak, M., Nannup, N., Bishop, C., Nannup, A., (2017), Participatory Action and Dual Lens Research. Qualitative Research Journal, 17(4), 283-293, Bingley, United Kingdom, Emerald Publishing Limited, DOI: 10.1108/QRJ-12-2016-0075.
  • Lonsdale, W., Wajrak, M., Alameh, K., (2017), Effect of conditioning protocol, redox species and material thickness on the pH sensitivity and hysteresis of sputtered RuO2 electrodes. Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical: international journal devoted to research and development of physical and chemical transducers, 252(November 2017), 251-256, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.snb.2017.05.171.
  • Lonsdale, W., Maurya, D., Wajrak, M., Tay, CY., Marshall, B., Alameh, K., (2017), Rapid measurement of urease activity using a potentiometric RuO2 pH sensor for detection of Helicobacter pylori. Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical: international journal devoted to research and development of physical and chemical transducers, 242(1 April 2017), 1305-1308, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.snb.2016.06.024.

Research Student Supervision

Co-principal Supervisor

  • Master of Science (Chemistry),  Investigation of interferences and development of pre-treatment methods for arsenic analysis by anodic stripping voltammetry

Associate Supervisor

  • Doctor of Philosophy,  Development, manufacture and application of a solid-state pH sensor using ruthenium oxide
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