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Department of Civil Engineering
Will Gates

Will Gates

Senior Research Officer
+61 3 9905 8902
Room 116, Building 36, Clayton Campus
BSc, MSc, PhD
Clay Mineralogy & Physical Chemistry

Australian Nuclear Science & Technology Organization (neutron studies) Australian Synchrotron (X-ray and IR studies) Institute Laue-Langevin (neutron studies) Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin fur Materielien (neutron studies) Advanced Light Source (X-ray studies)

Teaching Commitments:

  • CIV2226 (portion)


  • Journal Publications
  • Abuel-Naga, H.M., Bouazza, A., Gates, W.P., 2013, Impact of bentonite form on the thermal evolution of the hydraulic conductivity of geosynthetic clay liners, Geotechnique Letters, vol 3, ICE Publishing, London UK, pp. 26-30.
  • Liu, Y., Gates, W., Bouazza, A., 2013, Acid induced degradation of the bentonite component used in geosynthetic clay liners, Geotextiles and Geomembranes [P], vol 36, Elsevier Ltd, Camden London UK, pp. 71-80.
  • Manceau A, Gates WP. 2013. Incorporation of Al in iron oxyhydroxides: implications for the structure of ferrihydrite. Clay Minerals, 48:481-489.
  • Liu Y, Gates WP, Bouazza A. 2013. Acid induced degradation of the bentonite component used in geosynthetic clay liners. Geotextiles and Geomembranes, 36:71-80.
  • Turney T, Patt AF, Shaheen U, Gates WP, Kulasagaram S. 2013. Formation of glycerol carbonate from glycerol and urea catalysed by metal monoglycerolates. Green Chemistry, DOI:10.1039/c3gc370028c.
  • Mendes A, Sanjayan JG, Gates WP, Collins F. 2012. The influence of water absorption and porosity on the deterioration of cement paste and concrete exposed to elevated temperatures, as in a fire event. Cement and Concrete Composites. 34: 1067-1074.
  • Hocking RK, Gates WP, Cashion JD. 2012. Comments on the "Direct observation of tetrahedrally coordinated Fe(III) in ferrihydrite". Environmental Science and Technology, 46:11471-11472
  • Buckley J, Gates WP, Gibbs DT. 2012. Forensic examination of field GCL performance in landfill capping and mining containment applications. Geotextiles and Geomembranes. 33:7-14.
  • Gates WP; Bordallo H, Aldridge LP, Seydel T, Jacobsen H, Marry V, Churchman GJ. 2012. Neutron time-of-flight quantification of water desorption isotherms of montmorillonite. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C: 116:5558-5570.
  • Bishop JL, Gates WP, Makarewicz HD, McKeown NK, Hiroi T. 2011. Reflectance spectroscopy of beidellites and their importance for Mars. Clays and Clay Minerals, 59(4), 367-397.
  • Mendes A, Gates WP, Sanjayan JG, Collins F. 2011. NMR, XRD, IR and Synchrotron NEXAFS spectroscopic study of OPC and OPC/slag cement paste. Materials and Structures, 44(10), 1773-1791.
  • Wallis PJ, Gates WP, Patti AF, Scott JL. 2011. Catalytic activity of choline modified Fe(III) montmorillonite. Applied Clay Science 53:336-340.
  • Gates WP, Hines P, Bouazza A. 2011. SEM study of mineralogical changes to GCLs following permeation by strongly alkaline leachates. Geotechnical Special Publication 211: 2021-2030.
  • Gates WP, Bouazza A. 2010. Bentonite transformations in strongly alkaline solutions. Geotextiles and Geomembranes, 28, 219-225
  • Arhatari BD, Gates WP, Eshtiaghi N, Peele AG. 2010. Phase retrieval tomography in the presence of noise. Journal of Applied Physics, 107, 034904-1-7
  • Benson CH, Oren AH, Gates WP. 2010. Hydraulic conductivity of two geosynthetic clay liners permeated with alkaline leachate. Geotextiles and Geomembranes, 28, 206-218
  • Hornsey WP, Scheirs J, Gates WP, Bouazza A. 2010. The impact of mining solutions/liquors on geosynthetics. Geotextiles and Geomembranes, 28, 191-198
  • Wallis PJ, Chaffee AL, Gates WP, Patti AF, Scott JL. 2010. Partial exchange of Fe(III) montmorillonite with hexadecyltrimethylammonium cation increases catalytic activity for hydrophobic surfaces. Langmuir, 26, 4258-4265
  • Cashion JD, Gates> WP, Riley GM. 2010. Origin of two quadrupole doublets in NAu-1 nontronite. Journal of Physics: Conference Series No 012065
  • Gates WP, Bouazza A, Churchman GJ. 2009. Bentonite clay keeps pollutants at bay. Elements. 6: 5:105-110
  • Bouazza A, Gates WP, Ranjith PG. 2008. Hydraulic conductivity of biopolymer-treated silty sand. Gotechnique. 59:71-72
  • Bordallo HN, Aldridge LP, Churchman GJ, Gates WP, Telling MTF, Kiefer K, Fouquet P, Seydel T, Kimber SA. 2008. Quasi-Elastic Neutron Scattering Studies on Clay Interlayer-Space Highlighting the Effect of the Cation in Confined Water Dynamics J. Physical Chemistry C. 112, 36:13982-13991
  • Gates WP. 2008. Cation mass valence sum approach to assigning OH bending bands in dioctahedral smectites. Clays and Clay Minerals. 56:11-23
  • Cashion JD, Gates WP, Thomson A. 2008. Mssbauer and IR analysis of iron sites in four ferruginous smectites. Clay Minerals. 43:1-11
  • Wallis PJ, Gates WP, Patti, AF, Scot, JL, Teoh E. 2007. Assessing and improving the catalytic activity of K-10 montmorillonite. Green Chemistry. 9:1-8
  • Slade PG, Gates WP. 2007. HDTMA in the interlayers of high charge Llano vermiculite. Clays and Clay Minerals. 55:131-139
  • Galbally I, Meyer M, Bentley S, Weeks I, Leuning R, Kelly K, Phillips F, Barker-Reid F, Gates W, Baigent R, Eckard R, Grace P. 2005. A study of environmental and management drivers of non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions in Australian agro-ecosystems. Environmental Sciences. 2:133-142
  • Gates WP. 2004. Crystalline swelling of organo-modified clays in ethanol-water solutions. Applied Clay Science. 27:1-12
  • Gates WP, Nefiodovas A, Peter P. 2004. Permeability of an organo-modified bentonite to ethanol-water solutions. Clays and Clay Minerals. 52:192-203
  • Slade PG, Gates WP. 2004. The ordering of HDTMA in the interlayers of vermiculite and the influence of solvents. Clays and Clay Minerals. 52:204-211
  • Slade PG, Gates WP. 2004. The swelling of HDTMA smectites as influenced by their preparation and layer charges. Applied Clay Science. 25:93-101
  • Singh N, Megharaj M, Gates WP, Churchman GJ, Naidu R, Kookana RS. 2004. Sorption-desorption of fenamiphos in surfactant-modified clays. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. 72:276-282
  • Singh N, Megharaj M, Gates WP, Churchman GJ, Anderson J, Kookana RS, Naidu R, Chen Z, Slade PG, Sethunathan N. 2003. Bioavailability of an organophosphate pesticide, fenamiphos, sorbed on an organo-clay. Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 51:2653-2658
  • Krull ES, Bestland EA, Gates WP. 2002. Soil organic matter decomposition and turnover in a tropical ultisol: Evidence from d13C and d15N and geochemistry. Radiocarbon. 44, 93-112
  • Favre F, Tessier D, Delarivire JL, Maeght JL, Abdelmoula M, Gnin JM, Hammecker C, Gates WP, Boivin P. 2002. Iron reduction and CEC changes in temporarily reduced irrigated soil. European Journal of Soil Science. 53:175-183
  • Gates WP, Slade PG, Lanson B, Manceau A. 2002. Site occupancies by iron in nontronites. Clays and Clay Minerals. 50:223-239
  • Gates WP, Anderson J, Raven MD, Churchman GJ. 2002. Mineralogy of a bentonite from Miles, Queensland, Australia and characterization of its acid activation products. Applied Clay Science. 20, 189-197
  • Nzengung VA, Castillo RM, Gates WP, Mills GL. 2001. Abiotic transformation of perchloroethylene in homogeneous dithionite solution and in suspensions of dithionite-treated clay minerals. Environmental Science and Technology. 35:2244-2251
  • Keeling J, Raven M, Gates WP. 2000. Geology and preliminary characterisation of two nontronites from Uley graphite mine, South Australia. Clays and Clay Minerals. 48:537-548
  • Gates WP, Komadel P, Madejova J, Bujdak J, Stucki JW, Kirkpatrick RJ. 2000. Electronic and structural properties of reduced-charge montmorillonites. Applied Clay Science. 16:257-271
  • Frost RL, Ruan H, Kloprogge JT, Gates WP. 2000. Dehydration and dehydroxylation of nontronites and ferruginous smectite. Thermochimica Acta. 346:63-72
  • Manceau A, Drits VA, Lanson B, Chateigner D, Wu J, Huo DF, Gates WP, Stucki JW. 2000. Oxidation-reduction mechanisms of iron in dioctahedral smectites. 2. Structural chemistry of reduced Garfield nontronite. American Mineralogist. 85:153-172
  • Manceau A, Lanson B, Drits VA, Chateigner D, Gates WP, Wu J, Huo DF, Stucki JW. 2000. Oxidation-reduction mechanisms of iron in dioctahedral smectites. 1. Structural chemistry of oxidized reference nontronites. American Mineralogist. 85:133-152
  • Gates WP, Juanet AM, Tessier D, Cole MA, Wilkinson HT, Stucki JW. 1998. Swelling and texture of iron-bearing smectites reduced by bacteria. Clays and Clay Minerals. 46:487-497
  • Ernstsen V, Gates WP, Stucki JW. 1998. Microbial reduction of structural iron in clays - a renewable source of reduction capacity. Journal of Environmental Quality. 27:761-766
  • Manceau A, Chateigner D, Gates WP. 1998. Polarized EXAFS, distance-valence least-squares modeling (DLVS), and quantitative texture analysis approaches to the structural refinement of Garfield nontronite. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals. 25:347-365
  • Sucha V, Elsass F, Eberl DD, Kuchta L, Madejova J, Gates WP, Komadel P. 1998. Hydrothermal synthesis of ammonium illite. American Mineralogist. 83:58-67
  • Gates WP, Hunter DB, Nuessle PR, Bertsch PM. 1997. A time resolved XANES study of an organo-clay redox system. Proceedings of the 9th International conference on X-ray absorption fine structure, Grenoble, France. J. Physics, IV, France. 7:C2, 785-787
  • Manceau A, Gates WP. 1997. Surface structural model for ferrihydrite. Clays and Clay Minerals. 45:448-460
  • Gates WP, Stucki JW, Kirkpatrick RJ. 1996. Structural properties of reduced Upton montmorillonite. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals. 23, 535-541
  • Madejova J, Bujdak J, Gates WP, Komadel P. 1996. Preparation and infrared spectroscopic characterization of reduced-charge montmorillonite with various Li content. Clay Minerals. 31:233-24
  • Komadel P, Madejova J, Janek M, Gates WP, Kirkpatrick RJ, Stucki JW. 1995. Dissolution of hectorite in inorganic acids. Clays and Clay Minerals. 44, 228-236
  • Gates WP, Wilkinson HT, Stucki JW. 1993. Swelling properties of microbially-reduced ferruginous smectite. Clays and Clay Minerals. 41:360-364
  • Book Chapters
  • Gates WP. 2013. X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy. Chapter 2.4 in F Bergaya and G Lagaly (eds.) Handbook of Clay Science. Elsevier, Netherlands. 2nd ed.
  • Likos WJ, Bowders JJ, Gates WP. 2010. Mineralogy and engineering properties of bentonite. In: Bouazza, A. and Bowders, J.J., Geosynthetics clay liners in waste containment facilities, Taylor and Francis, U.K.
  • Bouazza A, Gates WP Abuel-Naga H. 2006. Factors impacting liquid and gas flow through geosynthetic clay liners. Geosynthetics Recent Developments. Commemorating Two Decades of Geosynthetics in India, Indian International Geosynthetics Society, New Delhi. Chapter 9, pp. 119-146.
  • Gates WP. 2006. X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy. Chapter 12.3 IN F Bergaya, G Lagaly, BKG Theng. (Eds.) Handbook of Clay Science. 1. Elsevier, 550p.
  • Churchman GJ, Gates WP, Yuan G, Theng BKG. 2006. Clays and pollution control. Chapter 11.1 IN F Bergaya, G Lagaly, BKG Theng. (Eds.) Handbook of Clay Science. 1. Elsevier, 550p.
  • Gates WP. 2005. Infrared spectroscopy and the chemistry of dioctahedral smectites. p.126-168 IN: T. Kloprogge (ed.) Vibrational Spectroscopy of Layer Silicates and Hydroxides. Clay Minerals Society Workshop Series. Vol 14. Aurora.
  • Manceau A, Schlegel M, Chateigner D, Lanson B, Bartoli C, Gates WP. 1999. P.Application of polarized EXAFS to fine-grained layered minerals. IN: Schultz DL, Bertsch PM, Stucki JW (eds.). Synchrotron X-ray Methods in Clay Science. Volume 9, CMS Workshop Lectures. The Clay Minerals Society, Boulder.
  • Naidu R, Smith E, Mallavarapu M, Smith LH, Sreedaran R, Churchman GJ, Kookana RS, Juhasz A, Gates WP, Oliver D, Ragusa S, Taylor G, Peter P. 1999. Options for remediating metal contaminated soils: An overview. In: CD Johnston (ed.) Contaminated site remediation: Challenges posed by urban and industrial contaminants. Centre for Groundwater Studies, Perth.
  • Hunter DB, Gates WP, Bertsch PM, Kemner KM. 1999. Degradation of tetraphenylboron at hydrated smectite surfaces studied by time resolved IR and X-ray absorption spectroscopies. P. 282-300, IN: DL Sparks, TJ Grundl, Eds., Mineral Water Interfacial Reactions: Kinetics and Mechanisms, ACS symposium series 715, American Chemical Society, Washington, DC.
  • Gates WP, Teppen BJ, Bertsch PM. 1997. Aromatic sorption in the interlayer space of organo-clays. Proceedings of the Industrimineralogy Meeting, Neubrandenburg, Germany. Schriftenreihe fr Angewandte Geowissenschaften. 1:41-48.
  • Proceedings Papers ( Not complete; Since 2006 )
  • Aldridge, L.P., Collins, F.G., Gates, W.P., Garcez, E., Islam, J., Huang, L., Ong, M., Fernado, K., 2013, Service life of concrete during chloride ingress, Concrete 2013 Understanding Concrete, 16 October 2013 to 18 October 2013, Concrete Institute of Australia, North Sydney NSW Australia, pp. 1-9
  • Aldridge LP, Gates WP, Bordallo HN, Churchman GJ. 2012. Water mobility in smectite. Proceedings of the Australian Regolith and Clays Conference, Feb 2012. Pp 87-90. Prceedings.htm.
  • Gates WP, Liu Y, Singh RM, Bouazza A. 2012. Improving the swell index and fluid loss methods for compatibility testing of bentonites. Proceedings of the Australian Regolith and Clays Conference, Feb 2012. Pp 69-74. Prceedings.htm.
  • Liu Y, Gates WP, Bouazza A. 2012. Effectiveness of polymers on improving the fluid loss of bentonite used in geosynthetic clay liners. Proceedings of the Australian Regolith and Clays Conference, Feb 2012. Pp 75-78. Prceedings.htm.
  • Shaheen U, Kulasegaram S, Gates WP, Turney TW, Patti A, Daoud W. 2012. Modification of clay liners to improve barrier capabilities for hypersaline leachates. Proceedings of the Australian Regolith and Clays Conference, Feb 2012. Pp 41-42 Prceedings.htm. ARC Discovery project DP1095129.
  • Liu Y, Gates WP, Bouazza A. 2012. Effectiveness of polymers on attenuating the influence of sulfuric acid solutions on engineering properties of bentonite. Proceedings of the Austraalian New Zealand conference on Geotechnical Engineering.
  • Gates WP, Hines P, Bouazza A. 2011. SEM study of mineralogical changes to GCLs following permeation by strongly alkaline leachates. GeoFrontiers, March 2011.
  • Liu, Y., W. P. Gates, Abdelmalek Bouazza 2011. Polymer Modified Bentonite to Improve the Performance of Geosynthetic Clay Liners. International Conference on Advances in Geotechnical Engineering, November, 2011: 607-613
  • Bordallo HN, Gates WP, Aldrigde, LP, Churchman, GJ, Izaola, Z. 2010. Water-cation interaction in Na or Ca saturated montmorillonite interpreted by neutron scattering. Australian Clay Minerals Society, Brisbane, QLD (August 2010)
  • Buckley J, Gassner F, Gates WP, Gibbs D. 2010. Forensic examination of field GCL performance in landfill capping and mining containment applications. Australian Clay Minerals Society, Brisbane, QLD (August 2010)
  • Gates WP, Hines P. 2010. Alkaline-leachate induces pore-filling reactions in GCLs. Australian Clay Minerals Society, Brisbane, QLD (August 2010)
  • Buckley J, Gates WP. Gibbs D, Gassner F. 2010. Forensic Examination of Field GCL Performance in Landfill Capping and Mining Containment Applications. 3rd International Symposium on Geosynthetic Clay Liners, September 2010
  • Bouazza A, Gates WP. 2010. On the compatibility of GCLs to leachates of extreme chemistry
  • Bishop JL, Makarewicz HD, Gates WP, McKeown NK, Hiroi T. 2010. Beidellites: Spectral properties and importance for Mars. LPSC XLI 2010 #2080
  • Cashion JD, Gates WP, Riley GM. 2009. Origin of two quadrupole doublets in NAu-1 nontronite. ICAME, July 2009
  • Sattar, S., Gates W.P. 2009. Assessing the Compatibility of Geosynthetic Clay Liners with Soils and Leachates. Landfill 2009 The Functional Landfill. Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa, Landfill Interest Group: Western Cape. Capetown, September 2009
  • Hornsey W, Gates WP, Buckley J. 2009. Geosynthetic clay liners Is the key component being overlooked? GIGSA GeoAfrica 2009 Conference. Capetown, September 2009
  • Bouazza A, Abuel-Naga HM, Gates WP, Laloui, L. 2008. Temperature effects on volume and hydraulic properties of geosynthetic clay liners. Proceedings of the 1st Pan American Geosynthetics Conference and Exhibition. 2-5 March. Cuncun, Mexico
  • Theng BKG, Churchman GJ, Gates WP, Yuan G. 2008. Organically modified clays for pollutant uptake and environmental protection. Proceedings of the 4th ISMOM Conference, Huazhong Agricultural University, Hubei Province, Peoples Republic of China. (Cited 2 times as of 1/11/10)
  • Gates WP. 2007. Geosynthetic clay liner technology: Understanding bentonite. National Landfill and Transfer Station Conference, Melbourne, November 2007. Waste Management Association of Australia
  • Thompson A, Cashion JD, Gates WP. 2007. Mossbauer analysis of iron sites in four Na- and Ca-saturated ferruginous smectites. Proceedings of the 31st A&NZ Condensed Matter and Materials Meeting, Wagga Wagga


  • Co-editor. Infrared Spectroscopy of Clay Minerals. Elsevier. expected deadline, end of 2016.
  • Advisory Board. Appointed member of the advisory board of Elements, a leading international journal serving more than 15,000 geologists, mineralogists, petrologists and geochemists. 2008-present.
  • Editorial Board. Appointed member of the editorial board of Applied Clay Science, a leading international journal on applications of clay minerals. 2008-present.
  • Associate Editor. Clays and Clay Minerals, a leading international journal on applications of clay minerals. 2006-2010.


Asli Acikel (current, Civil Eng)
Asgar Ali (current, Civil Eng)
Andras Fehervari (current, Civil Eng/Chemistry)
Md Rouf (Current, Civil Eng)
Sachie Welikala (current, Chemical Eng)
Lu Zhang (current, Civil Eng)
Uzma Shaheen (Chemistry, submitted 2014)
Yang Liu (Civil Eng, finished 2013)
Alessandra Mendes (Civil Eng, finished 2010)
Philip Wallis (Chemistry, finished 2008)

Community Service:

OzReader. Engineering and Environmental Science Division, Australian Research Council, January, 2009.
Proposal Advisory Committee. Member of Soft X-ray PAC for beam line 14-ID at the Australian Synchrotron. 2008-2009.
Proposal Evaluator. Research Projects, The Royal Society, December 2008.
Beamline Advisory Committee. Member of Soft X-ray BAC for development of the branch line to beamline 14-ID and X-ray microscopy endstation at the Australian Synchrotron. 2007-2008.

Professional Association:

Australian Clay Minerals Society- (ACMS)
President, Current; Past president, 2010-2012, 2004-2006; Committee member, 2012-2014, 2008-2010; 1998-2000; Secretary 2002-2004; Information officer, 1998-2000; 2010 field trip coordinator; 2000 workshop co-chair; Editor of The Interlayer (ACMS newsletter), 1998-2002.
Clay Minerals Society- (CMS)
Special Publications Editor, 2008-2010; Associate Editor for Clays and Clay Minerals, 2006-2010; Program Development and Continuing Education, 2008-2010; Nominations Committee 2006-2009 (Chair 2007-2009); Council member, 2002-2005; Policy and Administration Committee, 2003-2006 (Chair, 2005-2006); Source Clays Repository Committee, 2000-2003; East European Liaison Committee, 1997-1998.
Symposium on Lining Technologies for Landfills and Mining, 50th Annual Meeting of the Clay Minerals Society, Urbana, Illinois, USA October 2013. Symposium on Iron in Clays and Clay Minerals, 47th Annual Meeting of The Clay Minerals Society, Billings, Montana, USA June 2009. Techniques Workshop, 17th Biennial Meeting of the Australian Clay Minerals Society, Adelaide, South Australia, April 2000.
International Association for the Study of Clays- (AIPEA)
Symposium on Water Mobility in Real and Reference Clays, International Clay Conference, Rio de Janeiro, July 2013. Symposium on Clay Water Dynamics, International Clay Conference, Italy, June 2009.
Mineralogical Society of America- (MSA)

Research Interests:

  • X-ray imaging of materials, including concretes
  • Geo-mechanical and geo-technical aspects of swelling materials
  • Improving durability of concretes
  • Standards testing development/modification
  • Modification of clay minerals for applications in reactive barrier technologies