Max Lu - People - Chemical and Process Engineering - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

Professor Max Lu

Queensland University, Australia

CAPE Prestige Seminar Series

Date: 14th August 2012
Time: 4pm
Location: NZi3 Foyer


"Molecular Frontiers of Chemical Engineering"


Chemical engineering is about the principles and practice of making useful products from raw materials in an environmentally friendly manner. Chemical engineering has been and still is one of the most versatile and dynamic engineering disciplines. Chemical engineers have made monumental contributions to chemical and process industries through their unique system analysis and problem solving skills, often across multiple scale boundaries from molecular to global scales.

With the rapid development of emerging technologies such as biotechnology and nanotechnology, chemical engineers face new challenges as well as opportunities. Chemical engineers are well placed as ever to make contributions to innovation and new technological breakthroughs in many industries, such as sustainable resources, clean energy and environment, health care, pharmaceutical and advanced materials. This talk will address the opportunities and challenges for chemical engineering in the field of nanotechnology and nanobiotechnology, and opportunities for these molecular frontier sciences and technologies for solving sustainability issues.  Enabling technologies will be critical to solving our current problems such as energy and food shortages. Examples of some promising applications of nanomaterials in hydrogen separation, storage, fuel cells, solar cells, and water and air purification will be used to highlight the impact of nanotechnology. Nanobiotechnology in terms of drug and DNA delivery, imaging and diagnostics and protein separation is another molecular frontier for chemical engineering to make high impact in biomedical and pharmaceutical industries.

In summary, researchers in chemical engineering are at the forefronts of molecular sciences and engineering and will play vital roles in developing nanotechnology and nanobiotechnology. Such enabling technologies will be very critical to technological solutions in feeding, fueling and healing the world’s growing population, in a climate and environmentally responsible way. The challenges for chemical engineers are how to respond to the rapid changes occurring in industries and to continue the significant contributions with a forward-looking and innovative approach to teaching and research, and technology development.

This event will be followed by a catered reception at 5pm


Professor Max Lu

Max Lu image

Professor Max Lu was appointed Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Queensland in December 2011. He previously held positions of Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) from 2009 and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research Linkages) from October 2008. He was also the Foundation Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Functional Nanomaterials from 2003 to 2009.

After completing his PhD, Professor Lu spent three years in Singapore as Lecturer at Nanyang Technological University. Following his return to UQ in 1994, he held positions of Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor, Professor and Chair of Nanotechnology in Chemical Engineering. He won the prestigious ARC Federation Fellowship twice (2003 and 2008).

Professor Lu had formerly served on many government committees and advisory groups including the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council (2004, 2005, 2009) and ARC College of Experts (2002-2004). He is the past Chairman of the IChemE Australia Board and former Director of the Board of Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE). His other previous board memberships include Uniseed Pty Ltd, ARC Nanotechnology Network, and Queensland China Council. He is currently Board member of the Australian Synchrotron, National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources, and Research Data Storage Infrastructure. He also holds a ministerial appointment as Member of the National Emerging Technologies Forum.

Professor Lu’s research expertise is in the areas of materials chemistry and nanotechnology. With over 450 journal publications in high impact journals including Nature, J. Am. Chem. Soc., Angew. Chem., Adv. Materials, he is also co-inventor of 20 international patents. Professor Lu is an Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) Highly Cited Author in Materials Science with over 14500 citations (h-index of 59). He has received numerous prestigious awards nationally and internationally including the China International Science and Technology Award, Orica Award, RK Murphy Medal, Le Fevre Prize, ExxonMobil Award, Chemeca Medal (2011), Top 100 Most Influential Engineers in Australia (2004 and 2010) and Top 50 Most Influential Chinese in the World (2006). He is an elected Fellow of ATSE and Fellow of Institution of Chemical Engineers.

  • Department of Chemical
    and Process Engineering

    University of Canterbury
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    New Zealand
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