12 November 2009

UQ’s Professor Suresh Bhatia has been awarded the 2009 ExxonMobil Award for distinguished contributions to chemical engineering.

Professor Bhatia, from the School of Chemical Engineering, accepted his award in Perth last month at Chemeca’s annual Awards of Excellence in Chemical Engineering.

The award recognises significant ongoing contributions to chemical engineering through innovations or a series of related publications over a number of years.

Professor Bhatia thanked ExxonMobil for the award, which he received for his work on nanoscale transport.

“My work has involved the development of new theories for the transport of fluids in nanoporous materials,” Professor Bhatia said.

“The infiltration of fluid mixtures into such materials is central to many emerging nanotechnologies, and the theory developed helps understand and model this infiltration process.”

Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology Professor Graham Schaffer congratulated Professor Bhatia on his award.

“Chemical Engineering at UQ has a long tradition of high-quality research and this achievement by Professor Bhatia reinforces the importance and the high quality of the research being undertaken by staff in this area,” Professor Schaffer said.

“Much of Professor Bhatia's research has had immediate commercial relevance such as the conversion of plastic wastes to liquid fuels and a natural flavour extraction process used to enhance food and drink flavouring practices.”

Professor Bhatia wished to highlight that the ExxonMobil award underscored the strength of his research group, its research outcomes to date and the importance of continued funding.

In the latest round of funding from the Australian Research Council (ARC), Professor Bhatia lead a submission that received $1 million to advance and validate a novel theory for transport of fluid mixtures in nanoconfined spaces.

Recently awarded a prestigious ARC Professorial Fellowship, Professor Bhatia also thanked the ARC for its continued support of his research in the area over a number of years.

Professor Bhatia is a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, a previous recipient of the Herdillia Award for Excellence in Basic Research in Chemical Engineering and the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Engineering Sciences by the Government of India, its highest scientific award.

Media: Professor Suresh Bhatia 07 3365 4263 s.bhatia@uq.edu.au