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Curtin appoints Director for new energy research centre

Media release


27 October 2008

Curtin University of Technology has appointed Professor Chun-Zhu Li as the Director of its new Curtin Centre for Advanced Energy Science and Engineering.

Curtin’s new Centre will be focused on developing novel technologies for both fossil fuels and renewable energy sources in light of the urgent global priority to secure cheap energy supply and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Curtin’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research and Development, Professor Linda Kristjanson, welcomed the new Centre and its Director.

“The new Centre is a key part of the University’s strategy in enhancing its expertise and research activities in the area of energy and resources,” Professor Kristjanson said.

“Curtin plans to consolidate its energy research efforts into this new Centre and is very pleased to have secured the service of Professor Chun-Zhu Li who is an internationally recognised leader in his field.

“His appointment will greatly boost the energy research activities at Curtin and enhance the University’s progress toward becoming a global centre of excellence in energy science and engineering.”

Professor Li brings a wealth of research experience and expertise in energy science and engineering, and is an authoritative expert in coal science and technology. His interest in coal includes many aspects of coal science and technology such as pyrolysis, gasification, liquefaction and combustion of coal, as well as the structure and properties of coal.

He will commence his role at Curtin in January 2009 and comes to the University after spending the past 12 years at Monash University in coal research where he made very important contributions to the science and technology of Victorian brown coal.

Some of the findings from his research group are considered important milestones in coal science and cornerstones for the development of novel low emission clean coal technologies.

Professor Li also has research interests in other areas of energy science and engineering.

His research in the area of bioenergy includes the gasification of biomass for distributed power generation and the pyrolysis and biorefinery for the production of liquid transport fuels from biomass. Much of his recent research on bioenergy has been focused on the utilisation of mallee biomass grown in Western Australia.

Professor Li has carried out fundamental research for the catalytic conversion of light hydrocarbons, including natural gas, and has also worked on the clean utilisation of solid wastes such as waste plastics. His work on fuel cell technology is the newest addition to his wide interests in energy science and engineering.

He is widely published and is the author or co-author of more than 200 papers in international journals and conference proceedings, and serves as a member of editorial and advisory boards of seven international journals. He also edited and co-authored the book Advances in the Science of Victorian Brown Coal which was published in 2004.

Professor Li has also established productive alliances with many researchers in top research institutions in China, Japan, Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States, and is currently leading a large project on biomass utilisation involving researchers in Australia, China, Korea and Japan as a part of the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate.

He obtained his PhD in Chemical Engineering in 1993 from Imperial College London. After postdoctoral research in Imperial College London and CSIRO, he joined Monash University as a Lecturer in 1996 where he was promoted to Professor in 2006. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree from Taiyuan Institute of Technology in China.

Modified: 27 October 2008