Recognition for research which will create jobs and reduce carbon footprint
10 February 2012
For his work on catalysis and sustainable processes, including developing methods to create low carbon crude and heavy fuel oil substitutes, the University of Sydney's Professor Thomas Maschmeyer has been awarded the prestigious 2011 Applied Research Medal.
This medal is awarded annually by the Royal Australian Chemical Institute to a member who has contributed significantly towards applied research or industrial fields.
Professor Maschmeyer, from the School of Chemistry, has developed ways to generate low carbon crude and heavy fuel oil substitutes from renewable biomass and brown coal. Both processes are currently in the commercial demonstration phase.
"I am delighted to have received the prize as it represents recognition for activities whose value is sometime difficult to appreciate, as they are situated in-between clear-cut basic research and full commerciality - sometimes referred to as the professional 'Valley of Death'."
"The recognition from the award will help to lift the profile of such activities, which are essential to keeping a modern economy and society robust and viable."
Outcomes of the research are job creation in the high-tech, manufacturing and utilities sector as well as a reduction of the carbon footprint of a range of activities associated with fossil fuels such as power generation and transport fuels.
"It will support a marked reduction in the reliance on imported crude oil, since biomass and previously 'dirty' brown coal can be substituted for crude oil in these applications. This will have very substantial positive impacts on Australia as a whole."
Thomas Maschmeyer, is Professor of Chemistry and ARC Future Fellow at the University of Sydney. In 2011 he was elected Foreign Member of the Academia Europea as well as Fellow of the Australian Academy of Sciences, the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and the Australian Royal Chemical Institute.
He serves on the editorial/advisory boards of eight international journals and is President of the Catalysis Society of Australia. He is co-founder of the Australian low carbon/renewables start-ups Ignite Energy Resources and Licella and was one of the founding Professors of Avantium, a Dutch hi-tech company, which employs more than 100 employees.
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