Professor Zhiguo Yuan
Prof Yuan received his PhD degree in aeronautical engineering in 1992 from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, China. He shifted research direction to wastewater management in 1994, when he took up a postdoctoral research fellow position at Ghent University, Belgium. He joined the Advanced Water Management Centre (AWMC) at The University of Queensland in 1998. He served as the AWMC Deputy Director 2001-2014, and is currently the Director. His research focuses on development of innovative solutions for urban water management through effective integration of fundamental science and applied engineering. He has won over $30M in competitive research funding since 2001 including 20 ARC Discovery and Linkage grants as a Chief Investigator. Prof Yuan is an Executive of the $117m Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities and Leader of the Future Technologies Program.
He has to date published nearly 300 fully refereed journal papers including a paper in Nature (2013) and Science (2014). His h-index is 53 (Scopus, July 2015), with over 9000 citations. He is the founder of three biotechnology businesses namely SeweX, Cloevis and Lodomat, and his research has delivered documented savings of over $400 million to the Australian water industry. His research achievements and leadership have been recognized through national and international awards with the most recent being the 2015 ATSE Clunies Award and the International Water Association (IWA) 2014 Global Project Innovation Award (Applied Research Category) – as Project Leader. Prof Yuan is an IWA Fellow and was named as one of Engineers Australia’s Top 100 Most Influential Engineers for 2015. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE).
- Integrated urban water management
- Corrosion and odour management in sewers systems
- Resource recovery from wastewater
- Fugitive greenhouse gas (N2O and CH4) emissions from urban water systems
- Link between carbon and nitrogen cycles
- Modelling, simulation and control of the above systems/processes
Current and Recent ARC Research Projects
- An integrated approach to iron salt use in urban water systems (ARC LP 2014 – 2017, Yuan/Gernjak/Pikaar/Sharma/Keller/Roux/Halliwell/Jackson/Murthy)
- Treatment of secondary sludge using free nitrous acid to enhance performance and economics of a wastewater treatment plant (ARC LP 2013-2016, Yuan/Ye/Batstone/Bond/O’Halloran/Vierboom)
- Biofilm control in wastewater systems using free nitrous acid – a renewable material from wastewater (ARC DP, 2012 -2014, Yuan/Bond/Ye/Richardson)
- Establishing a missing link between the global nitrogen and carbon cycles – anaerobic methane oxidation coupled to denitrification (ARC DP, 2012 -2014, Yuan/Angly)
- In-situ electrochemical generation of caustic and oxygen from sewage for emission control in sewers (ARC LP, 2012 - 2016, Yuan/Keller/Rabaey)
- Methane and nitrous oxide emissions from sewers – understanding, mitigation and modelling (ARC LP, 2011 – 2014, Yuan/Tyson/Sharma/Ni/Murthy)
- Nitrous oxide and methane emissions from South East Queensland waterways and influence of wastewater discharges (ARC LP, 2010 – 2012, Yuan/Zeng/Keller/Abal/Udy)
- Understanding and mitigating nitrous oxide emission from wastewater treatment plants (ARC LP 2009 – 2012, Yuan/Third/Lant)
- Understanding fugitive greenhouse gas emissions from wastewater systems for Reliable Accounting and Effective Mitigation (ARC DP 2009 – 2011, Yuan/Lant/Richardson)
- Optimal management of corrosion and odour problems in sewers (ARC LP, 2008 – 2012, Yuan/Keller and others)
- Fundamental understanding of anaerobic methane oxidation coupled to denitrification (ARC DP 2006 - 2008, Yuan/Lant/Keller)
- Novel concept for wastewater treatment with integrated power production based on Microbial Fuel Cells (ARC DP, 2006 – 2010, Keller/Yuan/Verstraete)
- Elected as Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) 2015
- Recipient of the ATSE Clunies Ross Award in recognition of outstanding achievement in the application of science and technology for the benefit of the wider community - May 2015
- Engineers Australia’s List of Australia's Top 100 Most Influential Engineers 2015
- Chair of the 9th IWA Conference on Modelling and Integrated Assessment (Watermatex 2015), Gold Coast, Australia.
- An Executive of the $117m Cooperative Research Centre on Water Sensitive Cities; Leader of its Future Technologies Program
- Founder of Lodomat, a resource recovery business, under UniQuest Pty Ltd, in 2013.
- Senior Editor of Water Science and Technology since 2005
- An Inaugural Editor of Frontiers of Environmental Science and Engineering in China (since 2006)
- Ex-Chair of IWA Specialist Group on Instrumentation, Control and Automation (ICA), 06/2005 – 06/2009. Member of the Management Committee of this SG during 2001 – 2009.
- Ex-Chair of the Sewer Systems and Processes Working Group (SS&PWG) under the IWA/IAHR Joint Committee on Urban Drainage since 2010; Vice-Chair 2008 - 2010, member of the Management Committee since 2006.
- Member of the Management Committee of the IWA Specialist Group on Modelling and Integrated Assessment (MIA) (previously known as System Analysis and Integrated Assessment SAIA) since 2000; secretary since July 2011.
- Member of the Management Committee of the IWA Specialist Group on Nutrient Removal and Recovery (NRR) since 2007.
- Chair of the 10th IWA Conference on Instrumentation, Control and Automation, June 14-17 2009, Cairns, Australia.
- Chair of the 6th International Conference on Sewer Processes and Networks, Nov 7-10 2010, Gold Coast, Australia.
- International Program Committee or Organizing Committee members of numerous IWA and other conferences.
- One of the 34 inaugural IWA Fellows appointed in July 2010.
- Invited/keynote speakers at >10 international conferences/workshops in the past ten years.
- Founder of Cloevis Pty Ltd, a spin-off from sewer research, in 2011.
- Founder SeweX, a consulting business under UniQuest Pty Ltd, in 2008.
- 29 completed PhD graduates since 2001, currently supervising 14 RHD students.
- PhD student, Qilin Wang, won the prestigious Huber Technology Prize in 2014
- PhD student, Paritam Dutta, won the prestigious Huber Technology Prize in 2010
- PhD student, Stefano Freguia, won the prestigious Huber Technology Prize in 2008
- PhD student, Adrian Oehmen, won the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP)’s Best PhD thesis (first time that a non-US university won this prestigious award) in 1995
- Member of International Water Association (IWA)
- Member of the Australian Water Association (AWA)
- Member of Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP)
- 2015 ATSE Clunies Ross Award
- 2014 B/HERT (Business / Higher Education Round Table) Best Research & Development Award and Award for Outstanding Excellence in Collaboration for SCORe project
- 2014 IWA Project Innovation Award in Applied Research– Asia-Pacific Region
- 2014 IWA Global Project Innovation Award in Applied Research
- 2011 UQ Q-index Awards - Overall
- 2011 UQ Q-index Awards - RHD Completion
- 2010 UQ Graduate School Research Higher Degree Supervision Award.
- 2010 Inaugural Research, Innovation and Supervision Award (Supervision category), The University of Queensland.
- 2008 IWA Project Innovation Award in Applied Research – East Asia and Pacific Region
- 2008 Australian Engineering Excellence Award (Innovation Research and Development Category, Queensland Division)
- Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) Fellow
- Fellow of International Water Association (IWA)
Pikaar, I#., Sharma, K#., Hu, S., Gernjak, W., Keller, J. and Yuan, Z. (2014) Reducing sewer corrosion through integrated urban water management. Science, accepted on June 27, 2014. #Equal first author. [Identified a new strategy for reducing corrosion and odour in sewers through integrated urban water management]
Haroon, M. F.*, Hu, S.*, Shi, Y., Imelfort, M., Keller, J., Hugenholtz, P., Yuan, Z.#, and Tyson, G. W.# (2013) Anaerobic oxidation of methane coupled to nitrate reduction in a novel archaeal lineage. Nature, 500: 567-570. * Equal first author; # Joint corresponding author. [Elucidated the metabolic pathway of an anaerobic methane oxidizing archaeon; revealed an important link between carbon and nitrogen cycles; proved for the first time the occurrence of ‘reverse methanogensis’]
Wang, Q., Ye, L., Jiang, G., Jensen, P., Batstone, D., Yuan, Z. (2013) Free Nitrous Acid (FNA)-Based Pre-treatment Enhances Methane Production from Waste Activated Sludge. Environmental Science and Technology, 47(20): 11897-11904. [A new process for enhancing biogas production from waste activated sludge, underpinning the Lodomat technology]
Yuan, Z., Pratt, S. and Batstone, D. J. (2012) Phosphorus recovery from wastewater through microbial processes" Current Opinion in Biotechnology. 23:878–883. [A visionary review on microbial processes for phosphorus recovery from wastewater]
Jiang, G., Gutierrez, O. and Yuan, Z. (2011) The strong biocidal effect of free nitrous acid on anaerobic sewer biofilms. Water Research, 45(12): 3735-3743. [Discovered a new way to control sewer biofilms, underpinning the Cloevis technology]
Zhou, Y., Pijuan, M., Zeng, R., Yuan, Z. (2008) Free nitrous acid (FNA) inhibition on nitrous oxide (N2O) reduction by a denitrifying EBPR sludge. Environmental Science and Technology. 42(22): 8260-8265. [IF: 5.481]
Freguia, S., Rabaey, K., Yuan, Z. and Keller, J. (2007) Electron and carbon balances in microbial fuel cells reveal temporary bacterial storage behaviour during electricity generation. Environmental Science and Technology, 41 (8): 2915-2921. [IF: 5.481]
Vadivelu, M. V., Yuan, Z., Fux, C. and Keller, J. (2006) The inhibitory effects of free nitrous acid on the energy generation and growth processes of an enriched Nitrobacter culture. Environmental Science and Technology. 40(14); 4442-4448. [IF: 5.481]
Oehmen, A., Yuan, Z., Blackall, L. L. and Keller, J. (2005) Comparison of acetate and propionate uptake by polyphosphate accumulating organisms and glycogen accumulating organisms. Biotechnology and Bioengineering. 91(2): 162-168. [IF: 4.164]
Zeng, R., Lemaire, R., Yuan, Z. and Keller, J. (2003) Simultaneous nitrification, denitrification and phosphorus removal in a lab-scale sequencing batch reactor. Biotechnology and Bioengineering. 84:170-178. [A new process achieving simultaneous N and P removal from wastewater]