Urban water researcher celebrated in Australia Day honours

31 Jan 2019

Professor Zhiguo Yuan, Director of the Advanced Water Management Centre (AWMC) at The University of Queensland, was appointed a Member of The Order of Australia on Australia Day, in recognition of his exceptional service to science in the field of urban water management and to higher education.

Professor Yuan is one of the most eminent researchers worldwide in the field of wastewater management and environmental biotechnology. He moved from aeronautical research to wastewater management in 1994 and joined the AWMC in 1998.

Professor Yuan’s research, which focuses on development of innovative solutions for urban water management through effective integration of biological sciences and applied engineering, has made significant contributions to the water industry.

UQ Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology Executive Dean Professor Vicki Chen said the appointment was well-deserved recognition for an influential researcher.

“Zhiguo has had a very illustrious career,” she said.

“Under his leadership the AWMC continues to make a positive impact on the global water industry and contribute to a more sustainable future.”

Professor Yuan is not only a high-profile and prolific academic, but also the founder of three bioprocess-focused companies.

Over the last two decades, the Australian Water Industry has largely benefited from his knowledge and support.

As a recipient of many Awards including the ATSE Clunies Ross award, Professor Yuan became a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering in 2015, an Australian Research Council Australian Laureate Fellow in 2017, and a Distinguished Fellow of the International Water Association in 2018.

He was named as one of Engineers Australia’s Top 100 Most Influential Engineers for 2015.

Professor Yuan is the current President of the Federation of Chinese Scholars in Australia (FOCSA), and plays an active role in promoting cooperation between Australia and China in Science, Technology and Innovation.

He is also a proud Australian citizen and was “extremely excited but also humbled” by the appointment.

“It is incredible that Australia, which accepted me as a citizen 15 years ago, has given me this great honour,” he said.

“I am grateful to The University of Queensland for nurturing my career development in the past twenty years, and to my team members and collaborators for their constant support.”

Professor Yuan’s award is one of several conferred on UQ academics and alumni, including the UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj in the 2019 Australia Day honours.

Visit UQ News to see the full story.