Researcher biography

Paul Lant is a Professor in the School of Chemical Engineering at The University of Queensland. Paul has a long history of teaching and research at UQ, and he has held a variety of roles. He was the Head of the School from 2009-2013, during which time he led the establishment of the new School, including the introduction of many new teaching, research and engagement activities. He has a history of successful start-up ventures across his portfolio of research, teaching and commercialisation. He has led many new teaching initiatives and been a key player in establishing UQ Chemical Engineering as a world leader in chemical engineering education innovation. He has started several commercial ventures and has been a Director of several companies. He was the founder and is still a Director of Wastewater Futures, a niche water company which provides specialist services to industrial clients.

Paul is a Fellow of the IChemE and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Paul's research portfolio is diverse, and aimed at addressing some critical global challenges and also core challenges facing the hazardous industries. Currently, his major activities are:

Energy and Poverty: In 2013, Paul co-founded the Energy and Poverty Research Group at UQ. This is a pan-UQ initiative incorporating the disciplines of engineering, business, social science, environmental science, policy, communications and psychology. The mission is to support positive social, environmental and health outcomes that are vital for sustainable and productive livelihoods in energy impoverished communities in the developed and developing world.

Urban Water Systems: Paul has an international reputation for his research work in the field of urban water systems. Current work focuses on industrial wastewater treatment and water-carbon-energy linkages in cities.

UQ R!SK: Paul co-founded UQ R!SK with Dr Maureen Hassall in 2015. UQ R!SK is an interdisciplinary initiative to deliver practical, evidence-based outcomes that help hazardous industries address current and future risk challenges. The vision for UQ R!SK is to be a world leader in developing practical and innovative, human-centred operational risk management approaches that deliver real improvements in performance and sustainable competitiveness for hazardous industries.

The New Plastics Economy: Plastics and plastic waste are globally significant issues. Paul has been leading work at UQ for over 12 years investigating the production of biobased and biodegradable polymers. This work has been supported by several ARC research grants and also major industry support from Veolia in Sweden and Norske Skog in Australia.

Food Waste Impacts: Food waste is a significant global issue, as up to 40% of food produced is wasted throughout the food supply chain. Paul commenced working on food waste in 2014. This is a strategically significant field for UQ, and will be grown over the next few years.

Paul has a very successful track record of establishing productive collaborative partnerships with industry, and for winning competitive research funding. He has been a Chief Investigator on 17 prestigious ARC projects, and he has also attracted significant support from industry for research. Paul has been a chief investigator on projects that have attracted in excess of $13 million from Govt and industry. Paul led the bid to establish the Dow Centre for Sustainable Engineering Innovation. This was established with a $10M gift from Dow. Paul has been a co-author on over 130 journal publications, and he has supervised 45 PhD students to date. He has an h-index of 45 and 8100 citations (Google Scholar, Nov 2018).


An established chemical engineering educator, Paul has received national awards for innovations in undergraduate teaching and supervision of postgraduate students. He was a member of teams winning national teaching awards for both undergraduate and postgraduate education in 2005 and 2006. Paul led the establishment of IWES in 2002. IWES is now the leading provider of environmental short course training for Australian industry.