Researcher biography

George Zhao is a Professor and ARC Australian Laureate Fellow of the School of Chemical Engineering at The University of Queensland. He held a couple of other fellowships, scuh as ARC Future Fellow (2011–2014) and UQ Vice-Chancellor's Research and Teaching Fellow (2014-2017). Prof Zhao's research focuses on nanoporous materials for sustainable energy storage and conversion, as well as for environmentally friendly chemical processes and products. The overall objective of his research program is to develop tailor-designed advanced porous materials with desired structural, interfacial and morphological properties for applicaitons in the fields ranging from energy storage and conversion, heterogeneous catalysis, adsorption, water and air purification, seawater desalination, to photonics. Prof Zhao has collected a number of prizes and awards, such as the 2nd prize of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, global highly cited researcher, American Carbon Society Award, and Fellow of The Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC).

Research Program:

Prof Zhao's current research projects include (1) towards sustainable electrochemical energy storage technology (biomass-derived electrode materials for sodium-ion batteries and hybrid ion capacitors), (2) investigation of sodium ion interactions with biomass-derived hard carbon (in collaboration with Dr Ruth Knibbe and DR Tim Duignan), (3) anti-corresive protection of zinc-lated steels (in collaboration with Baosteel), (4) electrode materials for flexible energy storage devices (in collaboration with Qingdao University, China), (5) mesoporous zeolite catalysts for hydrocarbon oxidation (in collaboration with Qingdao University, China), (6) photocatalytic and electrocatalytic conversion of carbon dioxide to fuels (in collaboration with IIT-Delhi), and (7) catalytic conversion of methane (in collaboration with IIT-Delhi). While materials have been of the main research focus, computational work has also been being carried out to help understand experimental observations and phenomena.

Teaching and Learning:

Prof Zhao has taught the following courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels: Colloids and Surfaces, Chemical Reaction Engineering, Applied Heterogeneous Catalysis, Materials Science and Engineering, and Nanoscience and Nanotechnology.