Chemical engineers receive Australia Day honours #Australiaday

Three chemical engineers received honours from the Order of Australia, the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) confirmed today. The appointments are made each year on Australia Day (26 January), and recognise Australian citizens for their outstanding service to the country and local communities.  

Professor Gaoqing Max Lu, currently Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Surrey, was awarded Officer in the General Division (AO).

Lu, who grew up in China and has been an Australian National since 1991, was awarded the recognition for his service to education and international research in chemical and nanotechnology. He was also honoured for championing Australia-China relations, and is currently Honorary President and Chair of the Federation of Chinese Scholars in Australia Advisory Board, Vice President of the Returned and Overseas Chinese Scholars Association, and was the 2014 winner of the Australia-China Achievement Award.

A Fellow of the Institution, Lu also served as Chair of IChemE’s Australian Board from 2009-2010. He joined University of Surrey in April 2016, and was the first China-born scholar to lead a British University. He also attended Professor Jonathan Seville’s presidential address at IChemE’s last Annual General Meeting (pictured).

Ross McCann, who previously served as IChemE’s International Vice President from 2012-2015, and Donald Hector, former Managing Director of Dow Corning Australia, were awarded Member in the General Division (AM).

McCann has been an IChemE Fellow since 2004, and was recognised for his services to the environment, chemical engineering and the promotion of sustainable resource use. Formerly CEO and Chairman of Qenos, he is currently an active member of several boards based in Victoria promoting sustainability in the process industries.

Hector served as Chair of IChemE’s Australian Board from 2000-2001, and was recognised today for making a significant contribution to chemical engineering and business. He graduated with a PhD in chemical engineering from University of Sydney, where he is currently President of the Chemistry Foundation.

Hector’s business credentials include high-level positions at Asia Pacific Speciality Chemicals, Engenco Ltd and other private companies and not-for-profit organisations. He is currently Director and Co-Founder of Gelion Technologies Pty Ltd, a spin-out of University of Sydney which develops novel battery technology.

IChemE’s Australian Director, Peter Slane, said:

“It’s fantastic to see Australian chemical engineers being recognised by the Governor-General today. Each one of them has been closely linked to the Institution, passionate about representing and promoting the profession in their individual fields.

“I’m delighted to see each one of them receive recognition for their outstanding contribution. It’s a clear indication that chemical engineering matters in Australia. On behalf of the Institution I would like to offer Professor Lu, Dr Hector and Mr McCann my sincere congratulations.”

The Order of Australia was established in 1975 by Queen Elizabeth II, in order to recognise Australians for their achievements and service. Prior to the Order of Australia, citizens would receive British honours.