Professor Paul Lant


School of Chemical Engineering
Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology
+61 7 336 54728



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. Whilst small, Wastewater Futures has been operating successfully since 1998, and currently employs 6 staff, all UQ alumni from engineering and science.


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 with his colleagues Professor Chris Grieg and Dr Simon Smart. This is pan-UQ initiative incorporating the disciplines of engineering, economics, business, communications and social science. 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.

UQ R!SK: Paul co-founded UQ R!SK with his colleague 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.

Urban Water Systems: Paul has an international reputation for his research work in the field of urban water systems, and in particular wastewater treatment. Paul has made major contributions in the fields of biological nutrient removal wastewater treatment, resource and energy recovery from wastewater streams, industrial wastewater treatment, greenhouse gas emissions and life cycle assessment of water systems. Current work focuses on industrial wastewater treatment and water-carbon-energy linkages in cities.

Next Generation Biopolymers: Paul has been leading work at UQ for over 10 years investigating the production of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) from a variety of organic waste streams. PHA is an exciting polymer to study because it is one of very few polymers that is both bio-based and fully biodegradable. This work has been supported by several ARC research grants and also major industry support from AnoxKaldnes in Sweden. Current work is focused on the development of an innovative process to produce PHBV directly from methane, and the development of innovative PHA based products like PHA based wood-plastic composites.

Paul has a very successful track record of winning competitive research funding. He has won 13 prestigious ARC projects. He has also attracted significant support from industry for research. Paul has been a chief investigator on projects that have attracted well in excess of $20million from Govt and industry. Most recently, Paul led the bid to establish the Dow Centre for Sustainable Engineering. This was established with a $10M contribution from Dow. Paul has been a co-author on well over 100 journal publications, and he has supervised almost 40 PhD students to date.

Teaching and Learning:

An established chemical engineering educator, Paul has received national awards for innovations in undergraduate teaching and supervision of postgraduate students. He has been a member of teams winning national Carrick awards for both undergraduate and postgraduate education in 2005 and 2006. Paul was also a major driver behind the recent establishment of the International WaterCentre, a joint venture between four leading Australian universities, offering the innovative Master of Integrated Water management program.


  • MEng, Newcastle(UK)
  • PhD, Newcastle(UK)
  • MBA, The University of Queensland


View all Publications



Book Chapter

  • Kenway, Steven J. and Lant, Paul A. (2015). How does energy efficiency affect urban water systems?. In Quentin Grafton, Katherine A. Daniell, Céline Nauges, Jean-Daniel Rinaudo and Noel Wai Wah Chan (Ed.), Understanding and managing urban water in transition (pp. 615-631) Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-94-017-9801-3_28

  • Kenway, Steven. J. and Lant, P. (2012). The influence of water on urban energy use. In Carol Howe and Cynthia Mitchell (Ed.), Water sensitive cities (pp. 63-80) London, United Kingdom: IWA Publishing.

  • Yuan, Z., Keller, J. and Lant, P. A. (2003). Optimization and control of nitrogen removal activated sludge processes: A review of recent developments. In Spiros N. Agathos and Walter Reineke (Ed.), Biotechnology for the Environment: Wastewater Treatment and Modeling, Waste Gas Handling (pp. 187-227) Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Completed Supervision