Professor John Zhu


School of Chemical Engineering
Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology
+61 7 336 53528



John Zhu is currently a Professor in the School of Chemical Engineering, UQ. He is also the inaugural Director of Carbon Energy Research Centre. He received his PhD in Chemical Engineering, UQ in 2002, then worked as a lecturer in Curtin University of Technology from 2002 to 2004. He moved back to UQ at the end of 2004 and has been working in the same school until present. He is the recipient of a number of awards and fellowships, including RK Murphy Medal 2013, Freehills Award IChemE 2011, runner up of Innovator of the Year Award International IChemE 2011, the University of Queensland Foundation Research Excellence Award 2007, an ARC Future Fellowship from 2013 to 2016, an ARC Queen Elizabeth II Fellowship from 2008 to 2012, an ARC Postdoctoral Fellowship from 2003 – 2005. In May 2012, John Zhu’s long term collaborative research with Eden Energy was recognised by Thomson Reuters Innovation Award for Innovative Collaboration between the University of Queensland and Eden Energy.


John Zhu’s research interests and expertise exist in advanced catalysis, gas adsorption and separation, direct carbon fuel cells and solid oxide fuel cells with strong application focus on clean energy and environment. His current projects include research into scale up of direct carbon fuel cells, next generation solid oxide fuel cells, hierarchically-structured bulk materials for gas storage and catalytic reaction, carbon nanotubes/MOFs composite membranes, carbon nanotube reinforced polymer composites for automotive applications, advanced plasma-assisted catalytic processes for clean energy production and air pollution control.

Teaching and Learning:

John has taught several engineering courses including Research Methods (CHEE7200), Heat and mass transfer (CHEE3002), and Engineering investigation and analysis (CHEE3010). He is currently lecturing a third year course, Reaction Engineering (CHEE3005).


1. Transport Processes in Flexible Porous Materials for Gas Separation and Storage, ARC DP

2. Prototype test of Direct Carbon Fuel Cells, QLD Research Partnership Program

3. Carbon nanotube reinforced polymer composites for automotive applications, ARC LP

4. Development of a Novel One Step Process for Gas Conversion to Liquid, ARC LP

5. Fundamentals and practical applications of hierarchically-structured bulk materials, ARC Future Fellowship

6. Development of novel cathodes for next generation solid oxide fuel cells, ARC DP


  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland
  • Masters (Coursework) of Engineering, Xi'an University of Architecture and Technology (西安建筑科技大学)
  • Bachelor of Engineering, Xi'an Institute of Metallurgy and Construction


View all Publications


  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision



Book Chapter

  • Wang, Li, Ge, Lei, Rufford, Thomas and Zhu, Zhonghua (2015). Functionalization of carbon nanotubes for catalytic applications. Nanotubes and nanosheets: functionalization and applications of boron nitride and other nanomaterials. (pp. 409-439) edited by Ying (Ian) Chen. Boca Raton, FL, United States: CRC Press. doi: 10.1201/b18073-20

  • Rufford, Thomas E., Fiset, Erika, Hulicova-Jurcakova, Denisa and Zhu, Zhonghua (2014). Biomass-derived carbon electrodes for electrochemical double-layer capacitors. Green Carbon Materials: Advances and Applications. (pp. 93-113) edited by Thomas E. Rufford, Denisa Hulicova-Jurcakova and John Zhu. Singapore: Pan Stanford Publishing. doi: 10.1201/b15651-5

  • Li, Zhen, Lu, Gaoqing (Max), Sun, Qiao, Smith, Sean C. and Zhu, Zhonghua (2013). Colloidal Semiconductor Nanowires. One-dimensional nanostructures: principles and applications. (pp. 65-104) edited by Tianyou Zhai and Jiannian Yao. Hoboken, NJ United States: John Wiley and Sons Inc.. doi: 10.1002/9781118310342.ch4

  • Wang, F.Y., Zhu, Z. H., Massarotto, P. and Rudolph, V. (2009). Advances in Integrated Modeling of Mass Transfer and Geo-mechanics in Coal Seams for CO2 Sequestration. Progress in Porous Media Research. (pp. 263-339) edited by Columbus, F.. Hauppauge, NY, USA: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.

  • Wang, F. Y., Zhu, Z. H., Massarotto, P. and Rudolph, V. (2009). Advances in integrated modeling of mass transport and geo-mechanics in coal seams for CO(2) geo-sequestration. Progress in porous media research. (pp. 263-339) edited by Kong Shuo Tian and He-Jing Shu. New York, NY, United States: Nova Science Publishers.

  • Zhu, Z. (2009). Molecular simulations applied to adsorption on and reaction with carbon. Carbon materials for catalysis. (pp. 93-129) edited by Philippe Serp and José Luis Figueiredo. Hoboken, USA: Wiley. doi: 10.1002/9780470403709.ch3

  • Yao, X., Zhu, Z. H., Lu, G. Q., Yao, X., Wu, C. Z., Wang, P. and Cheng, H. M. (2008). Effect of mn and zr on hydrogen absorption in mg-based nanocomposites. Carbon Nanomaterials in Clean Energy Hydrogen Systems. (pp. 497-502) Dordrecht: Springer Verlag. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4020-8898-8_63

  • Ding, R. G., Yao, X. D., Zhu, Z. H., Lu, G. Q. and Yan, Z. F. (2008). Effect of pore structure of activated carbon fibers on hydrogen adsorption. Carbon Nanomaterials in Clean Energy Hydrogen Systems. (pp. 233-240) Dordrecht: Springer Verlag. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4020-8898-8_23

  • Wang, F. Y., Rudolph, V. and Zhu, Z. H. (2008). Sewage sludge technologies. Encyclopedia of ecology. (pp. 3227-3242) edited by Sven Erik Jorgensen and Brian Fath. Oxford, England: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-008045405-4.00078-1

  • Ding, R. G., Finnerty, J. J., Zhu, Z. H., Yan, Z. F. and Lu, M. G. (2004). Hydrogen Storage by Carbon Nanotubes. Encyclopedia of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. (pp. 13-33) edited by H. S. Nalwa. USA: American Scientific Publishers.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision