Mr Benjamin McLellan

Honorary Senior Fellow

Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation
Sustainable Minerals Institute


Ben is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow working with the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining on research relating to critical or strategic minerals, primarily in association with the UQ Rare Earths Consortium. He is currently employed as an Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Energy Science of Kyoto University (Japan), where he teaches energy science subjects relating to sustainable development, materials, hydrogen and carbon footprinting. Ben completed his BE (Chemical) / BA (Spanish) and his PhD (Chemical Engineering) at UQ.

Research Interests

  • Energy critical minerals
    Examining the technologies that utilise and provide functional materials for energy systems. Limitations, resources and processing.
  • Paticipatory design
    Utilising stakeholder interaction in the design of sustainable future energy systems and industrial operations.
  • Deep ocean resources
    Technologies and sustainability implications of non-conventional resources of critical minerals and methane hydrates from the deep ocean.
  • Climate change and energy
    The potential impacts of climate change (environmental and legislative) are the focus of much research around emerging technologies. My interest is in the assessment of these technologies, and future scenarios involving their application and the potential impacts or benefits.
  • Sustainable design
    The design of industrial operations is commonly guided by cost and technical performance, with less consideration of broader sustainability implications. A current project is developing a project-wide methodology for incorporating sustainable development principles in design.
  • Sustainability metrics
    The selection and measurement of appropriate indicators of sustainability - in particular in process industries - is of key interest to me. In particular, the streamlining of current reporting methods and the development of location-specific metrics is an emerging field of research.
  • Hydrogen economy
    Assessment of hydrogen economy scenarios and enabling technology from a sustainability perspective over the full life cycle.
  • Minerals-energy nexus
    Examining the bi-directional interrelationship of minerals and energy. Peak minerals and supply-side constraints on energy scenarios; energy usage with changing shape of the minerals industry; lifecycle impacts.

Research Impacts

Ben's work crosses a wide range of topics and fields, but generally covers: assessment and design for sustainability; minerals industry; energy technologies and systems; participatory design processes; and greenhouse gas mitigation solutions. The key impacts of this research have been in the design of more sustainable minerals processing operations (see and ongoing work is anticipated to assist communities in Japan to develop preferable, sustainable energy-based futures.


  • B Arts, The University of Queensland
  • B Engineering (Honours), The University of Queensland
  • PhD, The University of Queensland


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Featured Publications


Book Chapter

  • McLellan, Benjamin C., Choi, Yosoon, Ghoreishi-Madiseh, Syed Ali and Hassani, Ferri P. (2018). Emissions and the role of renewables: Drivers, potential, projects and projections. Mining and Sustainable Development: Current Issues. (pp. 201-225) edited by Sumit. K. Lodhia. London, United Kingdom: Taylor and Francis. doi: 10.4324/9781315121390-12

  • Jamieson, E., van Riessen, A., McLellan, B., Penna, B., Kealley, C. and Nikraz, H. (2017). Introducing Bayer liquor-derived geopolymers. Handbook of low carbon concrete. (pp. 159-193) edited by Ali Nazari and Jay G. Sanjayan. Kidlington, Oxford, United States: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-804524-4.00008-7

  • McLellan, Benjamin, Tanaka, Yoshiki, Dinh, Thi Thu Huyen, Dinh, Huong Long, Jusakulvijit, Piradee, Freemantle, Faizi Ashley Taro and Hakimov, Aibek (2016). Carbon footprint of the operation and products of a restaurant: a study and alternative perspectives. The Carbon footprint handbook. (pp. 369-388) edited by Subramanian Senthilkannan Muthu. Boca Raton, FL United States: CRC Press.

  • Gannon, Tracey, Singer, Jane and McLellan, Benjamin (2016). Collaborating for change: teaching and assessing a university community sustainability course in Japan and Vietnam. Educating for sustainability in Japan: fostering resilient communities after the triple disaster. (pp. 119-142) edited by Jane Singer, Tracey Gannon, Fumiko Noguchi and Yoko Mochizuki. Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom: Taylor and Francis. doi: 10.4324/9781315715582-8

  • McLellan, Ben, Corder, Glen, Ali, Saleem and Golev, Artem (2016). Rare metals, unconventional resources, and sustainability. GSA special papers. (pp. 57-65) edited by Gregory R. Wessel. Boulder, CO, United States: Geological Society of America. doi: 10.1130/2016.2520(07)

  • Benjamin C McLellan (2015). Challenges and merits of choosing alternative functional units. The Carbon Footprint Handbook. (pp. 45-60) edited by Subramanian Senthilkannan Muthu. Boca Raton, FL United States: CRC Press. doi: 10.1201/b18929-4

  • Bangerter, Philip J., Corder, Glen D., Giurco, Damien, McLellan, Ben C. and Murphy, Andrew (2015). Sustainability in plant design. Metallurgical plant design. (pp. 151-179) edited by Rob Boom, Chris Twigge-Molecey, Frank Wheeler and Jack Young. Montreal, Canada: Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum.

  • McLellan, Ben C. and Corder, Glen D. (2012). Designing-in sustainability in industrial projects and processes. Design for innovative value towards a sustainable society: Proceedings of EcoDesign 2011: 7th International Symposium on Environmentally Conscious Design and Inverse Manufacturing. (pp. 209-214) edited by Mitsutaka Matsumo, Yasushi Umed, Keijiro Masui and Shinichi Fukushige. Kyoto, Japan: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-3010-6_41

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)