News - US Navy biofuels expert joins QUT

19th June 2017

The US Navy’s former Director for Operational Energy Chris Tindal has joined Australian university QUT as an Adjunct Professor thanks to a shared passion for advancing biofuels technology.

The appointment was announced at the 2017 BIO International Convention in San Diego today (Monday, June 19, Queensland time).

Professor Tindal (pictured right), who is based in South Carolina, will work with QUT’s Institute for Future Environments and the QUT Centre for Tropical Crops and Biocommodities.

Chris TindalHis experience includes being part of the US Navy’s ‘Great Green Fleet’ initiative, which last year sent the Navy’s John C. Stennis Strike Group to sea on alternative fuels, including nuclear power for the carrier and a blend of advanced biofuel made from beef fat and traditional petroleum for its escort ships. (The biofuels cost about the same as conventional fuels and were “drop-in” replacements that did not require engine modifications.)

QUT’s biofuels and bioproducts research reputation saw it land the lead research role in a $14 million national project announced this month which aims to catapult Australia’s growing bioproducts industry while advancing the war on waste.

It will investigate turning livestock industry wastes into products including fuel, animal feeds, fertilisers, fuels, chemicals, and specialty plastics.

QUT also designed, built and operates the Mackay Renewable Biocommodities Pilot Plant, which is Australia's only publicly accessible biorefinery pilot plant and is located on the site of an operating sugar factory in Queensland.

Professor Tindal first visited QUT and the pilot plant in 2012.

Leading QUT biofuels researcher Professor Ian O’Hara said the university was excited about Professor Tindal’s appointment.

“We are very pleased that he shares our enthusiasm and ambition for developing, demonstrating and advancing biofuels technology,” he said.

“He’s a great fit for QUT’s ‘real world’ focus and will be a great asset to QUT with his networks and experience.

“He’ll be coming out here regularly to help us to further the development of biofuel technologies and build industry connections.”

Professor O’Hara said Professor Tindal would work mainly with QUT researchers, but would also share his knowledge with QUT students.

“He’ll be an advocate for the university and our research around the world,” Professor O’Hara said.

Professor Tindal’s first visit to QUT as an Adjunct Professor is planned for this October.

Professor Tindal said he was looking forward to joining the prestigious QUT team.

“I am excited to be collaborating with the highly respected researchers and students at QUT,” he said.

“I will proudly represent QUT in my global interactions with other research institutes, biofuel and bioproduct companies and government agencies.”
Release date: Monday, June 19, 2017

Media contacts:
Mechelle McMahon / Rose Trapnell, QUT Media, or 0407 585 901

QUT is part of a national collaborative group of five major Australian universities that form the ATN (Australian Technology Network of Universities).

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