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Our research aims to advance knowledge to develop new materials and green technologies for environmental remediation and monitoring with a focus on air, water and soil quality monitoring for:

  • environmental and health impact assessment
  • environmental pollutants' effect on climate
  • pollution modelling.


Our research applications include:

  • bioprocessing and waste conversion into energy and chemicals
  • carbon capture and isolation
  • clean transportation and fuels, including electric vehicles
  • economic and technological sustainability
  • environmental remediation and pollution control
  • physio-chemical characterisation of air pollutants
  • recovering hazardous waste and turning it into useful materials
  • reparation and purification
  • sustainable resource recovery, recycling and utilisation
  • uncovering the effects of aerosols on the climate.


Secondary aerosol formation from engine exhaust emissions

ARC Discovery Project
Project leaders


Project summary

This project aims to investigate the role of reactive volatile organic compounds from vehicles using alternative fuels in the formation and evolution of secondary organic aerosols (SOA). Expected outcomes include a greatly improved understanding of the mechanisms and precursors of SOA formation. The benefits should provide the knowledge needed to set vehicle emission regulations that can properly control urban air pollution episodes because the mechanisms and precursors of its formation will be better understood.

The project will also provide an experimental framework that will guide policy formulation and provide the science needed for development of strategies to improve air quality and health.

Find out more about this project.

A portable multiplexed sensing platform for the rapid stand-off detection of chemical hazards and concealed explosives

Project leaders


Project summary

Researchers from QUT, Flinders Universities and the department of defence science and technology (DST) will build a miniaturised laser based dual sensing capability that can safely identify hidden chemical threats from a standoff distance and provide information about their molecular structure.

The new capability will contribute to safeguarding the Australian public, Defence personnel and sensitive infrastructure.

This project is funded through the Counter Improvised Threats Grand Challenge: an initiative of Defence’s Next Generation Technologies.

State-of-the-art air quality sensing network for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018: engaging the community and showcasing QUT as a global leader in innovative technologies

QUT Engagement Innovation Grant
Project leaders


Project summary

This project aims to establish and operate a state-of-the-art miniature air quality sensing network at and around the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games village and provide real time, visualised communication of the monitoring data.

This collaboration with the Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation (DSITI) and Southport State High school students from will showcase, literally to the world, QUT’s advancement in this cutting edge technology, engagement of the public in air quality considerations in South East Queensland. It will also deliver a highly valued STEM learning experience for secondary students.

Establishing advanced networks for air quality sensing and analysis

ARC Linkage Project
Project leaders


Project summary

This project aims to develop innovative, cost-effective, high-resolution air quality networks. Recent developments in sensor technologies improve the ability to harvest atmospheric data. This project will develop, validate and implement methods for high sensitivity atmospheric sensing and apply cutting-edge statistical and analytic techniques to the data sets, unprecedented in scope and resolution.

Outcomes include an open access database to quantify and visualise intra-urban air pollution and human exposure and develop air quality maps and smoke pollution management tools.

Find out more about this project.

Reducing carbon dioxide to useful products using solar energy

Project leader

Dr Jingsan Xu



Project summary

The project aims to develop novel photocatalysts for reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) into useful products using solar energy. The project also plans to identify the photocatalytic mechanisms of the catalysts by investigating the reaction systems, such as the interface morphology, structure coherence and energy alignment of the component phases and reactant. Innovative technologies in the field of sunlight-driven photocatalysis have the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Great Barrier Reef as a significant source of climatically relevant aerosol particles

Project leader

Professor Zoran Ristovski



Project summary

Every cloud drop is formed from a microscopic aerosol particle, known as a cloud condensation nuclei (CCN). In unpolluted environments the CCN particles originate from biogenic sources. Determining the magnitude and driving factors of biogenic aerosol production in different ecosystems is crucial to the development and improvement of climate models.

This project aims to determine the mechanisms of new particle production from one of the biggest ecosystems in Australia, the Great Barrier Reef. It is expected that the project will establish whether marine aerosol along the Queensland coast is coral-derived and show that this aerosol can affect the CCN concentration and therefore cloud formation and the hydrological cycle.

Acid mine drainage as a new metal resource

Project leader

Dr Sara Couperthwaite



Project summary

The major issue of mining is the enormous amounts of waste rock and tailings that require disposal in lined dams and the potential of acid mine drainage occurring upon exposure of the waste materials to air and water. This research aims to develop a treatment process that not only produces water for beneficial use or discharge but also to concentrate the valuable metals in the treatment sludge to a point that they become economically viable to recover.

This project will reduce the environmental impact of mining in Queensland along with off-setting treatment costs with the recovery of valuable metals as well as minimising waste disposal.

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Are you looking to study at a higher or more detailed level? We are currently looking for students to research topics at a variety of study levels, including PhD, Masters, Honours or the Vacation Research Experience Scheme (VRES).
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We host an expert team of researchers and teaching staff, including Head of School and discipline leaders. Our discipline brings together a diverse team of experts who deliver world-class education and achieve breakthroughs in research.
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