Chemical and Environmental Engineering

Our multidisciplinary research aims at developing innovative technological solutions for contemporary problems relating to sustainable processing, industry, environment, resources and healthcare.

Our research, which spans the fundamental and applied engineering sciences, is defined by two main themes.

The energy and environment theme explores the sustainability of natural resources in the context of current and future environmental challenges. In particular, research in this theme is focused on an assessment of environmental impact across a broad spectrum, and the engineering of innovative solutions to manage our resources in a sustainable manner.

In the fluids and polymers theme, fundamental research underpinned by multiscale fluid physics, biotechnology, colloid and polymer science, nanotechnology and rheology is extended to address problems in the chemical process and healthcare industries.  

Capabilities

  • Our research activity encompasses key disciplines in chemical and environmental engineering including
  • Rheology and multiphase flow
  • Polymers, Soft matter and interfaces
  • Biomass utilisation, biosolids and bioenergy
  • Catalysis
  • Energy from renewable sources
  • Desalination and membrane technology
  • Drug delivery and nanomedicine
  • Water treatment
  • Waste to energy and resources
  • Ecotoxicology
  • Energy efficiency and optimisation
  • Environmental management
  • Groundwater and land contamination
  • Microfluidics
  • Nanostructured materials for energy and environment
  • Urban resilience and climate change
  • Wastewater treatment and sludge processing
  • Aerosol technology

Our impact

We work extensively with partners to solve practical problems facing industries and communities. Our partners have included:

  • AMIRA International
  • Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering
  • Australian Contaminated Land Consultants Association
  • Australian Meat Processor Corporation
  • Blacktown City Council
  • City of Port Phillip
  • City West Water
  • CSIRO
  • Energy Research Centre of Netherlands
  • Environment Protection Agency Victoria
  • Johnson & Johnson Innovation
  • Kraft
  • Melbourne Water
  • Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
  • Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Mondelēz International
  • Secretariat of Pacific Regional Environment Programme
  • South East Water
  • The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme
  • World Health Organisation Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory

Recent research highlights include:

  • A novel method to enhance transfer of drugs and therapeutic molecules into patient-harvested cells so that they can be engineered and re-infused for cancer therapy
  • A revolutionary nebulisation platform for delivering the next generation of drugs and vaccines via inhalation, which won the Johnson & Johnson World Without Disease Quickfire Challenge
  • Applications of biochar as potential fertilisers or fuel
  • Optimisation of flow and performance of anaerobic digesters for municipal sewerage treatment
  • Synthesis of high performance carbon (with high mesopore content) from waste biomass for environmental remediation and energy storage
  • Novel nanocatalysts for biofuel production

Research centres and groups

Facilities

Our research is supported by well-equipped laboratories with cutting-edge equipment for

  • anaerobic digestion
  • environmental monitoring
  • multiphase flow visualisation and analysis
  • rheometry
  • thermal and hydrothermal processing
  • water treatment systems
  • chemical analyses and surface characterisation

Who we are

Chemical and Environmental Engineering staff

Latest news

Building next gen smart materials with the power of sound

Researchers have used sound waves to precisely manipulate atoms and molecules, accelerating the sustainable production of breakthrough smart materials.

Building urban climate resilience in the Solomon Islands

The informal settlements of Honiara are home to almost half the city’s population. The complex challenges of these vulnerable urban communities call for tailored, multi-faceted solutions.

RMIT voted world’s best geospatial research institute

The university has just been named Geospatial Research Institute of the Year for 2019 by the Geospatial World Forum.

Tracking sludge flow for better wastewater treatment and more biogas

A new way of tracking how sewage sludge flows during thermal treatment could help engineers design better wastewater treatment plants and boost production of biogas.

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nations on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.

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