Professor Wilson was recently appointed Professor of Catalysis at RMIT, having previously held a prestigious Royal Society Industry Fellowship with Johnson Matthey.
Prior to moving to RMIT, she was Professor or Catalysis and Research Director at the European Bioenergy Research Institute, Aston University (2013-18), Reader in Physical Chemistry at the Cardiff Catalysis Institute, Cardiff University (2009-13) and Senior Lecturer in Inorganic Chemistry at the Department of Chemistry, University of York (1999-09). Karen previously undertook postdoctoral research in the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence at York with Professor James H Clark (1998-99) and at the University of Cambridge with Professor Richard M Lambert (1996-98).
Karen's research interests lie in the design of heterogeneous catalysts for clean chemical synthesis, particularly the design of tuneable porous materials for sustainable biofuels and chemicals production from renewable resources, specifically waste biomass (e.g. agricultural, food, forestry waste) in the production of fuels and chemicals. She has published >210 papers, and graduated >30 PhD and MSc students, and was founding director of the "Global Bioenergy, Biofuels and Biorefining Network: GB3-Net".
Current research activities
- Sustainable & Green Chemistry
- Surface chemistry, modification & analysis
- Bi-functional catalysts for production of platform chemicals and fuels from biomass
- Nano-porous hierarchical solid acid and base catalysts for biodiesel synthesis
- Mechanistic studies of hydrodeoxygenation of pyrolysis oil.
- Catalyst design for the selective conversion of fatty acids to fuels, surfactants or lubricants.
- Development of catalysts with tunable hydrophobicity
- Selective hydrogenation and oxidation reactions
- Photocatalytic water depollution
- Operando studies of working catalysts
Major awards and honours
- Director of Global Bioenergy, Biofuels and Biorefining Network: GB3-Net (2014-18)
- Royal Society Industry Fellowship (2011-2015)
- International advisor on Solid Waste Management and the Green Economy to the German National Academy of Sciences (2015).
- International advisor on Biofuels and Bioconversion to the German National Academy of Sciences (2010).
- Research of the Future Award 221st ACS National Meeting (San Diego, 2001).
- PhD, University of Cambridge, 1996
- MSc, University of Liverpool, 1993
- BA (Hons), University of Cambridge, 1992
- Karthikeyan, S.,Ahmed, K.,Osatiashtiani, A.,Lee, A.,Wilson, K.,Sasaki, K.,Coulson, B.,Swansborough-Aston, W.,Douthwaite, R.,Li, W. (2020). Pompon Dahlia-like Cu2O/rGO Nanostructures for Visible Light Photocatalytic H2 Production and 4-Chlorophenol Degradation In: ChemCatChem, 12, 1 - 12
- Ji, Y.,Bai, S.,Xu, D.,Qian, D.,Wu, Z.,Song, Y.,Pace, R.,Crocker, M.,Wilson, K.,Lee, A.,Harris, D.,Scapens, D. (2020). Pd-promoted WO3-ZrO2 for low temperature NOx storage In: Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, 264, 1 - 11
- Abdulkareem-Alsultan, G.,Nurul, A.,Mustafa-Alsultan, G.,Lee, H.,Wilson, K.,Taufiq-Yap, Y. (2020). Efficient deoxygenation of waste cooking oil over Co3O4-La2O3-doped activated carbon for the production of diesel-like fuel In: RSC Advances, 10, 4996 - 5009
- An, N.,Ainembabazi, D.,Reid, C.,Samudrala, K.,Wilson, K.,Lee, A.,Voutchkova-Kostal, A. (2020). Microwave-Assisted Decarbonylation of Biomass-Derived Aldehydes using Pd-Doped Hydrotalcites In: ChemSusChem, 13, 312 - 320
- Durndell, L.,Zou, G.,Shangguan, W.,Lee, A.,Wilson, K. (2019). Structure-Reactivity Relations in Ruthenium Catalysed Furfural Hydrogenation In: ChemCatChem, 11, 3927 - 3932
- Ramirez-Barria, C.,Isaacs, M.,Parlett, C.,Wilson, K.,Guerrero-Ruiz, A.,Rodr�guez-Ramos, I. (2019). Ru nanoparticles supported on N-doped reduced graphene oxide as valuable catalyst for the selective aerobic oxidation of benzyl alcohol In: Catalysis Today, , 1 - 7
- Akri, M.,Zhao, S.,Li, X.,Lee, A.,Wilson, K., et al, . (2019). Atomically dispersed nickel as coke-resistant active sites for methane dry reforming In: Nature Communications, 10, 1 - 10
- Jahangiri, H.,Osatiashtiani, A.,Ouadi, M.,Hornung, A.,Lee, A.,Wilson, K. (2019). Ga/ZSM-5 Catalysed Acetic Acid Ketonisation for Upgrading of Biomass Pyrolysis Vapours In: Catalysts, 9, 1 - 13
- Baharudin, K.,Arumugam, M.,Hunns, J.,Lee, A.,Mayes, E.,Taufiq-Yap, Y.,Wilson, K.,Derawi, D. (2019). Octanoic acid hydrodeoxygenation over bifunctional Ni/Al-SBA-15 catalysts In: Catalysis Science and Technology, 9, 6673 - 6680
- Elimbinzi, E.,Nyandoro, S.,Mubofu, E.,Manayil, J.,Lee, A.,Wilson, K. (2019). (In Press) Valorization of rice husk silica waste: Organo-amine functionalized castor oil templated mesoporous silicas for biofuels synthesis In: Microporous and Mesoporous Materials, , 1 - 7
3 PhD Current Supervisions
- Aus. Std. Diesel from mixed plastics: Maximising recovery from waste. Funded by: Cooperative Research Centre Project (CRC-P) - NOR from (2020 to 2023)
- Bimetallic catalysts knowledge-based development for energy applications (BIKE) led by Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Italy. Funded by: Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions Innovative Training Networks from (2019 to 2021)
- GOT ENERGY TALENT: Attracting Talented Researchers within the Spanish Campus of International Excellence �Smart Energy� and the region of Madrid (administered by Universidad de Alcal�, Spain). Funded by: Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Cofund from (2017 to 2022)