Professor Karen Wilson
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".
View Professor Wilson's profile on Google Scholar and ResearchGate.
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
- Yang, S.,Qian, B.,Wang, Y.,Taira, K.,Zhou, Q.,Wilson, K.,Lee, A.,Zhang, L. (2023). Fly ash waste-derived Fe@Fe3O4 core-shell nanoparticles for acetic acid ketonization In: Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, 322, 1 - 11
- Morales, G.,Paniagua, M.,de la Flor, D.,Orr, S.,Wilson, K.,Lee, A., et al., . (2023). Aldol condensation of furfural and methyl isobutyl ketone over Zr-MOF-808/silica hybrid catalysts In: Fuel, 339, 1 - 9
- Merenda, A.,Orr, S.,Liu, O.,Hernandez, B.,Osatiashtiani, A.,Morales, G.,Paniagua, M.,Melero, J.,Lee, A.,Wilson, K. (2023). Continuous flow (Sulfated) Zirconia Catalysed Cascade Conversion of Levulinic Acid to ?-Valerolactone In: ChemCatChem, 15, 1 - 7
- Parlett, C.,Arandiyan, H.,Durndell, L.,Isaacs, M.,Lopez, A.,Wong, R.,Wilson, K.,Lee, A. (2022). Continuous-flow synthesis of mesoporous SBA-15 In: Microporous and Mesoporous Materials, 329, 1 - 6
- Tajuddin, N.,Manayil, J.,Lee, A.,Wilson, K. (2022). Alkali-Free Hydrothermally Reconstructed NiAl Layered Double Hydroxides for Catalytic Transesterification In: Catalysts, 12, 286 - 288
- Hubesch, R.,Mazur, M.,Periasamy, S.,Foger, K.,Lee, A.,Wilson, K.,Bhargava, S. (2022). Endothermic catalytic cracking of liquid hydrocarbons for thermal management of high-speed flight vehicles In: Sustainable Energy and Fuels, 6, 1664 - 1686
- Jakku, R.,Priver, S.,Mirzadeh, N.,Esmaiel Zadeh Kandjani, A.,Sabri, Y.,Kennedy, S.,Alenezy, E.,Russo, S.,Lyskov, I.,Wilson, K.,Trivedi, R.,Bhargava, S. (2022). Organic ligand interaction with copper(II) ions in both aqueous and non-aqueous media: Overcoming solubility issues for sensing In: Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical, 365, 1 - 10
- Osatiashtiani, A.,Orr, S.,Durndell, L.,García, I.,Merenda, A.,Lee, A.,Wilson, K. (2022). Liquid phase catalytic transfer hydrogenation of ethyl levulinate to ?-valerolactone over ZrO2/SBA-15 In: Catalysis Science & Technology, 12, 5611 - 5619
- Newman, A.,Wang, Y.,Orr, S.,Wilson, K.,Lee, A. (2022). Rhodium promoted heteropolyacid catalysts for low temperature methanol carbonylation In: Catalysis Science and Technology, 12, 3886 - 3897
- Deshetti, J.,Murzin, D.,Lee, A.,Schaller, D.,Bhargava, S.,Tabulo, B.,Wilson, K. (2022). Catalytic selective ring opening of polyaromatics for cleaner transportation fuels In: Energy and Environmental Science, 15, 1760 - 1804
1 PhD Completions15 PhD Current Supervisions
- Advanced chemical recycling of mixed plastics for monomer recovery. Funded by: ARC Discovery Projects commencing in 2022 from (2022 to 2024)
- Revolutionary upcycling of landfill waste into hydrogen, fuels & materials. Funded by: CRC-P Cooperative Research Centre Project (Bioelektra) from (2021 to 2023)
- Multifunctional Platform for Chemical Manufacturing and Energy Materials. Funded by: ARC Linkage Infrastructure Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) Grant from (2021 to 2023)
- Nano-engineered catalysts for sustainable fuel production from waste (administered by UQld). Funded by: ARC Linkage Project Grants 2019 from (2021 to 2023)
- Aus. Std. Diesel from mixed plastics: Maximising recovery from waste. Funded by: Cooperative Research Centre Project (CRC-P) - NOR from (2020 to 2023)