Professor Max Lu AO

Honorary award citation

G. Q. Max Lu AO DL
Doctor of Chemical Engineering honoris causa
The University of Queensland

10 December 2019


Emeritus Professor Max Lu AO DL is an internationally acclaimed chemical engineer and nanotechnologist, a highly cited and award-winning academic, a philanthropist and is Vice-Chancellor of a highly regarded University in the UK.

Emeritus Professor Lu’s path to academia began in China, where an early fascination with how things work and can be improved in practical ways led him to study a Bachelor of Metallurgical Engineering at Northeastern University.

Following completion of his Masters studies on Thermal Engineering, also at Northeastern, Emeritus Professor Lu came to The University of Queensland to pursue a PhD in Chemical Engineering and to continue his passion for changing lives and shaping a better society through research.

In the academic world, Emeritus Professor Lu has scaled heights few others have reached. He has published more than 500 publications in high-impact journals and is co-inventor of more than 20 international patents. He is a double highly cited scientist: an incredibly rare honour that marks him out as a truly world-leading researcher.

He has made seminal contributions to science and innovation in nanomaterials and their applications in clean energy and environmental technologies. He has collaborated with many companies to translate his discoveries to impact.

Passionate about developing future leaders in education and research, Emeritus Professor Lu has successfully supervised and mentored 45 doctoral students and many more postdoctoral researchers, who have gone on to achieve industrial and academic successes in their own right.

At UQ, Emeritus Professor Lu won the prestigious ARC Federation Fellowship twice (2003 and 2008), and
founded and led the ARC Centre of Excellence for Functional Nanomaterials. Under his tenure, the Centre
received $22 million in research funding – making it the most successful Centre of Excellence in Australia.

He developed a reputation for thoughtful leadership and for engaging business and industry in productive partnerships. Serving as Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research Linkages) from 2008 to 2009, he progressed through the roles of Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) and then, until 2016, as Provost and Senior Vice-President.

Emeritus Professor Lu has consulted extensively to industry and government. He has been a Board Member and Director on several advisory and review boards, including PMSEIC, ANSTO, CSIRO, ARC and the Ministerial Advance Queensland Experts Panel.

In 2016, Emeritus Professor Lu was appointed President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Surrey. He currently serves as a Director on the Board of UK Research and Innovation and the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology, among other influential roles. In 2019, Emeritus Professor Lu was elected a foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

In recognition of his prodigious contributions, Emeritus Professor Lu was named a Queensland Great in 2013, and in 2017, he was honoured by the Order of Australia (AO).

Notwithstanding the breadth of these achievements, Emeritus Professor Lu is renowned for his modesty and quiet generosity. As a member of UQ’s 1910 Society, he is among our most generous donors.

Chancellor, I present to you Emeritus Professor Max Lu, Officer of the Order of Australia, Deputy Lieutenant, Bachelor of Engineering and Master of Engineering of Northeastern University (China), Doctor of Philosophy of this University, Doctor of Science honoris causa of The University of Wollongong, Doctor of University honoris causa of University of Strathclyde, Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Fellow of the World Academy of Sciences, Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers, Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia, Fellow of the Queensland Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, for the award of Doctor of Chemical Engineering honoris causa, bestowed by the Senate of The University of Queensland.


Doctor of Chemical Engineering honoris causa