Three chemical engineers received honors from the Order of Australia, the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) confirms. The appointments are made each year on Australia Day (January 26) and recognize Australian citizens for their outstanding service to the country and local communities. The Order of Australia was established in 1975 by Queen Elizabeth II to recognize Australians for their achievements and service. Prior to the Order of Australia, citizens received British honors.
Professor Gaoqing Max Lu, currently vice-chancellor and president of the University of Surrey, was awarded Officer in the General Division (AO). Lu, who grew up in China and has been an Australian National since 1991, was recognized for his service to education and international research in chemical and nanotechnology. He was also honored for championing Australia-China relations and is currently honorary president and chair of the Federation of Chinese Scholars in Australia Advisory Board, vice president of the Returned and Overseas Chinese Scholars Association and was the 2014 winner of the Australia-China Achievement Award.
An IChemE Fellow, Lu also served as chair of IChemE’s Australian board from 2009-2010. He joined University of Surrey in April 2016 and was reportedly the first China-born scholar to lead a British university. He also attended Professor Jonathan Seville’s presidential address at IChemE’s last Annual General Meeting.
Ross McCann, who previously served as IChemE’s international vice president from 2012-2015, and Donald Hector, former managing director of Dow Corning Australia, were awarded Member in the General Division (AM). McCann has been an IChemE Fellow since 2004 and was recognized for his services to the environment, chemical engineering and the promotion of sustainable resource use. Formerly CEO and chairman of Qenos, he is currently an active member of several boards based in Victoria promoting sustainability in the process industries.
Hector served as chair of IChemE’s Australian Board from 2000-2001 and was recognized for making a significant contribution to chemical engineering and business. He graduated with a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from University of Sydney, where he is currently president of the Chemistry Foundation. Hector’s experience include high-level positions at Asia Pacific Specialty Chemicals, Engenco Ltd and other private companies and not-for-profit organizations. He is currently director and co-founder of Gelion Technologies Pty Ltd, a spin-off of University of Sydney, which develops novel battery technology.
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