Adam Lee awarded the 2023 RACI Welcome Award

Adam Lee, Professor of Sustainable Chemistry at Griffith University and Chief Investigator at GETCO2, has been awarded the 2023 Royal Australian Chemical Institute Award. The RACI Award is to honour and welcome a senior chemist who is new to Australia and has made a substantial contribution to advancing chemical research within Australia.

Adam relocated from the UK in 2018, first to RMIT University in Melbourne, and more recently to Griffith University at their Gold Coast campus near the beach.

Adam’s research team develop new chemical processes using catalysts (substances that accelerate chemical reactions) to manufacture fuels and high-value molecules from renewable resources in a sustainable fashion. Catalysis lies at the heart of life on earth, powers our homes and puts food on our tables, contributing to >35 % of global wealth.

New catalytic processes are critical to combat climate change, by enabling a transition from fossil to renewable feedstocks for energy and chemicals production, and to ensure sufficient food and clean water for a growing world population.

Designing catalysts that operate with minimal energy input, and produce negligible waste, requires sophisticated synthetic methods to sculpt materials with atomic precision, and analytical tools to understand their microscopic workings during chemical reactions.

As a scientist, Adam seeks to encourage a holistic view of catalysis across the broad community and to mentor a new generation of chemists who adopt multidisciplinary approaches to tackle grand societal challenges. On a personal note, he is passionate about eliminating the stigma associated with mental illness, and hopes to support new generations of scientist to feel empowered that their voices and ideas are important and deserve to be heard.

Outside of work, he is a keen wildlife photographer and enjoys hiking and trekking the natural world; relocating to Australia has provided amazing opportunities to see endangered animals – in between honing his BBQ skills!

The Royal Australian Chemical Institute is a qualifying body for professional chemists, and a learned society promoting the practice of chemistry. Learn more about RACI here

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