Professor Ian O'Hara

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Deputy Dean, Faculty of Engineering

PhD (Queensland University of Technology), Master of Business Administration (Technology Management) (Deakin University), Bachelor of Engineering (University of Queensland)

Ian O'Hara is Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at QUT. Ian is widely recognised as a leading expert in policies, technologies and systems for developing the bioeconomy and producing bio-based products including biofuels, bioenergy and biomaterials. In addition to his academic role, Ian also represents the Queensland Government as the Biofutures Industry Envoy and acts as an ambassador for Queensland’s Biofutures industry and industrial biotechnology sector. As the Envoy, Ian provides strategic advice to government and assists in securing domestic and international investment to grow the Biofutures sector. Ian is on the International Advisory Committee of the Global Bioeconomy Summit and is a Senior Editor of EFB Bioeconomy Journal.

Ian led the development of the Mackay Renewable Biocommodities Pilot Plant (MRBPP) - a unique publicly accessible pilot scale research facility in Australia for the development and demonstration of processing technologies for the manufacture of biofuels and bioproducts. Ian is a Chemical Engineer with extensive experience in research, consulting, policy development, operations management, process design and engineering. Ian works closely with industry and undertakes consulting projects globally in areas including bioeconomy development, technology optimisation, techno-economics, business strategy and process improvement. Recent research has focussed on the technical and economic development of biofuel and bioproduct production systems including feedstock supply, bioprocessing technologies, techno-economics and systems analysis.

Ian is a Chief Investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence in Synthetic Biology and a Chief Investigator in the ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre in Bioplastics and Biocomposites. Ian's current research interests include:

  • bioeconomy
  • industrial biotechnology
  • biofuels and bioenergy
  • biorefining and biochemicals production
  • process engineering
  • pilot plant development, scale up and process demonstration
  • techno-economic assessment.

More information can be found on our research website:

Projects (Chief investigator)