Faculty of Engineering

Image of Dominic C. Y. Foo

Dominic C. Y. Foo

Professor of Process Design and Integration, Faculty of Engineering



Professor Dominic C. Y. Foo, PhD., PEng, CEng, FIChemE, FHEA, MIEM, AAE

Prof Dr Ir Dominic Foo is the Professor of Process Design and Integration at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, and is the Founding Director for the Centre of Excellence for Green Technologies. He is a Professional Engineer registered with the Board of Engineer Malaysia (BEM) and Chartered Engineer of the Engineering Council UK. He is a world leading researcher in process integration for resource conservation. He establishes international collaboration with researchers from various countries in the Asia, Europe, American and Africa. Professor Foo is an active author, with five books, more than 130 journal papers and made more than 190 conference presentations, with more than 30 keynote/plenary speeches. He served as International Scientific Committees for many important international conferences (PRES, FOCAPD, ESCAPE, PSE, etc.).

Other professional web links of Prof Foo:

Prof Foo involves in the following editorial activities:

  1. Editors-in-Chief for Process Integration and Optimization for Sustainability (Springer Nature)
  2. Subject Editor (Clean Technology) for Trans IChemE Part B (Process Safety & Environmental Protection, Elsevier)
  3. Editorial board member for Chemical Engineering Transactions
  4. Editorial board member for Water Conservation Science and Engineering (Springer Nature)

Besides, Prof Foo is active in promoting science and engineering in Malaysia. See his write-up below:

  1. Chemical Engineering Education in Malaysia (click to read)
  2. Superheroes Society: Engineering a Greener World (click to read)
  3. Back to School (click to read)

Professional involvement of Prof Foo:

  1. Asia Pacific Confederation of Chemical Engineering (APCChE; Vice President)
  2. Institution of Engineers, Malaysia (IEM) (past chairman for Chemical Engineering Technical Division, Corporate Member; MIEM),
  3. Board of Engineer Malaysia - Professional Engineer (PEng)
  4. Engineering Council UK (ECUK) - Chartered Engineer (CEng)
  5. nstitution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) - Fellow (FIChemE), and Malaysia Chapter Chair for Education Subject Interest Group (EdSIG)
  6. The Higher Education Academy, UK - Fellow (FHEA)
  7. Institute of Materials, Malaysia (IMM) - Ordinary Member

Important awards of Prof Foo:

  1. Innovator of the Year Award 2009 - Institution of Chemical Engineers UK (IChemE)
  2. Young Engineer Award 2010 - Institution of Engineers Malaysia (IEM),
  3. The Outstanding Young Malaysian Award 2012 - Junior Chamber International (JCI)
  4. SCEJ Award for Outstanding Asian Researcher and Engineer 2013 - Society of Chemical Engineers, Japan [link 2]
  5. Vice Chancellor Award 2014 - University of Nottingham
  6. Top Research Scientist Malaysia 2016 - Academy of Science Malaysia [link 2] [link 3] [link 4] [link 5]
  7. UNM Spirit Award - University of Nottingham Malaysia

Appearance of Prof Foo on media:

  1. Sin Chew Daily (2018): Various engineering disciplines: link
  2. INSPIRE Magazine (2017): page 1; page 2
  3. Youtube video: What is chemical engineering? link
  4. The Star (Postgraduate supplement; 21 March 2017): link
  5. JURUTERA (2016): book launch
  6. News2WOWU (issue 18, 2015): link
  7. Sin Chew Daily (2014): Chemical Engineering - page 1; page 2
  8. Nottingham research ibook - link
  9. New Straits Time (2013): green technology
  10. New Straits Time (2012): textbook launch

Prof Foo serves as reviewer/evaluator for the following bodies:

  1. National Research Foundation (NSF), South Africa
  2. Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), Qatar
  3. Research Grants Council (RGC), Hong Kong
  4. Yayasan Universiti Teknologi Petronas
  5. National Center of Science and Technology Evaluation (NCSTE), Kazakhstan

Prof Foo serves as PhD examiner for the following universities:

  1. University of Pretoria, South Africa
  2. University POLITEHNICA of Bucharest, Romania
  3. Suez Canal University, Egypt
  4. National Taiwan University, Taiwan
  5. University of Manchester, UK
  6. University of Waikato, New Zealand
  7. Curtin University, Australia
  8. De La Salle University, Philippines
  9. Monash University, Australia
  10. Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
  11. Curtin University Malaysia Campus
  12. Qatar University, Qatar
  13. University of Cape Town, South Africa

Research Summary

The main area of research for Professor Foo is process integration, which is a holistic approach to process design, retrofit, and operation that emphasises the unity of the process. Professor Foo… read more

Selected Publications

Prof Ir Dr Dominic Foo is an active author. He publishes the following books:

  1. Process Integration for Resource Conservation, CRC Presss (link)
    • Brief info: this book covers the state-of-the-art process integration techniques developed since 1990s for various resource conservation problems, e.g. water minimisation, hydrogen recovery, property integration. It covers pinch analysis and mathematical optimisation techniques.
    • Book launch @ Prague (2012; link)
    • This book is used for module Process Synthesis and Design (PSD; CHEE 4032) and Process Design & Optimisation (PDO, CHEE 4035), Chem Eng year 4 & MSc
  2. Green Technologies for the Oil Palm Industry, Springer (link)
    • Brief info: This book reports the latest work on green technologies in palm oil milling processes, including new processes and various optimisation techniques. It covers the latest developments on palm oil milling process with new technologies, alternative solvent design, residual oil recovery, palm oil mill effluent treatment, palm biomass supply chain, as well as ecoindustrial park concept.
    • Book launch @ Manila (2018; link)
    • Report in newsletter of IChemE Palm Oil Processing Subject Interest Group (POPSIG)
  3. Chemical Engineering Process Simulation, Elsevier (link)
    • Brief info: This is an ideal book for students, early career researchers, and practitioners, as it guides you for the basic principles of process simulation using the commonly-used simulation software in the market.
    • Book launch: IChemE Award Dinner 2017 (link 1; link 2)
    • This book is used for module Process Simulation 1 (CHEE 3020), Chem Eng year 3.
    • See how this book is used for teaching here: Elsevier blog & IChemE newsletter.
  4. Process Design Strategies for Biomass Conversion Systems, Wiley (link)
    • Brief info: This is an edited book that covers recent developments in process systems engineering (PSE) for efficient resource use in biomass conversion systems. It provides an overview of process development in biomass conversion systems with focus on biorefineries involving the production and coproduction of fuels, heating, cooling, and chemicals.
  5. Recent Advances in Sustainable Process Design and Optimisation; World Scientific (link)
    • Brief info: This is an edited book that covers recently developed techniques emphasizing better chemical processes and products, with state-of-the-art contributions by world-renowned leaders in process design and optimization.

Current Research

The main area of research for Professor Foo is process integration, which is a holistic approach to process design, retrofit, and operation that emphasises the unity of the process. Professor Foo makes use of various process integration tools such as pinch analysis and mathematical optimisation to solve the following research problems:

Resource conservation - With the rising cost of fresh resources (e.g. crude oil, water, etc.) and increasingly stringent environment regulations, there is a need to maximise the efficiency of the use of resources, while minimising the generation of waste. Over the past decade, Professor Foo and his research team have developed various systematic design tools (pinch analysis, mathematical programming) for the synthesis of resource conservation networks (RCNs), addressing water minimisation, gas recovery and property integration problems. See the following for details:

  • How to design sustainable processes (QS Quarter Newsletter News2WOWU).
  • A public article on water pinch analysis, where the prototype software RCNet is based.
  • A sole-authored textbook on resource conservation published by CRC Press.
  • A Youtube video about his research activities is available here.

Carbon-constrained energy planning - This is an area of research jointly established by Professor Foo and his close research partner Professor Raymond Tan (De La Salle University-Manila, Philippines). Their pioneering paper in ENERGY (Tan & Foo, 2007) has received good attention in the research community since publication. The application of their works ("carbonb pinch" in short) have been reported in various countries including New Zealand, China, Ireland, Korea, etc. In recent years, their research focus are dedicated for the deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS) for energy planning problem.

Batch process debottlenecking and optimisation - Design of batch processes has always been ignored as compared to continuous operation. With the recent trend towards product-centred manufacturing, more systematic design and integration techniques have been developed for batch processes in recent years. Professor Foo and his co-workers make use of process simulation tools to systematically identify the bottlenecks of a batch process, and propose strategies to debottleneck the process, in order to enhance its productivity and hence increased profitability. See some of his works on this area of research:

  • Simulation and scale-up study for a chitosan-TiO2 nanotubes scaffold production (Audio Slides)

  • Pharmaceutical production expansion evaluation (download here)

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