Malaysia's Top Research Scientist award scooped by engineering professor

Dominic Foo 445 x124 
08 Aug 2016 16:45:00.000

A leading engineering professor from The University of Nottingham in Malaysia has been selected for the accolade of Top Research Scientist by the Academy of Sciences Malaysia (ASM).

Professor Dominic Foo, Professor of Process Design and Integration in the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, will be presented with his prestigious award on 15 August.

The presentation ceremony for the Top Research Scientists Malaysia event will take place on the first day of the International Conference on Science for Peace in Kuala Lumpur.

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The ASM’s Top Research Scientists Malaysia awards aim to recognise and showcase the accomplishments of Malaysian researchers as role models of science excellence, science ambassadors and leaders, driving the nation’s science, technology and innovation agenda.

Professor Foo is a world-leading researcher in process integration for resource conversation and the founder of Centre of Excellence for Green Technologies at The University of Nottingham in Malaysia (UNMC). 

Process integration involves the development of systematic design techniques for sustainable chemical processes.   These techniques can be used to analyse the potential for resource conservation in a typical process or manufacturing plant. 

Sustainability research

His research responds to a growing problem in Asia; the need to reduce freshwater intake in countries such as Malaysia and China. In the past decade, Professor Foo has developed multiple tools to help process plans to assess the potential recovery of water, solvents, utility gases, etc.  

In recent years, he developed innovative tools to help reduce carbon emissions for countries. He hopes his research will make a positive contribution towards reversing global warming.

“With the development of various systematic design tools, resource conservation will soon become standard practice for any process and manufacturing plant and is an important factor in providing a more sustainable future and better living conditions for generations to come,” explains Professor Foo. 

A distinguished career

An academic at the University since 2005, Professor Foo was promoted to associate professor only two years after joining. Three years later he was again promoted; this time to full professor at the age of just 34.

Professor Foo is an active member of professional engineering bodies in Malaysia and the UK.  He has published three books and more than 110 papers in international refereed journals and has made more than 170 conference presentations.  

He is also the Editor-in-Chief for Process Integration and Optimisation for Sustainability (Springer), and Subject Editor for Process Safety & Environmental Protection (Elsevier), among others.  

No stranger to major accolades, in 2009 he won Innovator of the Year Award (Institute of Chemical Engineers – IChemE). Shortly afterwards came recognition from the Institution of Engineers Malaysia who presented Professor Foo with the Young Engineer Award 2010. In 2012 Junior Chamber International lauded him the Outstanding Young Malaysian Award while in 2013 he received the Award for Outstanding Asian Researcher and Engineer from the Society of Chemical Engineers Japan (SCEJ).

One key reason Professor Foo has won Top Research Scientist Malaysia 2016 award is his willingness to give back to the next generation of engineers coming through the ranks at UNMC.

As well as his research, he is very engaged with the postgraduate researchers he supervises, as well as the undergraduates he teaches. 

Professor Foo said, “I am passionate about working with young people to help them succeed in their careers. I spend time with them to provide career guidance and also mentor new researchers and academics in planning their research career.”

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with a “distinct” approach to internationalisation, which rests on those full-scale campuses in China and Malaysia, as well as a large presence in its home city.’ (Times Good University Guide 2016). It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers and was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide. It is ranked in the world’s top 75 by the QS World University Rankings 2015/16, and 8th in the UK for research power according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014. It has been voted the world’s greenest campus for four years running, according to Greenmetrics Ranking of World Universities.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…

Story credits

More information is available from Professor Dominic Foo, Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, UNMC, +6 (03) 8924 8130 or 

Emma Lowry - Media Relations Manager

Email:  Phone: +44 (0)115 846 7156  Location: University Park

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