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  • PhD in Chemical Engineering, Monash University, Australia (2007-2011).
    • Research scientist (postgraduate), CSIRO, Melbourne, Australia (2008-2010)
    • Study abroad (exchange), Department of Chemical Engineering & Materials Science, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, United States (2010-2011)
  • B.Eng. in Chemical Engineering and Dip. Ec. in International Economics and Trade, Harbin Engineering University, China (2002-2006)


Dr Yi (Harvey) Huang is currently a Reader in Chemical Engineering at the University of Edinburgh (UoE). He received double undergraduate degrees  (Chemical Engineering and Economics) from Harbin Engineering University and a PhD degree (Chemical Engineering) from Monash University, Australia with Prof Huanting Wang. As a part of his PhD program, Dr Huang also worked at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIRO), Australia with Dr Anita J. Hil as a postgraduate scientist and studied abroad in the Michael Tsapatsis Research Group at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, US. Before joining UoE, he was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, US with Profs Krista Walton and David Sholl.

Currently, he leads a research team at UoE, focusing on porous materials synthesis and membrane separation, novel nanofabrication methods and nanotechnology to address the challenging issues in many industrial processes, e.g. mixture separation, gas storage, catalysis, anti-cancer drug delivery, and clean water supply. His research is strengthened by substantial industrial interactions and has attracted over £2.1 million in funding support for fundamental research and commercialization. 

Dr Huang has several editorial duties, for example, Editor of Results in Engineering (IF 5.0), Editorial Board Member and Guest Editor of Separation and Purification Technology (IF 8.6), Editorial Board Member of Sustainability (IF 3.9) and Youth Editorial Board Member of Advanced Membranes and Green Chemical Engineering. He was awarded the 2022 RINENG Distinguished Young Investigator Award and the 2022 ISPT-BMS Young Membrane Scientist Award.

Research Interests

  • All across the world, people are facing a wealth of new and challenging problems, particularly energy and environmental issues. For example, billions of tons of annual CO2 emissions are the direct result of fossil fuel combustion to generate electricity. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. emitted 6.1 billion metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere in 2007. Producing clean energy from abundant sources, such as coal, will require a massive infrastructure and highly efficient capture technologies to curb CO2 emissions. In addition to its environmental impact, CO2 also reduces the heating value of the CH4 gas streams in power plants and causes corrosion in pipes and equipment. To minimize the impact of CO2 on the environment, the design of high-performance separation materials and technologies for efficient carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) is urgent and essential. Our research in this area is creating novel nanostructured (membrane) materials with enhanced transport properties by ordering their nano-architectures via different methods and meanwhile exploring their novel and energy-sustainable scale-up.
  • Enhanced demand for fuels worldwide not only decreased world oil reserves but also increased climate concerns about the use of fossil-based fuels. To address these energy and environmental problems, efforts have been made towards improved utilization of fossil fuels and the development of renewable energy production. With its abundant availability and carbon-neutral nature, biomass is recognized as one of the most promising renewable energy resources. A number of transportation fuels can be produced from biomass, helping to alleviate demand for petroleum products and improve the greenhouse gas emissions profile of the transportation sector. Traditional catalysts suffer from many undesirable properties, such as small accessible pore size, low hydrothermal stability, and less controllable active sites. Among these, low hydrothermal stability at upgrading temperatures greatly hinders the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to biofuel. My research is focused on synthesizing a new class of ultra-stable catalysts with tunable nanostructure and functionalities for efficient bio-oil upgrading, with special emphasis on the study of their hydrothermal stability.
  • Oil pollution is another serious global issue because of the large amounts of oily wastewater produced by petrochemical and other industries, as well as by frequent off-shore oil spill accidents. The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) issues guidance addressed to all companies involved in offshore exploration and production where oil may be released into the sea or other water systems. The regulatory limit for the concentration of oil in produced water discharged into the sea is set at a 30 mg/l performance standard (this figure applies as averaged over a monthly period). At any one time, the concentration must not exceed 100 mg/l. Therefore, it is in great need to develop effective techniques to treat oil-polluted wastewater at such low oil/grease concentrations in order to satisfy the stringent governmental limitations and preserve the environment. Membrane techniques have been widely employed for water purification and are very effective in separating stabilized oil emulsions-especially for removing oil droplets. However, current membranes suffer from membrane fouling both on surfaces and in internal structures, which significantly limits their service time and degrades separation performance in practical operations. My research in this field attempts to adopt the concept of biomimetic hierarchical roughness in membrane design for creating superoleophobic membrane surfaces from a vast pool of candidate materials, such as zeolites, metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), and single-layered graphene oxide. Our research also focuses on the development of facile, low-cost preparation techniques which would open a completely new direction for the membrane society.


  • Chemical Reaction Engineering 4/MSc (CHEE10008/PGEE10025) - Course Organiser

  • Chemical Engineering Design: Projects 4 (CHEE10002) - Project Supervision

  • Chemical Engineering Laboratory 3 (CHEE09016) - Course Instructor
  • Chemical Engineering Study Project 4 (CHEE10009) - Project Supervision

  • Chemical Engineering Industrial Project 5 (CHEE11014) - Project Supervision

  • Chemical Engineering Research Project 5 (CHEE11017) - Project Supervision

  • Advanced Chemical Engineering Dissertation (MSc) (PGEE11151) - Project Supervision

Positions available

Undergraduate Students
Undergraduates who are interested in adsorption and membrane separation, materials synthesis, and catalytic science, please contact Dr. Huang.
Graduate Students:
Always looking for outstanding prospective students who are interested in Ph.D. studies in Chem. Eng. The following scholarships can be applied to support your study. (School of Engineering also provides Ph.D. scholarships for exceptional applicants)
More funding information can be found here!
Postdoctoral researchers
Outstanding applicants can consider the following fellowship, e.g., EPSRC, RAE, MC (Individual Fellowships), Newton International Fellowships, Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowships

Visiting and Research Positions

Interested in visiting student/scholar/professor


Harvey Yi Huang, Ph.D.
Reader in Chemical Engineering
Institute for Materials & Processes (IMP)
School of Engineering, the University of Edinburgh
Room 1.077, Sanderson Building
The King's Buildings, Rober Stevenson Road
Edinburgh EH9 3FB, Scotland, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 131 650 7793




Education/Academic qualification

Chemical Engineering, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Monash University

15 Mar 200720 Oct 2011

Award Date: 20 Oct 2011

Bachelor of Engineering, Harbin Engineering University

15 Aug 20021 Jun 2006

Award Date: 1 Jun 2006


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