Queensland appoints strategic hydrogen advisor

Queensland appoints strategic hydrogen advisor

The Queensland Government has appointed a strategic hydrogen advisor – Professor Ian Mackinnon from Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the appointment yesterday at the government’s Hydrogen Forum in Brisbane, attended by more than 100 industry representatives from around Australia.

Mackinnon is the founder and former executive director of the Institute for Future Environments (IFE) at QUT; an initiative that supports transdisciplinary RD&D directed at solving the challenge of our time: to sustainably live in, and adapt to, a resource-constrained world that is undergoing rapid and complex change globally.

Mackinnon was previously a senior executive at the Australian Research Council (ARC), one of Australia’s leading research funding agencies.

At the ARC, he was executive director for engineering and environmental sciences and directed the Linkage Projects Scheme – a programme supporting outcome-focused, collaborative research between universities.

Mackinnon was responsible for the critical assessment of proposals and entities that delivered more than $300m of taxpayer funds per year to the Australian research community.

He has more than ten years’ experience in technology transfer, including direct involvement with two start-up companies as well a serving on numerous boards.

Early career

Mackinnon began his career at James Cook University (JCU). He undertook post-graduate research in crystallography and mineralogy at JCU and at ANSTO, Lucas Heights, through an AINSE Fellowship. Mackinnon has held appointments at Arizona State University, NASA Johnson Space Centre and The University of New Mexico in the US.

He returned to Australia to establish the Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis (CMM) at The University of Queensland (UQ) as Foundation Director and then with promotion to Professor in 1995.

Throughout his career, Mackinnon has developed infrastructure and tools for cutting-edge research or technology demonstration, much of this achieved in Queensland.

He has built or had oversight of more than eight different pilot plants, responsibility for installation of more than 25 electron-optical columns and facilitated development of a new technology for the minerals industry that is now installed in more than 50 sites worldwide.

Mackinnon was deeply involved in the team that delivered QUT’s Science and Engineering Centre and, since 2009, has been instrumental in the collaborations to establish the IFE, the Cube, CARF, Banyo Pilot Plant Precinct and other research infrastructure for the STEM disciplines at QUT.

Mackinnon’s current RD&D interests are focused on the synthesis, characterisation and modelling of high performance materials for use in the energy, transport and environmental sectors. These materials include boron-based compounds, perovskites, zeolites and clays.

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