UWA Chevron Chair wins prestigious prize

Professor Eric May.

Professor Eric May.

University of Western Australia’s Chevron Chair of Gas Process Engineering, Winthrop Professor Eric May has been awarded the Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year.

Professor May was presented the award by the Australian Prime Minister at a special dinner at Parliament House in Canberra.

Chevron Australia Managing Director Roy Krzywosinski said he was delighted Professor May’s innovative research into gas process engineering had been recognised for this work which is helping improve the efficiency of LNG production and shape Perth as a gas technology centre of excellence.

“Professor May is a key partner in our Global Technology Company’s research and development activities in Australia. He has developed breakthrough techniques for measuring gas properties under critical conditions, enabling computer models to design and optimise gas processing plants,” said Mr Krzywosinski. “He has the rare combination of deep technical ability, teaching and organisational skills and we are very fortunate to have him working with us on a number of projects.”

Run by the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, the Prize recognises Professor May’s outstanding early-career achievement in science that has the potential to benefit human welfare or society.

In 2009, Professor May became the first Chevron Chair in Gas Process Engineering (GPE). He heads natural gas research at the Centre for Energy, which covers LNG production, CO2 sequestration and gas processing. His PhD research on gas condensate phase behaviour resulted in an international patent and the University of WA (UWA) prize for making the most significant contribution to his field.

In 2010, he was named the WA Early Career Scientist of the Year and in 2009, he won the Australian National Metrology Institute Prize for his contributions to gas metrology.

Chevron has been a major partner of the Chair in GPE and recently extended its contract to a $5.75 million five-year fixed term agreement to endow the Chair in perpetuity.

The investment is part of Chevron’s global University Partnership Program, which partners with universities around the world to foster academic excellence, research capacity and to build key relationships.

Professor May has presented his research twice at the FutureGAS Conference and Exhibition.

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