The outstanding research careers of two leading UNSW Chemical Engineering academics have been recognised with prestigious awards from the professional federation for chemical engineers in Australia and New Zealand.

Professor Rose Amal and Professor Neil Foster were both honoured at the recent 2008 Awards of Excellence, given by the Australian and New Zealand Federation of Chemical Engineers.

Professor Amal, who is the Head of UNSW's Particles and Catalysis Research Group and Director of the Centre for Energy Research and Policy Analysis (CERPA), won the Freehills Award, which recognises innovation in product design or development.

Professor Amal, the youngest woman ever to receive a Professorship in chemical engineering in Australia, was awarded for her work in photocatalysis and nanoparticle fabrication for applications such as water pollution control, self-cleaning surfaces, alternative energy technologies and health and medical treatments.

"These awards are very highly regarded in the chemical engineering industry and I'm quite thrilled to receive it," Professor Amal said.

Professor Foster, who last year was made a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) won the ExxonMobil Award, which is given for significant ongoing contributions to Chemical Engineering through innovations or a series of related publications over a number of years.

Professor Foster has distinguished himself worldwide with his research in the areas of dense gas technology and gas-expanded liquid technology, including supercritical fluids. His work has led to new methods for inhalable drug delivery.

"We have pretty much pioneered using supercritical fluids for drug delivery," Professor Foster said.

"This award is one of the big ones and I was really as pleased as punch about it."

Professors Foster and Amal each received a certificate and $5,000 prizemoney.

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