Outstanding Scholastic Achievement


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Trailblazing Malaysia’s Hydrogen Energy and Fuel Cells Development 
Professor Dato’ Ir Dr Wan Ramli Wan Daud FASc started his scientific career in 1979 by working for his PhD at Cambridge University on the drum dryer in a food manufacturing company. Since then, green hydrogen energy, fuel cells technology and industrial drying technology have become his main areas of research. 

Thanks to his outstanding scholarly work in the field of Hydrogen Energy and Fuel Cells, he was listed as one of the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds in the top 1% of World scientists. As the founding President of Malaysian Association of Hydrogen Energy (MAHE), he strongly advocates the Hydrogen Economy in Malaysia and led the development of the first Roadmap for Hydrogen Energy and Fuel Cells for Malaysia 2006 and the Hydrogen Economy and Technology Roadmap 2023. 


Falling for science at an early age 
Being a son of a policeman at a time of national turmoil during the Malayan Frequency Emergency, Professor Wan Ramli’s early childhood education was often disrupted by his father’s frequent transfers. He excelled in school despite the distractions, and developed an early interest in science during his time at Sekolah Dato' Abdul Razak (SDAR). 

Inspired by NASA’s rocket technology and his then role model, German rocket scientist Dr Werner von Braun, Professor Wan Ramli aspired to be a rocket scientist or a physicist. It was then that he was first introduced to fuel cells and used discarded batteries to produce hydrogen. However, Malaysia Amanah Rakyat (MARA) insisted that he took chemical engineering instead. 


Pioneering Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Energy 
Professor Wan Ramli’s interest in fuel cells and hydrogen energy was rekindled in the mid 1990’s, when he built the first fuel cell in Malaysia using donated Nafion membranes and carbon papers in 1994. 

He introduced economical anodes with low Pt content, nitrogen-doped materials, and diverse composite membranes. He also innovatively crafted the direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) and engineered prototype PEMFC stacks utilised in motorcycles, portable packs, and a golf cart. Beyond PEMFC, Professor Wan Ramli pioneered microbial fuel cells (MFC) for simultaneous palm oil mill effluent treatment and electricity generation. 

In the realm of hydrogen energy, he developed catalysts for methanol and glycerol steam reforming, compact membrane reactors, and hydrogen storage materials, along with solar hydrogen production systems utilising hybrid photovoltaic-wind turbine electrolysers. 


A 30-year legacy in Chemical Engineering 
Professor Wan Ramli has imparted knowledge to numerous generations of chemical engineers at UKM, and on the national front, has chaired the Fuel Cell Subcommittee and the National Task Force on Fuel Cell, further emphasising his influence in national scientific initiatives.  

Through the years, Professor Wan Ramli accumulated over 92 awards, including the ASEAN Energy Awards, IChemE Highly Commended Shell Energy Award UK, and Outstanding Contribution to the Drying Community 2009 Award. His inventive achievements were celebrated with Gold medals at the Salon International Des Inventions Geneve, World Exhibition of Innovation, Research and New Technologies in Brussels, and recognition from the Swiss Society for the Protection of the Environment. 


The information in this award recipient's profile is accurate to the best of our knowledge as of the time the award was presented. Any subsequent changes, updates, or developments in the individual's life or achievements may not be reflected in this profile.

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