Born in March 1966, Professor Datuk Ts Dr Ahmad Fauzi Ismail graduated with a B.Eng (Petroleum Engineering) and MSc. (Chemical Engineering) from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) in 1989 and 1992 respectively. In 1997 he was awarded the Commonwealth Academic Staff Scholarship to pursue his Ph.D in Chemical and Process Engineering at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, United Kingdom. With his expertise in membrane manufacturing technology, Prof Fauzi completed his PhD study in “less than three years”. Upon his return to Malaysia, he continued his academic career at UTM where he now services as the Dean of Research for Materials and Manufacturing Research Alliance. He is also the Founder and Director of Advanced Membrane Technology Research Center (AMTEC), which is the first of its kind in Malaysia to conduct advanced research as well as to provide services and consultation in membrane-related technology for gas separation, water and waste water treatment, palm oil refining and energy applications.
Dedicated to introducing and promoting membrane technology, Prof Fauzi is the first Malaysian scientist who produced the indigenous commercially competitive hollow fibre membranes for their applications in gas separation as well as in water and waste water treatment. One of the most significant findings of his research is the fundamental study to understand the basic science of polymer rheology and the application of spectroscopy techniques to produce high performance membranes. The findings, which have been published in various international journals, is considered groundbreaking due its ability to produce membrane with tremendous improvement compared to conventional commercial membranes. Owing to their significant impacts to the science, economy and society, his innovative research and inventions have attracted global and national interests, enabling him to secure financial support from both private and government agencies. With this achievement, Prof Fauzi has positioned Malaysia as one of the main Membrane Technology research centres in the world. Recently, his research team has developed the world’s first high pressure and high CO2 concentration hollow fibre membrane pilot plant for CO2 removal from natural gas stream. The membrane pilot plant was fully designed and fabricated locally has been exclusively tailored and commercialised to petrochemical industries. The successful collaboration with PETRONAS is also witnessed through the establishment of the PETRONAS-UTM Membrane Technology Research center.
Prof Fauzi is also a prolific scientific writer in high impact international and national journals. His capability in carrying quality research work of international standards has been evidenced by the publication of more than 350 technical or scientific papers in well-established and high impact factor journals. His published research has been highly cited with a total citation of 4,696 times and an h-index of 34. In 2004, the Cambridge Biographical Centre listed him as one of the 2000 Outstanding Scientists of the 21st Century. Prof Fauzi is also the recipient of the Malaysia Young Scientist Award in 2000; the ASEAN Young Scientist Award in 2001; Two times winner of the National Intellectual Property Award (Patent Category), 2009 and (Product Category), 2013; Two times winner of the National Innovation Award (Waste to Wealth Category), 2009 and (Product Category), 2011. Recently, he won the National Academic Award (Innovation and Product Commercialisation Category) in August 2013 and he was also the recipient of the Malaysian Toray Science and Technology Foundation Award in November 2013. Prof Fauzi was also named as one of the Top Research Scientists in Malaysia (2012) by Academy of Sciences Malaysia. He is also the first Malaysian and ASEAN national who has also been appointed as the Editor of Desalination Journal, the international journal on the science and technology for desalination and water purification. He is also the co-founder of the ASEAN Membrane Science and Technology Society where one of the main functions is to stimulate R&D collaboration among ASEAN membrane scientists and technologists. The society has successfully organised a series of international conferences on membrane science and technology.
Widely recognised for his contributions as a membrane scientist, technologist and inventor, Prof Fauzi’s professional expertise covers membrane processes, membrane materials development for gas separation and water and wastewater treatment, and carbon nanostructured materials for composite and energy applications. The enthusiasm and dedication Prof Fauzi towards his research and innovation work have been well reflected by the various awards and recognitions (about 100) he has received at both national and international levels.
Prof Fauzi’s extensive work in developing membrane technology has positioned Malaysia as one of the main membrane technology innovators in the world. This is especially important as membrane technology stands to play an essential role in helping Malaysia to develop and fully utilise the abundantly available natural resources. In this regard, Prof Fauzi’s wide ranging and innovative contributions in enhancing membrane performance have had significant impacts and embodied the Spirit of Merdeka.