Appointment Prof. Dr. Ir. Anton A. Kiss

News - 07 July 2020 - Communication TNW

At the beginning of the next academic year, Prof.Dr.Ir. Anton A. Kiss will start as a professor at the Bioprocess Engineering and Chemical Engineering departments. Hereby a Q&A based introduction.

What will your work be at TU Delft, which field of science?

I will work in the area of Process Systems Engineering (PSE) which covers a wide range of topics such Process Synthesis, Process Design, Process Control, Process Optimization, Process Simulation, etc. Moreover, I will also work on Process Intensification (e.g. making more with less, and building safer, smaller, cleaner and more efficient chemical processes that are sustainable and economically viable) and Separation Technology (in particular fluid separations, e.g. distillation, absorption, extraction). All these areas strongly contribute towards developing novel sustainable (bio)chemical processes and products, ultimately leading to a greener chemical process industry.

You will be working in two departments at TNW, do these two places have something in common (or not)? How will you combine that work?

Chemical engineers are called universal engineers due to their broad knowledge base and abilities. In addition to the basic engineering training in math and physics, they have an in-depth mastery of chemistry and biology. Both chemical engineering and biotechnology are disciplines that use science in a practical and economically viable way to develop chemical or bio-based products that solve important problems and have many applications that significantly improve the quality of life. Such products include: medicines, fertilizers, petrochemicals, fuels, paper, dyes, polymers, foods, etc.

Chemical Engineering & Biotechnology have many things in common (i.e. transforming various raw materials into new useful products), but there are also key differences, since biotechnology focuses largely on using (thermally sensitive) living systems and organisms to develop or make products.

The biggest problem to tackle now is to improve the quality of life for an ever growing population, while at the same time drastically reducing the footprint on this planet in a sustainable way. The grand challenges related to the energy-food-water-chemicals nexus also present opportunities that will clearly require the development of new methods, novel tools, and innovative eco-efficient processes based on PSE, process intensification and integration principles, as well as reaction & separation technologies. My work will deal with the development of new (bio-based) processes that are so much required in a bio-based circular economy (e.g. biorefineries, CO2 valorisation to products, heat pumps, chemical clusters and energy hubs, and electrification of chemical industry).

Where are you working currently (and previously), and what is it that you do?

Currently, I work at the University of Manchester as Professor of Chemical Engineering, being a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award holder and leading the Separation Science & Technology group. My research is focused on Process Intensification & Integration and Separation Technology, from a Process Systems Engineering perspective. In terms of education I am director of the Design Project which is the most important piece of work for any undergraduate in chemical engineering.

Prior to my position in Manchester, I have worked in the Dutch chemical industry at AkzoNobel (Research, Development & Innovation) for 12 years, being recognized as the principal expert in PSE, separation technology and process intensification. In my role as Senior Project Manager and RD&I specialist in process technology I have provided valuable expertise to all the business units, and eventually led my team to win the AkzoNobel Innovation Excellence Award in 2013. Next to my industrial role, I have also worked several years as part-time professor at University of Twente.

Is there any work that you want to briefly refer to?

During the past decades, I carried out many research and industrial projects, which led to publishing over 20 textbooks & book chapters, and over 100 scientific articles mostly in highly-ranked journals. In addition, I am (co)inventor of 9 families of patents worldwide. Highlights of my work include the development of new processes for biofuels (biodiesel, bioethanol and biobutanol) and green routes for essential chemicals (e.g. methanol, dimethyl ether, dimethyl carbonate, monomers, polyesters).

Some relevant references about PSE perspectives in chemical engineering & biotechnology include:

  • A. A. Kiss, J. Grievink, Process Systems Engineering developments in Europe from an industrial and academic perspective, Computers & Chemical Engineering, 138, 106823, 2020.
  • A. Kiss, E. Zondervan, R. Lakerveld, L. Ozkan (Eds), 29th European Symposium on Computer Aided Chemical Engineering, Computers and Chemical Engineering, vol. 46, Elsevier, ISBN 978-0-1281-8634-3, 2019.
  • A. A. Kiss, E. Zondervan, A. J. B. van Boxtel, A. G. J. van der Ham, J. Grievink, Process Systems Engineering perspectives in The Netherlands, NPT Procestechnologie, 1602, 12-13, 2016.
  • A. A. Kiss, J. Grievink, M. Rito-Palomares, A systems engineering perspective on process integration in industrial biotechnology, Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology, 90, 349-355, 2015.

A complete list of the published work is available on my personal website at:

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