Sanjay Nagarajan

  • Research Fellow Bioprocess Chemical Engineer
  • Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Science
Sanjay Nagarajan

About Me

I have a B.Tech Biotechnology degree from Anna University, India (2009), M.Sc Environmental Engineering from National University of Singapore, NUS (2011) and PhD Chemical Engineering from Queen's University Belfast, QUB, UK (2017).

I was offered a research engineer position in NUS (in A/Prof Zhou Zhi’s lab) to work in an unconventional area combing photo-electrochemistry and anaerobic biotechnology for biofuel applications. During this period, in addition to research, I was also actively involved in setting up the lab from scratch, mentored students and supervised research assistants.

Later, in 2014, I took up a PhD in Robert Gordon University (RGU), Aberdeen, UK, where I focussed on utilising photocatalysis for fermentable sugar production from cellulose (first of its kind). During my PhD, I happened to move from RGU to QUB, along with my supervisor Prof Peter Robertson, where I set up the lab from scratch again. Due to the move, I lost ~4 months, however I was able to regroup quickly and reinitiate my research to complete my PhD within the stipulated funded period of 3 years.

I then moved to Birmingham City University for a post-doc position where I learnt about anaerobic digestion, before moving back to QUB for a research fellow position in late 2017. In my previous position at QUB, I learnt about the principles of cavitation and its application to pre-treat biomass. Additionally, I also maintained my collaborative efforts with Prof Robertson’s laboratory. I also established new collaborative links via meetings that happened over reputed international conferences such as EUBCE and ISCRE.

To date, I have 15 peer-reviewed publications (6 as first author and 3 as co-corresponding authors, total citation – 351 and h-index - 7 [as per Google Scholar, 12-Jul-21]). These include high-impact journals such as the Chemical Engineering Journal, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Ultrasonics sonochemistry and Bioresource Technology. 1 book chapter that I authored has been published (cellulose photocatalysis for energy production) and 1 book chapter is pending publication (solar fuels). I am also a contributing author to a book on HC. I am also actively involved in reviewing papers for reputed international journals. I am the topic editor for MDPI Energies for the Bioenergy section. I have attended >20 national and international conferences where I won numerous awards including the prestigious Gianni Astarita Young Investigator Award for outstanding research in Chemical Reaction Engineering (awarded by AIDIC in 2018) and the SWAN Teaching Fellowship by QUB (2019). I have also secured >£ 300,000 funding. I have also been involved in teaching (student feedback of 4/5 for the academic year 2019-20) and mentoring students (all university levels). I have also been invited to give keynote lectures and webinars on key biofuel related areas.

My areas of expertise include, biomass-pretreatment, advanced oxidation processes, cavitation, photocatalysis and anaerobic digestion.

Skills And Qualifications



  • biomass pre-treatment
  • advanced oxidation processes
  • cavitation
  • photocatalysis
  • biogas
  • Anaerobic Digestion

Publications And Past Projects