Researcher biography


Tom Rufford is an Associate Professor in the UQ School of Chemical Engineering and chief investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Green Electrochemical Transformation of CO2 (GETCO2). Tom completed his BE and PhD degrees in Chemical Engineering at the University of Queensland in 2000 and 2009, respectively. Tom's PhD thesis investigated the use of porous carbon materials derived from waste coffee grounds for energy storage via hydrogen or supercapacitors on board electric vehicles. From 2001 to 2005 he worked as a process engineer and technologist on the crude distillation columns, naptha reformers and hydrogen purification plant at Shell's Geelong Oil Refinery. From 2010 to late 2012, Tom was a research fellow at the University of Western Australia working on natural gas processing and LNG production research projects with the UWA's Chevron Chair in Gas Process Engineering, Prof. Eric May. He returned to UQ as a teaching and research academic in December 2012.

Dr Rufford is a chartered member of the IChemE and Engineers Australia (chemical engineering).

Dr Rufford has published more than 80 scientific papers in international journals and an edited book on carbon materials. He has been a visiting researcher at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Tsukuba, Japan, and an Endeavour Research Fellow visiting the Institute of Metals Research of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shenyang, China.


Associate Professor Rufford conducts research on gas processing and purification for cleaner energy production and utilization. His research interests include electrochemical processes including energy storage and CO2 reduction, natural gas process engineering, porous carbons, and solid-fluid interactions in coal seam gas reservoirs. Current and recent projects include studies on electrochemical CO2 reduction, development of gas diffusion electrode materials, helium recovery and nitrogen rejection from natural gas, low permeability coals, and the capture of methane emissions from liquefied natural gas (LNG) production plants.

Teaching and Learning:

Tom teaches into the BE and BE/ME chemical engineering programs at UQ. He's taught core chemical engineering courses such as heat and mass transfer, unit operations, and the capstone design project courses CHEE4001 and CHEE7103. In 2024 he is teaching into CHEE3004 Unit Operations in Semester 1 and CHEE7103 BE/ME Design Project in Semester 2.