Thermochemical pioneer wins prestigious Award

Professor Tony Bridgwater
Professor Tony Bridgwater

18th September 2009

Tony Bridgwater, Professor of Chemical Engineering at Aston University in Birmingham, UK has been awarded the Don Klass Award for Excellence in Thermochemical Conversion Science1.

Presented to Professor Bridgwater on September 16that the international tcbiomass 2009 conference in Chicago, USA, this award recognises his extensive contributions to the field of bioenergy, as well as his past efforts as organiser of World Biomass Conferences.

Globally recognised as a leading bioenergy researcher, Tony has worked at Aston University for most of his professional career.  His major research interests over the last 20 years have been in thermochemical processing of biomass and other solid fuels including waste and refuse to produce valuable fuels and chemicals. These products include conventional and unconventional gaseous and liquid fuels; oxygenates as fuel additives and chemical intermediates; and commodity chemicals such as methanol, and ammonia for fertilizer production.

Key achievements include:

  • 45 years research experience in chemical engineering
  • Founder of the Aston University Bioenergy Research Group (BERG), one of the world’s biggest research groups in this field
  • Founder of PyNe (Pyrolysis Network), a global forum for researchers in fast pyrolysis of biomass to exchange information on new scientific and technological developments on biomass and related technologies
  • Technical Director of the UK SUPERGEN Bioenergy Consortium – the UK centre of excellence for biomass, bioenergy and biofuels
  • Member of over 34 European Commission sponsored research projects, including:
  • Core member of the EC sponsored Dibanet project
  • Core member of the EC Bioenergy Network of Excellence
  • Core member of the EC sponsored Integrated Project on biorefineries – Biosynergy
  • Co-ordinator of the EC sponsored ThermalNet Network
  • Task leader for the IEA Bioenergy Task on Pyrolysis
  • Johannes Linneborn Prize winner – in 2007 at the 15th European Bioenergy Conference for “Outstanding contributions to bioenergy”
  • Edwin Walker Prize winner – awarded by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers for “Best conference transaction publication” in 2002
  • Chairman and organiser of 9 international bioenergy conferences in Europe and North America
  • Publication of 30 books and over 400 papers on biomass and bioenergy


For further media information and/or to arrange an interview, contact Aston University Press Officer, Alex Earnshaw, on 0121 204 4549.

For further information about Professor Bridgwater and his internationally renowned research group, the Aston University Bioenergy Reseach Group, visit

1 The Don Klass Award is a tribute to the late Dr Donald Klass, who was President of the Bioenergy Research Association (BERA), and organised many well known and respected conferences around the world, including “Bioenergy from Biomass”, which ran for 20 years from 1976 onwards.