Personal details

Professor William Doherty
Principal Research Fellow
Faculty of Engineering,
School of Mech., Medical & Process Engineering
Discipline *
Chemical Engineering, Macromolecular and Materials Chemistry, Physical Chemistry (incl. Structural)
+61 7 3138 1245
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Identifiers and profiles

PhD (University of East London)


Biomass, Biopolymers, Clarification, Crystallisation, Extraction technologies, Flocculation, Fouling, Ionic Liquids, Polymer synthesis, Sugar

* Field of Research code, Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008


Professor Bill Doherty is an industrial chemist and the Theme Leader of the Processing Chemistry Research Group.  He is a leading authority in biomass fractionation/pretreatment technologies, hydrothermal liquefaction of biomass to energy and chemicals, fouling of heat exchangers, chemistry of sugar juice clarification, and the development of biodegradable composite materials.  His current interests include, thermochemical processing of biomass (including algae and fungi), surface and colloidal chemistry, catalytic lignin valorisation to aromatic chemicals and dicarboxylic acids, design of heterogeneous catalysts for the upgrading of biomass derived bio-oils to fuels, and scale control and removal.

Over the last 10 years, Prof Doherty has attracted over $15 M from industry partners and Australian Research Council. He has over 150 publications, commission research, reviews and book chapters. Prof Doherty has 4 patents of which the most successful is the glycerol-acid pretreatment of biomass. He has reviewed Australian Research Council Discovery grants, USDA, SRDC and UNSW grant proposals

Prof Doherty has been associated with the Australian Sugarcane Industry for the past 20 years.  He has been generating original research ideas, planning and executing R&D and consulting projects, and training factory staff which have contributed to progressive development of the sugar industry.  As a consequence of Prof Doherty’s work in sugar manufacture, in 2010 obtained Sugar Research Development Corporation Top Award for outstanding achievement in innovation in Research and Development in sugar manufacturing.  In the past 10 years, 7 of his postgraduate students have received Postgraduate Sugar Research Awards by the Australian Society of Sugarcane Technologist (ASSCT). In 2015, ASSCT Awarded Prof Doherty the Presidential Medal for Best Research Paper on Milling Technology.

Prof Doherty is currently leading a major Grand challenge in biomass utilisation funded by the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF) to develop technologies for economically sustainable bio-based energy. Prof Doherty was one of the Project Leaders in the CRC Sugar Industry Innovation for Biotechnology and won the Chairman’s award (2008) for the best CRC SIIB patent for initiating the ground-breaking work on water-based lignin coatings. Prof Doherty was awarded in 2013 a certificate by QUT in recognition for supervising an Outstanding Doctoral Thesis.

This information has been contributed by Professor William Doherty.


Prof Doherty has been teaching Sugar Technologist in the area of surface chemistry,  carbohydrate chemistry, and sugar quality for the past 20 years.

This information has been contributed by Professor William Doherty.


Professional Experience: 

  • 2005 to Current Principal Research Fellow, Team Leader (Processing Chemistry), Sugar Research and Innovation, Centre for Tropical Crops and Biotechnology, Queensland University of Technology.
  • 2002 – 2005 Principal Research Fellow (Adjunct), Molecular Sciences James Cook University
  • 2000 – 2005 Principal Scientist, Sugar Research Institute, Mackay
  • 1996 – 2000 Senior Scientist, Sugar Research Institute, Mackay
  • 1991 – 1996 Research Fellow, Department of Chemistry, James Cook University
  • 1989 – 1991 Senior Lecturer, NDA, Kaduna, Nigeria
  • 1985 – 1989 Lecturer, NDA, Kaduna, Nigeria
  • 1985 – 1985 Senior Research Officer, Rubber Research Institute, Nigeria
This information has been contributed by Professor William Doherty.


For more publications by this staff member, visit QUT ePrints, the University's research repository.


Awards and recognition

Reference year
Chairman's award for the best CRC Sugar Industry Innovation through biotechnology Patent
Visiting Professorships/Fellowships
Reference year
Adjunct Principal Research Fellow, Department Molecular Science James Cook University.