Professor Max Lu

Professor Max Lu

Brisbane has the potential to reach the same dizzying heights of the US global business hub of Boston or the innovation melting pot of Silicon Valley, according to Professor Max Lu.

Prof Lu is the provost and senior vice-president at The University of Queensland (UQ). In 2013 he was named a Queensland Great by Premier Campbell Newman.

He moved to Brisbane from China in 1987 to study a PhD in chemical engineering and said he found the city to be a “hugely beneficial” place to build his career.

Since then he has received numerous prestigious awards nationally and internationally including the China International Science and Technology Award, Chinese Academy of Sciences International Cooperation Award, Le Fevre Prize, Top 100 Most Influential Engineers in Australia and Top 50 Most Influential Chinese in the World.

Prof Lu is involved in several high-profile research projects in the fields of nanotechnology, clean energy and biomedicine.

“Brisbane is becoming a magnet for attracting top talent from all over the world,” Prof Lu said.

“While the city is not quite Boston or Silicon Valley, in terms of innovation, it’s getting there.”

Pro Lu said that on the global stage, Brisbane was a city to watch.

“I moved here to study at UQ because it is one of the top 100 universities in the world, and it has opened doors for me that I could never have imagined,” he said.

“I choose Brisbane and I think if companies and individuals from overseas are considering Brisbane they can be assured they will find a true global city with potential and a true innovation culture.” 

Professor Lu said Brisbane had a “unique” corporate environment where research and educational institutions worked in collaboration with international companies to solve real-world problems and foster innovation.

“Brisbane has a large concentration of research institutes, and researchers work closely with government and business to engage with the broader community and understand what they really need,” Prof Lu said.

“Brisbane is home to many global players, which means research outcomes from fundamental research projects are easily translated into real products and marketable services and technologies.”

Prof Lu said his decision to stay in Brisbane after completing his PhD was due to the broad range of personal and career-related opportunities the city provided.

“Brisbane was not just a place for me to grow my career, but it is a beautiful city in terms of landscape and climate, and is just the right size to avoid the issues that mega cities have with transport and infrastructure,” he said.

“Research and development opportunities in Brisbane presented themselves to me and combined with the elements of good living that the city provides to make it the perfect place to live and work.”

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