Prof. Ir. Dr. Chai Siang Piao

Deputy Head of School (Research)
School of Engineering
+603 5514 6234
Room 5-4-27

Personal statement

Prof. Ir. Dr Chai Siang Piao is a Professor of Chemical Engineering and the Deputy Head of School (Research) for School of Engineering. Prof. Chai is an active researcher in the areas of heterogeneous catalysis, photocatalysis, reaction engineering and advanced functional materials. His current research interest primarily focuses on the development of advanced photocatalytic materials for environmental and sustainable energy applications. He has published more than 150 articles in ISI journals accumulating total citations of more than 10,000 times. Prof. Chai has won numerous awards and recognitions, which include Global Highly Cited Researcher, Malaysia’s Research Star Award, Top Research Scientist Malaysia, National Outstanding Educator Award (Research), etc. Prof. Chai is also an editorial board member for 6 international journals, grant assessor for numerous national and international funding agencies as well as scientific reviewer for more than 80 ISI-journals published by major publishers, such as NPG, AAAS, ACS, Wiley, CellPress, RSC, Elsevier, etc.

Academic degrees

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 2008
  • Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) (Chemical Engineering), Universiti Sains Malaysia, 2004

Professional affiliations

Member of International Professional Bodies

  • Institute of Chemical Engineers (IChemE): Chartered Engineer (CEng)
  • Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM): Professional Engineer (PEng)

Research Interests

In recent decades, significant endeavours have been dedicated in resolving the escalating energy and environmental problems which have raised to an alarming rate. Photocatalysis, a process which drives chemical transformations by harvesting solar light in the presence of a catalyst, has emerged as a promising route to address these challenges. This technology appeals to be sustainable and less energy consuming due to its prominent feature of utilizing inexhaustible solar energy as the main driving force. Our research activities primarily focus on the rational design of novel, robust nanostructured materials for the applications in solar energy production and environmental remediation, which include pollutants degradation, hydrogen and oxygen evolution by water splitting as well as carbon dioxide photoreduction into hydrocarbon fuels such as methane and methanol. These projects are funded by Science Fund (MOSTI), NanoMITe -LRGS and FRGS (MOHE).

Research Projects

Title: Photocatalysis for Sustainable Energy Production and Environmental Remediation

Our research primarily focuses on rational design and fabrication of novel photocatalytic materials ingeniously arranged in nano-platform. The developments include a highly efficient Z-scheme system for overall pure water splitting to produce hydrogen and oxygen. We also construct low bandgap energy nanocomposites for carbon dioxide reduction into energy-rich hydrocarbon products, pollutants degradation, fine chemicals synthesis and disinfection.

For details, visit my research group website via the academic profile tab.


Units taught

CHE3164 - Reaction Engineering

Local grants

  • Development of highly efficient Z-schematic photocatalysis system with enhanced electron transfer for overall water splitting under visible light (FRGS)
  • Carbon dioxide photo-reduction and water splitting into energy-rich products under visible-light irradiation (NanoMITe-LRGS)
  • Band structure engineering of semiconductor photocatalysts with tunable band-edge potential for efficient carbon dioxide photoreduction and photocatalytic water splitting (MRSA-FRGS)

Current supervision

Chew Yi Hao

Development of highly efficient solar-driven photocatalyst for simultaneous photocatalytic H2 and O2 production via overall water splitting

2017 - present

Monash University Malaysia

Tang Jie Yinn

Development of visible-light-active graphitic carbon nitride-based nanomaterials for enhanced photocatalytic CO2 reduction into renewable energy-rich fuels

2017 - present

Monash University Malaysia

Teh Yee Wen

Surface defect engineering of nano-photocatalytic materials for highly efficient photocatalytic carbon dioxide reduction performance

2018 - present

Monash University Malaysia

Michell Chee Kim Ting

Solar-driven Water-Splitting via Z-Scheme photocatalyst

2018 - present

Monash University Malaysia

Fung Cheng May

Artifcial Leaf for Carbon Dioxide Transformation

2019 - present

Monash University Malaysia

Er Chen Chen

An Ab Initio Study of the Impact of Defects on Two-Dimensional Materials for Photocatalysis

2020 - present

Monash University Malaysia

Lee Yong Jieh

Photocatalytic Degradation of Microplastics Under Low Intensity Visible Light Illumination

2020 - present

Monash University Malaysia

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Local Award/Recognition/Exhibition/Stewardship

  • Top Research Scientists Malaysia (TRSM) 2018
  • Malaysia’s Research Star Award (MRSA) 2017, 2018
  • National Outstanding Educator Award (Research category) 2018
  • Pro-Vice Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
  • Gold Medal: Malaysia Technology Expo (MTE) 2012
  • Gold Medal: Expo, Science, Technology and Innovations 2004

International Award/Recognition/Exhibition/Stewardship

  • Global Highly Cited Researcher 2019
  • Top Paper Award - Nano Research, 2016, 2018
  • Gold Medal - International Trade Fair–Ideas-Inventions-New Products–Nuremberg (iENA), 2009, 2014
  • Gold Medal - 33rd International Exhibition of Invention, New Techniques and Products of Geneva, 2005