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Academic & Research Staff

Dr Athanasios Kotsiopoulos

Deputy Director of CeBER & Senior Research Officer

Preventing ARD from coal mine waste
Life Cycle Assessment
Anaerobic digestion for products
Alkane activation & functionalisation to value‑added products
Biorefinery modelling
Metal recovery from WEEE

My research centres on the development and advancement of new products through innovative bioprocess technologies from low value streams. Focus is on fundamental design with an emphasis on industrial application using technoeconomic feasibility studies. These investigations contribute to engineering knowledge and help identify potential growth of the bioprocess industry in South Africa. Applications extend to mitigating ARD potential from abandoned mine wastes using permeable reactive barriers to inhibit transport of naturally occurring oxidation reactions. Mathematical modelling aspects focus on the development and application of a modified population balance approach to predicting reactor performance and dynamics in multi‑phase systems. I am further involved in analysing tomographic techniques to evaluate the mixing efficiency of stirred tank bioreactors to minimise microbial stress and to improve overall suspension quality during industrial scale‑up. In the c*change Paraffins Activation Programme, and in studies into developing bio‑based chemicals and bioenergy in South Africa, I investigate various process options using microbial and enzyme catalysis from proof of concept to industrial application using process flowsheeting and techno‑economic feasibility studies to design and optimise competing technologies using Aspen Plus and various other computational tools.

Current Supervision Doctorate                    4                                    
Graduated Supervision Doctorate                         
Current Supervision Masters                       9                                    
Graduated Supervision Masters                  3             

In refereed Journals                                   17                                   
In refereed Books                                        1             
In refereed Conference Proceedings         18                                   
Presented at International Conferences    26           
Technical Reports                                        6                                    

Professional History

2019 - Present       Deputy Director Centre for Bioprocess Engineering Research (CeBER)
2020 - Present       Senior Research Officer, UCT
2017 - 2019          Research Officer, UCT
2013 - 2016          Postdoctoral Research Fellow, UCT
2006 - Present       Assistant Lecturer
2003 - 2005         Consulting Engineer, Poretech cc. (reactors, particle size analysers, colour measurement instruments)
2019 - Present       Programme Manager: c* Change Centre of Excellence Paraffins Activation Programme PAR
2013 - Present       Project Leader/Member: c* Change Paraffins Activation Programme various projects
2013 - Present       Project Coordinator/Member: Water Research Commission various projects
2016 - Present       Project Coordinator: DST/CSIR RDI Roadmap WEEE (Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment)
2017                  Reviewer - Rated Researchers: National Research Foundation
2017                  Reviewer - Research Chair: Department of Science & Technology


2020                  SFARS Well Functioning Researcher
2019                  SFARS Established Researcher
2018                  SFARS Established Researcher
2017                  SFARS Emerging Researcher


2012                  PhD Chemical Engineering, UCT
2005                  MSc Chemical Engineering, UCT
2000                  BSc Chemical Engineering, UCT