Dr. Jose M. Asua

(Professor, POLYMAT Fundazioa - Director - research group: Polymerization Processes)


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Biography, research and publications

José M. Asua is Professor of Chemical Engineering and Director of the Research Institute for Polymer Materials (POLYMAT) of the University of the Basque Country at Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain.

In addition to his work in fundamental research, Professor Asua has devoted substantial efforts to strengthen the University-Industry relationships. He has supervised ore than 30 industrially funded projects, and consults for several companies in Europe and USA. He launched the Industrial Liaison Program (ILP) on Polymerization in Dispersed Media. Members of this ILP are some of the major international producers of these polymers. He received the Rhone-Poulenc Award for Clean Technologies for his research in control of polymerization reactors and the Euskadi Research Award. He co-founded the Research Institute for Polymer Materials (POLYMAT), a University research organization that provides comprehensive research services to polymer industries. Currently, 22 Assistant, Associate and Full Professors as well as over 50 post-doctoral fellows and PhD students are involved in the research conducted in POLYMAT. In the last 4 years, POLYMAT has provided technical support to more than 100 companies, both SMEs and large companies, looking to improve their competitive position.

He earned his BS in Chemistry and MS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Bilbao and the PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Zaragoza (catalyst deactivation). He did postdoctoral research at the University of Liege (Belgium) working on hydrodynamics of Trickle Bed Reactors.

He joined the School of Chemistry of the University of the Basque Country in 1978 where he was asked to develop a research and teaching program on Polymer Reaction Engineering. His research has been focussed on the fundamental investigation of industrially important polymerization processes developing knowledge-based strategies for the production of high performance waterborne dispersed polymers. His lab is recognized as Key Center by both the University of the Basque Country and the Basque Government, and has hosted a Marie Curie Training Centre for High Performance Dispersed Polymers. PhD students and Post-doctoral fellows from the entire world have worked in his lab.

He spent sabbatical years at Lehigh University (USA) as a Fulbright scholar and University of Waterloo (Canada) as Visiting Professor. He has also been Visiting Professor at the Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium) and at Dortmund University (Germany).


He has published one book and edited another one, published more than 240 articles given over 40 plenary and invited lectures (among them, 8 in Gordon Research Conferences) and more than 140 conferences and poster presentations. He is co-author of 6 patents and advisor of more than 40 PhD Thesis. He has served as Associate Editor of Polymer Reaction Engineering and is member of the Editorial Board of Chemical Engineering Journal, Macromolecular Materials and Engineering and Macromolecular Reaction Engenering. Professor Asua has been very active in the organization of international meetings, and was the director of one NATO Advanced Study Institute.