Blog icon

Dr Ka Yu Cheng

Senior Research Scientist

Contact details:



Dr Ka Yu Cheng is a Senior Research Scientist within Healthy Communities Impact Group in the Industry Environments Program of CSIRO Environment. He is leading the Waste Beneficitation & Storage Team of the Group. He obtained his B.Sc. (Hons) and M.Phil. Degrees (Environmental Science) in Hong Kong, and joined CSIRO in 2010 after obtaining his PhD from Murdoch University on developing biotechnical processes for wastewater treatment and resource recovery. His research has led to 80+ international journal publications (H-index 31), three patent applications and a water technology innovation award in 2008. He is the recipient of CSIRO Land & Water Young Scientist of the Year Award in 2012. In September 2018, he has been named as the leading Australian researcher in the field of biotechnology in The Australian's Research magazine. Currently, he develops innovative processes for PFAS and other contaminant degradation, and the treatment of mining and other wastes streams driving towards circular economy and the sustainability of industries.

Dr Cheng has conducted research projects with a range of industry and agencies including the Water Corporation of Western Australia, Victoria EPA, NSW Environmental Trust, Direct Nickel, St Barbara, Newcrest, Vintage94, Evolution Mining, South32, etc.

His research areas have included: (Bio)-treatment of municipal and industrial waste streams; biodegradation of contaminants and bioremediation of contaminated sites; sensors for monitoring biofilm formation; microbial electrochemical reactor technologies (e.g. microbial fuel/ electrolysis cells); mining biotechnology; and resource recovery.

Academic Qualifications

  • 2006 - 2010

    PhD in Environmental Engineering
    (Topic: Bioelectrochemical systems for energy recovery from wastewater. Advisor: Em/Prof. Goen Ho & Dr Ralf Cord-Ruwisch) - Murdoch University, Western Australia

  • 2003 - 2005

    MPhil in Environmental Science
    (Topic: Bioremediation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons-contaminated soil with plants and organic amendments as remediating agents. Advisor: Em/Prof. Jonathan W.C. Wong) - Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong

  • 2000 - 2003

    BSc (Honors) in Applied Biology (Environmental Science)
    (Topic: Bioremediation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in soil-water systems) - Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong

Professional Experiences

  • 2021-present

    Associate Editor
    Frontiers in Bioengineering & Biotechnology (Industrial Biotechnology Section)

  • 2021-present

    Editorial Board Member
    Processes (MDPI)

  • 2017-2017

    Guest Editor (Special Issue: Biotechnology for Waste Conversion)
    Bioresource Technology

  • 2013-present

    Editorial Board Member
    Environmental Technology (Publisher Taylor & Francis Group)

  • 2017-present

    Adjunct Senior Lecturer
    School of Engineering & Information Technology, Murdoch University

  • 2014-present

    Adjunct Lecturer
    School of Engineering & Information Technology, Murdoch University

  • 2011-present

    International Scientific Committee for International Conference on Solid Waste (Hong Kong)
    Sino-Forest Applied Research Centre for Pearl River Delta Environment, Hong Kong Baptist University

  • 2009-present

    Ad-Hoc Scientific Journal Reviewer ( )
    ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering; Bioelectrochemistry; Bioprocess & Biosystems Engineering; Bioresource Technology; Chemosphere; Chemical Engineering Journal; Desalination; Desalination and Water Treatment; Electrochimica Acta; Energies; Energy & Environmental Science; Environmental Science & Technology; Environmental Science and Pollution Research; Environmental Technology; Journal of Applied Electrochemistry; Journal of Biosensors & Bioelectronics; Journal of Hazardous Materials; Journal of Power Source; Resources, Conservation & Recycling; RSC Advances; Sustainability; Water Science & Technology; Water Research

Achievements and Awards

  • 2018-2018

    Named as Australia’s Leading Researcher in the Field of Biotechnology.
    The Australian: Research Magazine – The Stars of 2018. Published on 28 Sep 2018 ( )

  • 2018-2018

    Publons Peer Reviewer Award – Top 1% in the Field of Environment & Ecology
    Publons (

  • 2013-2013

    Young Scientist of the Year Award 2012
    CSIRO Land and Water

  • 2013-2013

    Best Poster Award (Title: Bioelectrochemical ammonia recovery and high-purity hydrogen production from synthetic municipal wastewater)
    10th IWA Leading Edge Conference on Water & Wastewater Technologies, Bordeaux, France

  • 2008-2008

    Huber Technology Prize 2008 (1st Prize)
    Huber Technology Ltd. The prize honors ideas, concepts and results of research that are an innovative contribution to the reuse of energy and valuable materials from wastewater. (In IFAT 2008 - 15th International Trade Fair for Water - Sewage - Refuse - Recycling, Munich, Germany) (

Other highlights

  • 2009