Indian student named IET Young Chemical Engineer of the Year 2017

Prabhuraj Balakrishnan - National Graphene Institute

University of Manchester PhD student Prabhuraj Balakrishnan was recently named Young Chemical Engineer of the Year 2017 for his research on graphene for fuel cells. Pictured is Mr Balakrishnan with his award and a photo of the National Graphene Institute, Manchester.

PhD student Prabhuraj Balakrishnan was named Young Chemical Engineer of the Year 2017 for his research on graphene for fuel cells. Graphene was isolated in 2004 by two researchers at The University of Manchester, Professor Sir Andre Geim and Professor Sir Kostya Novoselov, both of whom continue to work at the University. Made from a single, one-atom layer of carbon, graphene is invisible to the naked eye but has the potential to change the world in a host of areas from energy and electronics to healthcare and mobile phones. First isolated at the University through a process of creative scientific experimentation, graphene is one of the strongest, lightest and most conductive materials in the world.

The award was presented by the IChemE (Institute of Chemical Engineers), IMech (Institute of Mechanical Engineers) and IET (Institute of Engineering and Technology). “I am a researcher working on graphene based materials in proton exchange membrane fuel cells with additional expertise revolving around fuel cells, sensors, catalysis, and corrosion assessment areas. Currently working in engineering methanol fuel cells, here in the University of Manchester, with close collaborations with Nobel prize winning team from School of Physics and National Graphene Institute,” said Prabhuraj Balakrishnan. “I am also involved in several teaching and outreaching activities across the University supported by fellowship programmes.”

The PhD student who has given a number of talks and presentations about graphene, including:

  • Knowledge from pencil trace-power of graphene – TEDx, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, UK, 9th April 2017.
  • Graphene membranes for fuel cells – TEDx, Durham University, Durham, UK, 11th March 2017.
  • Sustainable energy using graphene – TEDx, SOAS, University of London, London, UK, 2nd March 2017.
  • Towards sustainable energy using graphene – Pechakucha, Young Malaysian Engineers’ society, Manchester, UK, 18th Feb 2017.​

He also has a patent, one peer-reviewed journal publication with 10 international conference presentations till date. Prabhuraj graduated with a First Class degree Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech.) degree in Chemical and Electrochemical Engineering in 2012 from the CSIR Central Electrochemical Research Institute (CECRI) , India

For further information about Prabhuraj Balakrishnan visit

About The National Graphene Institute at the University of Manchester

The National Graphene Institute is a £61m world-leading centre for graphene research and commercialisation, where academics and industry partners can work side by side on the applications of tomorrow. The University of Manchester currently has more than 40 commercial partners and more than 235 graphene and related 2D materials researchers. It houses state-of-the-art cleanrooms, plus laser, optical, metrology and chemical labs and equipment – the ideal environment for world-class graphene research – and is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the European Regional Development Fund.

For further information visit


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