Chemical Engineering


Dr Ahsan Islam BSc Eng, MSc, DIC, PhD, FHEA

Photo of Dr Ahsan Islam

Senior Lecturer in Biochemical Engineering

Part B Year Tutor


I obtained my BSc Eng. (Hons.) degree in Chemical Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) in 2003. Then, I moved to Imperial College London to study the MSc in Advanced Chemical Engineering with Biotechnology under the prestigious Commonwealth Scholarship, and obtained the MSc and Diploma of Imperial College (DIC) degrees from the Department of Chemical Engineering in 2005. Afterwards, I was awarded the University of Toronto Graduate Fellowship to conduct my doctoral research in Genome and Systems Biology and Bioinformatics with Professors Radhakrishnan Mahadevan and Elizabeth Edwards in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry. After obtaining the PhD degree in 2014, I moved to Massachusetts Institute of Technology to conduct my post-doctoral research in Metabolic Engineering and Synthetic Biology with Professors Gregory Stephanopoulos and Kristala L. Jones Prather in the Department of Chemical Engineering.

In 2017, I joined the Department of Chemical Engineering at Loughborough University as Lecturer in Biochemical Engineering and was made Senior Lecturer in Biochemical Engineering in 2022.


  • Ph. D., Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, University of Toronto, 2014
  • M. Sc., D. I. C., Chemical Engineering and Chemical Technology, Imperial College London, 2005
  • B. Sc. Eng., Chemical Engineering, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, 2003

Professional memberships

  • Member of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM)
  • Member of the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering (CSChE)

Key Awards 

  • Professor William F. Graydon Memorial Graduate Fellowship, University of Toronto, 2013
  • School of Graduate Studies (SGS) Doctoral Completion Award, University of Toronto, 2012-2013
  • Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering Frank Howard Guest Bursary, University of Toronto, 2011-2012
  • School of Graduate Studies (SGS) Conference Grant Award, University of Toronto, 2011 & 2012
  • BioZone Graduate Scholarship, University of Toronto, 2011-2012
  • Francis Bradfield Graduate Fellowship in Environmental Engineering, University of Toronto, 2011-2012
  • Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry William J. Dowkes Graduate Bursary, University of Toronto, 2010-2011 & 2011-2012
  • Genomics Publication Fund Award, Ontario Genomics Institute, Canada, 2010
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship, Government of Ontario, Canada, 2009-2010
  • American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Corporate Travel Grant Award, 2008
  • Best Student Research Paper Award (North America Wide), Geosyntec Consultants, Inc., 2008
  • University of Toronto Graduate Fellowships, 2007-2011
  • Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship, the Association of Commonwealth Universities, UK, 2004-2005
  • Dean’s List Award, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, 1998-2002
  • University Merit Scholarship, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, 1998-2002

Outline of main research interests 

  • Biochemical/bioprocess engineering
  • Metabolic engineering
  • Systems biology and synthetic biology
  • Computational biology and bioinformatics
  • Comparative and functional genomics
  • Environmental microbiology

Current teaching responsibilities

CGA004 – Chemical Engineering Laboratory

CGA006 – Heat Transfer

CGB021 – Food Engineering

CGB022 – Fluid Mechanics II

CGC001 – BEng Team Process Design Project

CGC038 – BEng Individual Process Design Project

CGC044 – MEng Literature Review

CGD045 – MEng Team Process Design Project

CGD046 – MEng Individual Process Design Project

CGP062 – Downstream Processing

CGP081 – MSc Research Project

CGP084 – Technological Entrepreneurship

CGP086 – Fundamentals of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering

Vila-Santa, A, Islam, MA, Ferreira, FC, Prather, KLJ, Mira, NP (2021) Prospecting Biochemical Pathways to Implement Microbe-Based Production of the New-to-Nature Platform Chemical Levulinic AcidACS Synthetic Biology, 10(4), pp.724-736, ISSN: 2161-5063. DOI: 10.1021/acssynbio.0c00518.

Bourgade, B, Minton, NP, Islam, MA (2021) Genetic and metabolic engineering challenges of C1-gas fermenting acetogenic chassis organismsFEMS Microbiology Reviews, 45(2), DOI: 10.1093/femsre/fuab008.

Jácome, LAP, Wang, P-H, Molenda, O, Li, YXJ-J, Islam, MA, Edwards, EA (2019) Sustained dechlorination of vinyl chloride to ethene in Dehalococcoides-enriched cultures grown without addition of exogenous vitamins and at low pHEnvironmental Science & Technology, 53(19), pp.11364-11374, ISSN: 0013-936X. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.9b02339.

Park, JO, Liu, N, Holinski, KM, Emerson, DF, Qiao, K, Woolston, BM, Xu, J, Lazar, Z, Islam, MA, Vidoudez, C, Girguis, PR, Stephanopoulos, G (2019) Synergistic substrate cofeeding stimulates reductive metabolismNature Metabolism, 1(6), pp.643-651, DOI: 10.1038/s42255-019-0077-0.

Anderson, LA, Islam, MA, Prather, KLJ (2018) Synthetic biology strategies for improving microbial synthesis of “green” biopolymersJournal of Biological Chemistry, 293(14), pp.5053-5061, ISSN: 0021-9258. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.tm117.000368.

Islam, MA, Hadadi, N, Ataman, M, Hatzimanikatis, V, Stephanopoulos, G (2017) Exploring biochemical pathways for mono-ethylene glycol (MEG) synthesis from synthesis gasMetabolic Engineering, 41, pp.173-181, ISSN: 1096-7176. DOI: 10.1016/j.ymben.2017.04.005.

Islam, MA, Tchigvintsev, A, Yim, V, Savchenko, A, Yakunin, AF, Mahadevan, R, Edwards, EA (2016) Experimental validation of in silico model-predicted isocitrate dehydrogenase and phosphomannose isomerase from Dehalococcoides mccartyiMicrob Biotechnol, 9(1), pp.47-60, DOI: 10.1111/1751-7915.12315.

Islam, MA, Zengler, K, Edwards, EA, Mahadevan, R, Stephanopoulos, G (2015) Investigating Moorella thermoacetica metabolism with a genome-scale constraint-based metabolic modelIntegrative Biology, 7(8), pp.869-882, ISSN: 1757-9694. DOI: 10.1039/c5ib00095e.

Islam, MA, Waller, AS, Hug, LA, Provart, NJ, Edwards, EA, Mahadevan, R (2014) New insights into Dehalococcoides mccartyi metabolism from a reconstructed metabolic network-based systems-level analysis of D. mccartyi transcriptomesPLoS ONE, 9(4), pp.e94808-e94808, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0094808.

Islam, MA, Edwards, EA, Mahadevan, R (2010) Characterizing the metabolism of Dehalococcoides with a constraint-based modelPLoS Computational Biology, 6(8), ISSN: 1553-734X. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000887.

Islam, MA and Kumar, R (2006) An oxygen transport model of human bone marrow for hemolytic sickle cell anemiaIEB Journal of Chemical Engineering, 24, pp.7-7, ISSN: 2221-7436. DOI: 10.3329/jce.v24i0.5577.

Islam, MA (2006) A comparison between analytical and numerical solution of the Krogh's tissue cylinder model for human bone marrowIEB Journal of Chemical Engineering, 24, pp.1-1, ISSN: 2221-7436. DOI: 10.3329/jce.v24i0.5576. 

View publications in our central  publications database


External Collaborators 

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

External roles and appointments

Organising / Scientific Committee of International Conferences

  • Member of the organising committee for the 9th Annual Ontario-Quebec CSChE Biotechnology Meeting 2007, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Member of the organising and conference proceedings publication committees for the 1st International Conference on Chemical Engineering, ICChE-2003, Dhaka, Bangladesh