Chemical Engineering


Dr Ahsan Islam BSc Eng, MSc, DIC, PhD

Photo of Dr Ahsan Islam

Lecturer in Biochemical Engineering


Dr. Ahsan Islam obtained his BSc Eng. (Hons.) degree in Chemical Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Dhaka in 2003. After working as a lecturer of Chemical Engineering at BUET for a year, he then moved to Imperial College London, UK, where he graduated with master’s (MSc) and Diploma of Imperial College (DIC) degrees in Advanced Chemical Engineering with Biotechnology in 2005. Afterwards, Dr. Islam returned to BUET to continue his lecturer position for one more year before moving to the University of Toronto, Canada to do his PhD in Chemical Engineering with specialisation in Genome and Systems Biology and Bioinformatics. After obtaining the PhD degree in 2014, Dr. Islam then moved to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA to conduct his post-doctoral research in Metabolic Engineering and Synthetic Biology at MIT’s Chemical Engineering department.

In July 2017, Dr. Ahsan Islam joined the Department of Chemical Engineering at Loughborough University as a lecturer in Bio/Chemical Engineering.


  • 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

CGA006 - Heat transfer

CGA014 - Boengineering Design and Make

Selected publications 

  • Islam, M. A., N. Hadadi, M. Ataman, V. Hatzimanikatis, and G. Stephanopoulos. Exploring biochemical pathways for mono-ethylene glycol (MEG) synthesis from synthesis gas. Metabolic Engineering, 2017, 41: 173-181
  • Islam, M. A., Tchigvintsev, A., Yim, V., Savchenko, A., Yakunin, A.F., Mahadevan, R, and E. A. Edwards. Experimental validation of in silico model-predicted isocitrate dehydrogenase and phosphomannose isomerase from Dehalococcoides mccartyi. Microbial Biotechnology, 2016, 9 (1): 47-60 doi: 10.1111/1751-7915.12315
  • Islam, M. A., Zengler, K., Edwards, E. A., Mahadevan, R., and G. Stephanopoulos. Investigating Moorella thermoacetica metabolism with a genome-scale constraint-based metabolic model. Integrative Biology, 2015,7(8): 869-882 doi:10.1039/C5IB00095E (featured in the journal cover)
  • Islam, M. A., Waller, A. S., Hug, L. A., Provart, N. J., Edwards, E. A., and R. Mahadevan. New insights into Dehalococcoides mccartyi metabolism from a reconstructed metabolic network-based systems-level analysis of D. mccartyi transcriptomes. PLoS ONE, 2014, 9(4): e94808. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.00948084
  • Islam, M. A., Edwards, E. A., and R. Mahadevan. Characterizing the metabolism of Dehalococcoides with a constraint-based model. PLoS Computational Biology, 2010, 6(8): e1000887. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000887 (won a publication award from the Ontario Genomics Institute)

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