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Zia Abdullah Named Battelle Senior Research Leader

Posted on Mar 18, 2015

One of 11 such scientists and engineers at the organization

COLUMBUS, Ohio (March 18, 2015)—Zia Abdullah is the newest Battelle Senior Research Leader, one of 11 such engineers and scientists who are honored with the organization’s highest recognition.

A mechanical engineer in Battelle's Energy Systems Resource Group, Abdullah is a highly experienced, nationally and internationally recognized expert on thermochemical conversion systems. His background includes extensive knowledge of thermal hydraulics of two phase (gas liquid) flow, vibrational analysis, structural analysis, fluid flow, heat transfer, computational fluid dynamics, finite element analysis and advanced problem solving methods for industrial problems.

He joined Battelle as Research Leader in January 2009 and since then has led development of a well-established biofuels and biochemicals program. His work in building a new biomass pyrolysis and bio-oil hydrotreatment technology has resulted in a pilot-scale hydrotreatment system that has recently completed 1,000 hours of production of transportation fuel blendstock from biomass.

“My success is due to my colleagues, and their commitment, diversity, ingenuity and intelligence,” said Abdullah. “I’m grateful to Battelle management for acknowledging our accomplishments and for the hard work of my team.”

Formerly at Weyerhaeuser, Abdullah’s experience led him to spearhead Battelle’s small scale biofuels/biochemicals concept which diverged from then-conventional approaches which focused on large fuel-only biorefineries.  Abdullah combined his engineering background with a Master’s in business administration, enabling a horizon-level view that spawned Battelle’s pyrolysis/hydrotreatment capabilities.  Battelle has scaled the technology to a pilot system which can use a variety of feedstocks and produce multiple fuel and chemical end products.

“Zia has propelled our research into this field very quickly, and naming him a Senior Research Leader is reflective that accomplishment,” said Marty Toomajian, President of Battelle Energy, Health & Environment. “It’s equivalent to being named a Fellow in other research organizations. It’s quite prestigious and well-deserved.”

Abdullah has written or co-authored more than 80 publications and submitted 43 invention reports resulting in 11 PCT patent applications. Abdullah also is a vigorous contributor to staff mentoring at Battelle.

About Battelle

Every day, the people of Battelle apply science and technology to solving what matters most. At major technology centers and national laboratories around the world, Battelle conducts research and development, designs and manufactures products, and delivers critical services for government and commercial customers. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio since its founding in 1929, Battelle serves the national security, health and life sciences, and energy and environmental industries. For more information, visit 

For more information contact Katy Delaney at (614)424-7208 or at or contact T.R. Massey at (614) 424-5544 or at

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