Mitchell completed his undergraduate studies at the Queensland University of Technology (Australia), graduating with distinction from a BSc (Chemistry) and BBA in 2009. His research there was conducted under Prof Ray Frost in the application of alumina process residues for water purification. Following graduation, Mitchell gained industrial experience as a process engineer and research hydrometallurgist in the mining and minerals industry for Rio Tinto Limited. His work involved the design and optimization of mineral processing techniques for the uranium, copper and rare-earth metal product groups. Mitchell is currently undertaking a PhD in the mimicry of enzymes for synthetic catalysts with Dr. Luke Connal at the University of Melbourne. He is visiting with the Hawker group to extend his work with these materials until March 2016.
Mimicking the catalytic activity of enzymes through the design, synthesis and evaluation of small molecular analogues. The target of this work is to produce a bio-inspired catalytic material that performs in environments that are not appropriate for the application of enzymes. Potential applications are in the fields of detergents and biodiesel production.