Perlemax is led by a small but focused team.

Michael Hines, BSc MSc PhD AMIChemE, Chief Engineer

Michael studied Chemical Engineering and Science, majoring in Biochemistry at the University of Queensland, Australia between 1998 and 2002. An Honours degree in Biotechnology followed the next year. After a brief venture into Cancer Bioscience at AstraZeneca, UK he returned to UQ to attain his PhD in Chemical Engineering on Hematopoeitc stem cells and microfluidics, 2006 to 2010. In 2010 he joined ACAL Energy, a small R&D firm developing a novel PEM type fuel cell. Here, using multiphysics modelling packages, CAD design and process intensification techniques the performance of the gas-liquid contacting reactor at the heart of the system was substantially improved. During this time he co-authored two patents. In 2014 he joined Jacobs Engineering where he was seconded into United Utilities, working on troubleshooting and optimisation of the sludge train of the regions wastewater treatment plants. Since joining Perlemax at the beginning of 2016 he is focussed on implementing microbubbles for the enhancement of bioethanol production, aquaculture, anaerobic digestion enhancement and energy efficient wastewater treatment aeration.

Graeme Hitchen, Managing Director

Graeme has worked with the Perlemax technology since its inception first when working with Sheffield University Enterprises Ltd and latterly as a director. He comes from the technology sector and has helped several new companies to start up.

Graeme was educated at the University of Sheffield and received his MBA from the University of Bradford.

Will Zimmerman BSc MSc PhD CEng FIChemE, Founder, Chairman of the Board

Will holds the Chair of Biochemical Dynamical Systems at the University of Shffield. He is a graduate of Princeton and Stanford Universities in Chemical Engineering, the author of over 130 scientific journal articles, past Director of the M Sc in Environmental and Energy Engineering, and a winner in US and UK national competitions of five prestigious fellowships. He has been lead technologist, principal or co- investigator in research projects worth over £18m since 1994.

Creative inventor of low energy fluidic oscillator driven microbubbles (patent awarded 2012) and plasma microreactors (patent awarded 2013) vested in Perlemax, a Faculty of Engineering spinout company from the University of Sheffield.

Algae Growth & Harvesting

Investigate the feasibility of growing microalgae using CO2 rich steel plant exhaust gas.


Analyze the use of novel micro bubble technology to improve energy efficiency and minimise the environmental impact due to the Aquaculture industry.

Anaerobic Digestion

Explore how Perlemax is perfecting a method to break down plant and animal materials by microorganisms in the absence of oxygen.


Examine how our new Ozone Generators can save 80-90% energy costs compared to the traditional generators.

Waste Water Treatment

Analyze the use of novel micro bubble technology to improve energy efficiency for the Waste Water Treatment industry.