John Shaw obtained his B.A.Sc. degree in Chemical Engineering and his Ph.D. in Metallurgy and Material Science at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada in 1981 and 1985 respectively. In 1985, he joined the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry at the University of Toronto, where he rose to the rank of professor. In 2001, he joined the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Alberta where he holds the NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Petroleum Thermodynamics.
During his career he has developed expertise in the phase behavior, physiochemical and transport properties of hydrocarbon mixtures from coal liquids, heavy oils and condensate rich reservoir fluids to pure compounds. He has held visiting scientist/professor positions at the Technical University of Delft (Delft, The Netherlands), the Institut Francais du Petrole (Rueil-Malmaison, France), the Syncrude Canada Research Centre (Edmonton, Canada), the ITESM campus of the Technical University of Monterrey (Guadalajara, Mexico), UPPA (Pau, France) and the TOTAL Research Centre (Pau, France).
In his current role he develops enabling technologies, and methodologies for measuring and calculating thermophysical properties of hydrocarbons, and for selecting industrial processes related to the hydrocarbon production, transport and refining sectors.