Energy and Process Engineering
Hunting for energy vampires
Dr Wendy Miller is using thermal science to educate people about how energy leaks out of their homes, and the impact this can have on their electricity bills. Through a simple infrared camera attached to an iPhone, Dr Miller's project is helping to save money and the environment.Read the full story
Improving flows in rivers and estuaries
Professor Richard Brown received an ARC Linkage Grant for his project which implements real-time satellite monitoring for flow in rivers and estuaries. This flow system will provide stakeholders with more information to enable them to better manage issues including storm surge and corrosion.Read the full story
Biotech research gives nutritional boost to livestock
Associate Professor Robert Speight is using a new gene editing technique to provide a nutritional boost for livestock feed. The method, which involves making precise changes to the genome of living cells, also reduces feed costs for farmers and graziers.Read the full story
Biofuel Engine Research Facility
We house Australia’s largest biofuel production testing facility, which specialises in testing engine performance and biofuels emissions. Our state-of-the-art equipment can test a broad range of biofuels, including vegetable oil, ethanol and butanol.Biofuel Engine Research Facility
Advanced materials and manufacturing for Defence vessels
Associate Professor Geoffrey Will is collaborating with the Defence Materials Technology Centre (DMTC) on the SE 5000 Future Frigate program, which will create a future class of frigates for the Australian Navy. His research will contribute to best practice in maintenance, monitoring and modelling for lowest cost and highest operational availability.
We are focused on transforming energy and materials into more usable and value-added forms, including renewable energy.
Our researchers apply a combination of experimental and theoretical approaches to the best technological solutions for improved efficiency, maximum output and financial viability.
Graduates from our discipline progress into a wide spectrum of industries, turning raw materials into products that are used every day. Their work expands across petrol and fuel, food and beverages, water treatment, hygiene products, dairy, paper, pharmaceuticals and sugar.
"QUT gave me the opportunity to learn from mega-projects in Germany and I applied this learning to my experience at an Australian oil and gas project. I know that process engineering can take me anywhere in the world."
Our discipline is made up of educators and researchers who are actively engaged in broad fields of research.
Our research works to refine, renew and modify raw materials (e.g. plants such as sugar cane, ore-bearing rocks, waste, commodity chemicals or animals) to produce useful products and by-products.
We develop efficient and sustainable processes, with low energy footprints, that provide key improvements to business operations and profitability.
Our specialties include:
- fluid dynamics modelling
- waste and water management
- renewable energy technologies
- industrial and building energy management and design
- techno-economic analysis
- biofuels and biocommodities.
We are recognised for our research in:
- chemicals manufacturing
- gas production
- minerals processing
- food manufacturing
- bio-process industries such as biofuels and waste products processing.
Category 1 funded research projects
ARC Discovery Project
This project aims to investigate the role of reactive volatile organic compounds from vehicles using alternative fuels in the formation and evolution of secondary organic aerosols (SOA). Expected outcomes include a greatly improved understanding of the mechanisms and precursors of SOA formation. The benefits should provide the knowledge needed to set vehicle emission regulations that can properly control urban air pollution episodes because the mechanisms and precursors of its formation will be better understood.
The project will also provide an experimental framework that will guide policy formulation and provide the science needed for development of strategies to improve air quality and health.
This integrated scholarship scheme is bringing together undergraduate process engineers, masters and PhD research students, researchers and academic staff with the meat processing industry to engage the future workforce and develop co-product transformation technologies to reduce waste and increase revenues.
Sugar Research Australia (SRA) Research and Development Project
Boiler tube erosion and corrosion costs the Australian sugar industry approximately $5 million a year in repairs, stops and inefficient operation. We are working with CSIRO Process Science & Engineering in Melbourne on a project to quantify and improve the performance of tube materials and coatings in two boiler components: convection banks and air heaters. Laboratory testing has recently been completed, with the next step being onsite installation and testing.
This project plans to improve the monitoring of our waterways by developing a novel moving drifter system that takes flow and water quality measurements along the pathlines of the drifters. One of the key challenges for Australian water management lies in monitoring and managing rivers and estuaries effectively over large geographical areas. Traditionally, instrumentation at stationary points has been used for such monitoring, under the simplifying assumption that a single point adequately represents a very large region of water.
By contrast, the Real-Time Flow Logging of Water (RT-FLOW) system expects to provide information from large regions of our waterways, providing stakeholders with more information to enable them to better manage issues including storm surge and erosion. The project also aims to provide improved validation of hydrodynamic models.
ARC Linkage Project
The aim of this project is to develop a novel Lagrangian drifter system capable of monitoring river and estuarine water velocity and turbulence, dispersion coefficients and water parameters. This will enable improved hydrodynamic models to be developed through better calibration and improved representation of their governing processes.
Our research will provide more accurate predictions of flood and tidal surge levels, pollutant transport, changes in water parameters due to spills or weather events, erosion and other environmentally important phenomena.
ARC Linkage Project
Dr Sara Couperthwaite and collaborators.
By enhancing and guiding abiotic and biotic processes of soil development, this project aims to accelerate the in situ remediation of bauxite residue (alumina refining tailings). This project will build detailed knowledge on the chemical, physical, and biological properties of bauxite residue and apply this to develop field-scale in situ remediation strategies.
This research will also advance understanding of soil development and primary succession of microbial communities in extreme, anthropogenic environments such as those presented by tailings.
From innovators to mainstream market: a toolkit for transforming Australian housing and maximising sustainability outcomes for stakeholders
ARC Linkage Project
As a significant national asset, Australia's housing needs to provide economic, social and environmental value to occupants, owners and the broader society. Learning from innovation, this project will deliver strategies to improve the productivity of the housing sector and enhance the value proposition of sustainable homes for all stakeholders.
The Australian solar thermal research initiative (ASTRI) is an $87 million, eight year international collaboration with leading research institutions, industry bodies and universities that will position Australia in concentrating solar thermal (CST) power technologies.
QUT has specific interest in materials selection for high temperature thermal storage, maintenance and planning of plant, solar field related maintenance and cleaning and modelling/ design of advanced turbines.
This project is working with the United States-Australia Solar Energy Collaboration (USASEC) and funded by Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
Our researchers collaborate on projects in specialised research groups and facilities across disciplines and institutions:
- Housing Innovation
- Industrial Biotechnology Bioproducts and Biorefining
- Materials Science and Engineering
- Plant Nutrients and Nutrition
- Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)
- Building Commission, Government of Western Australia
- Defence Materials Technology Centre
- Department of Treasury and Finance (Western Australia)
- Finlay Homes
- Meat and Livestock Australia
- Stockland Development.
Are you looking to study at a higher or more detailed level? We are currently looking for students to research topics at a variety of study levels, including PhD, Masters, Honours or the Vacation Research Experience Scheme (VRES).
We host an expert team of researchers and teaching staff, including Head of School and discipline leaders. Our discipline brings together a diverse team of experts who deliver world-class education and achieve breakthroughs in research.