Faculty of Engineering

Energy research

The energy research theme targets improved energy supply and use. This incorporates new sources of energy, sustainability of current forms of energy supply, and novel low energy usage technologies.

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Energy generation and transmission

Including coal-bed methane, gas hydrates, oil and gas production, geothermal energy, solar power, wind energy, carbon dioxide sequestration, electricity generation and infrastructure.

Example projects include:

  • Smart Grid Power

    Suppliers and consumers will benefit from an intelligent and dynamic power electricity grid enabling improved energy efficiency, more choices and increased security of energy supply.

  • Biodiesel from tallow

    Developing a novel process for biodiesel production from tallow, a by-product of the meat industry. The ‘vapour-phase’ process is continuous, much faster and more efficient than conventional technologies.

  • Improving the performance of wind farms

    To better understand and control the behaviour of wind turbines in a wind farm in response to changeable wind flow conditions.

  • Modelling tectonism and geothermal activity

    Linkages between the extensional forces within the Taupo Volcanic Zone and its natural geothermal fluid circulation.

Other relevant research includes:

  • Optimisation of resource development in geothermal and petroleum reservoirs.

Energy use

Encompassing aluminium smelting, energy efficiency, electricity markets, fuels and biofuels, heat transfer, refrigeration and sustainability/complex systems.

Example projects include:

Other relevant research includes:

  • Inductive power technology which transfers energy across air and is suitable for charging hybrid and pure electric vehicles.
  • Biofuels for transport addressing engine performance, emissions and durability issues, and biofuel production from waste sources.
  • Fundamental and applied research dealing with refrigeration systems including domestic refrigerator/freezers, heat pumps, liquid chillers and supermarket refrigeration systems.


Areas of expertise

Find a technical expert

How can we help?


We have technical experts in the following energy-related fields:

  • Fluid flow modelling
  • Optimisation
  • Dynamics and control systems
  • Heat transfer
  • Power systems and electronics
  • Energy efficiency
  • Fuels and biofuels
  • Renewable energy
  • Aerodynamics



For more information contact


Dr Nirmal Nair
Energy Research Theme Leader

Email: foe-energy@auckland.ac.nz

Related links


Vice-Chancellor's Lecture Series 2014

New Zealand has been a world leader in the clean green space as networks adapt to enable this transition by continuing to meet the demands of energy consumers, both securely and economically.

In 2014 we showcased our research activities through the Vice-Chancellor’s Lecture Series in the following areas of strength. Follow the links to read more and watch the recorded lecture.