Energy, Resources and Environment
The world contains more than enough energy and mineral resources to support a growing, increasingly urbanised population for many centuries to come. Our researchers are helping industry and government deliver it sustainably.
Our researchers possess world-class expertise in energy technology and efficiency, mining and petroleum engineering, and geoscience. This expertise is applied collaboratively to develop innovative, value-adding technologies that help transform the global energy and resource industries.
Areas of focus and research strength include:
- solar thermal
- power control
- management and modelling systems
- developing new, cost-effective methods for removing non-target metals from copper concentrates
- resource engineering to address challenges associated with deep mining activities
- understanding and unlocking Australia’s future resources base, including low-carbon gas and geothermal energy sources.
Our Energy, Resources and Environment research helps industry generate more—and cleaner—energy and resources, and store and supply them in a stable, environmentally friendly manner, whilst accelerating society’s transition to carbon neutrality.
For example, we are:
- developing next-generation solar-thermal technologies in partnership with ARENA and Alcoa, potentially to displace the need for natural gas and decrease operating fuel costs in large-scale industrial processes
- investigating ways to improve production and distribution of future renewable fuels, such as hydrogen, biogas, methanol and ammonia, through the Future Fuels CRC
- enhancing the economic and environmental sustainability of copper production from iron oxide-copper-gold-uranium resources through the ARC Research Hub for Australian Copper-Uranium by developing new scalable, cost-effective methods for removing non-target metals from copper concentrates
- building an enhanced baseline picture of the Great Australian Bight’s seafloor geology, in collaboration with the CSIRO and Chevron Australia to inform environmental management and reduce petroleum exploration uncertainties.
An early initiative of the theme has been the publication of Power and Renewable Energy - Energy capability within the Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences. This document identifies the research expertise aligned with the electricity and renewable energy sector and which is focused on transitioning Australia to more a sustainable energy future.
Strong industry links
Our Energy, Resources and Environment research is interdisciplinary and outward facing, with strong links to industry and government across multiple sectors.
We are closely involved with:
- ARENA (Australian Renewable Energy Agency), Australia’s peak government organisation on clean energy technology
- METS (Mining Equipment, Technology and Services) Ignited Industry Growth Centre
- NERA (National Energy Resources Australia) Industry Growth Centre
- South Australian Government (Department for Industry and Skills, Department for Energy and Mining, Department for Environment and Water, Renewables SA, SA Water)
- several major national and multinational energy and resources companies, including Santos, Woodside, Chevron and BHP.
Associated research centres and institutes
- ARC Research Hub for Australian Copper-Uranium
- ARC Research Hub for Graphene Enabled Industry Transformation
- Centre for Energy Technology
- Centre for Materials in Energy and Catalysis
- Centre for Sustainable Planetary and Space Resources
- CRC Optimising Resource Extraction (ORE)
- Energy Pipelines CRC
- Future Fuels CRC
- Institute for Mineral and Energy Resources
- MinEx CRC
Our research capabilities
- Acoustics Vibration and Control
- Advanced Water Treatment Technologies
- Data Analytics
- Dynamics Modelling and Computation
- Electrical Machines and Drives
- Electric Power Systems
- Energy Storage and Catalysts
- Formation Damage and Enhanced Oil-Gas Recovery
- Intelligent Water Decisions
- Laser Diagnostics and Chemical Sensing
- Mechanics of Materials and Advanced Manufacturing
- Mineral Characterisation and Processing
- Mining and Geoengineering
- Nanotechnology and Functional Materials
- Normative and Behavioural Approaches to Decision Making
- Optimisation and Logistics
- Petroleum Engineering
- Petroleum Geoscience
- Stress, Structure and Seismic
- Structural Engineering and Materials for Civil Infrastructure
- Waste to Value