Energy and Resilience is one of the main research areas of the UNSW School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering. We research the fundamental enabling technologies for clean, safe and resilient power systems.
Future energy systems need to be carbon-neutral, clean, powerful, able to be deployed at scale and resilient to disruption. So that achieving net zero carbon emissions does not come at the detriment to our modern society and industrial economy, all of which relies on affordable 24/7 power.
Energy storage is a key to this. Battery systems store electrical energy in reversible chemical reactions and our team has leading research capability in redox flow batteries and hybrid fuel cells. Internal combustion engines and nuclear power convert the energy stored in a high energy density fuel like hydrogen/renewable e-fuels or uranium to thermal energy, on demand. Solar thermal energy technologies allow abundant solar energy to be stored in molten salt or liquid metal and released as required.
Insights from our research are applied in- and outside the energy field. The ARC Fire Safety Training Centre is underpinned by expertise in computational fluid dynamics and materials and directly supports bush-fire resilience. Research into nuclear safeguards and non-proliferation is synergistic with our nuclear materials research, and several humanitarian engineering outcomes relate directly to solar thermal energy systems. We’re striving to build an energy future that is sustainable, resilient, humanitarian, and secure.