Dr Matthew Ryan Priestley
Associate Lecturer

Dr Matthew Ryan Priestley

  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Electrical Engineering at University of New South Wales (UNSW) in August 2019.
  • Bachelor of Engineering with Class I Honours (B.Eng.) in Electrical Engineering at James Cook University (JCU) in 2013, where he received the University Medal.
Sch: Electrical Eng & Telecom

Dr Matthew Priestley is an Associate Lecturer in the Energy Systems Research Group within the School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications. He is passionate about motor drives and power systems research. Matthew is particularly interested in drone motor drive research and has secured roughly $40k from the Digital Grid Infrastructure and Research Infrastructure Scheme to build a drone motor drive lab at UNSW. He is also interested in grid synchronization algorithms for power inverters in renewable energy systems.

Matthew has a passion for investigating innovative teaching methods to better deliver engineering content to students and is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He has pioneered new methods for using short courses to implement a capstone experience using a $40k Education Investment Fund (EIF) grant in this area.

Matthew has also founded a technology start-up company called Motorica which patented specialized motor designs and a novel post-failure motor control technology. This company won acceptance into the UNSW Founders 10x Accelerator, (July to Sept. 2018) which is UNSW’s flagship accelerator. Matthew has also worked for a mining consultancy company during Feb. 2014 to Jan. 2015, where he performed electrical power system design, Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) design, equipment commissioning and Variable Speed Drive (VSD) protection duties.

School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications (Building G17) Level 3, Room EE314



  • Dean’s Award for Outstanding PhD Theses, UNSW, 2019 (for PhD graduates who have submitted a thesis that is in the top 10% of PhD theses examined).
  • Industrial Electronics Society (IES) Electrical Machines Technical Committee (EMTC) paper award, 44th Annual Conference IEEE IES (IECON), 2018.
  • Outstanding paper award for conference paper titled "Implementation of Microgrid Virtual Laboratory in a Design Course in Electrical Engineering" presented in TALE 2020.
  • Pitched and won entry to the Innovyz commercialization incubator program with the UNSW motor drive team. (Included six-month business development course).
  • Pitched and won acceptance into the UNSOMNIA 2021 media program.


  • Secured $20k funding from the Digital Grid Future Institute (DGFI) scheme as a primary investigator to investigate the legal requirements for detecting bearing faults in drone motors.
  • Secured $18k funding from the Research Infrastructure Scheme (RIS) to construct a drone motor drive lab.
  • Secured $40k from the Education Investment Fund (EIF) scheme as a primary investigator to investigate how online short courses can be used to facilitate an authentic capstone experience.