Associate Professor Joe Coventry

PhD (ANU); BEng/BSc (University of Melbourne)
Associate Professor
ANU College of Engineering, Computing and Cybernetics
T: +61 2 6125 2643

Research interests

My expertise is in the field of concentrating solar thermal (CST) and thermal energy storage (TES). Present research aims are to advance knowledge and develop technologies with high impact on the competitiveness of CST and TES, to drive uptake and rapid decarbonisation in both power and heavy industrial sectors. Current research projects span the following topics:

  • Development of low-cost heliostat technologies
  • Sodium receiver technologies
  • Optical absorber coatings for CST
  • High temperature thermal energy storage
  • Hydrogen supply for industry


Dr Coventry is a researcher and engineer experienced in development and commercialisation of concentrating solar technologies. He is an Associate Professor at ANU, and holds an ANU Translational Fellowship.  Prior, he was the Principal Engineer at Wizard Power, and led the engineering team and development of the Big Dish CSP technology. Dr Coventry holds a BE/BSc from the University of Melbourne (1997), and a PhD from the Australian National University (2004).

Researcher's projects

ARENA Transformative Research Accelerating Commercialisation – Ultra low cost solar, “Low-cost integration of on-site PV for large-scale industrial heat supply”. Lead Chief Investigator. Aiming to achieve major savings in PV balance of system costs by re-thinking the way on-site PV is integrated for process heat supply, greatly simplified power electronics, direct electrical heating, thermal storage, and industrial integration.

Heavy Industry Low-Carbon Transition Cooperative Research Centre (HILT CRC).  The HILT CRC will enable our heavy industry sector to compete in the low-carbon global economy for carbon-neutral materials such as ‘green’ iron, alumina, cement and other processed minerals.  Project leadership of the following: "Advancing the viability of high-temperature thermal energy storage for industrial applications", and "Green Hydrogen Supply for Industry". Researcher in the following "Green Heat for Industry", "Hydrogen Ironmaking: fluidised bed H2DRI with Australian focus", "Impact of Hydrogen DRI on Melting in an Electric Furnace", "Lost Production and Variability", "Hydrogen Supply within HILT Regional Hubs", and "Green pyromet/hydromet beneficiation".

Australian Solar Thermal Research Institute (ASTRI) ANU Chief Investigator, Program leader, Project leader. The ASTRI program is the foremost CSP research program in Australia, with 6 university partners plus the CSIRO.  ASTRI’s mandate is to develop and demonstrate components, and integrated systems, to rapidly enable economically feasible concentrating solar power generation based on next-generation high temperature technologies. The research portfolio includes collectors, receivers, thermal storage and heat transfer, advanced materials, power systems, process heat (fuels/chemicals), integrated system modelling and technology demonstration.

ANU Translational Fellowship Exploring the potential for Thermal Batteries, both from a market and technology perspective.

ANU Grand Challenge ‘Zero-Carbon Energy for the Asia-Pacific’.  Member of the ECI team, and investigator in the Hydrogen Fuels program.

ARC Linkage “Multiscale engineering of durable absorber coatings for solar thermal power”, with industry partners Nano Frontier Technology and Vast Solar.  Lead Chief Investigator. The goal is to advance the long-term stability and efficiency of high-temperature absorber coatings for Concentrated Solar Power plants. 

US Gen3 “Liquid-Phase Pathway to Sunshot”, led by NREL with many other partners. Representing ASTRI on the leadership team. This is one of three large projects that is part of a USD $62M program to develop next-generation CSP technology.

US Gen3 “Particle Pilot Plant" (G3P3): Integrated High-Temperature Particle System for CSP”, led by Sandia National Laboratories with many other partners. 

ARC Linkage "Thermal transport in multi-phase flows for concentrating solar applications", with industry partner Vast Solar This project seeks to advance the field of heat transfer in high-temperature systems involving liquid metals, with emphasis on energy storage and solar power technologies. The concept couples a tubular sodium boiler with a sodium chloride phase-change storage system for continuous energy supply.


Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  14 June 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers