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

Areas of expertise

  • Energy Generation, Conversion And Storage Engineering 091305
  • Heat And Mass Transfer Operations 091505

Research interests

My expertise is in the field of concentrating solar systems, both concentrating photovoltaics (CPV) and concentrating solar thermal (CST). Current research projects span the following topics:

  • Development of low-cost heliostats, particularly development of low cost, highly accurate mirror panel technologies, and characterising mirror panel performance
  • Sensible sodium receiver technologies, including optimisation of receiver geometry, and understanding heat transfer and thermal stresses in the containing tubes.
  • Sodium tubular boiler technologies, coupled to a PCM storage system, particularly thermal transport phenomena of multi-phase processes.
  • Optical absorber coatings for high-flux solar receivers
  • Operation and maintenance of CST plants, particularly methods of measuring soiling levels on heliostats
  • Thermal batteries, in particular understanding the value proposition and testing high-temperature energy storage technologies


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

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.  Leadership of the Green Hydrogen Supply for Industry project, and Researcher in the following other projects: Green Heat for Industry, Hydrogen Ironmaking: fluidised bed H2DRI with Australian focus, and the Impact of Hydrogen DRI on Melting in an Electric Furnace.

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.

Return to top

Updated:  21 March 2023 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers