Associate Professor John Pye

Senior Lecturer
ANU College of Engineering, Computing and Cybernetics
T: +61 2 6125 8778

Areas of expertise

  • Energy Generation, Conversion And Storage Engineering 091305
  • Renewable Power And Energy Systems Engineering (Excl. Solar Cells) 090608
  • Process Control And Simulation 090407
  • Mechanical Engineering 0913

Research interests

  • High-temperature solar-thermal energy systems.
  • Concentrating solar thermal power (CSP aka CST)
  • Energy systems modelling
  • Free/open-source software for engineering
  • Optics of non-imaging concentrators
  • Solar receiver design
  • Hybrid thermal energy systems
  • Thermodynamic fluid property calculation
  • Biomass gasification in supercritical steam


Bachelor of Engineering (Mech., 1st Class Hons.) / Bachelor of Science double degree from University of Melbourne, 1997.

Doctor of Philosophy from University of New South Wales, 2008. Supervised by Em Prof Graham Morrison. Topic: System Modelling of the Compact Linear Fresnel Reflector. Thesis available from the UNSW library website.

Visiting Scholar at Sandia National Laboratories (Albuquerque, New Mexico) National Solar Thermal Test Facility in 2012.

Researcher in the Solar Thermal Group since 2006.

Researcher's projects

Current funded projects:

  • Australian Solar Thermal Research Initiative (ASTRI), funded by Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) (2013-2016). My involvement includes work on heliostats (P11), receivers (P12), solar fuels by supercritical water biomass gasification (P42) and energy storage including annual performance simulation (P21), as well as acting as Node Leader for the 'capital cost reduction' activity.
  • Bladed Recievers with Active Airflow Control (BRAAC), funded by Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) (2014-2017)
  • "Improved High-Temperature Receivers for Dish Concentrators", project funded by Australian Solar Institute (ASI, now ARENA) United States-Australia Solar Energy Collaboration (USASEC), and in collaboration with CSIRO and Sandia National Laboratories (Albuquerque) (2012-2015)
  • Collaborative project with Vast Solar Pty Ltd
  • Thermochemical energy storage in manganese oxides, led by Wojciech Lipinski.

Available student projects

I have a wide range of topics available, from building energy efficiency to concentrator optics to exergy analysis and solar-thermal receiver optimisation to solar gasification to development of numerical modelling and simulation software. Please contact me if you are interested. I can also put you in contact with other members of our group for specific topics. I maintain a list of current topics on my staff profile page, here:


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