Researcher biography

Dr Tony Heynen is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Chemical Engineering and Program Coordinator for UQ's innovative Sustainable Energy postgraduate programs, which develop change-makers to lead the shift towards clean, decentralised energy. Tony has responsibility for coordinating the program and its professional research projects, plus teaching into the Energy & Development and Energy Investment & Finance courses.

Tony is also a member of UQ's Energy Poverty Research Group where he examines issues around access to modern, reliable and affordable forms of energy. Tony completed his PhD within the group, examining the business case for electricity distribution by the private sector and NGOs in India's “Base of the Pyramid” markets. He continues to pursue cross-disciplinary research, including:

  • Energy access issues (and sustainable solutions) in remote communities - including at Mornington Island, Queensland, Australia, in collaboration with UQ's School of Architecture.
  • Corporate strategies to achieve Net Zero emissions targets, including for mega-events such as the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games
  • The role of carbon offsets in global Net Zero strategies, and its impacts on biodiversity and Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Development paradigms to decenter sustainability, providing local solutions for the world's wicked problems.
  • Innovations in postgraduate teaching and learning, centered on the pedagogy of Sustainability Leadership, which have earned him a number of awards.

Tony is a Chartered Professional Engineer with extensive management experience in the resources and consulting sectors, including as Country Manager for Italian energy company Eni in Timor-Leste. This gives him strong attributes when engaging with stakeholders and communities, including authenticity, diplomacy and leadership.