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Dr Wendy Miller

Science and Engineering Faculty,
Chemistry, Physics, Mechanical Engineering,
Energy and Process Engineering

Personal

Name
Dr Wendy Miller
Position(s)
Senior Research Fellow
Science and Engineering Faculty,
Chemistry, Physics, Mechanical Engineering,
Energy and Process Engineering
IHBI Membership
Institute of Health Biomedical Innovation (IHBI),
IHBI Science and Engineering Projects,
IHBI Chem Physics Mech Engineering - HDHS
Discipline *
Other Built Environment and Design, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Other Physical Sciences
Phone
+61 7 3138 9126
Fax
+61 7 3138 1516
Email
Location
View location details (QUT staff and student access only)
Qualifications

PhD (Queensland University of Technology), Master Music Studies (University of Queensland)

Professional memberships
and associations

 

 

Keywords

built environment, net zero energy, microgrids, post-occupancy evaluation, sustainable housing, systems thinking, urban planning, energy efficiency, electricity load profiles, building science

* Field of Research code, Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008

Biography

Dr Miller is a senior research fellow in the School of Chemistry, Physics and Mechanical Engineering in QUT’s Science and Engineering Faculty (a position held since 2008). As a member of QUT’s Energy and Process Engineering team of researchers, she initiates and conducts industry and government funded socio-technical research in energy efficiency and renewable energy, with a particular focus on the built environment. Current and recent research projects include ARC projects in manufactured housing and sustainable housing; National Climate Change Adaptation research on housing and heatwaves; industry funded research on the impact of cool roof coatings for cooling loads in subtropical and tropical buildings, and post-occupancy performance assessment of subtropical and tropical housing. She is particularly involved in promoting and implementing multidisciplinary research teams that embrace

  • building simulation and modelling
  • building science (e.g. the role of advanced glazing and ‘cool roo’f coatings)
  • post-occupancy performance assessment
  • supply chain management
  • the links between urban planning, buildings and the electricity network
  • sociology (human behaviour, culture and practice)
  • human-computer interaction (e.g. beyond Smart Meters) and
  • regulation and economics in the built environment / energy sectors
This information has been contributed by Dr Wendy Miller.

Teaching

Dr Miller is involved in both undergraduate and post-graduate courses.

At a post-graduate level she co-ordinates the Sustainable Energy specialisation units of the Master of Engineering degree. The rationale behind these units is that energy is a core societal commodity embracing multiple disciplines, established and rapidly developing technologies, fast changing environmental, political and economic contexts, and evolving end-user expectations.  In this context it is vital that energy professionals now and in the future have a firm grasp of energy needs of society and the sources, conversion technologies and energy systems that can meet these needs within the technological, social, economic and environmental systems in which energy systems need to operate.

The Master of Engineering degree offers four energy specialisations.

1. Energy Systems Fundamentals This unit immerses students in an integrated systems approach to the provision of energy services that are responsive to the global imperative for a transition to a low-carbon society in the 21st century. An Earth System Science (ESS) approach is utilised to develop an understanding the Earth’s systems and the interactions between these systems, energy systems and social, technological and economic systems.The unit incorporates identification, analysis and evaluation of existing, transitional and future energy systems, with a core focus on the optimisation of the integrated system and sub-systems through effective knowledge-driven decision making.

2. Renewable energy technologies, energy storage and electricity distribution systems

Electricity is a convenient form of energy for meeting many of society’s energy needs. Renewable energy is playing an increasingly important role in providing sustainable, safe and low/zero carbon electricity supply. Maximisation of the potential of renewable energy sources requires a holistic systems approach that incorporates service needs, resource availability, conversion technologies, storage and distribution.
3. Solar Thermal Systems – heat and power
The sun’s heat can be harnessed for a wide range of applications to meet various energy service needs.  An understanding of solar geometry and the characteristics of various technologies will enable energy professionals to make informed decisions enabling the optimisation of this renewable energy source that is globally available.
4. Energy optimised buildings and communities
The global built environment consumes a very large percentage of the earth’s resources and contributes significantly to air, land and water pollution. A low-carbon environmentally sustainable future is dependent on the optimisation of energy efficiency and embedded renewable energy systems at a building and precinct level, requiring an integrated systems approach by all professions involved in the design, construction, operation and performance evaluation of our built environment.  Whilst buildings account for 30 – 50% of global energy resources, it is people, rather than buildings per se, that require energy services.  This unit incorporates strategies and methods required to optimise the provision of low- and zero-carbon energy services in residential, commercial and industrial buildings and their neighbourhoods.  
First Year Science – understanding the role of science in solving global challenges
Dr Miller also co-ordinates the ‘energy challenge’ for first year science students.  QUT’s innovative approach to science education engages students in scientific processes and concepts through exploration of the important role of science in addressing global challenges such as energy, natural disasters, food security and protection of significant ecologies (e.g. the Great Barrier Reef).
This information has been contributed by Dr Wendy Miller.

Experience

  • Dr Miller has over 27 publications:  a book, book chapters, articles in high quality journals, conference papers and industry reports, in addition to education and general media publications. Her research projects and publications demonstratte a high level of inudstry and government engagement in high quality applied research in energy / the built environment. 
  • Transfer of research findings to industry: Several of Dr Miller’s industry research projects have been utilised by industry to enhance their products.  For example, Bondor’s InsulLiving ‘towards zero energy’ home has been the subject of a year-long post-occupancy performance evaluation and further proposed research with Bondor includes evaluation of builders’ uptake of the new building system. Similarly, building on earlier post-occupancy evaluation, Brisbane Housing Company contracted Dr Miller (2010) to conduct research specifically relating to water consumption in different size dwellings of their social housing portfolio. The resultant research was presented (2011) to relevant state and local regulatory authorities to support applications for variations in infrastructure charges.   
  • Invited presentations for industry and government: Dr Miller has been invited to present research findings to various organisations, including (i) lunch time seminars for Dept of Infrastructure staff relating to various topics resulting from PhD research (2011); (ii) Plumbing Legislation and Standards Branch, with regard to performance evaluation of solar-gas water heaters (2011);  Urban Land Development Authority (ULDA) Sustainable Community Energy Workshop on zero energy housing and impacts on urban infrastructure (2011) and (iv) Stockland workshop for builders (2012) and staff (March 2013).  
  • Invited Participation on Government programs and services: Dr Miller lead successful tenders for QUT to provide expert panel services to the Dept of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (business and technical services in energy efficiency / building efficiency) (2012+). Since 2008 she has been an invited member of several government groups, including (i) the QLD Industry Reference Group (2011) regarding the development of Queensland’s Renewable Energy Incentives Package; (ii) Brisbane workshop on the Prime Minister’s Task Force on Energy Efficiency (2009); (iii) selection committee for QLD govt PV rebate program (2009); (iv) national research alliance for Australian Government Green Loans Scheme (2009); and (v) QLD Feed-in Tariff Implementation Committee (2008).  
  • International Invitations and Editorial Responsibilities: Dr Miller has a growing international reputation, as evidenced by (i)            Invited Member of Editorial Review Board for the new journal Smart and Sustainable Built Environment; (ii)          invited Panel Chair (Education and Training) and member of Technical Committee for Solar World Congress (Kassel 2011; Cancun 2013); (iii)        part of QUT delegation to India to develop collaborative research alliances (2009); and (iv)        visits to Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany (Professors Wagner and Lützkendorf) (2011 and 2012) – to discuss research collaboration. Return visits by those Professors to Brisbane in 2012 / 2013;   
  • Media Engagement: Dr Miller has participated in interviews for radio, television and print media. Recent examples include (i) Channel 7 Today Tonight regarding Bondor’s concept house (2012, 2013); (ii) ABC Radio National Future Tense program “Energy Efficiency = New Technology + People” 4/3/2012; (iii) media interviews and articles in the Courier Mail (circulation 195,000), Brisbane and regional newspapers and electronic media (2012).
This information has been contributed by Dr Wendy Miller.

Publications


For more publications by this staff member, visit QUT ePrints, the University's research repository.

Research projects

Grants and projects (Category 1: Australian Competitive Grants only)

Title
From innovators to mainstream market: a toolkit for transforming Australian housing and maximising sustainability outcomes for stakeholders
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
LP130100650
Start year
2014
Keywords
Housing supply chain; Building performance; Residential construction processes
Title
Diffusion of manufactured high performance green houses: a mixed-methods management study of innovation obstacles
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
LP120100348
Start year
2012
Keywords
Innovation, Housing, Sustainability, Prefabrication
Title
A Framework for Adaptation of Australian Households to Heat Waves
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
SI11 03
Start year
2011
Keywords