Dr Tim Walmsley

Tim Walmsley

Senior Lecturer in Chemical and Process Engineering

Qualifications: BE(Hons), PhD (Waikato), Doc (Brno Tech.), CEng, MIChemE, MEngNZ

Personal Website:

About Tim

I am passionate about tackling complex energy systems challenges. I’m actively partnering with industry and stakeholders to create and refine disruptive energy technology and systems to accelerate decarbonising New Zealand’s industrial sector. 

I began my research career started with the Energy Research Group at Waikato (2014 – 2017) before departing for the Czech Republic and helping to establish the Sustainable Process Integration Laboratory in the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Brno University of Technology. I returned to Waikato in late 2019 to take up the post of Senior Lecturer in the School of Engineering.

I equally relish teaching and mentoring the next generation of chemical, process, mechanical and energy engineers. I enjoy challenging my students to be innovative engineers that have the audacity to tackle challenging problems that matter to people, business and/or the environment.

Highlights from my career include receiving the 2016 International Young Chemical Engineer in Research Award by IChemE (UK), co-chairing and organising five international conferences for researchers in the field of Process Integration, editing several special issues of high-ranking international journals, and supervising several highly-talented PhD and Master's students to completion.

In the School of Engineering, I serve as an Assistant Director of Ahuora - Centre for Smart Energy Systems, teach in key BE(Hons) papers, lead the organisation of the Waikato Engineering Design Show, oversee the 3rd year engineering work placement papers, and convene the Diploma in Engineering Management (DipEM).

Papers Taught

Research Supervised

Current PhD Researchers

  • Elsa Klinac (PhD, 2024), Total Site Hot Water Loops with Heat Pumps for Meat Processing, University of Waikato (Co-supervisor; In progress)
  • Stephen Burroughs (PhD, 2024), Energy Digital Twin for Rapid Prototyping of Heat Exchange Networks and Decarbonisation Algorithms, University of Waikato (Co-supervisor; In progress)
  • Isaac Severinsen (PhD, 2023), Efficient, dynamic, digital twin models of process unit operations using modern regression, University of Auckland (Co-supervisor; In progress)

Current Masters Researchers

  • Keri-Marie Adamson (ME, 2022), High-temperature transcritical recuperative heat pumping, University of Waikato (Chief Supervisor; In progress)

PhD Graduates

  • Florian Schlosser (PhD, 2020), Heat pumping for industry, Kassel University, Germany (International supervisor; Passed)
  • Nathan S. Lal (PhD, 2020), Automated Retrofit of Heat Exchanger Networks, University of Waikato (Co-supervisor; Passed)
  • Benjamin Ong (PhD, 2019), A Kraft Mill-Integrated Biorefinery Design for New Zealand, University of Waikato (Co-supervisor; Passed)
  • Amir Tarighaleslami (PhD, 2018), Unified Total Site Heat Integration: Targeting, Optimisation and Network Design, University of Waikato (Co-supervisor; Passed)

Masters Graduates

  • Chris Anderson (MSc(Research), 2021), Self-protection for critical industrial energy systems and infrastructure, University of Waikato (Co-supervisor; Passed)
  • Aoran Han (MEngPrac, 2020) - The development of high-temperature heat pump system in milk spray dryer system, University of Waikato (Chief Supervisor; Passed)
  • Wynn Phyuphyu (ME, 2016), Energy Return on Investment for Hydro Power in Myanmar, University of Waikato (Co-supervisor; Passed)
  • Akash Lokhande (ME, 2015), Vacuum Steam Desuperheating and Condensation: An Experimental Investigation, University of Waikato (Co-supervisor; Passed)

Research Interests

Tim's research focuses on designing sustainable energy systems – unit operations, processes, industrial sites, regions and global – by applying novel process modelling, integration, and optimisation methods. Research interests and areas include:

  • Digital Twin for process integration, evolution and optimisation: the development of novel algorithms, methods and superstructures, captured in software, to automatically solve highly combinatoric, dynamic and non-linear industrial process synthesis and retrofit problems involving heat, power, water, and other utilities.
  • Industrial process electrification for decarbonisation: the electrification of industrial processes through novel multistage and high temperature heat pump technology. The redesign of processes to efficiently switch to electricity use in place of process heat.
  • Sustainable and circular economy: the optimisation of material and energy flows within a Circular Economy context to maximise total sustainability considering the trade-off between multiple cost and footprint dimensions (GHG, energy, water, land, etc.).

Recent Publications

  • Yu, W., Patros, P., Young, B., Klinac, E., & Walmsley, T. (2022). Energy digital twin technology for industrial energy management: Classification, challenges and future. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 161. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2022.112407 Open Access version:

  • Xia, A., Show, P. L., Reungsang, A., & Walmsley, T. (2021). Editorial: Innovative Technology and System Integration for Gaseous Biofuels Production. Frontiers in Energy Research, 9. doi:10.3389/fenrg.2021.709001

  • Jesper, M., Schlosser, F., Pag, F., Walmsley, T. G., Schmitt, B., & Vajen, K. (2021). Large-scale heat pumps: Uptake and performance modelling of market-available devices. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 137. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2020.110646

  • Tan, R. R., Aviso, K., & Walmsley, T. (2021). P-graph Approach to Solving a Class of Stackelberg Games in Carbon Management. Chemical Engineering Transactions, 89, 463-468. doi:10.3303/CET2189078

Find more research publications by Tim Walmsley


Computing; Energy; Engineering; Environmental Impacts; Fluid Mechanics; Materials and Processing; Sustainability; Technology

Contact Details

Email: [email protected]
Room: EF.1.01
Phone: +64 7 838 4619
Cellphone: +64 27 228 0367