Dr Luis Yerman Martinez

Research Fellow

School of Civil Engineering
Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology
+61 7 336 53520


With a diverse background across chemical and civil engineering, chemistry, materials science and waste management, I have strong fundamentals in research and project management. Since completing my PhD, I have been working under the auspices of the University of Queensland, heading up a number of high-profile, externally-funded projects. I demonstrated self-sustaining smouldering can be applied to treat highly wet waste without the necessity of additional supplementary fuel. This was circumscribed within a research collaboration I led to create a sustainable toilet and waste treatment prototype to improve sanitation in remote areas of the developing world. The program has been extremely well-received in major international forums, with additional funding allotted for many years of further development. I later worked on the development and application of this novel technology to other waste such as wastewater sludge, abattoir waste, biomass waste, green waste. The technology offers the possibility of sustainable waste treatment in combination with resource recovery, energy production and waste valorisation.

I have also headed up other project teams, working with corporate clients and government funding bodies to apply similar technologies to commercial applications. In addition to my technical research skills, I am able to create and lead high-quality research teams, run tight and commercially successful projects and liaise with stakeholders from the commercial and public sectors as well as multidisciplinary personnel. I have numerous journal articles and book chapters to my name, as well as a number of conference presentations and additional invited talks. I am also acting as a lecturer in the course Industrial Waste & Solid Waste Management at UQ.

Projects (last 4 years):

  • Assessment of the co-combustion of oil shlaes and biomass waste, ANII
  • Waste to Value: Energy positive targeted resource recovery from sludge, ARC Linkage
  • Biochar production from biomass waste
  • Assessment of Smouldering as an Efficient and Low-Cost Alternative for Management of Agricultural Solid Wastes, AMPC
  • Fuel gas production from wastewater sludge
  • Development of sensors and analysis concept based on electromagnetic methods for the state parameters of porous media
  • Specialised odour component analysis to support development and optimisation of odour treatment technologies, UQ Major Equipment and Infrastructure
  • Reinventing the Toilet Challenge, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Research Interests

  • Thermal Treatment
    Biomass valorisation, Resource recovery, Waste Management, Waste-to-energy
  • Smouldering combustion in porous media
  • Biomass torrefaction, pyrolysis and gasification
    Biochar, bio-oil and fuel gas production Catalytic processes
  • Timber and biomass


  • Bachelor of Science (Chemistry), UdelaR
  • Bachelor of Science (Chemical Engineering), UdelaR
  • Master in Advanced Inorganic Chemistry (Honours), UB(Spain)
  • PhD (cum laude) - Inorganic Chemistry, UB(Spain)


  • Torres, Martín, Castiglioni, Jorge, Yermán, Luis, Suescun, Leopoldo, Conti, Bruno, Demarco, Manuela Morales, Gristo, Pablo, Portugau, Patrice and Cuña, Andrés (2018) Assessment of Uruguayan oil shales: physicochemical, thermal and morphological characterization. Fuel, 234 347-357. doi:10.1016/j.fuel.2018.07.031

  • Yermán, Luis, Bore, Thierry, Llano Serna, Marcelo, Zárate, Sergio, Bittner, Tilman, Bajodek, Mathieu and Scheuermann, Alexander (2018) Integration of Time Domain Reflectometry in a smouldering reactor. Chemical Engineering Research and Design, 139 34-38. doi:10.1016/j.cherd.2018.09.018

  • Yermán, Luis, Wall, Harrison, Carrascal, Jerónimo, Browning, Aidon, Chandraratne, Devduni, Nguyen, Christina, Wong, Andy, Goode, Tristan, Kyriacou, Daniel, Campbell, Margaret, Cao, Julian, Do, Tam, Casimiro-Soriguer, Diana, Lucherini, Andrea, Zárate, Sergio, Wyn, Hons K., Bolanos, Aaron, Solarte, Angela, Górska, Carmen, Le, Ba-Dinh, Tran, Son, Le, Quang and Torero, José L. (2018) Experimental study on the fuel requirements for the thermal degradation of bodies by means of open pyre cremation. Fire Safety Journal, 98 63-73. doi:10.1016/j.firesaf.2018.04.007

View all Publications


  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision


Book Chapter

  • Torero, J. L., Gerhard, J. I., Kinsman, L. L. and Yermán, L. (2018). Using fire to remediate contaminated soils. In Michael S. Blinderman and Alexander Y. Klimenko (Ed.), Underground coal gasification and combustion (pp. 601-625) Duxford, United Kingdom: Woodhead Publishing. doi:10.1016/b978-0-08-100313-8.00019-0

  • Yerman Martinez, Luis (2016). Self-sustaining smouldering combustion as a waste treatment process. In Konstantinos Kyprianidis (Ed.), Developments in combustion technology (pp. 1-26) Rijeka, Croatia: InTech.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors: