Dr Tony Heynen

Senior Lecturer/Program Coordinator

School of Chemical Engineering
Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology
+61 7 336 54795


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.

Research Impacts

Impact and connections with stakeholders and decision-makers are the main motivations for Tony's research endeavours, and a core measure of his success.

Within the Energy Poverty Research Group, Tony has used his research to inform discussions with government and business stakeholders in India. This resulted in improved transparency regarding energy access for “Base of the Pyramid” consumers.

Tony has led an Energy Literacy program in Madang province, Papua New Guinea. This train-the-trainer program provided youth leaders with the skills and techniques to engage with communities about energy needs and aspirations, contributing to a more democratic development process.

Tony’s research in 2023 has produced a sustainability assessment tool to evaluate the composition of Climate Positive strategies for the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Tony has also been part of teams that sought to listen to communities, local councils and state governments on sustainability, housing and energy access issues at remote Queensland locations, and has incorporated this into student-led design of sustainable energy systems with Ergon Energy.

Tony’s teaching research translates into the continual improvement of UQ’s Sustainable Energy postgraduate programs. This has led to program growth, an improved student experience and greater industry relevancy, producing the next generation of Sustainability Leaders.


  • Master of Engineering Science, University of Melbourne
  • Master of Business Administration, National University of Singapore
  • Bachelor of Engineering (Honours), The University of Queensland
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Science, The University of Queensland
  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland


View all Publications


Book Chapter

  • Heynen, Anthony P., Herington, Matthew J., Jacobson, Craig B., Sar, Lilly P. and Lant, Paul A. (2023). Energy literacy: democratizing energy access initiatives in Papua New Guinea. Energy democracies for sustainable futures. (pp. 157-164) edited by Majia Nadesan, Martin J. Pasqualetti and Jennifer Keahey. London, United Kingdom: Academic Press. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-822796-1.00017-6

Journal Article

Other Outputs