Sustainability is a delicate balance of dynamic systems 

Advanced Energy & Material Systems Laboratory

Director: Professor Susan Krumdieck
Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of Canterbury
Christchurch, New Zealand

Research, Innovation, Education, Transition Engineering

The AEMSLab is an interdisciplinary research group in the College of Engineering, University of Canterbury. Students and staff work with industry, government, and communities on transition to resilient and environmentally integrated systems. Systems-level engineering research is urgently needed to provide near and long-term solutions for communities, organizations and business.

Books by Prof. Krumdieck

Transition Engineering; Building a Sustainable Future (2019) CRC Press 

The tools and approach for transition engineering of energy systems are presented in a recent technical reference book from CRC. Principles of Sustainable Energy Systems (2014)

Transition Engineering in Energy Solutions to Combat Global Warming   (2016)  pages 647-706

Chemical Vapor Deposition: Precursors, Processes and Applications (2008), A.Jones and M. Hitchman Eds., Chapter 2 Reactors and Delivery System Technology (2008)


Transition Engineering

Complex problems require systems engineering of technologies and infrastructure in the context of often competing economic, social, and environmental factors. This can often involve the development of renewable energy or clean technologies. However, real transition projects for companies or communities require a systems engineering approach, creativity and innovation.


Advanced Materials

Active or protective ceramic coatings on complex shaped objects. The AEMSLab has been developing a new approach to processing thin film materials and coatings that is a radical departure from conventional methods, and yet is the same. The idea arose out of the quandary of what the conventional approach could not do, yet what physics would allow. This transition of chemical vapour deposition processing is the main thrust of our research. Using the novel approach of eliminating the carrier gas and using pulsed injections to create pressure spikes, we have also developed new types of old materials that have interesting properties. 

  • Race to the Finish - antimicrobial TiO2 advanced nanostructure coating on stainless steel
  • Coating Process Development and Reactor Engineering
  • Fundamental Science of pulsed pressure thermodynamics, mass transport and heat transfer
  • New Coating Materials VIDEO


PhD Students Minni and Johann and Professor Krumdieck in the AEMSLab



Fundamentals of Transition Engineering    Now you can purchase a useful reference on the Transition Engineering approach from Springer. 

Transition Engineering    "We must take action on climate change" - What will we actually do and who will do it?  This video is an invited lecture at the 3rd Science for Energy Scenarios seminar in Les Houches, France, March 2016. The theme of the seminar was Energy Return on Energy Invested (EROI) and how this analysis informs future scenarios. This presentation has an example of an energy transition project being undertaken with students at Grenoble. 

What is the Ultimate Challenge?    Prof Krumdieck was asked to give a lecture to the Leadership NZ workshop that would challenge them and generate discussion for a weekend.

Podcast on People Behind the Science, a website in the USA with focus on the life journey of people who become researchers.

Interview on Transition Engineering   Saturday Morning with Kim Hill on Radio New Zealand National, 12 April 9:08am

Podcast on Transition Engineering and Green Energy Faith-Based Technology

Podcast on Transition Engineering - Ideas Beyond Targets on Forethought

Challenging the Status Quo   Dr. Krumdieck was asked to challenge a group of business leaders in New Zealand. The presentation is available on You-tube. The business leaders report being both challenged and motivated. When is change essential to business success?  When your investments right now are well informed by the realities of the forward operating environment!

Interview on Climate Change and Risks  Nine to Noon on Radio New Zealand National, 1 July 9:42 am

Presentation at International Energy Seminar    Prof Krumdieck was invited to France for a week-long think tank about the future of energy. The Energy Shift Project organized a group of experts to discuss what future scenarios tell us. She wraps it up here in this video, focused on EROI.

Presentation to Belgian Parliament    Dr. Krumdieck was invited to Europe to present the AEMSLab research on transition of urban forms to deal with oil supply vulnerability. The presentation to the Walloon Parliament in Namur, Belgium is available here to watch. She was also interviewed by documentary makers and participated in the ASPO9 conference.

EuroVision News   A reporter from EuroVision arranged for an interview with Prof Krumdieck on the integration of renewable electricity into the power grid.

The Futurist    An article on Transition Engineering was published in the magazine published by the World Future Society. Prof Krumdieck, Michael Dale and Kerry King also gave a workshop.

Wise Response

Professor Krumdieck joins 100 prominent New Zealand scientists, engineers, doctors and experts in signing a petition to the government asking them to address critical risks faced by the people, environment and economy of our country previously known as clean and green. The launch of the Wise Response Appeal was in 15 April 2013. 

National Conference: Signs of Change, 15-16 November 2010

New Zealand's first national "no travel" conference was a huge success! You can watch videos of the 10 minute presentations on YouTube. Follow the conference discussion on the blog. There will be a documentary produced shortly about the conference and the topic of emerging sustainability. There will also be a book published next year which uses some of the conference presentations as examples.
Watch the new documentary about the Signs of Change HERE.

Transition Engineering

The Institute of Engineering and Technology selected Dr. Krumdieck as the Prestige Lecturer for 2010. You can watch the lecture HERE. Dr. Krumdieck was also invited to present a lecture on Transition Engineering to the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) in London September 2011. You can watch this 50 minute presentation HERE.

Transportation Self Evaluation

Find out your car dependence and your risk exposure to fuel price increase. The web program helps you do an "Energy Audit" of your transportation. You don't have to know anything other than your normal schedule, what type of car you drive, where you live, and where you go. The TACA program uses Google Map so all you have to do is fill out a diary with your weekly schedule, and then click on the location in the map. TACA calculates your distance travelled and fuel used. You can then explore what would happen if you changed some of the trips, used a more efficient car, or rode a bike. Over 1000 people have done the TACA Transport Audit so far.  We have written a report that shows how people in Chrsitchurch, Oamaru and Dundein travel and how adaptable they are to fuel shocks.




From the Ground Up: Rebuilding Christchurch as a Sustainable City

Phase 2: High Street at the Uni Pre-Feasibility Study

Student and Volunteer Project Summer 2013-14

Over the summer a group of students, experts and volunteers from the university, businesses and NGO's will work to develop the base data that designers and the community will need for a college town re-development in Riccarton. The objective is to carry out the infrastructure, economic, market and geographic investigations so that the University high street reaches the  "invest-able, design-able and consent-able" stage. Open working meetings are at 5:00pm every Thursday in E13 at the University of Canterbury

Phase 1: Transition through Rebuild

Phase 1 Launch 22 March 2013

What if you took a 250 year perspective on the development and adaptation of your home city? What if you listened to the intention of tens of thousands of your neighbours in their desire for a sustainable city? What if you took an engineering approach, researched and applied all of the state-of-the-art knowledge from around the world, and the analytical tools of the trade? What if you checked every option and idea with the lens of social responsibility, economic viability, and technical feasibility? You might get a very interesting vision of the possibilities. More importantly, you would understand that the city does not need to sprawl. You would understand that affordable housing is a development choice, not an impossible dream. You would understand that car dominated cities can be re-developed for the transition to a carbon-constrained and oil-constrained future. And most importantly, we will not tell you about Denmark or the UK. We did this project on the streets of Christchurch, and it is an amazing view.

For more information, please see: Rebuilding Christchurch as a Sustainable City


Painting courtesy of Kyan Krumdieck

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