Professor Susan Krumdieck 

Biography in Energy Transition Engineering

PhD  Mechanical Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder

MS Energy Systems, Arizona State University

BS Mechanical Engineering, Arizona State University

Susan has been at Canterbury University since 2000. Her research focuses on developing the engineering methods and innovative technologies for adaptation to reduced fossil fuel production and consumption. She is an expert in developing new ideas for achieving decarbonization in transportation systems and urban regeneration. Her visionary contributions involve reimagining the urban built environment and transportation activity systems by developing new GIS and modelling methods that combine diverse aspects of urban systems. Her research group has produced ground-breaking ideas about engineering development policy and community vision by communicating in new ways about history and the long-term future. The research asks, “Given that 80% reduction in greenhouse gas is required, the context of complex problems of unsustainability can be defined, and value of transition to better is understood, what is the next practical and transformative project for a given city or company?”

Susan is the leader of a group of engineering professionals and academics establishing the field of Transition Engineering. She is the co-founder and a Trustee of the Global Association for Transition Engineering (GATE). Transition Engineering is the work of designing and carrying out change projects for industry and the public sector that meet COP21 targets while providing multiple near and long-term benefits. She was appointed to the RSNZ Energy Panel in 2005, and contributed to long-term energy transition analysis and the role of demand side innovations. She was selected as the IET prestige lecturer in 2010, and presented the lecture on Transition Engineering around New Zealand and in London and Brussels. She won the CU Gold Sustainability Award in 2011 for organizing Signs of Change, the first national no-travel conference, and Silver Sustainability award in 2013 for her work on From the Ground Up, an urban re-development approach. She has worked with Professor Frank Kreith on the first energy engineering text with coverage of Transition Engineering. Her first full textbook, Transition Engineeringis currently in press.

Susan was recipient of a fellowship from the Scientific Council of Grenoble INP for research and teaching, and she delivered a well-received course on Transition Engineering in 2015. This fellowship has led to on-going research collaboration, participation in proposals, delivery of workshops, and adoption of Transition Engineering as one of 5 new streams for focus of the ENSE3Institute. She also received a fellowship to teach a Masters course on Transition Engineering at University of Duisburg-Essen in 2015. In 2016 and 2017 Susan was a guest of Bristol University where she presented workshops on Transition Engineering and consulted with an academic working group to design a curriculum for a Transition Engineering Masters. Susan was an Honorary Fellow of Munich University of Applied Sciences in 2018 for research collaboration and to teach a semester course on Transition Engineering.

Professor Krumdieck has more than 160 peer-reviewed publications, supervised a total of 29 PhD students, and been awarded over $7M in research grants as principle investigator. Her current MBIE-funded research project has received two Gold ratings. Her PBRF ranking is A (Top 15% of researchers in NZ). She serves on the editorial board for six journals, including Energies,Energy Conservation & Managementand Biophysical Economics, and she has edited special issues of Energy Policy, Energies, and Sustainability. She has been an invited participant in the NZ Climate Forum, Ministry roundtables and workshops on future transport and energy strategies, and currently serves on the UC Sustainability Panel, and the Ministry of Transport Upper North Island Freight Supply Chain Strategy Working Group. She serves on the Scientific Advisory Board, Regional Center for Energy and Environment Sustainability (RCEES) Africa Centers of Excellence.

She has presented 25 invited conference keynote addresses, 28 invited research seminars, 15 workshops and 92 invited public lectures and seminars on Transition Engineering topics.


Selected Recent Publications

Krumdieck, S., Transition Engineering, CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, (2019). 240pp in press

Krumdieck, S., “Chapter 13. Transition Engineering”, In: Principles of Sustainable Energy, 2ndEdition, Ed: F. Kreith and S. Krumdieck, CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group (2013) 689-733.

Krumdieck, S. “Chapter 32. Transition Engineering”, In: Energy Solutions to Combat Global Warming, Ed: XinRong Zhang, Springer (2017) 647-706.

Krumdieck, S., Transportation in a Sustainable Urban Form, Chapter 8 in Sizing up the City, P. Howden-Chapman, K. Stuart, R. Chapman, Eds. (2010)pp.93-109.

 Selected Peer Reviewed Journal Publications

  1. Fulhu, M., M. Muaviyath, S. Krumdieck, Voluntary demand participation (VDP) for security of essential energy activities in remote communities with case study in Maldives, Energy for Sustainable Development, 49 (2019) 27-38
  2. Bai, M., S. Krumdieck, Transition engineering of megacities with case study on commuting in Beijing, Cities, (In Preparation).
  3. Budisulistyo, D., S. Krumdieck, Lifetime design strategy for binary geothermal plants considering degradation of geothermal resource productivity, Energy Conversion and Management, 132C (2017) 1-13.
  4. Bai, M., S. Krumdieck, Modelling shopping transport energy performance to explore low carbon potentials, Road & Transport Research, Vol 25 No 1 (2016) 76 – 87.
  5. Jung, H-C, S. Krumdieck, Meanline design of a 250 kW radial inflow turbine stage using R245fa working fluid and waste heat from a refinery process, Journal of Power and Energy, accepted (2016).
  6. Budisulistyo, D., S. Krumdieck, Thermodynamic and economic analysis for the pre- feasibility study of a binary geothermal power plant, Energy Conversion and Management, 103 (2015) 639-649.
  7. Jung, H-C, S. Krumdieck, An experimental and modelling study of a 1 kW organic Rankine cycle unit with mixture working fluid, Energy, 81 (2015) 601-614.
  8. Jung, H-C, Krumdieck, S., Rotordynamic modelling and analysis of a radial inflow turbine rotor-bearing system, International Journal of Precision Engineering and Manufacturing, 15 No. 11. (2014) 2285-2290
  9. Jung, H-C, S. Krumdieck, T. Vranjes,Feasibility assessment of refinery waste heat-to-power conversion using an organic Rankine cycle, Energy Conversion and Management, 77 (2014) 396-407.
  10. Krumdieck, S., S. Page, Retro-analysis of bio-ethanol and bio-diesel in New Zealand, Energy Policy, 62 (2013) 363-371.
  11. Krumdieck, S., Transition Engineering: adaptation of complex systems for survival, International Journal of Sustainable Development, Vol. 16, No. 3/4, (2013) 310-321.
  12. Gyamfi, S., Krumdieck, S., Urmee, T., Residential peak electricity demand response – highlights of some behavioural issues, Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews, Vol. 25 (2013) 71-77.
  13. Jung, H-C, S. Krumdieck, Modelling of organic Rankine cycle system and heat exchanger components, International Journal of Sustainable Energy, Vol 33 (3) (2014)704-721. 
  14. Krumdieck, S., M. Dale, S. Page, Design and implementation of a community based sustainable development action research method, Social Business, Vol. 2 (2012) 291-337.
  15. Gyamfi, S., S. Krumdieck, Scenario analysis of residential demand response at network peak periods, Electric Power Systems Research, Vol. 93 (2012) 32-38.
  16. Dale, M., S. Krumdieck, and P. Bodger, Global Energy Modeling – a Biophysical Approach (GEMBA) part 1: An overview of biophysical economics. Ecological Economics, Vol. 73 (2012) 152-157.
  17. Dale, M., S. Krumdieck, and P. Bodger, Global Energy Modeling - a Biophysical Approach (GEMBA) Part 2: Methodology and Results. Ecological Economics, Vol. 73 (2012) 158-167.
  18. Watcharasukarn, M., S. Krumdieck, S. Page, Virtual reality simulation game approach to investigate transport adaptive capacity for peak oil planning, Transportation Research Part A, 46 (2012) 348 – 367.
  19. Rendall, S., S. Page, F. Reitsma, E. van Houten, S. Krumdieck, Quantifying transport resilience: active mode accessibility, Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 2242 (2011) 72-80.
  20. Dale, M., S. Krumdieck, P. Bodger, Net energy yield from production of conventional oil, Energy Policy, Vol. 39 Issue 11 (2011) 7095 -7102.
  21. Dale, M., S. Krumdieck, P. Bodger, A dynamic function for energy return on investment, Sustainability, Vol. 3 Issue 10 (2011) 1972 -1985.
  22. Krumdieck, S. and S. Orchard, Signs of Change National Networked e-Conference: highlighting emerging sustainability and social business, Social Business, Vol. 1, No. 1 (2011) 37-58.
  23. Gyamfi, S., S. Krumdieck, Price, environment and security: exploring multi-modal motivation in voluntary residential peak demand response, Energy Policy, Vol. 39, Issue 5 (2011) 2993-3004.
  24. Watcharasukarn, M., Krumdieck, S., Green, R. and Dantas, A., Researching Travel Behavior and Adaptability: Using a Virtual Reality Role-Playing Game. Simulation & Gaming, Vol. 42, No. 1 (2011) 100-117.
  25. Krumdieck, S., The Survival Spectrum: The key to Transition Engineering of complex systems, (11-17 Nov 2011, Denver, CO) Proceedings of the ASME 2011, ICEME2011-65891.
  26. Krumdieck, S., Transition Engineering of urban transportation for resilience to peak oil risks, (11-17 Nov 2011, Denver, CO) Proceedings of the ASME 2011, ICEME2011-65836.
  27. Krumdieck, S., S. Page, A. Dantas, Urban form and long term fuel supply decline: A method to investigate the peak oil risks to essential activities, Res. Part A: 44 (2010) 306-322.
  28. Krumdieck, S. and A. Hamm, Strategic analysis methodology for energy systems with remote island case study, Energy Policy, Vol 37,9 (2009) 3301-3313.
  29. Imroz Sohel, Mathieu Sellier, Larry J. Brackney, Susan Krumdieck, Efficiency improvement for geothermal power generation to meet summer peak demand, Energy Policy, Vol 37,9 (2009) 3370-3376.
  30. Page, S. and S. Krumdieck, System-Level Energy Efficiency is the Greatest Barrier to Development of the Hydrogen Economy, Energy Policy, Vol 37,9 (2009) 3325-3335
  31. Boyle, C. et al., Delivering Sustainable Infrastructure that Supports the Urban Built Environment, Environmental Science & Technology44 (13) (2010) 4836-4840.
  32. Krumdieck S., Feedback Control Model of Regional Energy Systems, IPENZ engineering TreNz2007-002 (2007) ISSN 1177-042.
  33. Dantas, A., S. Krumdieck, S. Page, Risk of energy constrained Activity-transport systems (RECATS), Journal of Eastern Asia Society for Transportation Studies, Vol. 7 (2007) 1154-1168.
  34. Saunders, M. J., S. Krumdieck, A. Dantas, Energy reliance, urban form and the associated risk to urban activities, Road & Transport Research, Vol 15 No 1 (2006) 29-43.
  35. Dantas, A., S. Krumdieck, A. Hamm, M. Saunders, S. Minges, Performance-Objective Design for Energy Constrained Transportation System, Journal of Eastern Asia Society for Transportation Studies, 6 (2005) 3276-3292.

Selected Peer-Reviewed Papers Published in Proceedings

  1. Gallardo, P., D. Bishop, R. Murray, S. Krumdieck, New Zealand Transition Engineering Retro-Analysis, EngineeringNZ Transportation Group 2019 Conference (3 – 6 March 2019, Wellington, New Zealand)
  2. Gallardo, P., P. Leon, R. Murray, S. Krumdieck, Geographic Economic Accessibility (GEA) for Freight Transport, IPENZ Transport Group Conference (21-23 March 2018, Queenstown, New Zealand)
  3. Southon, M., S. Krumdieck, Preliminary investigation into the current and future growth and affordability of ORC electric generation systems, ASME ORC 2015: 3rd International Seminar on ORC Power Systems, (October 12-14, 2015, Brussels, Belgium) Paper ID:204.
  4. Krumdieck, S., Watchaarasukarn, M. Page, S., Nurul Habib, K.H., Assessment of personal travel adaptive capacity using a participatory survey approach, IPENZ Transport Group Conference (22-24 Mar 2015, Christchurch, New Zealand).
  5. Rendall, S., Page, S.; Krumdieck, S. Voila! A New Measure of Oil Vulnerability for Cities, IPENZ Transport Group Conference (22-24 Mar 2015, Christchurch, New Zealand).
  6. Rendall, S., Page, S.; Krumdieck, S. Voila! A New Measure of Oil Vulnerability for Cities. In Proceedings of the 1st Int. Electron. Conf. Energies, 14 - 31 March 2014; Sciforum Electronic Conference Series, Vol. 1, 2014 , e005; doi:10.3390/ece-1-e005.  
  7. Krumdieck, S. Strategic Analysis Adaptation Assessment: An Alternative to the Economic Storyline Scenario. In Proceedings of the 1st Int. Electron. Conf. Energies, 14 - 31 March 2014; Sciforum Electronic Conference Series, Vol. 1, 2014 , e001; doi:10.3390/ece-1-e001.
  8. Krumdieck, S., Frye, J. Optimizing Wind-Diesel Hybrid Energy Systems Including a Demand Side Management Strategy. In Proceedings of the 1st Int. Electron. Conf. Energies, 14 - 31 March 2014; Sciforum Electronic Conference Series, Vol. 1, 2014 , c008; doi:10.3390/ece-1-c008.



Students Supervised in Energy Transition Engineering

  1. Maria Isabel Beltran, Urban Transition through property re-development for a low energy future city, PhD Thesis (2021), UC MECH scholarship
  2. Daniel Bishop, Zero energy lighting design and operation for building retrofits including voluntary demand participation, lighting comfort and productivity, PhD Thesis (2020), Ngau Boon Keat Postgraduate Scholarship
  3. Patricio Gallardo Ocampo, Integrated social, energy, transport and economic national freight intermodal analysis, PhDThesis (2020), UC Doctoral Scholarship
  4. Niebert Blair, Transition of diesel generator-based power grids to renewable energy systems, the challenge for Guyana, PhDThesis (2019), Commonwealth Scholarship
  5. Sunjin Choi, Modelling for dynamic control, fault detection and optimized operation of geothermal ORC, PhD Thesis (2017), Department Scholarship
  6. Denny Budisulistyo, Flexible Design of ORC Plant for Low Temperature Geothermal and Waste Heat, PhD Thesis (2016), Department Scholarship
  7. Richard Wijninckx, Experimental monitoring and optimization for ORC, MS, Orion Energy Scholarship
  8. Ming Bai, Local Accessibility and Energy use in Transport, FRST Research Grant
  9. Choon Seng Wong, Design-to-Resource (DTR) using SMC Turbine Adaptive Strategy, PhDThesis (2015), HERF PhD scholarship
  10. Janice Asuncion, Energy Capacitated Freight Logistics Modelling, PhD Thesis (2013), AEMS Lab Scholarship FRST Research Grant
  11. Miraz Fulhu,Human Intelligence-Integrated Control System for Hybrid Power Networks for Remote Island,PhDThesis (2013) Commonwealth International Scholarship
  12. Michael Southon, Energy Return on Investment and Net Energy Analysis of ORC Power Generation, MSThesis (2014), TechNZ Scholarship
  13. Leighton Taylor, Low Temperature Geothermal ORC System Development Standard, MSThesis (2014), AGGAT Scholarship
  14. Nick Yannakis, Economic Optimisation Of Domestic Solar Hot Water For The Commercial Market Using Consol Evacuator Tube Panels In Christchurch, New Zealand, Masters Thesis (2012), Industry sponsorship
  15. Stacy Rendall, Minimum Energy Transport Activity Analysis from GIS, PhD Thesis (2012) NERI Energy Scholarship, Mechanical Engineering Department Premier Scholarship
  16. Muavi Mohammed, Energy Constraint and Adaptability; Focus on Renewable Energy on Small Islands; Case Study: Fenfushi, Maldives, PhD Thesis (2011). Commonwealth International Scholarship, NERI UK Energy School Scholarship
  17. Sohel Mohammed, Dynamic Model of Geothermal Power Plant, PhD Thesis (2011). Department Premier Scholarship, Industry Research Sponsorship Mighty River Power, Best Poster NERI Conference
  18. Michael Dale, Global Energy Modelling – A Biophysical Approach (GEMBA), PhD Thesis (2010). Vice Chancellor’s UC Scholarship, Mechanical Engineering Department Premier Scholarship
  19. Samuel Gyamfi, Demand Response in Residential Peak Electricity through ICT Innovation, PhD Thesis (2010). NERI Energy Scholarship, College Scholarship, AEMS Lab Scholarship
  20. Montira Watcharasukarn, 3-D Virtual Reality Simulation for Assessment of Constrained Energy Travel Activity Adaptation, PhDThesis (2010). Brian Mason Scientific and Technical Trust Grant, NERI Energy Scholarship, AEMS Lab Scholarship, NZTA Research Grant
  21. Andreas Hamm, Methodology and Modelling Approach for Strategic Sustainability Analysis of Complex Energy-Environment Systems; Case Study: Rotuma, Fiji, PhD Thesis (2007). UC TargetedScholarship, Pacific Island Trust Travel Grant
  22. Shannon Page, Regenerative PEM Fuel Cell System for UPS: Design, Modelling, and Experimental Verification, PhD Thesis (2007).
  23. Jake Frye, Strategic Analysis and Modelling for Wind Energy, Masters Thesis (2006).
  24. JamieWallace, Development of a Commercial Carbon Dioxide Scrubber, PhDThesis


Articles and Media

The Story of Us, Forethought Podcast(2017)

How to Stop the Titanic, The Art and Science of the Possible, Wordpress (2016)

Transition Engineering Scenarios, Invited Lecture Science for Energy Scenarios (2016)

Familyand Carbon Safety Margin, Motu and NZCCRI guest articles (2016)

Transition Engineering for a sustainable future,UKERC, London (21 April 2016)

Engineering Solutions, Podcast, People Behind the Science 302 (2015)

Transition Engineering, Podcast Sustainable Lens Resilience on Radio (2015)

Climate Action, Interview on Nine to Noon, Radio New Zealand National (2015)

Engineering for Change  “Energy Transition Engineering: meeting the biggest challenge engineers have ever faced”, (19 April 2016)

From the Ground Up: How the mega-challenges of transport energy and climate change will profoundly affect property markets”, The Advocate, New Zealand Property Council, (Spring 2015) 30-32.

Ultimate Challenge,  New Zealand Business Leaders Forum (2014)

EROI and Future Scenarios,Science for Energy Scenarios, Les Houches, France (Feb 2014)

Ethics of Transition, Engineers without Borders Conference, NZ (2014)

Transition Engineering, Interview with Kim Hill, Radio New Zealand(2014)

Transition Engineering, The Futurist, July-August 2013 (Vol. 47, No. 4)

Transition of Christchurch,From the Ground Up, Engineers for Social Responsibility (2013)

Transition Engineering Campaign, Otago Energy Centre Seminar (8 March 2013)

Challenging the Status Quo, New Zealand Business Leaders Forum (2012)

Transition Project Dunedin, Belgium Parliament Invited Presentation (2011)

Transition Beyond Oil, Peak Oil Vulnerability Report, Dunedin City Council (2010)

Transition Engineering, Institution of Engineering and Technology, Prestige Lecture (2010)



Energy Transition Vision

The AEMS Lab is an interdisciplinary research group with a diverse range of projects and a shared vision. Sustainability is a self-evident truth, a right of both humans and nature.  Like Safety, Security, Liberty or Justice, Sustainability must be safeguarded through institutional processes.  Sustainability for first world societies cannot be achieved simply by consumer choices or growth in use of renewable energy.  There is a great amount of work to be done to re-organize fossil-fuelled systems.  There is always a gap between fossil fuel expectations and sustainable energy feasibility.  These gaps will be filled by change and transition. 

Sustainability is a shared cultural vision.  Like other higher level ideals, we will never reach some equilibrium state where we have achieved sustainability.  Rather, the fundamental requirements of sustainability will be reflected in governance, infrastructure and behaviour, and will be continuously monitored, protected and remedied.

Safety - Security - Sustainability

Liberty and Justice require a continuous resolution of conflicting interests of individuals, groups and the state.  Safety requires a continuous learning and remedy process for new technologies and built environments to reduce harm to people.  Security requires continuous policing, negotiation, and management of behaviours to avoid conflict between individuals and groups.  Sustainability will require continuous monitoring and adaptation of human technology, activities, behaviour, and economics in order to balance the wellbeing of humans and ecosystems.

Engineering across all disciplines will play a major role in the changes required by sustainability ideals.  The immediate role of engineering will be executing the rapid change in the existing infrastructure and technology which are causing the most irreversible harm and pose the greatest risk to continuity.  This "sustainability engineering" is only just emerging.  Intensive research in engineering science is urgently needed to develop the methods, models and practices for delivering advanced energy and material systems.

The Great Challenge for Change

The defining moral issue of this time in history is how people will adjust their own expectations and demands in order to address global climate change, overpopulation, and peak oil.  The greatest test of the character and adaptability of humanity will occur in the near future as societies re-discover and re-enforce the oldest and most fundamental rule of sustainable civilization; constraints exist.


The “Boom and Bust” model of development has been followed by people throughout history.  It is a natural way for humans to behave – if you have somewhere else to migrate to after you exhaust the local resources.  There are numerous examples of civilisations that have followed a different pattern, what I call Continuity.

Continuous communities invest in local infrastructure, and they have socially and economically integrated ways to monitor and manage the individual use of common resources.  Our society is nearing the peak of a massive boom in energy and materials consumption.  It’s not possible to maintain this level of consumption, so the next 50 years or so will be the bust side of the cycle.
The challenge: Make constructive use of science and engineering capabilities to produce a transition to a continuous society.

Working Brief

Of course it is possible that the global economy could collapse, and with it the energy service systems and human wellbeing.  But collapse is not an interesting engineering problem.  Curious and capable researchers have always been stimulated by hard problems.  Continuity of wellbeing and civility in the circumstances of declining resources and environmental degradation are very hard problems.

The AEMS Lab directive is to conceive of and develop novel technologies that facilitate the transitional decline of energy and resource consumption, rapid reduction of fossil carbon dioxide emission, and continuous regeneration of depleted ecological systems.

Advanced Energy and Material Systems use renewable resources within the limits of natural ecological constraints to provide well-being for human communities.  Advanced systems are safe for people today and in the future.  Advanced systems provide for profitable activity and individual specialisation. Advanced systems are designed to adapt to resource supplies, and not to grow beyond them.  Socially and economically, advanced energy and material systems are engineered and operated for continuity.

Technology Solutions

If you type energy, engineering, and sustainability into Google, you will see a lot of activity around biofuels, solar power, wind energy, nuclear energy, clean coal, and hydrogen.  You may also see triple-bottom-line accounting and sustainable development.

AEMS Lab projects may involve any or all energy conversion technologies and economic concepts.  However, AEMS Lab research is dedicated to the development of energy and resource constrained systems.  This is a much different and more strategic approach than simply calling a particular technology clean or green, and then trying to make it economical compared to conventional alternatives.

Sustainability is a result of system-level behaviour, not any particular technology, material or energy source. Thus, while we are engineers and work on technology, our research is aimed at bringing the social and environmental context into the energy and material system design.  Because continuity and wellbeing are primary considerations, our projects are often fundamentally different from others in the “Sustainable Energy” area.  Logic (and a few simple engineering calculations) dictates that the fossil fuelled energy system cannot be sustained by substitution of any other primary energy resource.  We have accepted this fact, and have moved on to engineering for the reality of the transition to a constrained and declining fossil energy system.

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