Muthasim Fahmy



Dr Muthasim Fahmy is an engineer and physicist specialising in energy processes and systems. His current research focuses on advanced tools for bioenergy systems analysis to understand the role and impact of bioenergy in New Zealand’s future bioeconomy, and multi-physics understanding of energy processes for efficiency improvement and developing new processes.


  • PhD (Physics), University of Otago, New Zealand – 2012
  • MSc (Distinction) (Energy Studies), University of Otago, New Zealand – 2006
  • BEng (Hons) (Electrical & Electronic Engineering), University of Adelaide, Australia – 2000

Research capabilities

  • Energy systems analysis, design and optimisation.
  • Thermodynamics, electrodynamics and fluid dynamics.
  • Interfacial instability, critical phenomena, heat and mass transfer.
  • Applied computational physics, complex systems and multi-physics modelling.
  • Techno-economic analysis and optimisation under uncertainty.
  • Process simulation, optimisation and control.
  • New process development.
  • Renewable energy and energy efficiency improvement.

Career highlights

  • Leader of research into bioenergy systems analysis and bioenergy process fundamentals.
  • Key researcher in Reinvent the Toilet Challenge (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation).
  • Scion principal investigator for international collaborative research on the production of value-added products and green fuel from energy crop residues.
  • Invited speaker at the Appita Biomanufacturing Symposium, Melbourne, 2017.
  • Leading the development of advanced process-techno-economic optimisation models for wood-energy industrial symbiosis.
  • Post-doctoral investigations into pellet fire technology, petrol vapour recovery, heating and cooling potential of roof space air (University of Otago).
  • University of Otago Division of Sciences Award – 2006.

Selected papers

Fahmy, M., Sohel, M.I., Vaidya, A.A., Jack, M.W., Suckling, I.D. (2019). Does sugar yield drive lignocellulosic sugar cost? Case study for enzymatic hydrolysis of softwoods with added polyethylene glycol. Process Biochemistry.

Gielen GJHP, Andrews J, Fahmy M, François C, Ieropoulos I, Gapes D. (2019). Thermophilic nutrient to power conversions in a microbial fuel cell cascade fed with wet oxidation liquors. Proceedings of the 3rd International Microbial/Enzymatic Electrochemistry Platform Symposium 3-4 July, Lucerne.

Fahmy, M., & Lee, In-Gu. (2018). An Exergy Analysis of a Laboratory Scale Fast Pyrolysis Process Design.  In Exergy for A Better Environment and Improved Sustainability 1 (pp. 1259-1273): Springer.

Fahmy, M., Bradford, C.D., Sun, Z.F., Gerrard, D.F., Cotter, J.D., Lucas, S.J.E. and Wissler E.H. (2013) Thermal response of swimmers: Theory and Experimental Observations". Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Environmental Ergonomics, 11-15 Feb, Queenstown.

Fahmy, M. and Sun Z. Transient Rayleigh-Bénard-Marangoni Convection Enhanced. (2012). Frontiers of Heat and Mass Transfer 2(4): 043003.

Fitzgerald, W. B., Fahmy, M., Smith, I.J., Carruthers, M.A., Carson, B.R., Sun Z. and Bassett M.R. (2011). An assessment of roof space solar gains in a temperate maritime climate. Energy and Buildings 43(7):1580-1588.

Fahmy, M., Sun Z. and Molteno T. (2009). Restricted Regions of Rayleigh-Bénard-Marangoni Convection in Solute Transfer between Gas-Liquid Phases." Seventh International Conference on CFD in Minerals and Process Industries, CSIRO Melbourne, Australia.

Sun, Z. F. and Fahmy M. (2006). Onset of Rayleigh-Bénard-Marangoni convection in gas-liquid mass transfer with two-phase flow: Theory." Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 45(9): 3293-3302.