Prof Ian Turner

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Professor, School of Mathematical Sciences

D.Sc. (Queensland University of Technology), PhD (University of Queensland), MAppSc (Queensland Inst. of Technology), BAppSc (Queensland Inst. of Technology)

Professional and academic background

Professor Turner received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Queensland in 1991. In 2010 he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Science from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). He currently has a full-time research and teaching position at QUT, where his employment first commenced as a lecturer in 1991. Ian’s more recent roles at QUT include:

  • 2022-         Professor; ARC College of Experts Member
  • 2020-2021 Professor; School of Mathematical Sciences Academic Lead, Research
  • 2018-2019 Professor; ACEMS (ARC Centre of Excellence) Acting Deputy Director
  • 2017-2018 Professor; Faculty Research Quality Director
  • 2016-2017 Professor; Academic Program Director for Dean’s Scholars
  • 2012-2015 Head of School of Mathematical Sciences
  • 2009-2011 Head of Discipline of Mathematical Sciences
  • 2009-2009 Acting Head of School of Mathematical Sciences
  • 2007-2009 School Director of Research, Mathematical Sciences.


Professor Turner’s multidisciplinary research highlights the applicability of computational and applied mathematics to important environmental problems such as drying, saltwater intrusion in coastal aquifers, and the prediction of gas composition in a coal seam gas field. Ian’s research demonstrates a strong interaction with industry, having worked with drying engineers at the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF), and hydrologists and computational modellers at the Department of Natural Resources and Mines. This work is ongoing, and these research initiatives are being developed further through collaboration and jointly supervised PhD projects. He has also collaborated widely with various local industries and government organisations (for example CSIRO, DNRM and DAF) through commercial research opportunities and ARC Linkage grants.


Ian has received international recognition for his research in the form of:

  • awards for best research papers in international journals
  • “Honorary Fellowship” awarded by the European Society of Computational Methods in Sciences and Engineering
  • certificates of merit for his extensive contributions in modeling the drying process
  • invitations as keynote speaker at national and international conferences/workshops
  • invited professor/researcher positions at universities in Europe
  • invitations to co-edit a book dedicated to numerical methods for the drying process and to contribute chapters to other books.


Professor Turner was chair of the 2012 Computational Techniques and Applications Conference (CTAC), QUT. From 2004-2008, Ian was chair of the national executive of the Computational Mathematics Group, which oversees the enhancement of computational mathematics within Australia. Ian has organised and chaired national postgraduate student forums on advanced computation for the Australian Partnership for Advanced Computing, for example the successful Summer Workshop in Computational Science held at QUT in 2006. Ian also acted as the Program Director of the 2017 Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI) Winter School held at QUT on the Computational foundations of data science, and the 2019 Winter School on computational modelling of heterogeneous media held at QUT.

Editorial Roles

  • Invited editor for special editions of the international journals Drying Technology and Applied Mathematical Modelling.
  • Co-editor of the popular book “Mathematical Modeling and Numerical techniques in Drying Technology”, CRC Press, 1996.
  • Co-editor of the book “Agriculture as a Metaphor for Creativity in All Human Endeavors in Mathematics for Industry”, Springer, 2018.
  • Associate editor for International Journal of Applied Mathematical Modelling (IF 2.617, 5 year IF 2.940) and current member of the editorial board.
  • Associate editor for International Journal of Numerical Algorithms (IF 2.417, 5 year IF 2.189).


Since 2000, Professor Turner has received funding accolades for his research, including:

  • first named chief investigator (CI) on fourAustralian Research Council (ARC) Discovery grants
  • named CI of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers of Big Data, Big Models, New Insights CE14
  • CI on LE13 (LIEF) FlashLite: A High Performance Machine for Data Intensive Science
  • received an ARC LIEF grant
  • CI on ARC Linkage grants
  • second named CI on two ARC Large/Discovery grants
  • fourth named CI on an ARC Linkage grant
  • CI on five ARC SPIRT/Linkage grants
  • CI on three grants from the Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation.


Professor Turner was named in the 2015, 2016 Thomson Reuters and 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 Clarivate Analytics Web of Science list of Highly Cited Researchers, which recognises him as one of the world’s most influential researchers of the past decade through publication of multiple highly cited papers that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and year in Web of Science.

Leadership in learning and teaching

  • 2016: Vice Chancellors Award for Excellence in the Senior Staff Category for his exemplary and sustained leadership
  • 2014: Vice-Chancellor's Performance Award in recognition of a significant and superior contribution to the work of the university
  • 2006: QUT award for excellent teaching by an academic in 2006
  • 2004: Dean’s Science Faculty Award for Outstanding Academic Leadership

Additional information

Professor Turner’s main research interests are in the fields of computational mathematics and numerical analysis, where he has over thirty years of experience in the solution of systems of coupled, nonlinear partial differential equations that govern flow in heterogeneous porous media. Together with his colleague Professor Patrick PerrĂ© from the University of Paris-Saclay, he has made significant contributions to modelling the drying of wood. As a result of this collaboration, drying practitioners in France and Australia have used the TRANSPORE model to design optimal drying schedules for softwood. Recently, Professor Turner has developed an international reputation in the numerical solution of fractional partial differential equations, having published along with his coworkers, more than 60 papers in international journals over the last ten years in this field. He is an expert in finite-volume methods and also has an excellent knowledge of numerical linear algebra and its applicability and importance to solving problems in applied mathematics.