Dr Aaron Liu

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Research Fellow, Faculty of Engineering, School of Architecture & Built Environment

Doctor of Philosophy (Queensland University of Technology), Master of Engineering (University of Queensland), Master of Engineering Management (Queensland University of Technology), Graduate Certificate of Academic Practice (Queensland University of Technology), Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical and Automation (Other)

Aaron is a registered professional engineer with a passion to enable more cost effective, resilient and sustainable built environment. His professional interests include energy investment decisions, sustainability management, energy market and data analytics. Aaron is an Australian representative on International Energy Agency (IEA) Annex 82 Energy Flexible Buildings and volunteering on the working groups for IEEE Standards 120 and 1459.

Previously Aaron worked with ABB Australia and A. O. Smith and his responsibilities included designing switchboards, power substations, commissioning building energy systems and other critical infrastructure. He has a Master of Engineering from the University of Queensland, a Master of Engineering Management, a Ph.D. and a Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice (Higher Education) from QUT.  Aaron is a Fellow of Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

Aaron's website to share learning and lessons learnt is here:


Research Interests:

  • Sustainability strategies and investment decisions, e.g. precincts, neighbourhoods, aged care and hospitals
  • Energy demand side management, e.g. data analytics and operation optimisation
  • Energy sharing and local energy market
  • How to engage students and support their learning with real life visuals

Academic Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Electrical Engineering, QUT
    • Training to be a better thinker and problem solver
  • Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice, QUT
    • Training to be a better communicator and educator
  • Master of Engineering Management, QUT
  • Master of Engineering (Power Systems), The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical and Automation), Jiangnan University (China)

Leadership and Service:

  • Australian representative on International Energy Agency (IEA) Annex 82 - Energy Flexible Buildings towards Resilient Low Carbon Energy Systems  (2021 to 2025)
  • Working group member to re-write IEEE 1459 and 120 standards (2019 to 2022)
    • IEEE 1459: Definitions for the measurement of electric power quantities under sinusoidal, non-sinusoidal, balanced or unbalanced conditions
    • IEEE 120: Master test code for electrical measurements in power circuits
  • Steering committee member for QUT Academy of Learning and Teaching (2019 and 2020)
    • Continuously improve tertiary learning and teaching, promote best practice in learning and teaching, and provide training locally and internationally
  • Reviewer for
    • Elsevier journals, e.g. Energy and Buildings, Energy Research and Social Science
    • IEEE Power and Energy Society transactions
    • MDPI journals
    • International academic conferences
  • Speaker to Engineers Australia , QUT and public seminars
  • Facilitator for QUT Research Students Network workshops and IEEE QUT events
  • Volunteer,  session chair, advisor or organising committee member for
    • 2015 IEEE Asia Pacific Power and Energy Engineering Conference (APPEEC)
    • 2016 Australasian Universities Power Engineering Conference (AUPEC)
    • 2016 International Conference on Energy and Environment of Residential Buildings (ICEERB)
    • 2019 IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Green Building and Smart Grid (IGBSG)
    • 2021 16th Conference on Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems (SDEWES)
    • 2021 10th IEEE PES Innovative Smart Grid Technology -Asia Conference
    • 2022 Latin American Conference on Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems - LA SDEWES2022

Additional information

Experiences include:

  • Project management, risk management and regular reporting
  • Define vision, KPIs and prepare strategies
  • Evaluation of technologies and subcontractors
  • Public speeches and seminars
  • Written communications and other knowledge sharing activities
  • System thinking and design thinking
  • Critical and creative thinking
  • Service attitude
  • Growth mindset/continuous improvement

Research Experience:

  • Research fellow to help support clean energy transition: https://www.racefor2030.com.au/
  • Research fellow and project manager to enable renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies to reduce peak demand and energy consumption
    • an Australian Renewable Energy Agency project, collaborating with aged care and retirement communities, hospitals, schools, Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating, and the University of Wollongong: https://arena.gov.au/projects/affordable-heating-and-cooling-innovation-hub-ihub/
  • Research fellow and UQ visiting fellow for ARENA Solar Enablement Initiative project, which attempts to enable more solar in distribution network by improving network visibility and semi-automatically assessing the impact of large PV application
    • an Australian Renewable Energy Agency project, collaborating with power network industry, and the University of Queensland: https://arena.gov.au/projects/increasing-visibility-of-distribution-networks/)
  • Research fellow to create a grid-friendly cost effective neighbourhood energy trading mechanism to utilise existing poles and wires and avoid energy death spiral
    • an Australian Research Council Discovery Project: https://researchdata.ands.org.au/discovery-projects-grant-id-dp160102570/664068)
  • PhD Scholar to manage peak demand, energy bills and plan energy investment for sustainable communities
    • An Australian Research Council and industry sponsored linkage project (ARC LP130100650) From innovators to mainstream market: A Toolkit for transforming Australian housing and maximising sustainability outcomes for stakeholders: https://research.qut.edu.au/housinginnovation/

Industry Experience: Focused on engineering and estimating while involved with all parts of electrical power projects from design, estimating, tendering, to testing and commissioning.

  • ABB Australia: engineering and estimating turnkey solutions for high voltage and medium voltage power substations
  • PSG Group: engineering and estimating medium voltage and low voltage substations, switchboards, and customised product solutions
  • A. O. Smith Water Heater Company: service and project management for residential, commercial and industrial central heating systems, boilers and water heaters
Appointment to State/National/International Reference Group or Government Committees
Reference year
Australian representative on International Energy Agency (IEA) Annex 82 Energy Flexible Buildings (2021-2025). Dr Liu was nominated by Australian Commonwealth Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (DISER) with the support of Australian Energy Efficiency Council (EEC).
Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
The best paper award for the 1st Asia Pacific conference on sustainable development of energy, water and environment systems (1st AP SDEWES)
Visiting Professorships/Fellowships
Reference year
Visiting research fellow at the University of Queensland, collaborating on Australian Renewable Energy Agency Project to enable more solar in distribution network. Website: https://arena.gov.au/projects/increasing-visibility-of-distribution-networks/
Keynote Speaker/Expert Panel Member/Invited Speaker for a Conference
Reference year
I was invited to conduct a technical presentation for Engineers Australia with over 120 attendees on 28 March 2018. Its titled was: Batteries VS Batts - Investment Planning Under Daily Operation. Great feedback were received and there were expression of interest from Queensland utilities for my research work. It was a great session to promote QUT and our research.
Committee Role/Editor or Chair of an Academic Conference
Reference year
I was a committee member for the 7th International Conference on Residential Building Energy and Environment. Achievements:- successful coordination for international authors- facilitated conference session- edited conference proceedings and programs- marketing for the conference
Reviewer for an Academic Journal
Reference year
Since 2015, I have been a recognised reviewer for Elsevier's Energy and Buildings journal (Q1).
Reviewer for an Academic Journal
Reference year
Since 2015, I have been a reviewer for IEEE Transaction on Sustainable Energy (Q1).