Staff profiles

John BurnellEnergy Futures Theme Leader




Energy Futures Theme

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John is a numerical modeller who has over 30 years experience working on a wide range of energy related projects. His main focus is geothermal reservoir modelling, undertaking both research and consulting. He has developed models of geothermal systems throughout the world, for both consenting purposes and resource planning. He has worked on models of: Ngawha, Wairakei, Rotokawa, Rotorua, Tauhara, Kawerau, Mokai, (New Zealand), Mt Apo, Bacman (Philippines), Kakkonda, Uenotai, Sumikawa (Japan), and Luiese (Papua New Guinea). He has long-standing involvement in the resource consent process in New Zealand, both developing models to assess environmental impacts and appearing as an expert witness at consent hearings. He is able to develop new software for solving modelling problems, and is the developer of a commercially available Tough2 pre-processor. John is currently the NZ convener of the IPGT Reservoir Modelling Group, and has served on the NZ Geothermal Association Board. In addition to geothermal modelling, John has worked on models of gas reservoirs, heat exchangers, heat transfer in reformer furnaces, casting furnaces, heater design, heat transfer in coolstores, biofilm growth and electroosmotic flow


  • BSc, Mathematics
  • BSc(Hons), Mathematics
  • PhD, Mathematics
  • MSc, Mathematics

Major Publications

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  • Burnell, J.G.; Weir, G.; Kissling, W.M. 2016. Modelling the Ngawha Geothermal Field, Proceedings 38th New Zealand Geothermal Workshop, 23-25 November 2016 : 9 p..
  • Burnell, J.G.; van Campen, B.; Kortright, N.; Lawless, J.; McLeod, J.; Luketina, K.; Robson, B. 2016. Sustainability of TVZ geothermal systems : the regulatory perspective, Taupo Volcanic Zone geothermal systems, New Zealand: Exploration, science and development : p. 225-235. DOI: 10.1016/j.geothermics.2015.08.001.
  • Scott, B.J.; Mroczek, E.K.; Burnell, J.G.; Zarrouk, S.J.; Seward, A.M.; Robson, B.; Graham, D.J. 2016. Rotorua Geothermal Field : an experiment in environmental management, Taupo Volcanic Zone geothermal systems, New Zealand: Exploration, science and development : p. 294-310. DOI: 10.1016/j.geothermics.2015.09.004.
  • Ingham, B.; Ko, M.; Laycock, N.; Burnell, J.G.; Kappen, P.; Kimpton, J.A.; Williams, D.E. 2012. In situ synchrotron X-ray diffraction study of scale formation during CO2 corrosion of carbon steel in sodium and magnesium chloride solutions, Corrosion science 56: p. 96-104. DOI: 10.1016/j.corsci.2011.11.017.
  • Burnell, J.G. 2009. A model of ion transport in conjugated polymers, ANZIAM Journal 50(3): p. 355-364. DOI: 10.1017/S1446181109000194.
  • Hendy, S.C.; Jasperse, M.; Burnell, J.G. 2005. Effect of patterned slip on micro- and nanofluidic flows, Physical Review E 72(1): 016303. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.72.016303.
  • Baxter, J.; Tuzun, U.; Burnell, J.G.; Heyes, D. 1997. Granular dynamical simulations of two dimensional heap formation, Physical Review E 55(3): p. 3546-3554. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.55.3546.

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