School of Engineering and Information Technology

Dr Robert Niven

Senior Lecturer - Aero/Mech Engineering

BSc(Hons), PhD UNSW

Building 20 Room 129  
Telephone: (+61) 2 626 88330  
Fax: (+61) 2 626 88581 

UNSW Research Gateway Biography

Research Interest

  • Research Interests include: Thermodynamics, information theory and statistical mechanics applied to scientific, engineering and human systems
  • The combinatorial basis of entropy and divergence, and alternative entropy measures
  • Maximum entropy theory, fluid turbulence and boundary layer theory
  • Non-aqueous phase liquids (NAPLs) in porous media, including surface/interfacial tension phenomena, nucleation phenomena and multiphase systems
  • Environmental impact and sustainability of alternative fuels (e.g. ethanol in petrol)
  • Radioactive contaminants
  • Environmental management and sustainability.
  • Currently pursuing several major research undertakings relating to entropy, thermodynamics and information theory, subsurface and air contamination and environmental management.
  • List of Publications

Teaching Experience

  • Senior Lecturer
  • Course coordinator and/or lecturer for several undergraduate courses in fluid mechanics, hydraulic engineering, environmental engineering and computational methods.
  • Teaching of postgraduate coursework in Maximum Entropy Analysis (including invited teaching at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark).
  • Past or present supervisor of several BE thesis, Masters and PhD students.


  • Senior Lecturer, present position, UNSW@ADFA (2004-)
  • Lecturer, UNSW@ADFA (1999-2004)
  • Fulbright Professional Fellow (2003)
  • Winston Churchill Fellow (1998)
  • Marie Curie Incoming International Fellow, Niels Bohr Institute, Københaven Universitet, Denmark, Jan 2007 to Feb 2008
  • Extensive prior professional experience in the engineering and environmental consulting industry.