School of Mechanical & Mining Engineering

David Mee

Professor David Mee

Head of School
Head of Division, Mechanical Engineering

Professor David Mee is Head of The University of Queensland’s School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering. Professor Mee lectures in mechanical engineering and is a leading researcher in the field of hypersonics – the study of flight speeds in excess of five times the speed of sound.

His research interests in hypersonic flow include:Force measurements in impulse facilitiesScramjet testing in shock tunnelsBoundary-layer transitionSkin-friction reduction techniques

Professor Mee is a member of UQ’s Centre for Hypersonics, an international centre of excellence in the field of hypersonic aerodynamics. His research contributes to the development of scramjets. Scramjets are air-breathing supersonic combustion ramjet engines that have the potential to significantly reduce the cost of access to space.

In 2002, the Centre for Hypersonic’s HyShot Program researchers successfully completed the world’s first flight test of supersonic combustion, the process used in scramjets. This achievement puts Australia at the forefront of scramjet technology.

After completing his PhD at UQ, Professor Mee spent five years as a Research Fellow in the turbo machinery research group at Oxford University in the U.K. He returned to UQ as an ARC Queen Elizabeth II Research Fellow in 1991 and joined the academic staff of the Department of Mechanical Engineering in 1993. He became Head of the Division of Mechanical Engineering in 2007 and served as acting Head of the School of Engineering from January to July 2009 until he took on his current role.


Andrej Atrens

Professor Andrej Atrens

Head of Division, Materials Engineering

Professor Andrej Atrens is Head of the Division of Materials Engineering in the School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering at The University of Queensland. His formal qualifications include a PhD from the University of Adelaide as well as a DEng from The University of Queensland in 1997. Professor Atrens is a leading researcher in the service performance of engineering materials and alloy development. He lectures in the area of Corrosion.

Professor Atrens leads research in the areas of:Corrosion of magnesiumMagnesium for biodegradable medical implants


Peter Knights

Professor Peter Knights

Head of Division, Mining Engineering

Professor Peter Knights is Head of the Division of Mining Engineering in The School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering at the University of Queensland. In addition to this role, he is the Executive Director of Mining Education Australia, a joint venture involving the four largest mining engineering programs in Australia sponsored by the Minerals Council of Australia. Much of his research work related to Equipment Management is conducted in conjunction with the Co-operative Research Centre for Mining (CRCMining).

For the past twenty-five years Peter’s research work has focussed on maintenance and reliability engineering. He is best known for: promoting the now widespread use of logarithmic scatter plots (also known as jack-knife diagrams) to characterize and prioritize downtime events; for his industry training courses on Root Cause Failure Analysis and for developing pragmatic approaches to RCM.

His recent work has focussed on mine data analytics and the reliability and planning issues associated with novel mining systems. He has a number of maintenance publications in prestigious international journals such as the Journal for Quality in Maintenance Engineering and the Journal of Reliability Engineering and System Safety.

From 1996 to 2004 he was employed as an Assistant Professor with the Faculty of Engineering of the Catholic University of Chile, based in Santiago, Chile. He was subsequently named as Associate Professor and Canadian Chair in Mining. Peter holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Melbourne, Australia, a Master’s degree in Systems Engineering from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in Mining Engineering from McGill University, Canada.


Kim Lamb

Mrs Kim Lamb

School Manager

Having joined The University of Queensland as a staff member in 1991, Mrs Lamb has held a diverse range of positions with considerable experience in university administration at the faculty, school/departmental and central administration levels. Mrs Lamb’s formal qualifications include a BSc and MSc from Bowling Green State University, USA and a Master of Business Administration from Cleveland State University, USA.


Mehmet Kizil

Associate Professor Rowan Truss

Chair, Research Committee 

Associate Professor Rowan Truss is Chair of the School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering Research Committee. He works as a Lecturer in the field of Materials Engineering at The University of Queensland after joining the university in 1990.

Associate Professor Truss undertakes his research both independently and through the Cooperative Research Centre for Polymenrs and the Cooperative Research Centre for Advanced Composite Structures. He has past experience as an Engineering Researcher and Academic in universities around the world, including the United States, United Kingdom and Australia.

Associate Professor Truss leads research in the areas of:

  • Service performance of polymers
  • Structure and properties of polymers
  • Natural fibre composites
  • Natural polymers

Ross McAree

Professor Ross McAree

Chair, Teaching and Learning Committee

Prof McAree joined The University of Queensland as a Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering in 2000 and has held various roles within the School.

Ross McAree received his PhD from the University of Melbourne in 1993. From 1993 to 2000 he was a research fellow in the Robotics Research Group at Oxford University and a Stipendiary Lecturer in Engineering at Trinity College, Oxford. He joined The University of Queensland in 2000 and has served at various times as the Program Director for Mechatronic Engineering, Chair of the School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering Research Committee and currently holds the position as Chair of the School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering Teaching and Learning Committee.

Professor McAree’s research interests are focused in model predictive control, estimation theory, and field robotics in the automation of mining equipment. Current research projects include:

  • Automation and collision avoidance for mining shovels
  • Telepresence for Remote operation of track-type tractors
  • Mission planning for mining machines
  • Skills requirements for mining automation
  • Implementation of functional safety for automated mining systems

Michael Smart

Professor Michael Smart

Chair, Engagement Committee

Professor Michael Smart is Chair of the Engagement Committee in The School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering at the University of Queensland.

Professor Smart, who graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) at UQ in 1985 and Master of Engineering Science at UQ in 1987, was awarded a PhD at the Polytechnic University, Brooklyn, New York, in 1995.

He was appointed an Associate Professor in the Centre for Hypersonics in 2005 after spending 10 years as a research scientist at NASA's Langley Research Center in Virginia.

He is the chief investigator on the National and International Research Alliances partnership collaboration between UQ, the Queensland Government, Boeing, USAF and DSTO to conduct scramjet-related flight tests as part of the HiFIRE program.

As head of UQ's HyShot Group, Professor Smart leads scramjet related research within the Centre for Hypersonics, with particular emphasis on flight applications.

He received the 2012 International Congress for Aeronatucs (ICAS) Von Karman Award for International Co-operation in Aeronautics.