Dr Madoc Sheehan completed his PhD in chemical/environmental engineering (molecular dynamics and quantum mechanics modelling of solvent reactions) at UMIST in Manchester in 1999 before joining as a lecturer in the Chemical Engineering discipline at James Cook University in Townsville, Australia. He is currently a senior lecturer at James Cook University. Dr Sheehan has a diverse range of interdisciplinary research interests associated with process modelling, energy conservation, drying and de-watering. These include the development, validation and use of CFD, geometry and process systems models in the multi-scale modelling of particulate drying systems, particularly flighted rotary drying. Dr Sheehan has been modelling flighted rotary dryers for more than 20 years with direct experience in industries such as minerals processing (nickel and zinc), raw sugar milling and bagasse and macro algae drying. Dr Sheehan also researches bioreactor design, optimisation and life cycle analysis in bio-film microalgae and other applications. Dr Sheehan is a passionate teacher and has worked on the design and mapping of engineering curriculum in order to embed sustainability into undergraduate education. He has received National and Institutional teaching and learning awards for both his curriculum work as well as for innovations in his assessment and teaching practices. 

  • CL2501: Process Analysis (Level 2; TSV)
  • CL4071: Chemical Engineering Design (Part 1 of 2) (Level 4; TSV)
  • CL4072: Chemical Engineering Design (Part 2 of 2) (Level 4; TSV)
  • CL4538: Bioprocess Engineering (Level 4; TSV)
  • Sugar Research Australia (SRA) - invited to set strategic research directions in Milling Research
  • Water quality and risk assesment - GBR Cleveland bay Drying Heat and mass transfer algae bio-films multiscale modelling Particles Algae Drying CFD simulation Image analysis
  • Enhancing energy productivity in sugar mill cogeneration systems: boiler and dryer modelling, bagasse drying rates, sustainability and life cycle analysis
  • Systems analysis Modelling Life cycle assessment Sustainability Design
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2019 to 2020 - NQLD Australian water association - Best paper award (with Laura Kuskopf)
  • 2018 to 2019 - Co-author in best Student Paper award - Aust Soc Sugar Cane Tech. conference, Townsville (Giles Bezzina)
  • 2017 - Co-author in best Student Paper award - Aust Soc Sugar Cane Tech. conference, Townsville (Harrison Slogrove: bagasse drying models
  • 2014 - Highly Commended: Education and Training award, 2014 IChemE Global Awards.
  • 2014 - Co-author in best Student Paper award - Aust Soc Sugar Cane Tech. conference, Townsville (Jarrah May: bagasse dryer design)
  • 2013 - Co-author in best Student Paper award - Aust Soc Sugar Cane Tech. conference, Townsville (Jon Gilberd: bagasse dryer integration)
  • 2013 - JCU Teaching citation - Embedding sustainability
  • 2012 - JCU TropEco curriculum award (highly commended)
  • 2007 - JCU Teaching citation - Complex systems analysis
  • 2007 - ALTC - Carrick Australian award in T&L - Complex systems analysis
  • 2011 to 2012 - JCU Teaching & Learning Academy Fellowship: Embedding sustainability in engineering education
  • 2009 to 2012 - QLD Gov't - Curriculum Refresh Project: Embedding sustainability in engineering

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
Conference Papers

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 63+ research outputs authored by A/Prof Madoc Sheehan from 2000 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Department of Environment and Science - Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship

Identifying and eliminating future risk from regional Queensland wastewater treatment operations through biosolids technology innovation

Indicative Funding
$180,000 over 3 years, in partnership with the Cairns Regional Council ($16,460) and the Townsville City Council ($272,976)
This fellowship will investigate emergent contaminant content in biosolids, technological solutions to mitigate its impact and how these new technologies can prevent future emergent contaminant related disasters. Six North Queensland city councils are investing in this research project to implement sustainable biosolids management technologies in wastewater plants to mitigate environmental pathogenesis and impact of new emergent pollutants in the region. This research project is aligned with two of the research priorities of JCU: Tropical Ecosystems and Environment and Industries, and Economies in the Tropics. This project will leverage new funding applications in the field of pollutants mitigation and agricultural industry.
Elsa Dos Santos Antunes, Madoc Sheehan, Anna Whelan, Shaun Johnston, Patrick Cannon, Lynne Powell, Gary Murphy, Troy Pettiford and Rob Fearon (College of Science & Engineering, Townsville City Council, Burdekin Shire Council, Mackay Regional Council, Cairns City Council, Isaac Regional Council, Whitsunday Regional Council and QLD Water)
biosolids management; emergent contaminants; Wastewater; Biosolids; Circular Economy

Townsville City Council - Contract Research

Ecological Impact of Antibiotic Resistance Released from the Cleveland Bay Purification Plant using Marine Turtle Species

Indicative Funding
$260,139 over 3 years
Cleveland Bay is a grazing ground for turtle species. Cleveland Bay Purification plant (CBPP) treats waste that may contain a variety of antibiotics. This study aims to determine the prevalence and distribution patterns of antibiotic resistant genes in the CBPP effluent and in the immediate receiving environment. Marine turtles in Cleveland Bay will be used to determine the localized impacts of both antibiotics and antibiotic resistant genes as compared to resident turtles from a pristine environment. This study will provide valuable insight into the direct effect that antibiotics and ARG?s in WWTP effluent have on ecological health and ecological risk.
Madoc Sheehan, Robert Kinobe, Ellen Ariel, Roger Huerlimann, Kezia Drane, Anna Whelan and Ian Bell (College of Science & Engineering, College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences, Townsville City Council and QLD Department of Environment and Science)
Anitbiotics; Turtle; Risk Assessment; Antibiotic Resistant Genes; Wastewater Treatment; Microbiota

Townsville City Council - Contract Research

Assessment of the ecological risk of emerging contaminants released from the Cleveland Bay Purification Plant

Indicative Funding
$312,128 over 5 years
Discharge from the Cleveland Bay Purification plant (CBPP) is via ocean pipeline into Cleveland Bay and falls within the jurisdiction of the Qld State Marine Park Authority (QSMPA). A planned CBPP membrane upgrade has initiated a QSMPA operational permit, issued in December 2017., requiring Townsville city council to develop an Effluent Quality Assessment Program. The assessment program is to be developed under the guidance of a Special Technical Advisory Group (STAG) and should include effluent sampling of new and emerging contaminants, as identified in the Tropical water quality hub's NESP report (2015). This includes but is not limited to heavy metals, various organics (hydrocarbons, pharmaceuticals, poly-aromatics and personal care products) and micro-plastics. The assessment program's objective is to identify and prioritise emerging contaminants based on estimation of the current and longer-term ecological risk to the receiving environment.
Madoc Sheehan and Brenda Govan in collaboration with Jochen Mueller, Anna Whelan, Ellen Ariel, Stephen Lewis, Edgar Salvador and Neil Mattocks (College of Science & Engineering, College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences, The University of Queensland, Townsville City Council, TropWATER, Queensland Department of National Parks and Sport and Racing)
Emerging contaminants; Environmental Impact; Risk Assessment; Water Treatment

South32 - Contract Research

JCU Ship-loader dust minimisation work.

Indicative Funding
This work involves full-scale on-site sampling and analysis at the Townsville Port to determine lead powder product moisture content along a ship-loader conveyor system. Determining changes in moisture resulting from conveying will enable more precise moisture control schemes to be developed. Controlling moisture can lead to massive reductions in environmental dust emissions during ship-loading of fine powders.
Madoc Sheehan in collaboration with Julian Nylen (College of Science & Engineering)
Lead; Moisture control; dust emissions

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • Investigation of novel mono- and bimetallic catalysts for high quality bio-oil production using biomass co-pyrolysis (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • Modelling moisture and temperature profiles in biosolids particles to optimise the thermal destruction of emerging contaminants (Masters , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • Assessment of the Ecological Risk of Emerging Contaminants Released from the Cleveland Bay Purification Plant (CBPP) (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • Assessment of the ecological risk of emerging Antibiotic Resistance released from the Cleveland Bay Purification Plant on marine Testudine species. (PhD , Secondary Advisor)

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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