My current research focuses on the development of processes that will enable phosphorus recovery from human-generated waste streams.  Since phosphorus does not cycle in nature, traditionally mined phosphorus must be replaced with more sustainable sources. The main aim of my research is to develop a clearer understanding of process fundamentals, so that we can more confidently design, operate and optimise nutrient recovery processes of the future.  Our work is unique in this regard, since most research in the field has, to date, been experimental in nature and lacked a fundamental basis. A pilot-scale nutrient recovery plant based on source-separated urine as the feed stream is on the near horizon.

Overall, my aim is to apply chemical engineering principles to challenging problems with a focus on developing sustainable solutions for mankind’s future.

  • Since 2009 I have been very active in the assessment of Chemical Engineering programs across the country through the Engineers Australia accreditation process
  • Since 2009 I have been a member of the Board of Directors of the Engineering Link Group, which aims to expose young people to the benefits of participating in the engineering profession
  • Nutrient recovery - this research focuses on the development of processes that will enable phosphorus recovery from waste streams. Unlike nitrogen, phosphorus does not cycle in nature and must be mined from limited ore deposits. It is anticipated that phosphorus production will peak in the near future, which will ultimately undermine global food security. It is therefore necessary to develop more sustainable practices in relation to phosphorus use/reuse.
  • Microwave assisted pyrolysis - this research aims to better understand the value adding potential of the microwave pyrolysis of biosolids and sludge. My students and I are interested to determine what products, such as high molecular weight oils/residues and carbon char, we can extract from this process.
  • Population balance modelling - this is a mathematical technique that enables us to monitor the dynamics of any given population, whether it be a swarm of bubbles, a collection of crystals or even the population of Australia.
  • Digital tools to facilitate learning and teaching
  • Embedding numerical methods into all aspects of chemical engineering education
  • 2004 to 2016 - Senior Lecturer, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2007 to 2011 - Member, Academic Board, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2005 to 2009 - Associate Dean (Engineering), James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 1996 to 2003 - Lecturer, James Cook University (Townsville)
Research Disciplines
  • 2015 - Engineers Australia
  • 2014 - Editorial Board, Journal of Environmental Engineering and Science
  • 2013 - International Water Association
  • 2013 - Australian Water Association
  • 2010 - Teaching and Learning Academy
  • 2009 - Board of Directors of the Engineering Link Group
  • 1998 - External instructor, Chemical Engineering Practice School (ChEPS) at KMUTT in Bangkok, Thailand

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 45+ research outputs authored by Dr Phil Schneider from 2000 onwards.


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.


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