Energy Systems Short Course

Learn skills in analysing the financial, technical, and environmental performance of energy projects.


The Energy Systems Short Course teaches skills in analysing the financial, technical, and environmental performance of energy projects. The course centres on practical, hands on, modelling exercises. Participants develop their own spreadsheet models, and learn how to answer questions such as: Is a proposed wind farm or gas turbine a good investment? What is the probability that it will earn a commercial rate of return? What is the best financing structure for the project?

A certificate of completion will be issued to participants following completion of the course. All classes are scheduled outside of business hours, including Saturdays.

Participant numbers for the short course are kept deliberately small, comprising approximately 20 industry participants and 20 graduate students.

Eligible participants for the Short Course include industry participants from MEInetwork21 partner organisations, and graduate students from the University of Melbourne. The course is free of charge to University of Melbourne students, with preference given to final year PhD students, but all graduates are encouraged to apply.


  • Introduction and basics of finance
  • Capital – Debt and equity, cost of capital, discounted cash flow and NPV
  • Financial analysis of electricity generation – renewable and fossil fuel technologies
  • Unconventional natural gas extraction technology
  • Financial analysis through Real Option Value (ROV)


Dr. John Burgess is a chemical engineer with extensive industrial and research experience. This includes a long and distinguished career at BHP, where he rose to senior executive level. He was also recently the Chair of the CSIRO Energy Advisory Committee for a number of years. John is an Honorary Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne, an Adjunct Professor at the University of Queensland, and a Fellow of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE).

How to apply

Applications for the 2021 Short Course have now closed. For more information, please email

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