Nikolas Makasis

Research interests

Having a background in engineering (civil) and computer science, I am passionate about applying computational, statistical and data-driven solutions to real world problems. My work currently focuses on the numerical modelling of the underground, incorporating the governing equations for heat transfer and fluid flow to simulate the long term effects of urbanisation, as well as on the identification of underground archetypes that can be used to characterise areas with similar underground features. In recent years I have worked extensively on the numerical modelling of shallow geothermal energy systems, in particular investigating their incorporation within other underground structures (such as piles, tunnels, retaining walls). My research aims to contribute towards better understanding how to utilise the resources of our world in a sustainable way.


Prior to joining Cambridge, I have been a Research Engineer within the department of Infrastructure Engineering at the University of Melbourne, where I completed my PhD studies in early 2019, my thesis titled: “Further understanding ground-source heat pump system design using finite element methods and machine learning techniques”. I hold MSc and MEng degrees in Computing Science and Civil Engineering respectively, from Imperial College London, and both of my Masters research projects developed educational software tools for higher education.

I greatly enjoy teaching and have experience as an academic tutor, mentor & supervisor, currently co-supervise 4 PhD candidates from the University of Melbourne. Subjects I have been involved in within the past few years (at the University of Melbourne) include:

  • CVEN90044: Engineering Site Characterisation
  • CVEN30010: System Modelling and Design
  • CVEN90050: Geotechnical Engineering
  • COMP90041: Programming and Software Development
  • COMP90038: Algorithms and Complexity
  • CVEN90047: Infrastructure Engineering Research Project
  • ENGR90033: Internship

I also have experience as a project engineer/consultant on shallow geothermal projects in Melbourne, working closely with industry to undertake experimental pilot projects, feasibility studies, and detailed design.