Peter Flynn


B. Sc. in Chemical Engineering (University of Delaware, 1967)
M. Eng. in Chemical Engineering (University of California (Berkeley), 1968)
Ph. D. in Chemical Engineering (University of Alberta, 1974)

Position Summary/ Research Interest:

After spending 25 years in industry in engineering, management and executive roles, I returned to the University of Alberta in 1999 to hold the Poole Chair in Management for Engineers, until June 2009. A prime responsibility was to rebuild the Engineering Management program in the Faculty of Engineering.

At the undergraduate level we upgraded the teaching of financial information to engineers, developing a course that included financial statement analysis with traditional investment analysis (engineering economics). At the graduate level we developed M. Eng., M. Sc. and Ph. D. programs in Engineering Management with over 20 graduate level courses. My own teaching contribution has been courses in financial management and the psychology of management. The program has grown to over 80 graduate students.

I am approaching retirement and emeritus professorship in 2011, and I no longer directly supervise graduate students, although I co-supervise several with other professors. My research in the past ten years focused on:

  1. Greenhouse gas mitigation, including technical and economic analyses of biomass energy processes and the use of the ocean to mitigate climate change. We have systematically explored the optimum scale for biomass processes and their relative economics.
  2. Power price patterns in deregulated markets, and the implications for the economics of pumped storage.
  3. The organizational effectiveness of alliances between engineering and operating companies for project work in operating plants.
  4. The effectiveness, or more realistically the ineffectiveness, or performance appraisals.
  5. Barriers to the implementation of an alternate transportation fuel, based on my experience in compressed natural gas.

More recently my personal interest in entomology has led me to work with Dr. Reuben Kaufman in the Department of Biological Sciences on analyzing the mechanical properties of tick cuticle, and with others in the Department of Mechanical Engineering on what benefit is conveyed by the common pattern of dimples in beetle forewings.



Flynn P.C., Financial Management for Engineers, Fourth Edition, Castle Rock, Edmonton, Canada, 2009 (ISBN).

Ghafoori E. and Flynn P.C., The Economics of Energy from Animal Manure, VDM, Saarbrucken, Germany, 2008 (ISBN 978-3-8364-9545-5).

Book Chapter

Flynn P.C. and Zhou S., Can geoengineering sustain critical ocean currents, in Macro-engineering Seawater in/and Unique Environments, Arid Lowlands and Water Bodies Rehabilitation, Editors: Viorel Badescu and Richard B Cathcart Publishing House: Springer-Verlag, in press.

Journal Publications in Review

Searcy E. and Flynn P.C., Should straw be turned into syndiesel or ethanol?, submitted to Biomass and Bioenergy.

Journal Publications

Kaufman W.R., Flynn P.C. and Reynolds S.E., Cuticular plasticization in the tick, Amblyomma hebraeum (Acari: Ixodidae): possible roles of monamines and cuticular pH, Journal of Experimental Biology, in press.

Searcy E. and Flynn P.C., A criterion for selecting renewable energy processes, Biomass and Bioenergy (2010) 34: 798-804.

Searcy E. and Flynn P.C., The impact of biomass availability and processing cost on optimum size and processing technology selection, Applied Biotechnology and Biochemistry (2009), 154: 271-286.

Searcy E. and Flynn P.C., Processing of straw/corn stover: comparison of life cycle emissions, International Journal of Green Energy (2008), 5: 423-437.

Somanathan S., Flynn P.C. and Szymanski J., The northwest passage: a simulation, Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice (2009) 43: 127-135.

Somanathan S., Flynn P.C. and Szymanski J., The feasibility of a sea route through the Canadian Arctic, Maritime Economics and Logistics (2007), 9, 324-334.

Ghafoori E. and Flynn P.C., Optimizing the size of anaerobic digestion, Transactions of the ASABE (2007), 50(3), 1029-1036.

Kumar A., Flynn P.C. and Sokhansanj S. Biopower generation from mountain pine infested wood in Canada: An economical opportunity for greenhouse gas mitigation, Renewable Energy (2008) 33-6, 1354-1363.

Ghafoori E. and Flynn P.C., Optimizing the logistics of anaerobic digestion of manure, Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology (2007) 136-140, 639-652.

Searcy E., Flynn P.C., Ghafoori E. and Kumar A., The relative cost of biomass transport, Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology (2007) 136-140, 625-637.

Ghafoori E. and Flynn P.C., A beef cattle manure slurry pipeline model, Transactions of the ASABE, (2006) 49 (6), 2069-2075.

Ghafoori E., Flynn P.C. and Feddes J., Pipeline vs. truck transport of beef cattle manure, Biomass and Bioenergy, 31 (2007), 168-175.

Chehayeb A., Al-Hussein M. and Flynn P.C., An integrated methodology for collecting, classifying and analyzing Canadian construction court cases, Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering (2007) 34: 177-188.

Ghafoori E., Flynn P.C., and Checkel M.D., Carbon credits required to make manure biogas plants economic, International Journal of Green Energy (2007) 4: 339-349.

Cameron J.B., Kumar A. and Flynn P.C., The impact of feedstock cost on technology selection: gasification vs. direct combustion of wood chips, Biomass and Bioenergy (2007) 31: 168-175.

Figueiredo C., Flynn P.C. and Cabral E. A., The economics of energy storage in 14 deregulated power markets, Energy Studies Review (2006) 14:2, 131-152.

Figueiredo C. and Flynn P.C., Using diurnal power price to configure pumped storage, IEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion (2006) 21:3, 804-809.

Ghafoori E., Flynn P.C., and Checkel M.D., Global Warming Impact of Electricity Generation from Beef Cattle Manure: a Life Cycle Assessment Study, International Journal of Green Energy (2006), 3: 257-270.

Kumar A., Sokhansanj S. and Flynn P.C., Development of a multi-criteria assessment model for ranking biomass feedstock collection and transportation systems, Applied Biomass and Biochemistry, 129-132 (2006) 71-87.

Mahmudi H. and Flynn P. C., Rail vs. truck transport of biomass, Applied Biomass and Biochemistry, 129-132 (2006) 88-103.

Kumar A. and Flynn P.C, Uptake of fluids by boreal wood chips: implications for bioenergy, Fuel Processing Technology, 87 (2006) 605-608.

Li Y. and Flynn P. C., Electricity deregulation, spot price patterns and demand-side management, Energy, 31 (2006) 908-922.

Li Y. and Flynn P. C., Deregulated power prices: changes over time, IEEE Transactions on Power Systems (2005) Vol. 20, No. 2, 565-572.

Zhou, S. and Flynn, P. C., Geoengineering downwelling ocean currents: a cost assessment, Climatic Change (2005) 71: 203-220.

Kumar, A., Cameron, J. B., and Flynn, P. C., Large scale ethanol fermentation through pipeline delivery of biomass, Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology, (2005) 121 (1-3), pp 47-58.

Kumar, A., Cameron, J. B., and Flynn, P.C., Pipeline Transport and Simultaneous Saccharification of Corn Stover, Bioresource Technology (2005) 96: 819-829.

Li, Y. and Flynn, P. C., Deregulated power prices: comparison of volatility, Energy Policy (2004) 32: 1591-1601.

Kumar A., Cameron J. B., and Flynn P. C., Pipeline transport of biomass, Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology (2004) 113 (1-3), 27-39.

Li, Y., and Flynn, P. C., Deregulated power prices: comparison of diurnal patterns, Energy Policy (2004) V32/5, 657-672.

Zhang, H., and Flynn, P.C., Effectiveness of Alliances Between Operating Companies and Engineering Companies, Project Management Journal (2003) Vol. 34, No.3 48-52.

Kumar, A., Cameron, J. B., and Flynn, P.C., Biomass power cost and optimum plant size in western Canada, Biomass and Bioenergy (2003) 24: 445-464.

Flynn, P. C., Commercializing an alternate vehicle fuel: lessons learned from natural gas for vehicles, Energy Policy (2002) 30(7), 613-619.

Flynn, P. C., You are simply average, Across the Table, Conference Board (US), Vol XXXVIII, No. 2, p 51 (March/April 2001).

Flynn P. C., Natural gas as a vehicle transportation fuel, Canadian Chemical News, (1985).

Wanke, S. E. and Flynn, P.C., The sintering of supported metal catalysts, Catalysis Reviews-Science and Engineering 12, 93-135, (1975).

Flynn, P.C. and Wanke, S.E., Comments on CO titration, Journal of Catalysis 36, 244-246, (1975)

Flynn, P.C. and Wanke, S. E., Effect of pretreatment and adsorption conditions on gas adsorption by supported metal catalysts, Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering 53, 636 (1975).

Flynn, P. C. and Wanke, S. E., Experimental studies of sintering of supported metal catalysts, Journal of Catalysis 37, 432 (1975). Presented at Fourth Meeting of the North American Catalysis Society, February 1975.

Flynn, P. C. and Wanke, S. E., A sintering model for supported metal catalysts: Part I, development of model, Journal of Catalysis 34, 390 (1974). Part II, application of model, Journal of Catalysis 34, 400 (1974).

Kikuchi, E., Flynn, P. C., and Wanke, S. E., Studies of the enhancement of hydrogen adsorption during H2-02 titration on supported Pt catalysts, Journal of Catalysis 34, 132 (1974).

Flynn, P. C., Wanke, S. E., and Turner, P. S., The limitation of the transmission electron microscope for characterization of supported metal catalysts, Journal of Catalysis 33, 233 (1974).

Flynn, P. C. and Olson, J. H., Nucleate boiling in viscoelastic fluids, AIChE Student Journal, Fall 1967.


In 2009 I received the Summit Award for Community Service from the Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta (APEGGA), primarily in recognition of my work with Fort Edmonton Park and the Capital Region Housing Corporation, a provider of low-income housing.

I received four teaching awards for undergraduate teaching at the University of Alberta.

Peter Flynn

Peter Flynn

Office: 5-01J Mechanical Engineering
Phone: (780) 492-6438
fax : (780) 492-2200