Engineering and IT research

The Faculty's Engineering and IT research is conducted in a variety of areas with the support of talented and passionate academic professionals.

Excellence in Research (ERA) 2018 national report results

‘Well above world standard’

ERA Rating 5 in Civil Engineering (0905)

‘Well above world standard’

ERA Rating 5 in Resources Engineering and Extractive Metallurgy (0914)

‘Above world standard’

ERA Rating 4 in Engineering (09)

The University achieved the highest possible classification of ‘well above world standard’ in 14 key areas and another nine research areas received ‘above world standard’ and ‘world standard’ classifications. For more information and full ERA results for the University see our ERA outcomes.

Research topics and projects

Discover the research topics and projects that our engineering students and academics have been conducting in several key areas. These research topics are broadly related to the built and natural environments. Specific areas include, but are not limited to, the following:

Area Academic
Structural health monitoring, non-destructive evaluation, assessment, repair and rehabilitation of civil infrastructure; Smart materials, concrete technology and geopolymer concrete development. Dr Yee Yan Lim
Energy harvesting, and renewable and sustainable energy resources.

Dr Yee Yan Lim
Dr Ricardo Vasquez Padilla

Chemistry of natural and engineered aquatic systems; Numerical modelling of biogeochemical processes in natural and engineered environments. Professor Andrew Rose
Engineering education.

Dr Maree Lake

Sustainable Transportation Systems and travel behaviour, choices and systems.

Dr Maree Lake
Dr Ken Doust

Optimisation and modelling of concentrated solar thermal (CST) and hybrid renewable energy systems applied for power, heating, cooling and desalination; Modelling and experimentation of advanced power blocks operating with different heat sources. Dr Ricardo Vasquez Padilla
Dr Ken Doust
Mechanical characterisation and numerical modelling of composite materials and structures. Dr Ahmed Thabet
Mechanical design and manufacturing techniques; Aerospace structure analysis; Biomechanical testing and modelling; Impact dynamics of composite laminates. Dr Ahmed Thabet
Sustainability planning and management; re-engineering existing infrastructure in both urban and regional areas and climate risk, engineering and societal response.  Dr Ken Doust
Coastal and river flooding research embracing a holistic systems approach. Dr Ken Doust
  • Palaeobiogeochemistry - Unlocking the history of Nitrogen cycling in coral reef systems
  • Understanding the pathways and fluxes of greenhouse gases in natural and engineered environments
  • Quantifying the pathways of nitrogen cycling in the environment
  • Waste energy and nutrient recovery.
Dr Dirk Erler
  • Investigating the application of piezometers in determining the strength properties of chemically treated fibre-reinforced expansive soils. (This is with Dr Yee Yan)
  • Robotic monitoring of contamination level in tailing dams. (This project is with Dr Habib Habibullah)
  • Electrokinetic dewatering, decontamination and consolidation of mine tailings
  • Mina tailing and tailing dams management
  • Large strain consolidation of dredged sediments and mine tailing slurries
  • Expansive soils, Unsaturated soils
  • Waste management
  • Bio-cementation
  • Landfill barriers
Dr Mona Malekzadeh
Structural health monitoring using piezoelectric-based techniques to monitor the curing process of cementitious materials. Energy harvesting with piezoelectric materials. Testing on fibre-reinforced polymers strengthened concrete structures. Nanofibres fabrication with electrospinning process. Zi Sheng (Albert) Tang
Mechanical engineering, asset management, program and project management, managing technology projects, new product development, decision science and the training and development of engineers. Dr Steven Pudney
Governance and stewardship threads in smart cities. Dr David Mills

Systems analysis of big data to integrate multiple disciplines such as engineering, economics, environment, and microbiology to find solutions for the biosphere.

Associate Professor Peter Coombes
Project management of transportation and rail infrastructure projects. Estimation, risk evaluation and project governance.   Robert Rollin
Wastewater treatment, resource recovery, electrochemistry and mathematical modelling. Dr Emma Thompson-Brewster
Harvesting energy from low-frequency vibration sources such as human motions by using smart materials (piezoelectric materials). Dr Iman Izadgoshasb
Water modelling, hydrologic and hydraulic modelling, irrigation modelling, irrigation and drainage system, urban wastewater reuse, integrated water resources management, groundwater resource management, and contaminated land assessment and management. Dr Sydur Rahman
Charly is an International student from France, enrolled in the Bachelor of Science (Honours). Seen here in the lab on level 3 S block testing sand and coral samples collected from the Great Barrier Reef.

For information and a list of possible supervisors please visit the research supervisors page.

You are welcome to contact the staff involved to learn more about the projects. There may also be opportunities to become involved in these projects in several capacities, namely (i) undergraduate study (eg final year thesis project), (ii) postgraduate study (eg PhD), and (iii) industry collaborations.

Research activities have been supported by funding from multiple sources including the Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery, Linkage and LIEF schemes, Australian Synchrotron and the Sugar Research Association (SRA).

Research is performed in collaboration with the University's colleagues as well as domestic and international collaborators in industry and academia.

Smart device in foreground with blurred elderly couple in background


IT research highlight

When AI meets aged care: using technology to keep the elderly safe

When an elderly relative falls over, help response time is critical. Left untreated, a fall can lead to injuries, health complications or fatalities.

In a world-first, a new Australian-made artificial intelligence-driven fall detection device is expected to be a game-changer. Called, it monitors the interaction of objects and people within its surroundings and alerts carers or family members if abnormal behaviour occurs.

Learn how artificial intelligence can raise the alarm when the elderly fall over.



Contact the Faculty of Science and Engineering

Executive Assistant to Executive Dean

T: +61 2 6620 3557


Please direct all faculty enquires to:

T: +61 2 6620 3650


National Marine Science Centre

T: +61 2 6659 8100