ARC Future Fellowship success for world first recycled concrete project

Western Sydney University’s Professor Vivian Tam has been awarded an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowship, attracting more than one million dollars for the development of Het-Crete, the world’s first building material for high grade construction that uses mixed construction and demolition waste, combined with environmentally friendly chemicals.

Professor Tam, from the School of Engineering, Design and Built Environment, was awarded $1,109,924 for the project, ‘Het-Crete: High-Grade Chemical-Treated Heterogeneous Recycled Concrete’. The research is set to address the grand challenges of CO2 emissions and landfill reduction within the construction industry.

“Developing and advancing environmentally friendly recycled materials is my passion, so I am delighted with this funding announcement and hope our project will raise environmental awareness and confidence across the construction industry as well as significantly elevate Australia’s world standing in recycled concrete research,” said Professor Tam.

“Of the more than 20 million tons of mixed construction and demolition waste generated annually in Australia, only 5% is recycled and less than 1% is adopted for low-grade construction activities. Our project hopes to solve Australia’s mixed construction and demolition waste disposal problem and lower its greenhouse-gas emissions at the same time.”

Professor Kevin Dunn, Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research, Enterprise and International) at Western Sydney University also welcomed the funding.

“Professor Tam and her team are set to become world leaders in recycled concrete research. In doing so they address one of many sustainability and resilience challenges of the 21st century. Their work reiterates Western Sydney University’s commitment to tackling society’s grand challenges and gives further impetus to the vital race to net zero.”

As part of the 2022 Future Fellowship scheme, the Australian Government is funding 100 mid-career researchers with $94 million to focus on finding solutions for key industry challenges and training the next generation of researchers.

The Future Fellowships scheme supports research in areas of critical national importance by giving outstanding researchers incentives to conduct their research in Australia. The aim of the Future Fellowships scheme is to attract and retain the best and brightest mid-career researchers.

ARC Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities Project to build
National Facility for Physical Fire Simulation

In December 2021, Western Sydney University researchers, Professors Zhong Tao, Sarah Zhang and Bijan Samali, were awarded over $1.2 million in funding after securing a prestigious and highly competitive ARC Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment, and Facilities Grant. This LIEF proposal aims to establish a ground-breaking national facility for physical fire simulation (NFPFS) that will extend and upgrade existing research capacity in Australia to become world-leading. The facility will open new research possibilities and collaborations on the fire resistance of structures and infrastructure, from individual components (e.g. columns, beams) to structural assemblies (e.g. joints, frames). The NFPFS will unite researchers in their endeavours to conduct high-quality research in fire-related disciplines from all Australian mainland states; enhance collaboration with industries and government agencies; and provide research, training and education for this critically important area to the country.

Dr Maria Rashidi wins 2022 Researcher Award

I am thrilled for receiving the 2022 Award for Mid-Career Researcher of the Year at School of Engineering, Design & Built Environment at Western Sydney University. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my PhD students, industry collaborators and research partners and my colleagues and mentors at Western Sydney University.

CIE to lead WSU involvement with SmartCrete CRC

Western Sydney University's involvement in a consortium awarded $21 million by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science to form the SmartCrete Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) is to be led by Professor Bijan Samali, director of CIE. The SmartCrete CRC is an initiative involving collaboration of WSU with 10 other universities, as well as 20 government and industry partners.

Concrete is the most widely utilised building material in the world excepting water, and as such the SmartCrete CRC's mission of guaranteeing the long-term viability of vital concrete infrastructure in Australia is one which shall promote innovation, cost and material efficiencies and improve both productivity and sustainability. Further information on the announcement can be found at WSU's news centre here or from the SmartCrete CRC directly here. article

Dr Maryam Ghodrat, postdoctoral research fellow at the Centre for Infrastructure Engineering, is currently engaged in research in optimising sustainable energy technology and environmental footprint analysis. She recently took time out of her schedule with the Centre to contribute to an article at --

Australia's healthcare industry battling 'devastating' level of waste, nurses and doctors say.

With interest in sustainability rising, issues such as the waste generated by hospitals are increasingly coming under closer scrutiny, and medical professionals have been speaking out regarding the issue. Dr Ghodrat discussed conducted research into the waste production of those hospitals and facilities within her region, the difficulties inherent in determining the amounts of waste generated and the hazardous nature of the waste involved.

Visit from School of Energy Science and Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology

On the 24th of June, CIE was visited by a delegation from the School of Energy Science and Engineering from Harbin Institute of Technology, China. The delegation was led by Prof. H.P. Tan and Prof. B.X. Li. CIE's Prof. Tao presented his research on steel and concrete structures, Dr Kejun Dong presented on simulation of granular particles, pollutant dispersion and air purification, and Dr Eileen An presented her research on metal foams and consultations with RMS. Discussions also focused on comparing HRD education methods between the two Universities, and the visiting student expressed interest in pursuing positions and opportunities at WSU.

Infrastructure Magazine Article

Dr Maria Rashidi has recently published an article in Infrastructure Magazine regarding her work with Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA). Bridge inspection using drones is an exciting area of research that combines the advances in drone technology with maintaining the safety and reliability of infrastructure that is crucial to the Australian economy.

Visit from Prof. Sweeney

Today Prof. Deborah Sweeney visited the Centre for Infrastructure Engineering at Kingswood. After a general meeting, Prof. Sweeney was invited to formally open the new large scale experimental flume in a ribbon cutting ceremony. She also toured the Advanced Composite Materials Laboratory and was shown a diverse range of CIE projects including 3D printed bridge connectors and solar tile moulds, salt spray testing and environment chambers, environmentally friendly NOx absorbing coatings and plastic recycling experiments.

PhD Graduation

WSU recently held its May Graduation ceremony. We are happy to see our own Dr Richardson Joseph, under supervision of A/Prof. Baolin Wang and Prof. Samali, formally graduate. Congratulations Richardson!

Future-Makers article on Dr Abtahi's work

Recently CIE Postdoctoral Research Fellow Dr Babak Abtahi was successful in promoting his work in the universities Future-Makers publication. This is an excellent avenue for showcasing the work we do here at CIE. Congratulations Bob!

Innovative bridge connection prototypes demonstrated for Dr Peter Hendy

The Honourable Dr Peter Hendy, former Federal Assistant Minister for Productivity and now, amongst other roles, a Commissioner on the Commonwealth Grants Commission, recently visited the Centre for Infrastructure Engineering and met Professor Bijan Samali Director of CIE, researcher Mr Frank Moshfeghi-Nejad and Dr Hadi Hosseiniamoli. Dr Hendy was shown their work in innovative bridge connection prototypes that have been produced by a 3D printer. This is a unique modular building system with genuine commercial potential. It also functions as an engaging educational tool for children, as well as an experimental and demonstrational model for use by building and architectural students. Dr Hendy stated that he was very impressed by the designs and commercial potential of the products that are home-grown here in Western Sydney.

Visiting Research Fellow Dr Mariam Darestani wins AMP grant

Visiting Research Fellow Dr Mariam Darestani has been announced as a 2018 AMP Foundation Tomorrow Maker. The $37,000 grant will fund Mariam’s soil sensor project next year at Western Sydney University which aims to reduce the impact of over-fertilisation on our waterways and oceans.

Dr Pejman Sharafi wins Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA)

DECRAs are awarded to promising early career researchers who have been awarded a PhD within five years. The award gives ECRs an opportunity for diverse career pathways in both teaching and research, and in research-only positions in high quality and supportive environments with a broadened aim to expand Australia’s knowledge base and research capability. Congratulations to Dr Pejman Sharafi for receiving this DECRA, worth $420,437, based on his application ‘Interactions between volumetric units in modular buildings’.

Visiting Delegation from the Harbin Institute of Technology

At the invitation of Prof. Zhong Tao, CIE welcomed a visiting delegation of 2 Professors and 9 PhD students from the Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT). An all day workshop was run to promote collaboration and explore research opportunities, with presentations being given by CIE and HIT PhD students.

Meeting with Premier

CIE director Prof. Bijan Samali, as well as Dr. Maria Rashidi and Mr Frank Moshfeghi-Nejad, met with the NSW Minister for Finance, Services and Property the Hon. Victor Dominello and NSW Premier the Hon. Gladys Berejiklian. The function was to celebrate Mr Dominello's 10 years in parliament.

Channel 7 News Report

Channel Seven News recently aired a segment on our joint project with the Roads and Maritime Service, which involves the inspection of bridges using drones. The report starts at 39:40.

Innovator of the Year Nomination

CIE's Dr. Vahid Vakiloroaya has been selected as a finalist for the Innovator of the Year Award, for his work in energy efficient HVAC systems.

September 2018 Graduations

During September we celebrated the graduation of five CIE research students. Congratulations Pooya, Ustab, Graeme, Kwok-Shing and Yifang!

ARC Nanocomm Hub

In October 2018, CIE hosted a innovation night for the ARC Nanocomm hub. The event helps shape its innovation agenda and engage with Hub stakeholders, as well as being a great opportunity to build relationships between academia and industry.

3D Printing Trial Begins at CIE

CIE recently purchased a 3D printer for use in fabricating prototype connection and struts. It is expected to be used extensively for this purpose and then opened for wider prototyping and modeling work.

Australian Technology of the Year – Smart Cities Category winner Dr Vahid Vakiloroaya

Vahid Vakiloroaya sky news

Australian high-tech companies with global potential were celebrated at a gala dinner in Sydney on 2 November 2016 for the Australia wide Technology of the Year Awards. The event showcased technology companies delivering solutions across all of the Country's high growth sectors including energy, resources, mining, agriculture, cities and medtech. The Winners had solutions for a safer internet, making red meat traceable from paddock to plate and a technology that may replace all steel pipes globally.

Congratulations to Vahid Vakiloroaya on winning the Australian Technologies Competition, 'Australian Technology of the Year' Award for his invention which is licensed to Independent Products' P/L. Awarded by Assistant Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Craig Laundy, under the category 'Smart Cities', Vahid's Air Conditioning invention uses the waste-water created by air conditioners to improve energy efficiency by up to 40% and can be retrofitted to most of the world's split system air conditioning and refrigeration units. This is a great acknowledgement of Vahid's work and commitment and a well-deserved achievement.

For more information, please see Australian Technologies Competition (opens in a new window)

2016 Research Week: CIE Lab Tour Research Week Lab Tour

Western Sydney University Research Week runs from 24th October to 28th October. Research Week is an opportunity for staff, students and the community to see the exciting facilities and talent at the University, and celebrate how research can make lasting changes, both locally and internationally.

In honour of Research Week, CIE opened its doors to our world class Structures and Sensors labs with  Professor Bijan Samali leading the way and providing a great overview of the extensive facilities at CIE. During the tour the group saw tests being carried out, with a couple of the technical staff and PhD students sharing their work with the group. These tests included; furnace testing of geopolymer concrete (eco friendly concrete with a higher resistance to fire and heat), and the testing of geopolymer concrete and beam under load on the multi-purpose structural testing rig.

2016 Research Impact Competition_Maria Rashidi

2016 Research Impact Competition

The 2016 Research Impact Competition is an initiative to celebrate research undertaken across Western Sydney University. It is part of the broader University dialogue around Research with Impact: research that changes our region, the nation and the world. It aims to illuminate and celebrate sites of realised and/or potential impact throughout the University's research.

One researcher from each School and Institute at the University is given the opportunity to apply to take part in the competition with the 12 finalists presenting during Research Week to an audience of targeted external stakeholders and University staff and students. This year CIE was represented by Maria Rashidi who won the internal CIE 5 Minute Thesis Competition to earn her place at the University wide competition. Maria presented on the topic of 'Decision Support System for Remediation of Bridges' and received high praise for her presentation.

This year's competition was held on Tuesday, 25 October 2016 at Parramatta South Campus.

Centre for Infrastructure Engineering 2016 Annual Conference

On Friday 21st October 2016, CIE held it's Annual Conference at the Novotel Parramatta. The Conference theme of 'Emerging Trends in Infrastructure Engineering' set the tone for the conference program which included a great mix of speakers from both industry and academic backgrounds.

The keynote speakers (pictured below left to right) for the day were:

To view the full program, please download CIE 2016 Annual Conference (PDF, 202.48 KB) (opens in a new window)

CIE 2016 Conference_Prof Aladin Niazmand

CIE 2016 Conference_Prof John Yeaman

CIE 2016 Conference_Prof Kourosh Kayvani

2016 Annual Conference

Zahra Esmati Grant

IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society Grant Awarded to CIE Masters Student

CIE Master candidate Zahra Esmati (supervisors A/Prof Sergiy Kharkivskiy and Prof Bijan Samali) has been awarded of a grant (valued at AUD $2000) by the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society for her presentation of the paper entitled "Wireless Power Transmission inside Reinforced Concrete Slab using a Resonant Antipodal Vivaldi Antenna" at the International Conference on Electromagnetics in Advanced Applications and the IEEE-APS Topical Conference on Antennas and Propagation in Wireless Communications (ICEAA 2016 - IEEE-APWC 2016).

These grants have been awarded on a competitive basis for the highest quality papers submitted and presented by Australian and New Zealand students at the Conference.

2016 Western Sydney University 3 Minute Thesis Competition Final

Samaneh 3m Thesis 2016

Samaneh Pourmohammadimojaveri wins People's Choice Award 2016

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition showcases the excellent research being undertaken by PhD and higher degree research candidates at Western Sydney University. It challenges them to present their research in just three minutes using one compelling slide to a general audience. The 2016 Finals were highly competitive, with CIE's Samaneh Pourmohammadimojaveri presenting her talk "Green Concrete Using Waste Tyre Rubber Particles" and receiving the People's Choice Award as voted by the audience. 

View Samaneh's presentation here.

Australia's Most Innovative Engineers 2016

Vahid Vakiloroaya

Congratulations to Dr Vahid Vakiloroaya on the wonderful achievement of being named as an outstanding entry in Engineers Australia's 'Australia's Most Innovative Engineers 2016' awards.

Dr Vakiloroaya is among fifty engineers selected in ten categories covering the breadth of engineering innovation in Australia. Selected in the Academia and Research category Dr Vakiloroaya has received recognition for his work on conventional heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems having developed and patented a new air conditioning system targeting energy efficiency and environmental sustainability in buildings.

View the full article here

Innovative Engineers

Research Impact Competition

On Monday 4th July, CIE (formerly IIE) and SCEM held the annual Research Impact Competition where 5 Postdoctoral Researchers each gave a succinct 5 minute presentation of their research and its potential 'real world' impact.

Thank you to our judging panel from REDI, Mr Tim Horan, Ms Michaela Tymichova and Mr Martin Kelly and well done to all competitors: Dr Eileen An, Dr Maryam Ghodrat, Dr Olivia Mirza, Dr Maria Rashidi and Dr Sayana Sorourian.

Congratulations to the first place winner, Dr Maria Rashidi who presented her work on a 'Decision Support System for Remediation of Bridges'. Maria will now go on to compete in the University wide Research Impact Competition.

Research Impact Comp speakersResearch Impact Comp speakers and judgesResearch Impact Comp Winner

IIE 3 Minute Thesis Competition

On Monday 27th June 2016, IIE held our annual 3 Minute Thesis Competition. The work of 18 of our PhD students was showcased in the simplest form, with 1 slide and only 3 minutes for them to convey the basis and impact of their research.

Thank you to our judging panel Prof. John Carter (Chair), Mrs Linda Thornley and Prof. James Arvanitakis, and to all of our participants who each gave interesting and well delivered presentations.

And finally, congratulations to this year's 1st place winner Samaneh Pourmohammadimojaveri, 2nd place Ehsan Taheri and 3rd place and People's Choice winner Richardson Joseph.

The winner from the IIE competition will then go on to compete at the University wide 3 Minute Thesis Competition Finals, for the chance to win a cash prize, along with recognition of their research.

2016 3 min thesis group2016 3 min thesis winners2016 3 min thesis judges

2016 Graduate Fellowship Grant

In May 2016, PhD candidate Paritosh Giri and A/Prof Sergiy Kharkivskiy (Sergey Kharkovsky) received  the 2016 Graduate Fellowship Grant awarded by the IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society for the project entitled "Microwave imaging system with integrated laser techniques for non-destructive testing of non-plain concrete and metal structures". The Grant included $15,000 USD, certificate, and complimentary Instrumentation and Measurement Student Membership for 2 years. 

IEEE is the world's largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. The purpose of the Grant is to support and encourage graduate-level research in the area of instrumentation and measurement.

Paritosh Giri is currently a PhD candidate in the Institute for Infrastructure Engineering  (supervisory panel: A/Prof Sergiy Kharkivskiy, A/Prof Xinqun Zhu and Prof Bijan Samali). He received his MS degree in Aerospace Engineering from Chonbuk National University, South Korea, in 2013. His current research focuses on the development of wireless imaging sensory system for infrastructure health monitoring.

This grant was announced at the 2016 International Instrumentation and Measurement Technology Conference (I2MTC) on the 25th of May, 2016, in Taipei, Taiwan.


Paritosh Giri
Sergiy Kharkivskiy

2016 Student Enrichment Day

On Thursday 31 March, 2016 IIE held it's first ever Student Enrichment Day for all IIE PhD students to come and enjoy a day of talks curated by event organisers Bec Breust and Dawn Douglas. The first speaker for the day was  Linda Thornely from Western Sydney University Library, who is IIE's own dedicated expert on Library resources and e-resources. Linda's presentation included tips and instruction on  thesis writing and submission, including techniques for finding relevant resources and referencing tips. Concluding with a tour of the Kingswood Library Linda gave a fantastic presentation that was extremely valuable to all IIE students.

After an hour of socialising over a delicious catered subway lunch our second speakers  Seon Kim and Amanda Flowers from 'International Students Experience and Engagement' gave an entertaining and informative presentation on International Student Support. Seon and Amanda highlighted the number of resources available for international students at Western Sydney University including the English Conversation workshops and organised day trips where students can mingle with other international students and see more of Sydney. Along with fantastic video clips and some fun activities they created an open and lively discussion about what it means to be culturally aware and how University life can be improved by encouraging international students to experience more during their studies.

Overall a very  successful day that was enjoyed by all.

IIE Student Enrichment Day

Student Enrichment DayStudent Enrichment Day

2015 Annual Conference

2015 Annual Conference Key Note Speakers

The Institute for Infrastructure Engineering held it's Annual Conference on Tuesday 8 December 2015 at the Holiday Inn, 18-40 Anderson Street, Parramatta.

The Annual Conference allows Institute staff and students, WSU colleagues and industry partners to present latest research work.  16 informative  presentations were given, including keynote speakers,  covering the Institute's key themes of Infrastructure Computations, Infrastructure Health Monitoring, Infrastructure Materials, and Infrastructure Systems.

Our keynote speakers were:

* Professor Jin Guang Teng,  Chair Professor of Structural Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong "Structural use of FRP composites in construction : Past achievements and future opportunities"

* Professor Jay Sanjayan, School of Engineering Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology, Swinburne University of Technology Hawthorn, Victoria "Fire Resistance of Geopolymer Concrete (or Geopolymer Concrete Handbook Development)"

* Professor Hamid Ronagh, Program Director Infrastructure Systems, Institute for Infrastructure Engineering, Western Sydney University "New Developments in Structural Engineering – Structural retrofit and light steel framing"

The Institute for Infrastructure Engineering aims to develop innovative solutions that address the effective design and maintenance of civil infrastructure - a network of efficient and well-maintained infrastructure is crucial to the growth and prosperity of Australia.  We continue to build on research strengths by establishing strategic research partnerships, as well as collaborating with researchers within the Western Sydney University, nationally and internationally. Central to meeting the Institute for Infrastructure Engineering's research objectives is the maintenance of a vibrant research environment and recruitment of high-performing researchers and PhD candidates, underpinned by the Western Sydney University's commitment to achieve excellence in research.

There are numerous opportunities ahead and the Institute for Infrastructure Engineering, through significant support and investment by the Western Sydney University, is ready to exploit all opportunities. The future is indeed very bright and e xciting.

Research Impact Competition 2015

Research Impact Comp 2015

The Research Impact Competition initiative aims to celebrate research undertaken across Western Sydney University. It is part of the broader University dialogue around Research with Impact: research that changes our region, the nation and the world. It aims to illuminate and celebrate sites of realised and/or potential impact throughout the university's research in a series of presentations with a time limit of 5 minutes.

Level A, B and C researchers from all Schools and Institutes at the University are given the opportunity to apply to take part in this competition with the 13 finalists presenting during Research Week to an audience of targeted external stakeholders and University staff and students. A judging panel awards travel grants to the Best Presentation Winner ($5000) and Runner Up ($2000).

IIE's Vahid Vakiloroaya was commended for his presentation "Design and Development of a Novel Air Conditioning System for Carbon and Energy Reduction" and received the award for joint runner up.

2015 IIE 3 Minute Thesis Competition

- 1st prize Ms Samaneh Pourmohammadimojaveri IIE 3M Thesis 2015

On Wednesday 12 August 2015 the Institute for Infrastructure Engineering held its annual 3 Minute Thesis competition. This competition required PhD Candidates to effectively explain their research within three minutes, in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience. 13 Higher Degree Researchers displayed their academic, presentation and research communication skills.

The judging panel was made up of Professor Jonathan Tapson (Chair), Director MARCS Institute, Mrs Linda Thornley, Computing, Engineering and Mathematics Librarian, and Dr. David Harland, Institute Manager, Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment. Presentations were judged on comprehension, content, engagement, communication and timekeeping.

The winners were:

* 1st prize, and the right to represent IIE at Western Sydney University's 2015 3 Minute Thesis Competition: Ms Samaneh Pourmohammadimojaveri "Green Concrete Using Waste Tyre Rubber Particles

* 2nd prize: Ms Shamila Salek " Acid Resistant Concrete"

* 3rd prize: Mr. Xin Yu " Performance of Concrete-Filled Steel tubular columns (CFST) with Different Aggregates"

* Peoples' Choice prize :  Mr Rui Li "Optimal Design for Earthquake Resistant Building"

2015 Western Sydney University 3 Minute Thesis Competition

- Samaneh Pourmohammadimojaveri wins Runner Up and People's Choice Award WSU 2015 3M thesis

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition challenges you to present your research in three minutes using just one slide. Samaneh Pourmohammadimojaveri from the Institute for Infrastructure Engineering took out both Runner Up which included a prize of $1000 and People's Choice Award for her presentation about 'Green Concrete Using Waste Tyre Rubber Particles'.

IIE Honours Student wins 2014 Student of the Year

IIE Honours student and scholarship holder (2013) Mr. Dane Griffin has won the 2014 Engineering Student of the Year for Engineers Australia. Dane has also won the student medal and is the winner of the 2014 Railway Technical Society of Australia (RTSA) Railway Engineer Student Thesis Award. His thesis is under the supervision of Dr. Olivia Mirza, Prof. Kenny Kwok from IIE and Dr. Sakdirat Kaewunruen from Sydney Transport.