Study level

  • PhD
  • Master of Philosophy
  • Honours
  • Vacation research experience scheme


Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.

Research centre


Dr Kenan Degirmenci
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Science
Professor Kevin Desouza
Professor of Business, Technology and Strategy
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Business & Law
Professor Tan Yigitcanlar
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Engineering


Extreme heatwaves and other extreme weather events are contributing to the fragility of cities and urban infrastructure, which requires urgent attention. Urban heat islands are an exemplar for metropolitan fragile areas, which exacerbate the impact of climate change and global warming on natural hazards, such as wildfires, storms, floods, and droughts, which pose a critical threat to Australian and international communities (Degirmenci et al., 2021). Decision support systems (DSS) can help city planners and policymakers to optimise their decision-making by considering economic outcomes subject to ecological constraints to improve urban resilience (Tuczek et al., 2022).

In this project, we design and develop a DSS to assist urban planners, elected officials, and managers in their decision-making, and optimise policy and technology interventions to improve urban resilience. This is an interdisciplinary research as part of QUT’s Smart City Research Group and situated within QUT’s School of Information Systems, School of Architecture and Built Environment, and School of Management. Several research centres are involved including QUT’s Centre for Data Science, Centre for the Environment, and Centre for Future Enterprise, where you can expect excellent support and mentoring.


  • Degirmenci, K., Desouza, K. C., Fieuw, W., Watson, R. T., Yigitcanlar, T. 2021. Understanding policy and technology responses in mitigating urban heat islands: A literature review and directions for future research. Sustainable Cities and Society, 70, pp. 1-35.
  • Tuczek, M., Degirmenci, K., Desouza, K. C., Watson, R. T., Yigitcanlar, T., Breitner, M. H. 2022. Mitigating urban heat with optimal distribution of vegetation and buildings. Urban Climate, forthcoming.

Research activities

This research involves one or more of the following activities:

  • reviewing the academic literature on DSS and urban resilience
  • designing and developing a DSS in an urban planning context
  • applying existing theories to solve real-world problems
  • communicating the findings in academic and/or professional publications.


The expected outcomes are dependent on the scope of the research and may include the following:

  • structured and systematic literature review
  • conceptual design and prototype development of a DSS
  • case study analysis on real-world decision-making in urban planning and regional development concerning a trade-off between economic and ecological factors
  • DSS simulation to evaluate case examples.

Skills and experience

You must have one or more of the following skills:

  • fundamental knowledge of information systems and DSS
  • high ambition to complete a research project within a given time frame
  • strong interest in developing skills in theoretical, computational, and empirical research
  • strong analytical and problem-solving capabilities
  • excellent written and verbal communication skills.


You may be eligible to apply for a research scholarship.

Explore our research scholarships



If you are interested to apply for this research project, please email Dr Kenan Degirmenci including your CV, academic transcripts, theses/publications, and your motivational statement for the project.