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 (Kamruzzaman et al., 2018). 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 urban 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, QUT’s City 4.0 Lab 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.


Kamruzzaman, M., Deilami, K., & Yigitcanlar, T. (2018). Investigating the urban heat island effect of transit oriented development in Brisbane. Journal of Transport Geography, 66, 116-124.

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, 102873.

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:

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


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

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

Skills and experience

This research requires one or more of the following skills:

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



If you are interested in applying for this research project, please email Professor Tan Yigitcanlar including your CV, academic transcripts, theses/publications, and your motivational statement for the project.