Study level

  • Honours
  • Vacation research experience scheme


Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.

Research centre


Dr Hossein Derakhshan
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Engineering


LiDAR geo-spatial data (3D coordinates) are freely available from government websites such as "QSpatial data portal". Alternatively, the use of drones have also become popular in aerial surveys and imagery.

The geospatial data from these sources include 3D coordinates of various built structure. The data can be downloaded (in case of LiDAR) or processed from images (in case of drone survey) to create actual 3D picture of building structures. This work is commonly done using rendering software. The use of this exercise it to use geometries of existing buildings for the purpose of structural assessment.

The focus is on evaluating the safety of older buildings, which have been built prior to the introduction of earthquake design codes. The existing built structures in Brisbane CBD and some other suburbs (e.g. Fortitude Valley, Woolloongabba, West End, etc.) include older heritage masonry buildings, which may be associated with seismic vulnerabilities.

This project is suitable for undergraduate students who will research the possibility of creating 3D building images of central precincts of Brisbane using drone and/or LiDAR data. The methodology to be adopted is; to first download the LiDAR data. The widely-available rendering software is then used to create 3D images.

Some data may also be captured using drone by an independent team of QUT (students registering for this project would not be involved with the drone survey but can use the data). The drone data will be used only if available and needed (i.e. it may become part of this project subject to time restrictions, availability of data at the time of student research, student workloads, etc).

Research activities

You will be expected to:

  • do a brief literature review aimed at understanding seismic risk associated with masonry buildings including the importance of building height in its vulnerability
  • do a literature review on the application of LiDAR /Drone to create 3D images of built environment (including development of an understanding of the involved software, techniques, etc.)
  • develop a plan (in liaison with supervisor) to download LiDAR data from QSpatial and augment with QUT-captured drone data (if available)
  • analyse the data using computer software to create 3D images of buildings - reporting on some aspects of building geometries, e.g. building heights, etc.


A report must be submitted containing the methodology and the resulting computer files (rendered 3D pictures of building precincts).

Skills and experience

Students interested in working with architectural and/or 3D rendering software are encouraged to apply.


You may be eligible to apply for a research scholarship.

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Contact the supervisor for more information.