Science and Engineering a university for the real world

Higher degree researcher sweeps the national pool for road transport industry awards

1st December 2016

A QUT higher degree researcher swept the national pool for road transport industry awards with research that examines Australian road transport industry-wide Cost-Benefit Analysis practices. The research proposes a new approach to evaluate major road projects for government agencies and industry bodies and QUT second-year Doctoral candidate Sae Chi, has collected not one, but three coveted industry awards.

The awards were announced at the combined conferences of Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) and the Australian Transport Research Forum (ATRF). The awards Sae received were sponsored by Roads Australia (the road industry body) and ARRB.

ARRB is a well-respected transport consulting firm with 50 years of history in transport research. ARRB provides trusted advice, technical expertise and solutions to transport and road authorities across Australia and New Zealand.  ARRB’s member organisations include federal, state and local government bodies responsible for managing the nation’s transport and road networks. ARRB and its members, recognise the critical role that they play in supporting one another to improve productivity, safety, sustainability and amenity outcomes for the public.

The ATRF is a transport research conference in Australia and New Zealand. It brings together transport researchers, policymakers, advisors and practitioners from a range of disciplines to share and build upon the latest research and thinking.

Sae is a Doctoral candidate with the School of Civil Engineering and Build Environment at QUT. She was given three awards at the conferences:

The Student Prize Regional Award from ARRB and Roads Australia;

The Student Prize National Award from ARRB and Roads Australia; and

The ARRB Conference Young Researcher Award.

This remarkable achievement demonstrates the significant interest Sae’s PhD research has attracted from industry professionals and transport economists alike. Contenders for the student prize and young researcher award number in their hundreds, and Sae stood out from the crowd by identifying the needs of practitioners and linking them to research outcomes. Cost-Benefit analysis is widely used by practitioners, and through providing insights from a Transport Engineering perspective, Sae’s research is able to address the limitations and difficulties of the practice.   

Sae was thrilled to receive the awards, saying “It was great having my colleagues in research and the practitioners I met at the conference recognised the importance of my research. I am grateful because in receiving these awards, the connection between industry practice and my research was emphasised. It’s exciting to work on the research topic that is practical and can be readily used by professionals.”  

For more information about Sae’s current project, see QUT ePrints (,_Sae.html).

Image credit: Sae Chi (right) and Mohadeseh Rahbar (left) at the combined ARRB and ATRF Conferences, November 2016.

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