Science and Engineering

Civil engineering and built environment


Our research focuses on driving environmentally-conscious industry development and productivity gains in the fields of building, construction and transport.

Research disciplines

We play a major role in Brisbane's Smart Transport Research Centre (STRC), which gives us unprecedented access to key transit data from multiple organisations including the Brisbane City Council, Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads, and Black & White Cabs.

Civil engineering

  • fire, wind and disaster resilient structures
  • traffic analysis and management strategies
  • design, construction and analysis of bridges
  • concrete technologies
  • road and rail safety
  • structural masonry
  • rail lines and joints.

Construction and project management

  • improving innovation in the construction industry
  • strategic procurement and project financing
  • sustainable construction and triple bottom line
  • Building Information Modelling (BIM)
  • organisational project management, maturity, capability building and performance
  • obtaining best value for money.

Property and planning

  • land use planning
  • rural property valuation
  • creative economy
  • environmental planning
  • community planning
  • regional and capital city airport development
  • knowledge cities
  • transit-oriented development
  • governance
  • housing affordability
  • real estate development.

Our researchers are also delivering capability into QUT's Institute for Future Environments (IFE) and Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI). These multidisciplinary research institutes are focused on solutions to global challenges, in partnership with industry and government, both nationally and globally.


Evidence of research quality

ERA (Excellence in Research for Australia) 2015 score:

  • 4 (above world standard)
    • Environmental engineering (FOR 0907)
  • 3 (at world standard)
    • Civil engineering (FOR 0905)
    • Building (FOR 1202)
    • Urban and regional planning (FOR 1202)

ERA (Excellence in Research for Australia) evaluates the quality of research undertaken in Australian universities against national and international benchmarks.

Publication output

Higher Education Research Data Collection (HERDC) publication collections 2012-2014 (HERDC points)

  • A1-Book: 6.250
  • B-Book Chapter: 5.666
  • C1-Journal Article: 212.368
  • E1-Conference Paper: 216.466

Research income

HERDC Category 1-4



Grants and projects

(Category 1: Australian Competitive Grants only) 2009-2019

ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA)

  • Efficient operation of mixed traffic flow of traditional, connected and automated vehicles
  • Characterising the severity of convective wind storm risk to Australia under current and future climates
  • Novel shelters using sheathed cold-formed steel framing systems

ARC Discovery Projects

  • Urban cultural policy and the changing dynamics of cultural production
  • Sustainable retirement villages for ageing Australians
  • Transform traditional civil structures into smart structures that can identify structural deterioration conditions and automatically notify the infrastructure management for timely maintenance
  • Development of novel cold-formed, light-gauge steel frame wall systems with superior fire resistance
  • Identification of policy synergies between environmental, economic and social policies to move Australia toward a low-carbon economy and model of sustainable prosperity
  • A study of pull-through failures of thin steel battens to improve building safety and resilience during extreme wind events
  • Development of next generation prestressed concrete bridges using moving force identification
  • Proactive detection of motor vehicle crash black spots based on their underlying behavioural, engineering and spatially related causes
  • Reducing the severity of level crossing accidents across Australia

ARC Linkage Projects

  • Innovative procurement theories to optimise education per cost of school
  • A new generation high crash energy absorbing barrier for improved road safety
  • Leveraging research and development for the Australian built environment
  • Maximising the value of alliances in delivering infrastructure projects: a mixed methods management study of procurement innovation
  • A novel integrated motorway management system for less congested, more reliable and safer motorways
  • Diffusion of manufactured high performance green houses: a mixed methods management study of innovation obstacles
  • Bearing capacities of innovative LiteSteel beams and their floor systems
  • The impact of governance on regional natural resource planning
  • Understanding the performance of cold-formed steel frame wall systems in fires to design for superior fire resistance
  • From innovators to mainstream market: a toolkit for transforming Australian housing and maximising sustainability outcomes for stakeholders


Research collaboration network


  • Alliancing Association of Australasia
  • Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC)
  • Building Codes Board Queensland
  • Condamine Alliance
  • Construction Industry Institute Australia
  • Fitzroy Basin Association
  • Griffith University
  • James Cook University
  • NQ Dry Tropics
  • Peer Industries
  • PrefabAUS
  • Project Delivery Services
  • Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads
  • Queensland Government
  • Queensland Murray-Darling Committee
  • RMIT University
  • Swinburne University of Technology
  • Terrain Natural Resource Management
  • University of South Australia
  • University of Technology Sydney
  • The University of Melbourne
  • The University of Newcastle
  • The University of New South Wales
  • Western Australian Building Commission


  • Chalmers University
  • Chongqing University
  • Communication University of China
  • Federal Association of German Prefabricated Building
  • Hong Kong City University
  • Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • International Centre for Complex Project Management (ICCPM)
  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
  • Lund University
  • Royal Dutch Shell
  • The University of Hong Kong
  • Tsinghua University China
  • University of Oregon
  • VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

Key research and engagement vehicles

  • Institute for Future Environments
  • International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction (CIB)
  • CRC for Optimising Resource Extraction
  • Rail Manufacturing CRC
  • Smart Services CRC
  • Smart Transport Research Centre


Awards and recognition

  • Under the QS World University Ranking by subject 2016, we rank in the top 100 universities for Architecture, Built Environment and Civil and Structural Engineering.
  • Professor Tommy Chan received an ARCl grant to further his research into transforming traditional civil structures into smart structures that can accurately identify conditions like earthquakes - and automatically notify the infrastructure management for maintenance.
  • Associate Professor Phil Heywood is the recipient of a number of Awards for Excellence and Merit from the Planning Institute of Australia.


School of Civil Engineering and Built Environment

  • Level 7, S Block, Room 701
    Gardens Point

Research degree enquiries

Science and Engineering research office

  • Level Level 4, O Block
    Gardens Point

Partnership enquiries

Research and Innovation

Contact for research partnership opportunities with our Science and Engineering Faculty.