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Civil engineering is the design, planning, construction and operation of society's infrastructure.

Civil engineering also adapts infrastructure to meet real-world challenges such as overpopulation, natural disasters and climate change.

Whether it's supplying electricity to a remote village, or finding new ways to recycle waste, civil engineers truly shape the world we live in today.

Real graduates

"While at university I was offered employment as an undergraduate civil design engineer and an undergraduate fly-in fly-out site engineer. I was working in two very different fields but QUT really prepared me for the challenges of each role."

Genevieve De Michele

Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Civil)


We are a team of academics who are actively engaged in research, teaching, and professional service across sub-disciplines of civil engineering. This includes a research group based at our Wind and Fire Engineering Lab as well as our Transport Research Group.

We have strong connections to the community of practising civil engineers, as well as leadership roles within the international academic community.

Our researchers are involved in cutting-edge research programs, topics and projects across all of our sub-disciplines.

Student Topics

Environmental engineering

Our opportunities to conduct research on environmental engineering include:

  • adaptation to climate change
  • Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM)
  • protecting and restoring water quality
  • resilience of water infrastructure and water security
  • stormwater/wastewater recycling and water conservation and efficiency
  • sustainability.

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Structural engineering

We offer opportunities to conduct research on structural engineering, relating to:

  • bridge design and dynamics
  • computational method
  • concrete technology
  • cyclone/storm resistant buildings
  • fire safety of buildings
  • infrastructure disaster resilience
  • infrastructure geomechanics
  • innovative infrastructure
  • pavement design
  • smart housing
  • steel structures
  • structural dynamics
  • structural health monitoring
  • structural masonry
  • structural stability.

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Transport engineering and planning

There are opportunities to conduct research on the issues and challenges in transport engineering.

Topics include:

  • Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)
  • public transport
  • road design
  • traffic control and operation
  • traffic engineering
  • traffic safety
  • transit performance
  • transport planning
  • transportation systems modelling and analysis
  • travel behavior
  • traveller information systems

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Wind and Fire Engineering Lab

The Wind and Fire Lab engages a team of postgraduate researchers, post-doctoral research fellows and academics specialising in structural wind and fire engineering research.

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Transport Research Group

The Transport Research Group includes researchers in many specialty fields, such as:

  • intelligent transport systems
  • traffic engineering
  • transit planning and operations
  • transport infrastructure asset management
  • transport planning
  • road safety.

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Research themes

Construction engineering

  • costing, bidding, IT, and business procedures in transportation construction projects
  • disaster perception and risk mitigation
  • distance education in civil and construction engineering
  • extreme event scenarios
  • materials recycling and re-use in the construction industry.

Geotechnical engineering

  • properties and uses of advanced geosynthetics
  • slope instability problems
  • soil-pile interactions
  • soil properties and their effects.

Structural engineering

  • rail track and level crossing safety
  • reinforced and prestressed concrete masonry structures
  • structural health monitoring
  • structures under impact, wind, fire, explosion and seismic events
  • thin walled metal structures
  • vibration in slender structures: composite floors and bridges.

Transport engineering

  • traffic and public transport operations
  • transport data management systems
  • transport planning and engineering
  • transport network optimisation and modelling
  • transport safety
  • travel behaviour analysis and modelling.

Water resources and hydrologic engineering

  • heavy metals in run off and retention basins
  • factors affecting water quality
  • pollutant wash-off modelling
  • stormwater treatment and bioretention
  • wetlands and urban water quality.


New generation facility for impact testing

Project leaders


Project summary

New generation facility for impact testing. This project aims to develop a new generation, national-impact testing facility to study the impact response of civil and mechanical structures and components.

This project is essential for research on rational design philosophies and effective retrofitting of high-risk buildings, infrastructure and armoured vehicles. Benefits include the saving of lives and property through new knowledge from credible impact testing.

Fire resistant and lightweight wall systems using innovative blocks

Project leader

Dr Anthony Ariyanayagam



Project summary

This project aims to develop an innovative block with lightweight and fire resistant characteristics by using pumice and perlite materials, followed by wall systems using the blocks.

The project will generate new knowledge on lightweight blocks and fire safety, and develops cost-effective fire safe solutions for mid-rise buildings and bushfire safe rooms.

Mitigating the severity of level crossing accidents and derailments

Project leader

Professor David Thambiratnam



Project summary

Ongoing increases in the number of level crossings and heavy road vehicles cause more frequent and severe level crossing accidents and derailments. Despite the use of active warning systems annually, on average 100 level crossing accidents occur in Australia.

With a view to mitigating these crashes, this research aims to formulate theories for reduction in crash energy and effective wheel constraints to prevent derailment by modifying the levels of road and rail crossings and providing guard rails in the recesses of these modified level crossings.

The theories are intended be developed using nonlinear dynamic computational methods and laboratory experiments. The outcomes are expected to enable reduction in the severity of level crossing accidents and hence save lives and costs of derailment.

Transforming traditional civil structures into smart structures that can accurately identify current and future structural deterioration conditions

Project leader

Professor Tommy Chan



Project summary

This project plans to develop innovative structural deterioration evaluation systems using output-only vibration data and versatile optimisation algorithms to enable long-term deterioration assessment and maintenance management even under demanding operating conditions. Expected project outcomes will enhance structural safety and maintenance efficiency.

Developing novel cold-formed, light-gauge steel frame wall systems with superior fire resistance

Project leader

Professor Mahen Mahendran



Project summary

This project intends to develop novel cold-formed light-gauge steel frame (LSF) wall systems with superior fire resistance and energy ratings for use in buildings.

The project plans to investigate fundamental thermal, structural and energy performances of LSF walls and their components using experimental and numerical studies.

The aim of the project is to use enhanced materials with innovative wall configurations to significantly improve the fire and energy performance of LSF walls.

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Our topics

Are you looking to study at a higher or more detailed level? We are currently looking for students to research topics at a variety of study levels, including PhD, Masters, Honours or the Vacation Research Experience Scheme (VRES).
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Our experts

We host an expert team of researchers and teaching staff, including Head of School and discipline leaders. Our discipline brings together a diverse team of experts who deliver world-class education and achieve breakthroughs in research.

Meet our experts

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