School of Built Environment

We apply human-centred thinking and critical perspectives to address real-world challenges in diverse construction, development and planning projects across a range of sectors.

Our research

We address social, economic, technical, health and safety, and environmental challenges in diverse construction, development and planning projects in urban and regional contexts. We use human-centred thinking and critical perspectives to engage stakeholders in the design and innovation of the built environment.

Our strengths in data analysis, design thinking and strategic planning are used to solve problems, improve efficiency, manage change and implement innovative processes at different phases of the construction and development process.

Reef restoration research

Our Head of School, Associate Professor Karen Vella, is involved in the Reef Restoration and Adaptation research consortium. Her research looks at how to support stakeholder engagement and public participation options to understand the acceptability of technology interventions in the Great Barrier Reef.

Learn more about the program

Managing mining risks

Dr Tim Rose is leading a project funded by the Cooperative Research Centre for Optimising Resource Extraction focusing on approaches to risk management and technology adoption in the mining industry. The outputs will address a gap in industry practice and reduce potential challenges in the adoption of new technology.

Visit the Cooperative Research Centre for Optimising Resource Extraction website

Smart cities

Associate Professor Tan Yigitcanlar leads the Smart City research group. This research group focuses on developing urban systems that are sustainable and balanced in societal, economical and environmental impacts. Their research includes investigating better preparing for disasters, such as floods, optimising stormwater management and technological disruption, such as artificial intelligence.

Visit the QUT Smart City website

Procurement in education

Associate Professor Adrian Bridge leads the ARC Value in Operations research project, which aims to advance the body of procurement knowledge. The use of this framework will optimise education outcomes in relation to the total cost of built environment and facilities in schools, significantly advancing their overall performance.

Visit the ARC Value in Operations website

Exceptional students

Our courses

Project Management

'I chose QUT because working in the city it suited me to go to classes after work. The guest lecturers from industry offered real-world insights that I found valuable. Studying at QUT has helped me to move on to managing more complex and more interesting projects. One of my career highlights has been working on a hybrid operating theatre at St Andrews Hospital in Brisbane.'

Lavinia Buckley

Master of Project Management

Urban Development

'QUT provided a vast knowledge base and array of skills to help prepare me for my job as a professional quantity surveyor. During my degree QUT helped me obtain a cadetship with leading firm, Turner & Townsend. Now I am employed by Turner & Townsend where I have worked on projects across a number of sectors.'

James McMahon

Bachelor of Urban Development (Honours)

Our partners

The core of our industry engagement is through our research and research training activities and our undergraduate and postgraduate teaching programs.

We partner with businesses and organisations from start-ups to multi-nationals and our scope of application is inclusive.

Ask us about becoming a partner

Industry and community

  • Future Food CRC
  • iMove CRC
  • Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads
  • Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS)
  • Great Barrier Reef Foundation
  • Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
  • Brisbane City Council
  • Brisbane Smart Transport Research Centre
  • Black & White Cabs

Universities and institutes

  • The University of Queensland
  • James Cook University
  • Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction
  • Centre for Integrated Facility Engineering – Stanford University
  • Centre of Construction Law – King's College London
  • Chongqing University
  • Cranfield University
  • Curtin University
  • Design Innovation Research Centre – University of Reading
  • Griffith University
  • Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • Nanyang Technological University
  • National University of Singapore
  • Northumbria University
  • Penn State University
  • University College London Engineering
  • University College London (The Bartlett)
  • University of Hong Kong
  • University of New South Wales
  • University of Salford.

Our people

Our school brings together a diverse team of experts who deliver world-class education and achieve breakthroughs in research.

Explore our staff profiles to discover the amazing work our researchers are contributing to.

Contact us

Find us at
Level 8, S Block, Room 858
Gardens Point