Congratulations Kristen and Meead

Congratulations to CVEN’s new Associate Professors, Drs Meead Saberi and Kristen Splinter

Mary OConnell

It was with great pleasure that CVEN’s Head of School, Professor Travis Waller, recently announced the promotion of transport systems specialist Dr Meead Saberi Kalaee and coastal engineering expert  Dr Kristen Splinter to Associate Professor.

“This is a great result for the School” he said, “and due recognition of their contributions to research and teaching. Please join me in congratulating Meead and Kristen on this magnificent achievement.”

About Kristen Splinter

Kristen SplinterWith over 20 years of applied and fundamental research experience, Kristen is an expert in Coastal Engineering and a highly valued member of the School’s Water Research Laboratory and the wider engineering community. Kristen has a passion for training the next generation of coastal engineers and frequently brings relevant and real engineering projects into her classroom. She supervises undergraduate Honours thesis, Masters and PhD students on topics including beach erosion and recovery, large scale coastal change, human safety on floating structures, design of coastal structures in reef environments and reef hydrodynamics.

Along with her team of students and colleagues, Kristen is pioneering the use of remote sensing in the coastal zone, including lidar, satellites and cameras within Australia to better understand how our coastlines change at timescales of days to decades. 

Kristen holds leadership roles within her discipline including as a member of the EA NSW Coasts, Ocean, and Ports Engineering Panel (COPEP) and serves as an Associate Editor for AGU JGR-Earth Surface and as an Editorial Board Member for Nature Scientific Reports.

In an effort to make research more accessible during the pandemic, Kristen and colleagues from U. Auckland, USyd, UNSW, and UWA started a bi-weekly international online seminar, Coast2Coast. She was also recently featured in an episode of Coast2Coast which explores the scientist behind the science.
Kristen plays an active role in promoting gender equity within her discipline and at UNSW and wants to encourage more young women to consider engineering as their career of choice. She is a founding member of the International Women in Coastal Geosciences and Engineering which aims to support women and promote gender equity within her discipline. She also is the co-chair of the Women in Research Network (WiRN) at UNSW, the incoming chair of the UNSW Faculty of Engineering Gender Equity Working Group and a member of the Faculty’s Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Committee.

About Meead Saberi

Meead SaberiMeead holds a PhD degree in transportation systems analysis and planning from Northwestern University, USA. He also has a Master's and a Bachelor degree in Civil Engineering.

He leads the CityX research lab as part of the School’s Research Centre for Integrated Transport Innovation (rCITI). The Lab focuses on scientific understanding of cities through modelling, simulation, data analytics, and visualisation.

Meead views transport systems as networks. His research mostly focuses on understanding the characteristics and modelling the dynamics of the transport networks with an overarching aim to mitigate urban traffic congestion and improve urban liveability. His research outcomes allow a more efficient management and control of transport networks in cities that could potentially save millions of dollars in avoidable social and environmental cost of congestion and will improve people’s quality of life.

The impact of his research is demonstrated by the growing engagement with major industry partners such as Cisco and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries as well as a number of local and state government agencies including the City of Sydney, City of Willoughby and Transport for NSW.

One of Meead’s recent research projects showed that 70% of the Indigenous population in the City of Sydney live in neighbourhoods with lower-than-average walkability.  Reducing transport inequality and improving walkability in Indigenous communities are necessary to help close the health and social gap. Meead has also worked closely with Transport for NSW to develop machine learning based models to predict walking and cycling volumes across Sydney metropolitan area.

Meead is a member of the traffic flow theory and characteristics committee of the Transportation Research Board of the U.S. National Academies. He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Big Data Analytics in Transportation and an editorial board member of the Journal of Advanced Transportation and Journal of Transportation Letters.

He is also a co-founder of a UNSW spinout company footpath.ai that aims to make the world a more walkable place. The startup focuses on collecting footpath-level imagery data and turning it into artificial intelligence (AI) powered insights for a range of applications to improve walkability and localisation for autonomous delivery robots in cities.