The project aims to understand the extent of Subsurface Urban Heat Island (SUHI) effect in cities like Sydney. There is a need to understand whether underground built environment is responsible for the increase of subsurface/surface water temperatures. The study will involve desktop analysis of temperature data provided by different organizations that collect data from boreholes. It will also involve understanding the depth at which the effect of SUHI occurs as well as analysing current images of visible built environments near these boreholes.

Studies like this have been replicated in Europe and Chicago, and it is imperative to understand the subsurface heat distribution in Australian cities as rise in temperatures could potentially influence the properties of rock and soil leading to long-term ground deformation. There is also a potential for geothermal use of the rise in subsurface temperatures in cities as a sustainable source of heating and cooling of buildings - substantial saving in CO2 emission and electricity use. the achieve this the thermal state of shallow subsurface needs to be analysed and understood which is the aim of this research.


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Area

Underground climate change | Energy geotechnics | Geothermal energy

The project will be conducted alongside major civil engineering companies and consultancies like WSP and PSM Australia. There will be discussions and guidance provided by the supervisors as well as industry professionals.

  • Predicting the potential and extent of underground climate change in Sydney.
  • Quantifying urban geothermal potential in Sydney through shallow geothermal map development.
  • Be able to critically analyse large amounts of data.
  • Self-Learning skills will be improved with the use of programming languages to analyse data.