UNSW Engineering is home to a brand-new Industry Transformation Research Hub – RIIS. Resilient and Intelligent Infrastructure Systems (RIIS) in Urban, Resources and Energy Sectors.

The Hub which is co-funded by ARC, seventeen industry and four university partners (Queensland University of Technology, Western Sydney University, University of Melbourne and UNSW), will deliver transformational technologies to address Australia’s critical infrastructure needs.

Australia’s critical infrastructure and physical assets such as buildings, roads, bridges, rail lines, tunnels, utilities, processing plants, mines and refineries form the backbone of national productivity. However according to the Australian Infrastructure Audit of 2019, our ageing assets have been put under growing strain.

With demand for new infrastructure in all sectors for our growing population, combined with impacts of climate change and aging infrastructure, there is an increasing need, says Hub Director UNSW Scientia Professor Nasser Khalili, ‘for new technologies to predict infrastructure rehabilitation and renewal needs, pre-empt failure and prolong life as well as for new systems to deliver sustainable, resilient, and cost-effective infrastructure.’

‘RIIS will leverage a suite of innovative and integrated technologies,‘ he says, ‘to monitor, model and improve our urban infrastructure, transport, water, resource, and energy management in order to achieve economic, low-carbon, and sustainable development.


Led by Professor Khalili - Deputy Director of the UNSW Centre for Infrastructure, Engineering & Safety (CIES) and incoming Head of School at UNSW Civil & Environmental Engineering - and Professor Abbas Rajibifard, Director of the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Spatial Data Infrastructures and Land Administration (CSDILA) as RIIS Deputy Director, the Hub draws strength from world class engineering and scientific research expertise at UNSW Sydney, University of Melbourne, Queensland University of Technology, and Western Sydney University, as well as a wide range of experienced industry partners.

RIIS will integrate advances in sensor technology, connectivity, data analytics, machine learning, robotics, smart materials, and reliable models to deliver resilient and adaptive infrastructure systems in urban, energy and resource sectors - sectors critical to Australia’s prosperity and well-being.

‘The benefits of RIIS research’, Professor Rajibifard says, ‘will include improved local productivity and urban liveability, as well as increasing the resiliency & safety of our infrastructure. It will also increase our technological leadership, global competitiveness and technology export potential.’