Infrastructure & Environment

Efficient and sustainable infrastructure for buildings and transport systems is essential in helping modern structures adopt future ready processes

Our team, led by Associate Professor Thuc Vo, focuses on projects that aim to prepare current infrastructure systems for a more sustainable future. We work on a wide range of infrastructure projects including water, transportation, construction materials and using machine learning for structural engineering.

Members of our team also specialise in different key areas including: investigating climate change effects on water resources, using simulation models to analyse transport systems and exploring the use of sustainable materials in steel-concrete structures.

Our projects are driving research towards adopting safer and more efficient transport systems, as well as using sustainable materials to help industries in regional Australia be future ready.

Our goal is to create a future for infrastructure that brings safety and efficiency to everyday living while taking care of our environment.


Lead researcher - Dr Long Truong

About - This project aims to develop zone-based crash prediction tools that can be used during the planning stages of transport infrastructure development.

Expected outcomes include improved tools to predict crash risks (total, fatal and serious injury crashes) by different road user types at zone levels, and guidance for integrating these developed prediction tools with strategic transport planning models in Australia.

This project should provide significant benefits in reducing road fatalities and serious injuries by enabling proactive safety planning for transport projects from a network perspective.

Partner - Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications

Lead researcher – Rami Al-Ruzuoq, Abdallah Shanableh, Gokhan Yilmaz

About/brief : United Arab Emirates (UAE) ranks among the list of most water-stressed countries. Various sustainable water policies are suggested and adopted to tackle water scarcity issues. One of them is the implication of Artificial Groundwater Recharge (AGR) sites. AGR is a novel approach to collect freshwater in the aquifers and meet the water demands at lean periods for semi-arid countries like UAE. This research scrutinizes the primary thematic layers required for AGR zonation in the Central Northern Emirates and parts of Oman integrating with Remote Sensing (RS) and Geographic Information System (GIS). Several factors, which involve hydrological, geological, water quality measured in terms of total dissolved solids (TDS), groundwater level, euclidean distance from residential areas, were weighted using Analytical Hierarchical Process (AHP), and the weighted overlay was applied to derive the potential AGR map. The AGR map depicts the three best locations within the study area.

Partners – University of Sharjah, Sharjah Electricity, Water Authority

Lead researcher: Associate Professor Dr Thuc Vo

About: This project aims to develop a data-driven intelligent system by retrieving information from experimental data and FE simulations to predict the performance of construction materials and structural members. This dives into the inner workings of typical analysis to explain how ML models work and interpret the results through model-agnostic interpretability techniques.

Partners: Universidad del Norte (Colombia), Northumbria University (UK), Sejong University (Korea)

Lead researcher: Dr Vipul Patel

About: This project develops low-carbon concrete using waste products from industry. With an estimated 30 billion metric tons of concrete used globally each year, swapping out cement can help slash the construction industry’s carbon footprint. Already, low-carbon concrete is being used in some footpaths, driveways and low-rise structures. As an effective binder in concrete, cement can be replaced by fly ash and slag, which are waste products from the thermal power plant and steel industries, respectively. At La Trobe, we’re designing and testing a mixture using fly ash and slag from a local Victorian supplier, and the results are promising.

Our researchers

Associate Professor Thuc Vo – Associate Professor in Civil Engineering

Professor Hossam Aboel-Naga – Professor and Head of Department of Engineering

Dr Vipul Patel – Senior Lecturer in Civil Engineering

Dr Long Truong – Senior Lecturer in Civil Engineering

Mr Erik van Vulpen – Deputy Director of the Centre for Technology Infusion

Dr Gokhan Yilmaz – Senior Lecturer in Civil Engineering

Professor Naveen Chilamkurti – Associate Dean in International Partnerships at SCEMS

Dr Kayes Kayes – Senior Lecturer in Computer Science and Information Technology

Associate Professor Ing Kong – Associate Professor in Manufacturing Engineering

Professor Chris Stoltz AM – Professor of Practice in Engineering

Dr Alex Tomy – Lecturer in Computer Science and Information Technology

Dr Dimitri Triadis – Adjunct Research Fellow in Mathematics & Statistics

Contact us

Our team strives to introduce greater efficiency, safety and sustainability in the infrastructure industry with a focus on helping industries in regional Australia.

If you are interested in learning more, please contact Associate Professor Thuc Vo via email or call +61 3 9479 2620 for more information.