Research Students

Research Students

Our students are researching on various topics that will support the SBRC to achieve its aim and drive its innovation and research.

Yi (Eva) Guo

YI (EVA) GUO

Sustainable buildings can bring many benefits towards saving our resources. The Sustainable Buildings Research Centre supplies an outstanding learning, research and working environment to people who are interested in saving energy by buildings. The SBRC can help us in the future by exploring the use of more renewable. Additionally, it is not only a working place but also a sweet family fighting for a sustainable word.

Project Title: Development and Modelling of an Advanced Liquid Desiccant Dehumidification Air-conditioning System.

Research Supervisors:

Prof. Paul Cooper

Dr. Zhenjun Ma

Member of Team UOW finals group who went to Datong in July/August 2013 and won the Solar Decathlon China 2013 Competition


Rui Yan

Rui Yan

Effectively analysing the data acquired from building operation plays an vital role in building performance assessment. However, tremendous amount of data are normally recorded which makes the analysis with traditional statistic method becoming incapable. In another aspect, building performance assessment is a key part in many building energy saving methods like building commissioning, retrofitting etc. Data mining, which is a computer technique for finding hidden patterns and relations behind big data set, has huge potential to effectively analyse building operational data for building performance assessment. The SBRC building is an ideal test bed for this project as it equipped with the state-of-art building management system which can monitor various aspects of the building operation.

Project Title: Application of data mining in building performance assessment.

Research Supervisors:

Dr. Zhenjun Ma
Prof. Paul Cooper

Energy Modelling and Innovation Manager
Member of Team UOW finals group who went to Datong in July/August 2013 and won the Solar Decathlon China 2013 Competition


Xiang (Dennis) Deng

XIANG (DENNIS) DENG

SBRC is a marvellous green building. I can enjoy the convenience of all kinds of green facilities in this building. With the help of hi-tech facilities, my dream will become realised with zero carbon emissions at SBRC.

Project Title: PVT, PCMs and ground source heat pump integration.

Research Supervisors:

Dr. Zhenjun Ma 
Prof. Paul Cooper 
Buyung Kosasih   


Wenye (William) Lin

WENYE (WILLIAM) LIN

Sustainable building plays an increasingly significant role in energy-saving and global warming alleviation, as the building energy consumption accounts for a large percentage of the world energy consumption. SBRC offers cutting-edge approaches and facilities to investigate the all-around sustainable building technologies and apply them into practice. The promising research SBRC endeavours to study will contribute the sustainable development of our society, definitely.

Project Title: Modelling and experimental investigation of buildings integrated with phase change materials enhanced by nano-particles.

Research Supervisors:

Dr. Zhenjun Ma 
Prof. Paul Cooper
Prof. Weihua Li  

Member of Team UOW finals group who went to Datong in July/August 2013 and won the Solar Decathlon China 2013 Competition


Alan Green

Alan new

As our climate changes and the increasing global population leads to continued urban expansion into rural areas, the threat posed by bushfires is predicted to increase. This study is focusing on the analysis of external water spray systems that are designed to protect buildings from bushfires. Experiments are being undertaken to reveal the detailed behaviour of water sprays and the effects of wind on system performance. Computational fluid dynamics simulations will be used to extend these results, improving our understanding of how effective external water spray systems are at defending a building from bushfire attack.

Project Title: External Water Spray Systems to Improve Bushfire Resilience of Buildings

Research Supervisors:

Prof. Paul Cooper 
Dr. Trent Penman


Federico Tartarini 

federicoT

The aging population of Australia is growing rapidly (226,042 people were residing in 2,718 aged care facilities, in June 2013) and the cost of providing this care has become a national concern. Guidelines are required to address this issue to ensure a higher quality of life without disregarding the energy efficiency of the sector. At present time it is known that temperature can affect behaviour, although, there is ambiguity about how Indoor Environmental Quality, IEQ, is perceived by the elderly and how it may impact their well-being. The central questions of the research are: what could be the impact of the IEQ on behaviour of residents in aged care facilities? Are the existing guidelines reflective of residents needs? How can optimal IEQ be achieved in an efficient way? The potential outcome will be the development of proposed guidelines to improve design of future residential facilities and strategies that can be applied in existing buildings for sustainable refurbishment.

Project Title: Enhancing resilience of aged care systems: retrofitting buildings and sociocultural systems

Research Supervisors:

Prof. Paul Cooper
Prof. Richard Fleming
Dr. Zhenjun Ma


Ali Al-Jubainawi

Ali

Substantial increase of energy demand and obvious climate changes especially in HVAC play a crucial role to stimulate researchers to look for sustainable methods to overcome these drawbacks. Therefore, depending on desiccant cooling systems and unconventional desiccant regeneration manner to enhance buildings in different applications have been considered more efficient, environmental friendly and economic compared with conventional air-conditioning methods. I think that the Sustainable Buildings Research Centre becomes a very important requirement because it encourage people to pay attention to how we can make our future free of environmental problems by following intelligent and innovative energy management.

Project Title: Thermal modelling and application of desiccant cooling systems for enhanced building performance

Research Supervisors:

Dr. Zhenjun Ma  


Daniel Jones

DanJ

I am a commerce/science student who joined the solar decathlon team in 2012. I have since begun a research masters investigating retrofitting residential houses. Team UOW designed and built a prototype to demonstrate retrofitting of a common Aussie house. I am investigating how our retrofitting compares to other options available to people who own a home. The main metrics for the comparison are construction cost, operational cost, comfort for the occupants, the impact of the materials and the carbon associated with its efficiency and the materials used. Retrofitting represents an exciting opportunity for Australians to be creative and sustainable, reusing something old to create a better solution.

Project Title: Development of a methodology to assist in the economic evaluation of retrofitting residential buildings

Research Supervisors:

Prof. Paul Cooper
Prof. Timothy McCarthy
Dr. Matt Pepper

Project Manager- Innovation Campus Event
Member of Team UOW finals group who went to Datong in July/August 2013 and won the Solar Decathlon China 2013 Competition


Navid Asadzadeh Aghdaei 

Navid new

The growth and development of our communities has a large impact on our natural environment. The manufacturing, design, construction, and operation of the buildings in which we live and work are responsible for the consumption of many of our natural resources. While providing significant and exciting opportunities for sustainable growth on both a national and a global scale, SBRC gives a chance to sustainable researchers to practice creating a clean and healthy building with effective adaptation to climate change based on all key building features.  

Project Title: Retrofitting conventional houses to improve energy efficiency and quality based on budget

Research Supervisors:

Prof. Timothy McCarthy
Dr. Georgios Kokogiannakis 


Clayton McDowell

Clayton

Australia’s residential built environment contributes to a large proportion of our carbon footprint. To promote sustainable buildings, policies have been introduced to target new construction and large renovations. However a lesser amount has been done to address the issue of retrofitting our current building stock to reduce their carbon footprint. My research topic aims to contribute to addressing this issue by investigating various low cost energy efficient retrofits that can be applied to our homes to reduce their energy consumption and make them more comfortable and healthy to live in. The SBRC provides an inspirational and sustainable environment to explore these ideas so that we can help build a more sustainable tomorrow. 

Project Title: Energy Efficient Retrofits of Residential Buildings

Research Supervisors:

Prof. Paul Cooper
Dr Georgios Kokogiannakis
Michael Tibbs 


Lei Xia

Lei

Space heating and water heating account for a large amount of energy consumption in buildings nowadays, especially in cold areas. Since the significance of sustainable development becomes increasingly outstanding recent years, it is essential to explore substitutes of traditional heating and water heating systems in order to reduce carbon emission as well as save energy. Then, renewable energy sources have a great application potential for development of low-carbon green buildings. SBRC offers me a great platform to study on an advanced hybrid GSHP integrated with BIPVT system which can supply cooling, heating as well as domestic hot water (DHW) for buildings, to achieve high energy performance, environmentally sustainable and less energy consumption and carbon emission. 

Project Title: Development of optimization of hybrid ground source heat pumps integrated with building integrated photovoltaic/thermal system 

Research Supervisors:

Dr. Zhenjun Ma
Dr. Georgios Kokogiannakis


Wenke Fan

Wenke

Building integrated photovoltaic thermal collector is one promising energy utilization device to achieve energy efficiency and improve thermal comfort. A photovoltaic thermal hybrid solar system is a combination of photovoltaic and solar thermal components which produce both electricity and heat from one integrated system. In winter, the outlet air with high temperature can be directly used for space heating  while in summer when the space heating is not necessary the thermal energy can be used as energy source of other devices. In my research studies, I will focus on the optimization of PVT parameter design to improve the energy efficiency at same time to explore the ways to utilize the thermal energy generated by BIPVT.

Project Title: Development of high temperature BIPVT systems

Research Supervisors:

Dr. Zhenjun Ma
Dr. Georgios Kokogiannakis 


Ana Villaca Coelho

AnaThe building and construction industry have had the biggest impact on human activities in recent times. In this context and in times of concern for issues such as climate change and energy efficiency, the issue with the existing building stock is a challenge to be faced, not only by architects, engineers and builders, but by society as a whole. The many aspects, such as local features and constraints presented in each locality make it even more complex. My background in Architecture and Urban Planning, as well as Environmental Management, made this of particular interest to my research which focuses on how to access and manage the retrofitting process in small commercial and retail buildings.

Project Title: Sustainable Upgrades in Regional Commercial and Retail Buildings

Research Supervisors:

Prof. Paul Cooper
Prof. Timothy McCarthy
Mark Jones


Emily Ryan

EmilyR

With sustainability being at the forefront of the building industry, the supply chain providing the goods and services to this industry is of great importance. No business can act in isolation and there is increased evidence to support the geographic co-location of supply chain partners to increase efficiency in the supply chain and minimise the environmental impact of supply chain activities. This co-location is referred to as clustering, hence my research is concerned with the need to identify and examine the drivers of sustainability-focused supply chain clusters. My research is looking at the long term viability of sustainability-focused supply chains, a key outcome of my PhD. Studying at the SBRC I have the opportunity to explore the supply chain from a a key position in the sustainable building industry, enhancing my research as a Global Challenges Scholar for Manufacturing Innovation and as a student of the Faculty of Business.

Project Title: Examining Supply Chain Practice for the Sustainable Building Industry: Towards Viable Cluster Development

Research Supervisors:

Dr. Matthew Pepper
Dr. Albert Munoz
Prof. Paul Cooper

Sponsorship Relations Manager
Member of Team UOW finals group who went to Datong in July/August 2013 and won the Solar Decathlon China 2013 Competition


Asanga Jayawardana

Asanga

Australia is heading towards a clean energy concept where renewable energies like solar and wind power come into the picture. Most residential buildings are being equipped with rooftop solar PV systems and battery storage facilities while commercial buildings are trying to establish wind and other distributed generators with energy storage systems. These small scale electrical systems are called Microgrids and are currently receiving the attention of power system researchers. Uncertainty and intermittency affect most of the renewable energies which emphasises the need for strategic optimisation methodologies to optimise these resources to reach the maximum economic benefits. The Sustainable Buildings Research Centre has the expertise in the field while maintaining a microgrid where experiments can be carried out. This encourages me to take part in the SBRC's journey, to create a sustainable Australia.

Project Title: Optimised and cost effective operation of microgrids

Research Supervisors: 

Dr. Duane Robinson
Dr. Ashish Agalgaonkar 


Yufei (Felix) Wu 

Felix

Hail can cause significant damage to the roofing material. In 1999, the most severe hailstorm affected Sydney, which caused damage to 20,000 building roofs, resulting in significant insurance loss. The hailstorm became one of the most expensive natural disasters in Australia's history. However, the National Construction Code does not include the hail impact due to its limited threat to human life, and the research on hail impact is also not fully developed. Currently, steel ball is used to simulate the hail impact on roofing in industry, but no correlation has been developed between steel ball and real hailstones. For SBRC, hail impact is also one important factor that should be included in the design. In my research, I will simulate real hailstones, and try to find an efficient way to the impact on roofing material so that best thickness of the material can be found to mitigate the damage caused by hailstones.

Project title: A Study on the Impact of Hailstone on Roofing/Cladding

Supervisors:

Prof. Lip Teh
Prof. Timothy McCarthy


Kehua (Kiefer) Li

Kiefer

Data mining technologies are tools to automatically discover useful information in large data repositories. In recent years, as increasing amounts of data about building operating, occupants’ behaviors and energy consumption are collected, data mining technologies can be used to make a deep insight into building performance. With the new discoveries and knowledges, people can make buildings more energy-efficient and sustainable, which is one of the SBRC's targets.

Project Title: Evaluation of university building performance using data mining technologies

Supervisors:

Dr. Zhenjun Ma
Dr. Duane Robinson
Dr. Jun Ma


Quange (Tia) Tong

Tia

There are many factors influencing energy consumption of residential buildings including but not limited to, architectural design, human behaviors and awareness on energy efficiency, development of economics and society, the use of electrical appliances and renewable energy technologies. Based on experimental data and simulation results, I am trying to answer the question of what retrofitting actions should we take for different family structures in different dwellings located in different climate zones. 

Project Title: Key Influencing Factors of Residential Building Energy Consumption

Supervisors:

Dr. Zhenjun Ma


Haoshan (Daniel) Ren

Daniel

The air conditioning system is one of the most energy-consuming equipment in buildings. A solar assisted desiccant cooling system is mainly driven by heat energy provided by solar radiation, which only asks for little electricity supply. It is an environmentally-friendly air-conditioning system and has great potential future applications in residential as well as commercial buildings.

Project Title: Solar assisted desiccant systems

Supervisors:

Dr. Zhejun Ma
Dr. Georgios Kokogiannakis


Lei Ding

Lei Ding

To the greatest extent, passive design can make buildings get back to nature. As technology advances, natural factors are being neglected in architectural design more than before. A wide range of problems are being caused by buildings, communities and cities which are separated from nature. Passive designs, which take full advantage of natural laws, will endow human buildings with adaptability of nature and getting along with nature, ultimately, returning buildings to nature. The SBRC can minimize the consumption of fossil energy, by using passive building design strategies and active technologies. It offers comfortable working environment and communication platform which can help all members in SBRC and international participants to share ideas.

Project Title: The quantitative relationship between natural ventilation and design parameters of residential buildings

Supervisors:

Dr. Georgios Kokogiannakis 


Nick Franklin

Nick

The population of Australia is increasing at a greater rate than the number of residential buildings being constructed. This brings about a need for more high density urban infill apartments. Concrete is generally used for these constructions so the Australian steel industry is designing new products to compete in the residential housing sector. My research aims to make use of steel in the housing sector through a project based on the development of prototype, cold formed steel, mid-rise residential building designs. Steel is light weight, strong and can be quickly prefabricated. Using steel and implementing Building Information Modelling (BIM) will allow the constructions to make use of prefabricated and modular designs creating savings in construction time, waste and improving safety.

Project Title: Use of Cold formed steel in residential mid-rise apartment construction

Supervisors:

Prof. Timothy McCarthy
Prof. Lip Teh 


Alexandre Tessaro

Alex

In a near future, more and more electric vehicles will be on the road. These will have a significant impact on the electric grid once connected at home for recharging. The SBRC equipped with renewable energy devices such as solar panels or wind turbines, is the ideal place to study the impact of electric vehicles connected in a
microgrid infrastructure.

Project Title: Internship / Modelling and testing an EV DC-Fast charging station within a microgrid infrastructure

Supervisors:

Pr Muttaqi Kashem
Dr Duane Robinson
Dr Babak Nahid-Mobarakeh


Mehdi Robati

Mehdi

Knowing the role of structural design toward sustainability of buildings, it may lead to reduce lateral impact of building into the environment. Structural engineers currently have very limited guidance on how to incorporate sustainability in the design of buildings. The main objective of my research is to identify the role of structural design through sustainable design of buildings. The significance of this study is to develop a conceptual framework for including lifecycle assessment into the structural design of the building. The developed framework will show the effects of different structural options and construction methods in the whole life energy consumption and waste production of the building.

Project Title: Sustainability based structural design of multi-storey reinforced concrete office building

Supervisors:

Prof. Timothy McCarthy
Dr Georgios Kokogiannakis

Last reviewed: 26 August, 2016