Current Students

Research Students

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

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 

 


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:

A/Prof. 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

 


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: 

A/Prof. Duane Robinson
Dr. Ashish Agalgaonkar 

 


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:

A/Prof. Zhenjun Ma
A/Prof. Duane Robinson
Dr. Jun 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:

A/Prof. Zhejun Ma
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 

 


Ahmed Al-Bdoor

Ahmed Al-Bdoor

The energy consumed by the building sector has increased significantly and almost all of this power is used to provide a suitable indoor environment. The cost of conditioning the outdoor air is very high, so the current design of HVAC system has considered different innovative technologies to reduce the energy consumption. Heat/Energy recovery technologies in the forms of reducing the energy consumption and improving the performance of HVAC system have become essentially a field of significant interest for replacing the traditional system or even integrating with existing ones. My research aims to develop an innovative enthalpy recovery ventilation system to facilitate better indoor thermal comfort and improved energy and moisture control performance of buildings.

Project Title: Development and Optimization of Enthalpy Recovery Ventilation System.

Supervisors:

A/Prof. Zhenjun Ma
Prof. Paul Cooper

 


Jingjing (Jane) Liu

JIngjing Liu

Liquid desiccant air conditioning systems can simultaneously regulate the air temperature and humidity which reduces energy consumption and improves indoor thermal comfort in buildings. Membrane-based energy exchangers act as the most significant component in a system in order to eliminate carry-over of desiccant droplets that may induce corrosion and health problems. My research aims to design a liquid desiccant system using membrane-based energy exchangers for cooling and dehumidification in an energy-efficient and sustainable way.

Project Title: Membrane-based desiccant cooling and dehumidification

Supervisors:

A/Prof. Zhenjun Ma
A/Prof. Faisal I. Hai

Last reviewed: 20 February, 2019