Title:Solar tile with passive cooling
Description:Researchers built the device by attaching 17%-efficient monocrystalline PV cells to a mortar roof tile that was doped with a phase-change material (PCM). The PCM solar tile provided 4.1% more power than the PV tile with no cooling agent in the winter, and 2.2% to 4.3% more during the summer.
Title:We can make roof tiles with built-in solar cells - now the challenge is to make them cheaper
Description:Despite being such a sunkissed country, Australia is still lagging behind in the race to embrace solar power. While solar panels adorn hundreds of thousands of rooftops throughout the nation, we have not yet seen the logical next step: buildings with solar photovoltaic cells as an integral part of their structure. Our lab is hoping to change that. We have developed solar roof tiles with solar cells integrated on their surface using a specially customised adhesive.
Link:Post | Feed | LinkedIn

Fire spalling of high strength concrete (> 100 MPa) could even occur inside a steel tube! To delay/avoid the explosive failure of concrete, #fireprotection (such as using coating) is inevitable for such composite columns.

We conducted fire tests on concrete-filled steel columns made with high strength concrete and high strength steel (nominal yield stress of 690 MPa) in the structures lab at Western Sydney University. An unprotected composite column only survived 25 min before fire spalling of the internal concrete occurred. Protected by 20-mm thick #flyash-based fire protection coating developed through the ARC Nanocomm Hub Program in collaboration with Nu-Rock Corporation SARL, the protected column with a load level of 0.4 lasted for over 3 h! This demonstrates the effectiveness of our coating material in protecting composite columns in case of fire events. Despite the protection, explosive failure of concrete still occurred at the end of testing, which was recorded in the following video.

Link:Post | Feed | LinkedIn

There is an urgent need to improve the energy efficiency of buildings. According to the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) in Australia, all new houses or renovations require a minimum six-star, which will be further increased to seven stars next year. But house energy ratings of existing houses are often less than 2 stars.

We incorporated phase change material (PCM) into gypsum board and found that there is a synergy between the PCM board and thermal insulation. They can be used in combination to improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings. For a typical house, our simulation demonstrates that the optimal combination of PCM board and insulation in Darwin, Alice Springs and Sydney can improve the energy ratings of the house by 3.5, 3.8 and 4.3 stars in the three cities, respectively.

Link:Post | Feed | LinkedIn

So glad that pv magazine (published by pv magazine Global) further reported our recent research results "Effect of reflective coating on thermal and electrical performances of solar roof tiles" published by Energy Conversion and Management (

pv magazine Global is the leading global solar PV trade magazine, online news and events platform. Thank the Editor EMILIANO BELLINI for reporting our work. Congratulations again to all authors Dr Md Abdul AlimXiaojing HaoNariman Saeed (PhD, FIEAust, CPEng, NER)Md. Jaynul Abden and Ataur Rahman for this work.

Link:Post | Feed | LinkedIn

Very glad that our latest research results on solar roof tiles will be published in the journal of Energy Conversion and Management!

We conducted the first-ever research which used reflective coating to reduce the surface temperature of solar roof tiles to improve electrical efficiency. It was found that the surface temperature could be reduced by over 10 °C, and the electrical efficiency could be improved by up to 6.6%.

Link:Post | Feed | LinkedIn

Our article is published on The Conversation! Very proud of Alim and his achievements with the team led by Ataur Rahman!

Indeed, it is very important to get safe drinking water from harvested rainwater!

Link:Post | Feed | LinkedIn

Carbonate-activated geopolymer or alkaline cement has relatively low strength because of the slow reaction. Very pleased to address this issue in our latest paper accepted by the journal of Construction and Building Materials (

It is very exciting to find out that the 28-day compressive strength of the alkaline cement could be improved from 38.5 MPa up to 72.4 MPa by just adding 1 wt.% sodium or potassium citrate to the mixture! Compared with ordinary Portland cement, the alkaline cements’ greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced by up to 73%, and their costs can be reduced by up to 28%.

Congratulations to Qingtao (Edward) Huang, Dr Zhu Pan, Dr Richard Wuhrer, and Maroun G M Rahme for this interesting work!

Link:Post | Feed | LinkedIn
Description:It is my great pleasure and honour to be invited. Looking forward to sharing my research results of waste materials (especially coal tailings) with other conference participants 🙂
Link:Post | Feed | LinkedIn

A new PhD Scholarship at Western Sydney University is available for application and the candidate will work on a topic entitled "Behaviour of Steel Columns Filled with Concrete Incorporating High Volume Waste Glass"!

This research is part of a recent Discovery project funded by the Australian Research Council, which aims to provide a solution to the waste glass problem facing the global. We have successfully developed waste glass-based concrete by fully replacing sand and gravel with crushed glass and up to 72% cement with glass powder.

The candidate will receive a tax-free stipend of $33,106 (AUD) per annum for up to 3 years to support living costs with a tuition fee waiver.

If you are interested in the application, please contact me to discuss it further ( More details and how to apply can be found from the following link:

Link:Post | Feed | LinkedIn

Very glad to submit our final report (project C29057, Value-Added Products from Coal Tailings) to ACARP AUSTRALIAN COAL RESEARCH LIMITED!

Through the over two years' research, we found that it is viable to turn coal tailings into aggregates for road base/subbase and soil conditioners for agricultural applications. This will not only reduce the impact of tailings on our environment but also generate avenue from coal wastes. The full report will be published on the ACARP website in the near future:

I would like to thank Prof Zhonghua Chen (co-leader of this project) and all other research team members, including Utsab Katwal, PhDAtousa KhazaieMiingTiem YongSoheil Jahandari - Director of Chem ConcreteMohammad Babla, and Dr Md Abdul Alim, for their dedication and tireless efforts. We also received tremendous support from the industry, including Luke DimechMaroun G M RahmeDave OsborneAlistair Harriman, and Daniel Rahme. Their mentoring and advices are key to the success of this project. The financial support of ACARP is also greatly appreciated. Last but not least, I would like to thank the support from the School of Engineering, Design and Built Environment and Western Sydney University for this project. Hope the research results will be adopted by the industry in the near future.

On behalf of the research team, I will also present the research results in the forthcoming AWARE 2022 conference (International Conference On Assessing Waste And Recycle). I am humbled and honoured to be invited to give a Keynote speech (

Link:Post | Feed | LinkedIn

Very very glad with the amazing results of our field trial of tailings-based soil conditioners on tomato plants, leading to increased tomato yield by 11.1%!!!

We just picked up all tomato fruits from the field and got the amazing results. The soil conditioners developed by us in the last two years improved not only the yield but also fruit firmness (good for transportation) and amount of nutrients (brix content). Furthermore, the water retention capacity and microbial activities of the soil are also greatly improved!

We also conducted a cost-benefit analysis, which proves that the net benefit from the application of the soil conditioners reaches $4,600 per ha per season because of the increased yield. It is expected that similar benefits can be achieved on other plants. The products should also be very suitable for mine rehabilitation. Would be very happy to collaborate with anyone with interest in this technology (including coal mines) to explore opportunities. Anyone interested in this can contact me by email at Really hope our research can have an impact on community.

I cannot thank the team members enough for their two-year hard work, including Zhonghua ChenMiingTiem YongUtsab Katwal, PhDMohammad Babla, and many others. Special thanks also go to Luke DimechMaroun G M RahmeDave Osborne, and Alistair Harriman for their excellent guidance and support. The funding support from AUSTRALIAN COAL RESEARCH LIMITED is also highly appreciated.

Link:Post | Feed | LinkedIn

So glad our #flyash-based fire protection coating passed the real fire tests! In the structures lab at Western Sydney University, a unprotected high strength steel column with a nominal yield stress of 690 MPa only achieved a fire resistance of about 20 min. But the column protected by our coating with a thickness of 25 mm reached about 3 h under an axial load level of 0.5! The video below shows the last 10 min of the column in the furnace prior to failure (local buckling).

This project is part of the ARC Nanocomm Hub Program in collaboration with Nu-Rock Building Products. Congratulate Qingtao (Edward) Huang and Utsab Katwal, PhD for this achievement! I would like to thank Maroun G M RahmeWenhui Duan FTSE and many others for supporting this project.

We will conduct further research to develop design guidelines for using our #fireprotection coating.

Link:Post | Feed | LinkedIn

Very glad we just finished all required tests in developing a #sustainable fire protection coating at Western Sydney University. Congratulate Qingtao (Edward) Huang for reaching this milestone! So far, we have finished tests on density, compressive strength, adhesion, combustibility, thermal properties, surface burning, air erosion, corrosion, deflection and bond impact. After the impact testing, no spalling, delamination or cracking was found in the coating beneath the slab.

Collaborating with Nu-Rock Building Products, this novel
spray-applied fire-resistive material (SFRM) has excellent properties and cost effectiveness. Particularly, we used fly ash as the major ingredient in the SFRM, which is a waste product generated from thermal power plants. This project is part of ARC Nanocomm Hub Program. I would like to thank Maroun G M RahmeWenhui Duan FTSE and many others for supporting this project.

We will further test the real performance of the SFRM for protecting steel structures in fire in the next few months. Looking forward to the commercialisation of this product in the future.

Link:Post | Feed | LinkedIn

We reached a milestone in testing our coal tailings-based soil conditioners!

Yesterday, we applied the first batch of the soil conditioners to tomato plants in the field. Thanks the hard work of the team members, including Zhonghua Chen, Mr Miingtiem Yong, Utsab Katwal, PhDMohammad Babla, and many others. Special thanks also go to Maroun G M RahmeDave Osborne, and Luke Dimech for their excellent guidance and support. The funding support from Australian Coal Association (ACARP) is also highly appreciated.

We are also conducting parallel testing in a greenhouse. The application of our soil conditioners has greatly increased the number of tomato flowers. We expect increased yield as well!

Link:Post | Feed | LinkedIn

So thrilled to share that our ARC LIEF grant application for "National Facility for Physical Fire Simulation" is successful!

We will build a number of very large fire testing furnaces at Western Sydney University to test structural and non-structural members and systems (columns, beams, slabs, walls, joints, frames, facades and more...). This much needed Facility at WSU will serve academia, industry & government agencies in Australia and beyond!

We formed an amazing research team, including Professor Yixia (Sarah) ZhangBijan SamaliBrian UyXiao Lin (Joshua) Zhao, Prof. Hong Hao, Prof. Abhijit Mukherjee, Scott SmithYan ZhugeAmin HeidarpourDao Ngoc The VinhWengui LiKate NguyenFarhad Aslani, and myself.

This success is not possible without the support from Western Sydney UniversityUniversity of SydneyUNSWCurtin UniversityUniversity of AdelaideUniversity of South AustraliaMonash UniversityUniversity of Technology SydneyRMIT University and The University of Western Australia.

Looking forward to working with my colleagues to get the facility built and installed as soon as possible!

Link:Post | Feed | LinkedIn

We studied the possibility of turning coal wastes and organic wastes into revenue-earning products of environmental and economic values in the form of pellets for soil conditioning. This is highlighted in our new article "Value-added products as soil conditioners for #sustainable #agriculture" in the journal of Resources, Conservation & Recycling.

Based on the project funded by the Australian Coal Association Research Program (No: C29057), we have turned this into reality and successfully developed coal tailings-based soil conditioners. We are conducting field trials on the growth of tomato.

Free access of this article by clicking on this link before January 22, 2022

Title:Ecobond - Green Industries SA and Innovyz
Description:Ecobond Pty. Ltd. has developed CO2 Concrete, which has matched strength of virgin concrete, but with 10% cost reduction. This has highlighted our innovation, importance of technologies and future plans.
Title:New Colombo Plan Mobility Program, Chongqing, China
Description:We have been awarded the New Colombo Plan Mobility Program entitled, How to Reduce Greenhouse-Gas Emissions for Buildings? A Unified View. This proposed Mobility Project is employing a one-to-one approach: One higher-degree research student or researcher from Chongqing University will supervise one undergraduate student from Western Sydney University to conduct research activities on sustainable construction. This proposed short-term 9-week research from January to March 2018 for six Western Sydney University undergraduate students aims not only improving students??? training but also: (i) allowing them to gain fruitful cultural experience, (ii) strengthening undergraduate quality research training and education, and (iii) bringing cutting-edge technologies in construction management to Australia. We have produced the video to showcase what we have achieved, what the students have experienced, and for the future students who are interested into the program.
Title:Testimony from Professor Guiwen Liu for New Colombo Plan Mobility Program
Description:Professor Guiwen Liu, Dean of School of Construction Management, Chongqing University was pleased to host students from Western Sydney University and very appreciated the opportunities provided by the New Colombo Plan Mobility Program from the Australian Government.
Title:CO2 Concrete Development
Description:We have developed CO2 Concrete, by injecting CO2 into recycled aggregate for recycled concrete production under specific conditions.
Title:Ecobond Pitch
Description:We pitched for Ecobond at ASX Building in March 2018. This is the summary of our research commercialisation for the last 12 months with Innovyz Institute Pty. Ltd. We have been co-leading a Project team, selected in the Top 8 research teams in Australia by Innovyz Institute Pty. Ltd. and Green Industries SA, Government of South Australia, under $1.5 million funding supported by Green Industries SA, Government of South Australia, for an intensive 9-month Waste and Recycling Technologies Commercialise Program, since March 2017, focusing on innovative ways to reduce waste, enhance recycling or return waste as resources.
Title:Ecobond Pty. Ltd.
Description:We have invented CO2 Concrete, which is a new process for producing durable and high-strength recycled concrete. We have been injecting carbon dioxide into recycled aggregate for bonding improvement, and thus recycled concrete performance enhancement using our optimal mix design. This benefits the environment in two ways: (1) Lessening carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, thus we help reduce carbon emissions, address global warming, and solve climate change issues; and (2) Reducing landfill space by turning construction waste into construction material, i.e. our CO2 concrete???s performance can match that of virgin concrete, and even surpass it. Our processes can bring direct benefits to concrete batching plants as CO2 concrete can be effectively and efficiently employed. Many leading concrete suppliers have researched this capability, but none have yet been successful.
Title:Sustainable Construction Technology
Description:Vivian delivered a Keynote Speech at the Australia - Korea Research Colloquium for Smart Community via Advanced Technologies in December 2017. The event was sponsored by the Australia-Korea Foundation, and hosted by University of South Australia.
Title:TSA Project
Description:Collaborative project with Industry on the development of new product
Title:Simulation animations
Description:A collection of animations demonstrating the numerical modelling work by Dr Kejun Dong
Title:ANSHM Newsletter
Description:Utilising Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) for Health Monitoring of Bridges
Title:ANSHM Newsletter
Description:Drones for Bridge Health Monitoring
Title:ANSHM Newsletter
Description:Health Monitoring of Small Bridges
Title:Commentary on Recent Tragic Collapse of FIU Pedestrian Bridge
Description:Commentary on Recent Tragic Collapse of FIU Pedestrian Bridge
Title:Future Makers
Description:Eye in the Sky Keeps Bridges Safe
Title:Infrastructure Magazine
Description:Revolutionising bridge health monitoring