On 28th MArch 2024,  GRID@UNSW and RIIS in cooperation with ISPRS Student Consortium convened DIGITAL TWINS WORKSHOP: 3D SPATIAL CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES. Researchers from Europe and Australia shared the lessons learned and elaborated on innovative solutions.

The online stream attracted over 230 registrations from over 50 countries – we thank those who joined in the middle of the night on the other side of the world, and for those who missed the proceedings we have provided online access to the presentations.

We are pleased to share the rich discussions and the presentations from the workshop here in the attached document and a playlist of the workshop can be accessed on YouTube.

Here are the individual presentations:

  1. Digital Twin Road –Physical-Informational Representation of the Future Road System: Jörg Blankenbach & David Crampen [PDF] [VID]
  2. NSW Spatial Digital Twin: Brenton Ray [VID]
  3. Advancing sustainable urban planning in spatial digital twin paradigm: Chyan Sun [PDF] [VID]
  4. Torino Spatial Digital twin: challenges in 3D modelling: Yogender Yadav [PDF] [VID]
  5. Digital Twins Research at ARC RIIS Hub: Johnson Shen [PDF][VID]
  6. Integrated application of knowledge graph and digital twin in infrastructure management: Jack Sun [PDF] [VID]
  7. Challenges in 3D data integration for Digital Twins: Abdoulaye Diakité [PDF] [VID]

Once again, thanks for joining us for the workshop and contributing to the discussions.

For upcoming events, please follow RIIS, UNSW@GRID, and ISPRS Student Consortium


Team connectedness spurs new ideas and close engagement

A year after formation, the RIIS Hub team has gathered in person in Sydney to share milestone progress across the Hub’s five Research Themes and supporting projects.




Opening the event, RIIS Hub Director Professor Nasser Khalili welcomed team members from UNSW Sydney, University of Western Sydney, QUT, University of Melbourne at this first in-person gathering of the growing team, and set the scene for the project updates that followed.

“We are firing on all cylinders, with ninety percent of RIIS Hub projects having started, or about to start, with the support of 22 world-leading professors, 4 post-doctoral fellows, 19 PhD students, multiple partners and the support and collaboration of many others,” Prof. Khalili shared.

Industry partners play a key role in ensuring RIIS Hub projects directly address and solve pressing infrastructure maintenance and industry health and safety challenges, and many were represented in person in the room, or joined via video link. Prof. Khalili encouraging industry that if a research project could benefit an organisation, or people have an interest or ideas for a project presented, to “let us know”, and that their involvement would be “wonderful”.

Throughout the day, RIIS research hub members shared the progress status of projects and research underway or at scoping stage; starting with the problem to be solved, and the potential of science and innovation to transform advanced manufacturing, service, and infrastructure engineering in Australia.

The collaborative, future-focused environment, unique to RIIS Hub was on full display, with the event enabling many team members to meet in person for the first time or reconnect in a dynamic forum for information sharing and learning.

Dr Binghao Li (UNSW) alluded to the RIIS Hub purpose by explaining that teams were working towards, “productive, connected, sustainable and smart infrastructure solutions”.

Also attended by industry partners, the event elevated multiple key challenges being addressed by RIIS associated with maintaining and improving wide-ranging public infrastructure in Australia.

‘Thinking big’ with the audience of science and industry innovators, Professor Wei Gao challenged and reminded that “brave ideas” from the team and partners will improve our world.

Projects overviewed, speed-dating style, were wide-reaching and inherently practical. Topics being addressed by research and system evolution covered corrosion, cleaning and maintenance solutions for infrastructure, along predictive structural integrity solutions and challenges, as well as new ways to address issues associated with aging and/or water-based environments for bridges, buildings, pylons and transport systems. Better health and safety solutions for people working on mine sites were overviewed, as well as new ways to deliver cost- and energy-efficiency to workplaces and homes based on sensor collectors and smarter energy and time-saving solutions and other smart systems.

Multiple RIIS Hub projects harness intelligent systems. The application of cutting edge innovation, including nano sensors, automation, predictive computational modelling, computer generated 3D and enhanced imagery, machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics are a feature of many projects, and Prof. Khalili warmly introduced Dr Mohsen Mousavi on the day as the Hub’s “AI guru”.

Chief Investigator Dr Babak Shahbodagh (UNSW) shared that data and physics is informing testing models of some AI frameworks, and that ‘real world’ data is training the system along with complex science, thereby making them “more efficient than existing systems”, and hinting at the computational complexity behind the early advances.

Fundamental scientific discoveries made in some projects will be able to be applied and leveraged in others, as the information is widely shared across Hub researchers, teams and Research Themes.

A presentation featuring industry partner representative James Linke, Director, Financial Manager, Chief Controller of GEOAI, about how they are working with RIIS researchers on a landmark (airport infrastructure) project in Australia was a highlight of the day. Research discovery and application, partner collaborations and client/commercial perspectives was shared as a case study with a ‘win-win-win’ outcome across multiple stakeholders.  Closing the session, Mr Linke thanked RIIS team “for a great opportunity to be part of something that’s going to change the industry”.

The value of the collective idea sharing and digging deep into the science in-person was apparent during highly engaging Q&A sessions, especially on the ‘hot topic’ of ‘digital twinning’. RIIS Hub may be able to shape a consistent definition in a fast-moving technology-driven landscape.


Theme overviews follow, noting more information about RIIS Hub, our team, partners and research  can be found on our website:

Theme 1

Theme 2

Theme 3

Theme 4

Theme 5

Presentation slides below

FINAL 14th March Combined Presentation PART 1

FINAL 14th March Combined Presentation PART 2



RIIS Event Photographer – Sina Akhyani




A celebration of World Engineering Day

A celebration of World Engineering Day

In celebration of World Engineering Day on 4 March, I would like to share my experience studying and working in the Engineering Field for the past 6 years of my career.

  • Why did you choose to study engineering/work in this field?

Since embarking on my career in Engineering, I have found myself continuously learning concepts and fundamentals. Through creativity and innovation, I have been able to apply these principles to solve critical problems. I chose to be an engineer because, regardless of specialization, I believe we impact society and shape the world around us.

  • What’s the main focus of your (RIIS) research?

As an engineer working across multiple disciplines, my focus at the RIIS hub is translating fundamental knowledge on nanotechnology-enabled sensors for monitoring mine health and safety. The outcome of this project is expected to have significant implications for safer mining and establishing more technologically advanced settings in the mining environment.

  • Why do you think engineering is an important area of study/skill/profession (in the context of future-proofing Australia’s urban, resource and energy infrastructure and/or sustainability?

By leveraging engineers’ skills and their innovation, I believe Australia can future-proof its urban, resource, and energy infrastructure while advancing sustainability goals and ensuring a prosperous and resilient future for generations to come. In this context, engineers are making critical contributions in Australia’s sustainable growth within a range of disciplines such as renewable energy solutions, water management, conservation, transportation infrastructure, and resilient infrastructure design.

  • In a sentence, what is a key component to creating ‘a sustainability’ mean to you?

In a key description, I would define sustainability as the forward-moving pursuit of prosperity for both present and future generations, achieved through the harmonious integration of environmental preservation, economic vitality, and societal well-being.

  • Is there a key area of concern being addressed by your work?

Specific to my project in RIIS hub, we aim to improve sustainable growth mining sector by advancing occupational health and safety monitoring technologies. Currently, there are several nanosensors under development in our laboratories for sensing critical gases in the mining industry, specifically for health and safety monitoring of mining workers.

  • How are you working with industry to better understand the challenges / solve them?

Active engagement with industry has provided me with a deeper understanding of real-world challenges and the necessity to develop innovative solutions that meet industry needs in a sustainable and cost-effective manner.

  • One unexpected thing about working in the engineering field that someone may not know?

Interdisciplinary collaboration and extensive teamwork are key components of most engineering endeavors, which many people might not be aware of. This fosters creativity and innovation, enriching engineers’ experience and knowledge.



UNSW RIIS Student Sana Shahoveisi was awarded the Steven Prize ACCM 2023

UNSW RIIS student Sana Shahoveisi was awarded the prestigious Steven Prize for the best paper at the 6th Australasian Conference of Computational Mechanics (ACCM-2023). ACCM provides an international platform for the exchange and dissemination of recent findings on a diverse range of advanced topics within Computational Mechanics. The 6th ACCM took place in Melbourne, Australia, in December 2023.

Sana delivered a presentation on her computational framework addressing the critical issues of modelling flaws and defect propagation, with a specific emphasis on fracturing in porous media. The paper titled “Hydro-Mechanical Fully Coupled Phase-Field Modelling of Fracture in Porous Media” provides a comprehensive study for simulating dynamic fractures. The focus is on addressing the challenges associated with crack width estimation in this context. The model is able to capture dynamic crack propagation by incorporating the kinetic energy in the coupled hydro-mechanical-damage equations. This research contributes to advancing our understanding of fractures in porous media through a comprehensive and innovative approach. 

This research has been conducted under the supervision of Lead CI Professor Nasser Khalili, CI Babak Shahbodagh, CI Mohammad Vahab, and Dr Sascha Eisenträger


Australian Network of Structural Health Monitoring Workshop & The Smart Infrastructure Summit 2023

ANSHM 15th Workshop

The 15th Workshop was a great success! It was held from 23rd to 24th November 2023, at Townsville and hosted by Rockfield Technologies and James Cook University (JCU). Many thanks for the organising committee led by Dr Govinda Pandey, CEO of Rockfield Technologies as the Chair and A/Prof Rabin Tuladhar as the Co-chair. DBI and EngAnalysis were Gold Sponsors and Monash University were Silver Sponsors of the Workshop.

The theme of the 15th ANSHM Workshop was Infrastructure Digitisation for Net Zero Transition with Day 1 as The Smart Infrastructure Summit 2023 and the 2nd Day as ANSHM Workshop. Dr Govinda Pandey, the Chair of the 15th ANSHM Workshop made the following statement which summarised well the success of these two days of event:

The summit successfully brought together Australia’s leading thought leaders, researchers, service providers, and key users of infrastructure monitoring technologies. With over 120 delegates representing more than 30 organisations in attendance, including nearly 50 participants who travelled from various parts of the country to Townsville, the event’s substantial turnout underscores its significance and relevance. The key highlight of the event is the resounding emphasis throughout the summit on the pivotal role that technology can and must play in ensuring a decarbonised future.

On Day 1, the Workshop was opened with the Welcoming Speeches by Cr Jenny Hill, Mayor of Townsville City Council and Prof Jenny Seddon, Deputy CV Research of JCU and Professor Tommy Chan (Lead CI RIIS Hub Executive) whose speech served partly as a welcoming speech by introducing ANSHM gave his visions and directions for SHM and ANSHM.

Keynote Speakers:

  • Mr Michael Caltabiano, CEO – NTRO (ARRB)
  • Mr Jason Hall, A/Chief Engineer – Energy Queensland
  • Prof Ian Atkinson, eResearch Professor JCU and a Futurist
  • Prof Brian Uy, Scientia Professor of Structural Engineering – UNSW
  • Dr Torill Pape, A/Deputy Chief Engineer Structures, E&T – Dept of Transport and Main Roads
  • Dr David Henderson, Chief Engineer – Cyclone Testing Station, JCU
  • Dr Sam Mazaheri, Chair Northern Chapter PIANC ANZ and SI Specialist DBCT
  • Mr John Vazey – Engineering Manager, EngAnalysis
  • Prof Tuan Ngo – The University of Melbourne

All the presentations were very insightful covering SHM applications to roads, houses, buildings, ports and energy infrastructure and the views of the speakers on how SHM could help achieve Net Zero in 2050.

There were two panel discussions on the first day with details as follows:

Panel Discussion 1:    Navigating Asset Management Challenges with Ageing Infrastructure: Opportunities and Barriers in Embracing Transformative Digital Technologies

Panellists:                   Nigel Powers (ARRB) / Dr Torill Pape (TMR) / Peter Prasad (ARTC) / Kathy Noonan (Energy Queensland)

Facilitator:                  Prof Jianchun Li (UTS)



Panel Discussion 2:    Collaboration Catalyst: Bridging Gaps and Overcoming Barriers.

Pitches on Industry by Dr Torill Pape (TMR) and Bill Weston (Queensland Rail)

Towards a Purposeful Industry-University-Government Collaboration

Panellists:                   Prof Hong Guan (Griffith) / Mario Martini (CSIRO) / Dr Denise Hodge (JourneyTech) / Greg Bruce (Townsville City Council)

Facilitator:                  Dr Ulrike Dackermann


The two panel discussions gave many insights for both the University and Industry attendees for collaboration oppertunities to deal with practical issues on asset management using SHM technologies.

Day 2, Prof Ron White, Dean – College of Science and Engineering gave the welcome speech. Keynote Session, presented by the following Keynote Speakers:

  • Dr Robert J Heywood, Department of Transport and Main Roads
  • A/Prof. Colin Caprani, Monash University
  • Dr David Lo Jacono, Jacobs
  • Dr Desiree Nortje, Transurban

Followed by a panel discussion:

Panellists:                  Dr Robert J Heywood (TMR), A/Prof. Colin Caprani (Monash), Dr David Lo Jacono (Jacobs), Dr Desiree Nortje (Transurban)

Facilitator:                  Dr Govinda Pandey

After the Keynote Session, there was the traditional workshop presentations (24) arranged into two parallel sessions.

Please click the link for the event booklet giving you more details on the 15th ANSHM Workshop, serving as a memento of the memorable summit for those who attended the Summit, and serving as an information booklet for those who had not attended.


Congratulations to Ensiyeh Javaherian Pour – runner-up Three-Minute Thesis

Ensiyeh Javaherian Pour was honoured as the runner-up in the Three-Minute Thesis presentation at the Information Resilience Ph.D. School, a two-day event held at the University of Melbourne from October 30th to 31st. This event was organised by the Centre for Information Resilience (CIRES), Australian Research Council (ARC) (ARC) Industrial Transformation Training Centre. Ensiyeh is currently pursuing her Ph.D. at the Centre for Spatial Data Infrastructures and Land Administration (CSDILA) at the University of Melbourne, under the supervision of Dr. Behnam Atazadeh, Prof. Abbas Rajabifard, and Dr. Soheil Sabri, as part of the  ARC Research Hub for Resilient and Intelligent Infrastructure Systems (RIIS)


Congratulations to Masoud Kamali -Runner-up Data Literacy Competition

Masoud Kamali was recognized as a runner-up in the data literacy competition during the two-day Information Resilience Ph.D. School held at the University of Melbourne from October 30 to 31. This event was hosted by the Centre for Information Resilience), an Australian Research Council (ARC) Industrial Transformation Training Centre. Currently, Masoud is pursuing his PhD at the University of Melbourne in the Centre for Spatial Data Infrastructures and Land Administration (CSDILA). He is supervised by Dr. Behnam Atazadeh, Dr. Yiqun (Benny) Chen, and Prof. Abbas Rajabifard, as part of the  ARC Research Hub for Resilient and Intelligent Infrastructure Systems (RIIS)

RIIS Hub Director invited to the Australian Research Council’s 2024 College of Experts

Congratulations to our RIIS Hub Director and Head of School PSM Professor Nasser Khalili for his recent invitation to join the Australian Research Council’s 2024 College of Experts.

The ARC College of Experts supports the advancement of knowledge and contributes to national innovation, and it plays a key role in identifying research excellence for the ARC. Members of the College are experts of international standing drawn from the Australian research community: from higher education, industry and public sector research organisations.

Prof Nasser Khalili is a globally recognised expert in unsaturated soil mechanics and computational geomechanics, and is the Director and Lead Chief Investigator for the Research Hub for Resilient and Intelligent Infrastructure Systems (RIIS)

There are currently 269 members on the 2023 College of Experts, with 13 from UNSW.

Appointments are for a three year duration.

The College of Experts assists the ARC by:

  • assigning external assessors
  • assessing and ranking ARC grant applications submitted under the National Competitive Grants Program
  • moderating external assessments
  • providing recommendations for fundable applications to the ARC CEO
  • assisting with recruiting through the nomination of new assessors
  • providing advice for peer review reforms, and
  • providing strategic advice to the ARC on emerging disciplines and cross-disciplinary developments.

Prof Khalili is no stranger to the work of the College, he was previously elected in 2018.



UNSW Student – Samah Said awarded a Travel Grant

UNSW RIIS Student Samah Said  was awarded a CIRES Travel Grant to help cover expenses to attend the  Information Resilience Ph.D. School

The PhD School is a 2-day, in-person event held at Melbourne Connect, Carlton Victoria. It targeted  current (at any stage of candidature) or prospective PhD students interested in exploring and understanding cutting-edge data science practices, pathways toward academic or industry careers, and prospects of next-generation research in the field.

It included:

  • Knowledge exchange and sharing, featuring talks and tutorials delivered by world-leading researchers including Prof Gao Cong, Nanyang Technical University, Singapore and Prof Jenny Zhang, RMIT University
  • Social networking, facilitated by interactive short presentation/poster sessions, banquet, roundtable discussions, etc.
  • Mentorship from both academic and industry, with the possibility of establishing long-term collaborations.

This event was hosted by the Centre for Information Resilience), an Australian Research Council (ARC) Industrial Transformation Training Centre

Chief Investigator of RIIS Associate Professor Jagannath Aryal receives an Asia-Pacific Award

Associate Professor Jagannath Aryal has received the Asia Pacific Spatial Excellence Awards Educational Development Award for his contributions to the transfer of skills and knowledge through teaching, training, research and publications.

Professor Jagannath Aryal APSEA award 2022 Educational Development (Oceania)

Associate Professor Aryal is a Chief Investigator within our RIIS Hub and is from the Department of Infrastructure Engineering at the University of Melbourne.  He has worked in government and academic sectors in close collaboration with private Industry. He has delivered surveying and remote sensing education to students throughout Asia, Europe and Oceania.

Associate Professor Jagannath is a chief investigator on  2 of our RIIS Projects

His research experience has also benefited a significant number of PhD completions and ongoing PhD supervisions. Associate Professor Aryal serves as the national chair of the Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute (SSSI), Australia’s Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Commission. In addition, he directs a research group focused on Earth observation.

His teaching and coaching have helped students who have gone on to successful careers in the geospatial industry.

The Geospatial Council of Australia confers the Educational Development Award on teachers, trainers, facilitators or academics who have not only significantly empowered individuals and groups, but also assisted others in acquiring expertise in surveying and spatial science. It recognises strong leadership in an educational role, as well as contributions and accomplishments during the past 18 months.

2022 State Level – Educational Development award (Victoria)

Associate Professor Aryal was awarded the APSEA award (Victoria) in 2022, and he was successful in receiving the APSEA award at the Oceania level in 2023.