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2023 DigitalFUTURES Young Award – Ding Wen 'Nic' Bao


DigitalFUTURES was initiated in 2011 by Neil Leach and Philip Yuan, as a collaborative venture involving students from the University of Southern California (USC) and Tongji University. It consisted of a festival of workshops, lectures, and a conference, held over the summer months. It is a platform and community that focuses on the intersection of architecture, design, and emerging technologies. It aims to explore the possibilities and potentials of computational design, digital fabrication, robotics, and other cutting-edge technologies in the field of architecture and design. DigitalFUTURES Young Award is given to an individual or group of young scholars/practitioners/educators in recognition of their exceptional contributions to the field of digital design and fabrication in their early careers. 


Nic Bao was nominated by the DigitalFUTURES fellows and was voted for by a judging panel comprising Prof Areti Markopoulou (IAAC), Prof Mette Thomsen (CITA), Prof Mike Xie (RMIT), Prof Philippe Block (ETH), Prof Achim Menges (ICD Stuttgart), Prof Mario Carpo (UCL Bartlett) and Prof Patrick Schumacher (AA & ZHA). Nic Bao is the first recipient of this prestigious award from an Australian university. The other and previous winners have hailed from world-leading architectural institutions including MIT, ICD Stuttgart, UCL Bartlett, ETH Zurich, TU Delft, IAAC, and Tongji University.


Nic Bao also led a workshop titled "Emerging Form" with Prof. Mike Xie and Dr. Xin Yan, served as the session chair for the "Computation & Formation" parallel session, and co-authored a paper titled "Weaving Tectonics: Algorithmically Robotic FRP Weaving of Optimized Planar Structures" at the 13th Architectural DigitalFUTURES workshop and 5th International Conference on Computational Design and Robotic Fabrication (CDRF 2023)

DigitalFUTURES Young Award

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Jiaming Ma - Winner of 2022 Hangai Prize with Jeff Lee  - Winner of the 2021 Hangai Prize.

The 20th IASS Hangai Prize Winner – Jiaming Ma


The Hangai Prize was established in 2001 in memory of Professor Yasuhiko Hangai (Japan, 1942-1998), a very active member of the international association for shell and spatial structures (IASS) and its Executive Council.  In accordance with Professor Hangai's career-long encouragement for young people, the award recognizes young talented researchers, designers, and engineers working in the field of shell and spatial structures whose papers are judged to be most meritorious by the Hangai Prize Committee.  2022 marks the 20th anniversary of the Hangai Prize.  Many recipients of the prize are now leading experts in the field and play an active role.  Jiaming Ma was awarded the Hangai prize for his outstanding paper on PrintNervi – Design and construction of a ribbed floor system in the digital era and was invited to deliver a plenary presentation at the IASS 2022 Annual Symposium held in Beijing on 19-22 September 2022.


International Association for Shell and Spatial (IASS)



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IASS 2023 Symposium - Melbourne

April 2023


The symposium will be held on 10–14 July 2023 at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne, Australia.

For all information please go to IASS 2023 Website



Early bird registration ends:                                           Mar. 31, 2023

Standard registration fee:                                               Apr. 01, 2023

Submission of full papers:                                              Mar. 31, 2023

Notification of final acceptance:                                   Apr. 30, 2023

IASS 2023 Symposium - Announcement

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IASS 2023 Promotional Video

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Students and colleagues with Professor Mike Xie and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Calum Drummond at the Engineers Australia awards ceremony.

Sir John Holland Civil Engineer of the Year Award - Mike Xie

11 August 2022

Congratulations to Distinguished Professor Yi Min 'Mike' Xie, Director of RMIT's Centre for Innovative Structures and Materials, who received the Sir John Holland Civil Engineer of the Year Award at the annual Engineers Australia Excellence Awards ceremony last night.

The award is presented annually by Engineers Australia to an eminent civil engineer who has made a major contribution to the sector, including the development of new technology, contribution to the use of ecologically sustainable development and service to the engineering profession.

Mike has been recognised for his work in developing new technologies to deliver sustainable free-form architecture, including the original development and subsequent worldwide adoption of a technology known as Evolutionary Structural Optimisation (ESO) and Bi-directional ESO (BESO).

This technology has been used by thousands of engineers and architects around the globe to design innovative structures including several landmark buildings.  Mike has also made an outstanding contribution to the education of next generation civil engineers in Australia.

Mike is one of the most highly cited civil engineers in the world, with more than 24,000 citations to his books and papers on a wide range of topics in the field of civil and structural engineering.

Mike said he was humbled to receive the award, and thanked Engineers Australia for the honour.

“This award recognises the significant contributions by all the teams I have worked with over the past 30 years.  It has been a great privilege for me to collaborate with so many talented researchers, engineers and students.  It is gratifying to see that some of the techniques we have developed are making a positive impact on the industry and the society."

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Grand Prix Design Paris 2021 Gold Award - Nic Bao, Xin Yan and

Mike Xie


The Grand Prix du Design Paris known as the GPDP Award enjoys a high status in the global industrial design field. With the diversified integration and development of the international design industry, the French Design Institute has established the GPDP Award (Grand Prix Design Paris) for the global architectural design, interior design, and product design fields. It aims to recognize the most innovative and creative world-famous designers, well-known design institutions, and product vendors in architectural design, interior design, product design, and other fields that meet the international 5E design standards. RMIT CISM Team members Nic Bao, Xin Yan and Prof Mike Xie won the 2021's Best GPDP Award - GOLD Award (Best of Cultural Building) for their excellent project "Intelligent Form".

Grand Prix Design Paris (GPDP) 2021 GOLD Award 

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ACCM 2021 Best Paper Award - Jiaming Ma


The ACCM Conference series started in 2013 with the ACCM-2013, ACCM-2015, ACCM-2017, ACCM-2019 successfully held in Sydney, Brisbane, Geelong, and Hobart, respectively.  The ACCM Conference is supported by the Association for Computational Mechanics (AACM) and has become a flagship event for the Australasian Computational Mechanics Community. ACCM 2021 brings researchers at the forefront in the field of Computational Mechanics together to discuss the recent advances in Computational Mechanics across disciplines and to exchange innovative academic and research ideas. Best HDR and ECR paper awards are presented to excellent researchers. Jiaming won the “HDR Best Paper Award”, entitled “Computational morphogenesis and experimental measurement of 3D leaf vein structure” at the conference of 5th Australasian Conference on Computational Mechanics in Sydney.

Australian Association for Computational Mechanics (AACM)

The 5th Australasian Conference on Computational Mechanics (ACCM 2021)

ACCM2021 Best Paper - Extended Abstract

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RMIT Awards for Research Impact 2021 Winner - Nic Bao


RMIT Research Excellence and Impact Awards and Prizes recognise and celebrate the research achievements of staff, including Early Career Researchers and Higher Degree by Research candidates who have made significant contributions to research excellence and impact, and research training. The RMIT Prize for Research Impact – HDR (Higher Degree by Research) recognises an HDR candidate who can demonstrate the potential for significant impact of their research outside the academic community. The definition of impact for this award includes the demonstrable contribution that research makes to the economy, society, culture, national security, public policy or services, health, the environment, or quality of life, beyond contributions to academia. The selection of prize recipients is by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation based on recommendations of the Awards Panel. Nic Bao was awarded the prize for his outstanding performance on interdisciplinary research, exploring how buildings can be shaped and optimised through robotic fabrication in line with both architectural and structural design requirements in the past years.

2021 RMIT Awards for Research Excellence and Impact

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IASS Hangai Prize 2021 Winner - Jeff Lee


The Hangai Prize was established in 2001 in memory of Professor Yasuhiko Hangai (Japan, 1942-1998), a very active member of the IASS and its Executive Council.  In accordance with Professor Hangai's career-long encouragement for young people, the award recognizes young talented researchers, designers, and engineers working in the field of shell and spatial structures whose papers submitted to the annual IASS Symposium are judged to be most meritorious by the Hangai Prize Committee. Jeff Lee was awarded the prize for his outstanding paper on From ruled surfaces to Elastica-ruled surfaces: New possibilities for creating architectural forms.

International Association for Shell and Spatial (IASS)

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CAADRIA Young 2021 Winner - Nic Bao


The Young CAADRIA Awards was established in 2004, funded by CAADRIA and include sponsorship of conference registration fees and a certificate presented during the conference. The awards are allocated by the committee jointly formed by CAADRIA, the Paper Selection Committee, and the Conference Host and are based on the merit of the paper, contribution and relevance to CAADRIA and demonstrated the depth of research interest. Nic Bao was awarded the prize for his outstanding paper on SwarmBESO: Multi-agent and evolutionary computational design based on the principles of structural performance.

The Association for Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia (CAADRIA)

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Victoria Prize for Science & Innovation 2020 Winner - Mike Xie


The Victoria Prize for Science and Innovation celebrates leadership, determination and creativity. It also highlights the many ways in which research and development of international significance are conducted in Victoria. This prestigious prize is for a scientific discovery or technological innovation, or a series of such achievements that significantly advances knowledge. The clear potential to produce a commercial outcome or other substantial benefits to the community is highly regarded.

Victorian Endowment for Science, Knowledge and Innovation (VESKI)

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