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Distinguished Professor Yi Min 'Mike' Xie

Professor Mike Xie is the founding director of the Centre for Innovative Structures and Materials (CISM).  Currently he is an Australian Laureate Fellow and an RMIT University Distinguished Professor.


His team pioneered the evolutionary structural optimisation (ESO) and bi-directional evolutionary structural optimisation (BESO) methods, which have been used by thousands of engineers and architects around the world to design novel structures including several landmark buildings.  He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering.


His research impact in the field of structural optimisation has been recognised by the 2017 AGM Michell Medal and the 2017 Clunies Ross Innovation Award.  In 2019, he was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List and appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM), for “significant service to higher education, and to civil engineering”.  In 2020, he was awarded the Victoria Prize for Science and Innovation.  In 2022, he received the Sir John Holland Civil Engineer of the Year award.  Professor Xie has published two research monographs and over 400 journal articles and conference papers.  He is one of the most highly cited researchers in his field.  Professor Xie has collaborated with a wide range of local and international companies, including Arup, Aurecon and Boeing.


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Dr Ding Wen 'Nic' Bao


Dr Nic Bao is a Lecturer in Architecture and Architectural Technology at the School of Architecture and Urban Design, RMIT University, and a Visiting Professor at Shenzhen University. Previously, Nic used to teach at the University of Melbourne, Monash University, Tongji University etc. His research explores design methodologies for establishing a complementary relationship among architecture, computational design, topological optimisation, behavioural algorithms, robotic fabrication, additive manufacturing, and intelligent construction.

Nic is a practising architect, who used to work for Bates Smart, Fender Katsalidis, etc. He holds Australian and US Registered Architect, and UK RIBA Chartered Architect. Currently, Nic is the director of BDW Architects and founder of FormX Tech. Nic is also a committee member of the Australian Institution of Architects, CAADRIA and DigitalFUTURES.

​Nic completed his PhD in Civil Engineering and Architecture at School of Engineering and School of Architecture & Urban Design, RMIT University, where he gained Bachelor of Architecture in 2012
. He also holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Melbourne and used to exchange at Tsinghua University, Chinese University of Hong Kong and Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (UPC) in Barcelona.


Nic’s work has been exhibited and published widely, including Hong Kong BoDW, DigitalFutures, IASS Expo, Shenzhen Biennale, Melbourne Design Week, Venice Biennale, National Gallery of Victoria, etc. Nic is a scientific reviewer and session chair for international conferences, including CAADFutures, CAADRIA, ASCAAD, eCAADe and DigitalFutures. Recently Nic received IAI Design Award, the Grand Prix Design Paris Gold Award, MUSE Design Award, RMIT Prize for Research Impact (Design), Young CAADRIA Award, RMIT Engineering Publication & Impact Prize and CISM Research Excellence Award.


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Dr Minghao Bi


Dr Minghao Bi is a research assistant at the Centre for Innovative Structures and Materials (CISM), School of Engineering, RMIT University.  His research focuses on designing and fabricating innovative structures using advanced manufacturing techniques.


Minghao received his B.Envs. and M.Eng. degrees in structural engineering with high distinction from the University of Melbourne in 2016 and 2018.  He then completed his Doctor of Philosophy degree at RMIT University in 2022 with the thesis entitled ‘Generating structurally efficient forms for digital fabrication: a pathway to manufacturing-ready design’. During his PhD study, Minghao developed several novel design frameworks to generate structurally efficient and manufacturing-ready designs for additive manufacturing.  Three research outputs have been published in the leading journal in the field—Additive Manufacturing.


Minghao’s fields of expertise include topology optimisation, finite element analysis, 3D modelling, digital fabrication, advanced manufacturing techniques and toolpath design for 3D printing.


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Dr Mohamed Gomaa


Mohamed is a post-doctoral researcher at the Centre for Innovative Structures and Materials (CISM) at RMIT University, where he works as part of an ARC project on digital design and fabrication of free-form architecture. Mohamed has been working in both academia and practice since 2010, with teaching and research experience spanning across Egypt, UK and Australia. He received his PhD from the University of Adelaide in 2020. He holds a master’s degree from the Welsh School of Architecture at Cardiff University, UK. Mohamed’s research focuses on integrating digital fabrication techniques and sustainable materials, with a special interest in additive manufacturing. Mohamed has a strong background in computational design, robotic fabrication and energy performance simulation. His research outcomes have been published in top international journals.

Mohamed was awarded several scholarships and grants in recognition of his academic and research excellence such as Chevening Scholarship from the UK government, ASI Scholarship and RAS grant from the University of Adelaide in Australia. He worked as a lead research associate in Cardiff University and Plymouth University in the UK, on a project funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). In addition, Mohamed worked as a research and teaching assistant at Cardiff University, the University of Adelaide and the University of South Australia. He also worked as Assistant Lecturer at Tanta University in Egypt.


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Dr Ngoc San Ha


Dr Ngoc San Ha is a Lecturer in Civil and Infrastructure Engineering at RMIT University.  He received his PhD degree in Engineering with a specialisation in structural mechanics at Konkuk University in South Korea with an outstanding graduation award in 2014.


Previously, Dr Ha was a Sessional Lecturer in the School of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences at La Trobe University and a Research Fellow at Swinburne University of Technology and Curtin University.  Currently, Dr Ha is a member of the Centre for Innovative Structures and Materials (CISM) at RMIT University, led by an ARC Laureate Fellow - Distinguished Professor Mike Xie.  Dr Ha's research interests include bio-inspired structures, construction materials, energy absorption of structures and materials, mechanical metamaterials, advanced composite structures and structural analysis under extreme conditions.


Dr Ha has been consistently producing top-notch research outcomes including one book chapter and more than 40 articles in peer-reviewed international journals.  His publications were recognised as highly cited papers in Composite Part B and Journal of Bionic Engineering.  Dr Ha and his co-authors have also received two best-paper awards for their research on biomimetics.  Dr Ha was a guest editor of the Internal Journal of Protective Structures and is currently a topic editor at the journal Materials.  Dr Ha has been involved in several research project grants as an investigator, including ARC Linkage Project and NSF China.



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Dr Ting-Uei (Jeff) Lee


Dr Ting-Uei (Jeff) Lee comes from an engineering academic background. He has a strong research interest in modelling complex 3D forms with the consideration of material behaviours using computational design techniques.

Jeff completed his Bachelor of Engineering at the University of Queensland (UQ) in 2015 and his Doctor of Philosophy in collaboration between UQ and Tianjin University in 2019. Within Jeff’s PhD thesis entitled “Elastic energy behaviours of curved-crease origami”, he has solved a major problem in curved-crease origami research, that is the analytical representation of curved-crease origami with the consideration of material bending behaviours. Applications of his new origami theory include modelling of target folded forms, simulation of compliant folding behaviours and accurate response of physical phenomena. It offers a strong research platform for curved-crease origami ranging from the fundamental geometrical relations to potential engineering applications.

In July 2020, Jeff commenced as a research fellow in the Centre for Innovative Structures and Materials (CISM) under the supervision of Distinguished Professor Mike Xie. Jeff’s active research areas include topology optimisation, origami-inspired engineering, compliant mechanisms, novel architectural geometries, deployable structures, and lightweight/modular constructions.


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Dr Xiaoshan (Susanna) Lin

Dr Xiaoshan (Susanna) Lin is a Senior Lecturer in Structural Engineering at RMIT University. She received her PhD degree in Civil Engineering from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in 2012.

Before joining RMIT University in 2016, Dr Lin had been working as a postdoctoral researcher at UNSW Canberra, University of Liverpool in the UK and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Dr Lin’s fields of expertise include development of advanced finite element techniques for accurate and efficient numerical simulations, high performance reinforced concrete and composite materials, and structural analysis under extreme conditions.

Dr Lin has been involved in different research projects as a chief investigator, including ARC Discovery Projects and Victorian government funded research projects. In 2019, she published one research monograph on finite element analysis of composite structures. Dr Lin has supervised two PhD students to completion, and is currently supervising ten PhD students and two Masters by Research students.


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Dr Hongjia Lu


Hongjia Lu is a research fellow at the Centre for Innovative Structures and Materials (CISM) at RMIT University, where he works on the ARC Laureate Fellowship project.  He received his B.Eng. Degree in civil engineering from The University of Liverpool in 2013; M.Sc. degree in structural engineering from the Imperial College London in 2014; and his Ph.D. degree from the University of Sheffield in 2017 with a thesis entitled ‘Application of layout optimisation to the design of bracing in buildings’.


Hongjia’s research interests include truss layout optimisation, continuum topology optimisation and applications related to building structure design and additive manufacturing (AM).  From 2017 to 2019 he worked as a core software developer at LimitState Ltd and contributed to the development of layout optimisation plugins Limitstate:FORM (Ansys SpaceClaim based) and Peregrine (Rhino-Grasshopper based).  From 2019 to 2020, he worked as a Research Associate on the INTEGRADDE project at the University of Sheffield and focused on the structural optimisation of metal components manufactured using multi-axis AM machines.  He worked at the Zhejiang University in 2021 and headed a research project involving three post-graduate students on AM related topology and layout optimization.


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Dr Jiaming Ma


Jiaming Ma is a post-doctoral researcher at the Centre for Innovative Structures and Materials (CISM) at RMIT University, where he works on the ARC Laureate Fellowship project.  He has a strong research interest in the design and fabrication of innovative structures using topology optimisation and advanced manufacturing techniques.


Jiaming received his double degrees of B.Eng. (Hons.) in mechanical engineering from Shandong University in China and RMIT University in Australia in 2018.  He will soon complete his PhD in CISM at RMIT University in 2022, with the thesis entitled ‘Design and Fabrication of Innovative Shell Structures Using Topology Optimisation and Advanced Manufacturing Techniques’.  During his PhD study, Jiaming developed new techniques to create innovative shell structures and examined representative shell structures in nature and engineering applications.  His research outcomes have been published in leading international journals.


Jiaming is experienced in topology optimisation, computational morphogenesis, lightweight shell structure design, and novel fabrication and construction methods.  He received the 2022 Hangai Prize from the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS), the Best Research Student Paper Award at the Fifth Australasian Conference on Computational Mechanics, and the Postgraduate Research Excellence Award at CISM.  Jiaming was the President of the Chinese Association of Professionals and Scholars in Australia, the General Chair of the 13th Research Symposium for Chinese PhD Students and Scholars in Australia and is the core member of the organizing committee of the IASS Annual Symposium 2023.



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Dr Anooshe Rezaee Javan

Dr Anooshe Rezaee Javan is a research assistant at the Centre for Innovative Structures and Materials (CISM). Her research focuses on developing new methods for designing and fabricating free-form architectural structures. She obtained her PhD degree from RMIT University in 2018.


Her PhD thesis investigated the static and dynamic behaviour of a new high-performance interlocking brick assembly. Anooshe completed her master’s degree in seismic engineering at Sharif University of Technology in 2008. Moreover, Anooshe is a professional structural engineer with over eight years of design experience of a wide range of structures, with a strong understanding of structural behaviour. She has highly developed skills in numerical analysis and experimental studies.

Anooshe’s fields of expertise include free-form architectural structures, novel architectural geometries, designing complex structures and utilising innovative digital techniques.


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Dr Jonathan Tran


Dr Jonathan Tran is a senior lecturer in the Department of Civil and Infrastructure Engineering, and a member of the Centre for Innovative Structures and Materials (CSIM), School of Engineering, RMIT University.

His research interests lie at the interface between solid mechanics and materials engineering with the aim to develop novel materials that exhibit paradigm-shifting properties for extreme loading protection that can impact the general field of infrastructure and lightweight structural materials.

Dr Tran received his PhD in Theoretical & Applied Mechanics from the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, USA and then worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Northwestern University, USA. Dr Tran has supervised over ten PhD students with four completions. He has published three book chapters and over 90 refereed journal articles.


Dr Tran and his PhD students were awarded a number of best paper prizes for their research on computational mechanics and shock & impact on structures. His recent research on 3D printing concrete mimicking lobster’s shell has been featured in over 300 online and broadcast stories in mainstream, science and trade-focused media including Reuters, New York Post, Australian Manufacturing, Daily Mail.


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