Hub Management Team

paul zulli bio colour

Dr Paul Zulli was appointed Director of the ARC Research Hub for Australian Steel Manufacturing in March 2017. He is an internationally recognised leader in steel manufacturing research, technology development and deployment, combining over 30 years of technical and management experience across many aspects of the steel and ferrous minerals industries. He is a respected leader of multi-disciplinary teams, with an established reputation for delivery of tactical and strategic project outcomes into various operating businesses.  An influential senior manager, he has been active in seeking to bridge the gaps between academic research products and innovative industrial solutions, with the goal to provide value-adding and sustainable outcomes.  He has been successful in securing numerous competitive national funds.  His specific areas of scientific reputation include development and implementation of simulation methods and operational systems concerned with complex manufacturing processes in difficult industrial settings, coupled with experimentation, pilot and plant trials activities. He is an elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

Bonnie Johnston bio photo

Bonnie is the Steel Research Hub Administration Coordinator. She started her career by undertaking a Business Administration Traineeship at Skydive the Beach after which she completed a Business Diploma. Bonnie has over twelve years of experience in different roles at the University of Wollongong including customer service, finance, travel coordinator and marketing and events.

Chief Investigators

Dr Roba Abbas bio

Roba Abbas is a Senior Lecturer of Operations, Systems and Digital Transformation in the Faculty of Business and Law at the University of Wollongong (UOW), Australia. She has served in research, teaching, and governance roles in multiple schools at the Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences / Faculty of Informatics at UOW since 2007. Roba is the Chair of the Technical Activities Executive Committee of the IEEE, and previously the Co-Editor-in-Chief / Co-Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society and Associate Editor of the IEEE Technology and Society Magazine. Since 2006, she has been researching socio-technical ecosystems, emphasising interdisciplinarity, co-design and complex systems dynamics at the intersection of society, technology, ethics, and regulation. Within the Steel Research Hub, she is involved in Program 4 (Steel Supply Chain Transformation), specifically Project 4.2.1 - Mapping Technical Knowledge Flow within the Innovation Functions of a Steel Company. 

Professor Geoffrey Brooks has over 25 years' experience in research relating to process metallurgy, steelmaking and sensor development.  He has carried out steelmaking research in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, working at University of Wollongong, McMaster University, CSIRO and Swinburne University of Technology.  In recent years he has concentrated on modelling of Oxygen Steelmaking, development of sound, vibration and image sensors for the metallurgical industry and studying the fundamentals of novel ironmaking routes.  Professor Brooks and his co-workers have major international awards from the ISS, AIST, TMS, ASM and IOM3 for their research.

Professor Nick Birbilis is presently the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science, Engineering, and Built Environment the Deputy Dean at Deakin University. His research is broadly in the area of materials design, with an emphasis on metallic materials. Materials characterisation and metal corrosion are usually the key accompanying research themes – with a focus on durable and sustainable materials (including protective coatings). Nick was previously the Woodside Innovation Chair at Monash University, where he was also the Head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. He is a Fellow of the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE, USA), a Fellow of the Electrochemical Society (ECS), and a Fellow of the International Society of Electrochemistry (ISE). In. Nick has also been awarded numerous awards, including the Batterham Medal from the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and the HH Uhlig Award from the Electrochemical Society. He has authored over 350 publications and is the Editor-in-chief of the interdisciplinary journal npj Materials Degradation. and serves as a long-standing Editor for the journal Electrochimica Acta.

Dr Jayan S Vinod is an Associate Professor in the School of Civil, Mining, Environmental, and Architectural (CMEA) Engineering at the University of Wollongong. His key research areas include discrete element modelling of geomaterials, soil dynamics, and transport geomechanics. His current research focuses on the application of waste materials for various infrastructure construction.

Dr Jayan S Vinod is the recipient of the Australia-India EMCR Fellowship from the Australian Academy of sciences. He is an associate editor for the Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering (ASCE)[Q1]; Ground Improvement Journal (ICE)[Q2] and also editor-in-chief for the International Journal of Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering (IGI Global)[Q3]. He has a strong relationship with industries through many competitive research grant funding. He has published over 115 refereed publications and delivered numerous invited and keynote lectures in his research area. He is currently the Head of students (HoST) for the ME program in Engineering (EIS) and the Academic Program Director (APD) for the ME program in the school of CMEA.

Associate Professor Fabijanic is a metallurgist with a specialisation in the research fields of surface engineering, surface degradation of metals, metal additive manufacturing, and high entropy alloys. The main thrust of his research is to understand the mechanisms of surface related failure (wear, oxidation and corrosion) in metals and to develop novel surface modifications to counter these degradation mechanisms. Examples include, laser cladding high entropy alloys on superalloys for high temperature oxidation resistance (ARC IIRH Additive manufacturing and AISRF grant), high entropy metal matrix composite claddings for extreme wear environments (ARC IITC mineAlloy), and the design of surface modifications for titanium to resist erosion/corrosion in the extreme environments of hydrometallurgy reactors (CRCp).

In the ARC Steel Research Hub, he leads research conducted in partnership with InfraBuild Wire and Manufacturing focussed on novel thermo-mechanical processing routes to create high strength reinforcement bar, and on developing new hot dip zinc coatings and processes for wire product.

Elena Ivanova

Professor Elena Ivanova is a Distinguished Professor at RMIT's School of Science. She has worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, Japan; Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center of Marine Biotechnology, University of Maryland; Visiting Professor at Hokkaido University, Japan; Cambridge University, UK and Institute Charles, Sadron, CNRS, France; she joined Swinburne University of Technology in 2001 and moved to RMIT University in 2018.

Within the Steel Research Hub, her project will contribute to the broader Hub Program “SRH II Program 2 Product Innovation Technology”, which aims to develop a commercial stable coating with antifungal properties, which can be incorporated into current BlueScope coatings and manufacturing processes. The role of her research in the broader project is to provide guidance in the selection and implementation of topographically modified surfaces that will exhibit long-term inhibition to the adhesion and growth of fungal spores to coated roofing products.

Azdiar Gazder bio

Dr Azdiar Gazder is a Senior Research Fellow of electron microscopy, advanced material micro-analysis, diffraction, and crystallography at the UOW Electron Microscopy Centre. He is a physical metallurgist specialising in the characterisation of fundamental deformation, recrystallisation and phase transformation phenomena in novel alloy systems used within the engineering, defence, aerospace, and medical sectors.

He has authored over 90 publications, is an elected Fellow of the Royal Microscopical Society and a Certified Materials Professional by Materials Australia and serves as an Executive Member of the Australian Microbeam Analysis Society Council which represents the broader Australian micro-analysis community.

Within the ARC Research Hub for Australian Steel Innovation, Dr Gazder’s work is on “3.1: Coatings, Corrosion protection and prediction” which aims to identify the composition and morphology of corrosion products that form on panels during atmospheric exposure in order to correlate them with accelerated corrosion testing conditions and improve on corrosion modelling predictive capabilities.

Tom Honeyands bio

Associate Professor Honeyands is Director of the Centre for Ironmaking Materials Research at the University of Newcastle. He is a metallurgical specialist with more than 30 years’ experience in research, consulting and process engineering. In his current role he is responsible for leading research in the use of iron ores in both conventional and low carbon iron and steelmaking.

Prior to joining the University of Newcastle in 2015, Associate Professor Honeyands spent 20 years working in an industrial R&D environment and 6 years as a metallurgical consultant. While working for BHP he was involved in research into both conventional blast furnace ironmaking and alternate ironmaking technologies. He was a member of the core team responsible for the R&D to mitigate technical risks with the development and commissioning of a new hydrogen based direct reduction technology; FINMET. While working for Creative Process Innovation, he led the AMIRA P1097 project on transportable moisture limit (TML) of iron ore fines to address a global safety issue in the iron ore industry.

In the Steel Research Hub, he is leading the project on sintering of contemporary raw materials blends for ironmaking.

Dimitrios bio

Professor Georgakopoulos is currently the inaugural Director of Swinburne’s IoT Lab, which is a Centre in the University’s Digital Innovation Capability Platform, and the Industry 4.0 Program Leader, in the Manufacturing Futures Research Institute. Before that, he served as Research Director of CSIRO’s ICT Centre and a Professor at RMIT University. Before joining CSIRO, he held research and management positions in several industrial laboratories in the USA, including Telcordia Technologies (where he helped found two of Telcordia’s Research Centers in Austin, Texas, and Poznan, Poland); Microelectronics and Computer Corporation (MCC) in Austin, Texas; GTE (currently a Verizon) Laboratories in Boston, Massachusetts; and Bell Communications Research (Bellcore) in Piscataway, New Jersey. Professor Georgakopoulos is a CSIRO Adjunct Fellow since 2014.

Professor Georgakopoulos authored/co-authored 190+ journal and conference publications. His publications include seminal articles in IoT, service computing, and process management. Per Google Scholar, his publications have received 18,250+ citations. Professor Georgakopoulos has served as the General or Program Chair of 25 major international conferences and many other smaller conferences or workshops. He has received two outstanding paper awards from the IEEE Computer Society for the best paper in the IEEE Int. Conference on Data Engineering, and the best paper in the 2017 Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences in Hawaii, USA. In the USA, he was the recipient of several IEEE CS service awards, a GTE’s Excellence Award, and research impact awards that include the 2013 Black Duck Rookie of the Year Award. In Australia, he won four ACT iAwards and a CSIRO Plant Industry Divisional Innovation Award. More recently in Swinburne, he received a Vice Chancellor’s Innovation Award (2018), and a Faculty of Science, Engineering & Technology’s Research Award (2019).

Professor Georgakopoulos attracted $59M+ of external research funding from industry and various government research funding agencies, ranging from Défense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and ARDA (currently Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity or IARPA) in the USA, to the Framework Program in the EU, to the Department of Human Services, the Bureau of Meteorology, as well as 50 other industry and government research partners in Australia. Just in the past 4.5 years in Swinburne, he was the lead CI or a CI of 16 industry/ government-funded research projects that have been awarded $45+M of research funding that includes a $16.5+M funding allocation to Swinburne.

Grace Kennedy bio

Grace Kennedy is an Associate Research Fellow in the SMART Infrastructure Facility at the University of Wollongong researching applications of Model-based Systems Engineering (MBSE) for the Australian rail industry.  Grace holds a Master of Systems Engineering (with Diploma in Industrial Studies) from Loughborough University, UK. She has expertise in Organisational Systems Engineering (modelling enterprises as systems, in particular the integration of "soft"/human aspects of organisations into these models).   Her research interests are in MBSE and digital transformation approaches for organisational change.

She started her career in the Defence industry working as a Systems Engineer at a prime contractor in the UK.   Prior to immigrating to Australia, Grace was a researcher at the Systems Engineering Innovation Centre at Loughborough University where she was the lead researcher on two Innovative Manufacturing and Construction Research Centre (IMCRC) projects.  Grace is a chartered engineer through Engineers Australia and has attained certification (CSEP) status with INCOSE.  Grace is a member of INCOSE, IEEE and the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia (HFESA).  She is a co-chair of the INCOSE Human Systems Integration Working Group and a contributor to IEC 62508 on Human Dependability.

Dr. Buyung Kosasih is an Associate Professor in the school of Mechanical, Materials, Mechatronic and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Wollongong.

He is actively conducting research in: lubrication with green aqueous lubricant, wind and river current-based renewable energy, and fluid dynamics of jet stripping in coating process.

In the Steel Research Hub, he leads a team working on understanding the fluid dynamics of metallic coating production in continuous galvanizing lines including jet wiping and liquid drag out from a bath aimed at improving the associated equipment design and the quality of the thin metallic coating.

He has been involved in ARC Discovery grants, LIEF grant and several UOW grants. He received an Outstanding Contribution to Teaching and Learning Award in 2013 from the University of Wollongong recognising his teaching excellence and dedication in engineering education. 


Huijun Li bio

Prof Huijun Li obtained a PhD degree in 1996 from the University of Wollongong; He has 25 years’ research experience in materials science and engineering. He has published 5 book chapters and more than 400 papers over his career in the field of welding metallurgy, additive manufacturing, alloy development, surface engineering, nuclear materials and microstructure characterization.

Professor Huijun Li joined CRC Welded Structures research activities from 1995 to 2005, where he gained considerable experience on welding high strength line pipe steels, Q&T steels, stainless steels and heat resistant steels. He has also been involved in the revision of WTIA (Welding Technology Institute Australia) Technical Note 1 “The Weldability of Steels”, this technical note gives recommendations for the control of HAZ hardness and avoidance of cold cracking in carbon, carbon-manganese and low-alloy steels. After joining UOW in 2008, he has been heavily involved in DMTC and EPCRC research, including welding light armoured vehicles, naval surface ships and high strength line pipe steels.

Professor Li ‘s major role in the Steel Hub research is to investigate “Automated additive wire arc additive manufacturing to create multilayer hard-facing specialty steels with improved performance”,. Due to the mechanical and microstructural impact of additive manufacturing on processed Q&T steels and the need to ensure product quality, the project will quantify the correlation between mechanical properties and microstructure of cladded lay and the Heat Affected Zone over a wide range of welding parameters.

Brian Monaghan bio

Professor Brian Monaghan has been an active lecturer and researcher in materials engineering at the University of Wollongong (UOW) for 20 years.

Professor Monaghan is a pyrometallurgist who believes passionately that if the sustainability, energy, and greenhouse gas challenges currently facing the planet are to be addressed, we need strong engagement from the engineering and scientific communities. His expertise lies in the kinetics and thermodynamics of high-temperature metals processing.  He is the Coordinator of the Engineering Materials Centre at UOW as well as the leader of the UOW PYRO Group.

Within the ARC Research Hub for Australian Steel Innovation (SRH II), he is a member of the Research Management Committee, providing leadership to the Program 1 Process Integration and Sustainability, as well as being actively involved in several projects, including:

  • Obtaining Value from Steel Plant By-Products.
  • The Effect of Slag Formation on Hot Metal and BOS Desulphurization
  • Interfacial tension and Inclusion Removal

Professor Monaghan is also involved in a number of other external funded research projects.

These include:

  • Zero-CO2 Production of Essential Technological Metals
  • Gaseous Iron Reduction
  • Effect of Slag Structure on Interfacial Tension
  • Phosphorous Partitioning in Slags
  • Evaluation of the Productivity Limits in the Blast Furnace Lower Zone

Elena Pereloma bio

After conferring the PhD in 1987, Elena Pereloma worked as researcher and academic in Ukraine, Canada and Australia. Professor Elena Pereloma is currently Senior Professor of Physical Metallurgy in the School of Mechanical, Materials, Mechatronic and Biomedical Engineering, and the Director of the Electron Microscopy Centre at the University of Wollongong. Her major research interests are in processing-microstructure-property relationships, alloy design, thermo-mechanical processing, phase transformations, mechanical behaviour and advanced characterisation techniques.

Prof. Pereloma coordinated numerous research and industry-related projects with total funding exceeding $30 million. She co-authored more than 240 peer-reviewed papers, 4 book chapters, 1 patent, and edited two books with more than 5840 citations and h-index of 41.

Within the Steel Research Hub, Prof. Pereloma works on design of compositions and processing schedules for strip and plate products in collaboration with BlueScope Steel.

Cao Hung Pham bio

Associate Professor Cao Hung Pham is a Senior Lecturer in Structural Engineering at School of Civil Engineering, the University of Sydney. He was awarded a PhD on Cold-Formed Steel Structures from School of Civil Engineering, the University of Sydney in 2010. He also held a Bachelor of Civil Engineering with first class Honours in Structural Engineering at the University of Architecture – Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam in 2000. Subsequently, he obtained both Master of Construction Management and Master of Engineering Science in Structural Engineering at the University of New South Wales in 2003 and 2004, respectively. From 2011 to 2015, he was awarded the prestigious ARC Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship on the development of newly developed Direct Strength Method for Cold-Formed Steel Structures under combined actions. He was appointed to a continuing academic position as Lecturer in School of Civil Engineering, the University of Sydney since 2013 and Senior Lecturer in 2018.

Associate Professor Pham’s main research areas are theoretical and experimental structural behaviours and designs with particular interest in steel structural members and systems, cold-formed steel structures, aluminium structures and structural stability and analysis. He teaches advanced steel structures and was successful in three ARC Discovery Projects, one ARC Linkage Project with BlueScope Steel, one ARC Research Hub for Australian Steel Innovation, and one Innovation Connections Grant. He is a member of the Editorial Boards of the Thin-Walled Structures Journal and Journal of Science and Technology in Civil Engineering.

Akbar Rhamdhani bio

Professor M. Akbar RHAMDHANI is a Professor in Extractive Metallurgy and Metals Recycling at Swinburne University of Technology. He is currently the Director of Fluid and Process Dynamics (FPD) Group at Swinburne. Akbar obtained his PhD from McMaster University Canada in Materials Science and Engineering. Akbar was a Visiting Professor at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven Belgium and Visiting Scientist at CSIRO. He is also currently an Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia.

Akbar's research focuses on advanced metal/material refining and impurities removal (e.g. in steel, aluminium, magnesium, silicon, nickel, and minerals); development of new processes for metal production; thermodynamics and kinetics of high temperature metal and chemical processes; and physical chemistry of interface. Akbar's current research projects include: Thermodynamic behaviour of valuable elements during e-waste processing; Oxidation behaviour of rare-earth elements in end-of-life magnet; Recycling and recovery of metals from Alkaline and Lithium Ion Batteries; Recycling and production of metals using hydrogen; Solar thermal energy for minerals processing (solar metallurgy); and Extra-terrestrial minerals processing (astro metallurgy).

Akbar has been working conducting joint research, delivering courses and workshops with/to metals industries in Australia, Europe and Indonesia. Akbar and research teams have been awarded a number of international awards including the 2020 Williams Award from IOM3, UK; the 2019 Kent D Peaslee Award from AIST USA; the 2015 Mann Redmayne Medal from IOM3 United Kingdom; the 2015 Marcus Grossmann Medal from ASM International USA; and the 2015 MetSoc Award from Metallurgical Society of Canada.

Chris Richardson is an Associate Professor in synthetic and supramolecular chemistry in the School of Chemistry and Molecular Bioscience (SCMB) at the University of Wollongong (UOW). 

Within the ARC Research Hub for Australian Steel Innovation, Associate Professor Richardson will work in collaboration with BlueScope Steel Ltd on coatings technology.

Lip Teh bio

Prior to joining University of Wollongong as a lecturer in late 2009, Professor Lip Teh had been working as a structural engineer in the manufacturing and consulting industries for many years. In particular, he was involved with the development of design methodologies for cold-formed steel storage racks including high-bay racks, which are arguably the precursor to modular cold-formed steel constructions.

His research interests lie with advanced analysis of steel frames, bolted connections, buckling analysis, climate resilient structures, cold-formed steel structures, modular construction, progressive collapse prevention, retrofitting and strengthening of steel structures, seismic engineering and sustainable structural design.

He brings his real-world experience and research expertise in steel structures to lead a Steel Research Hub project on developing new cold-formed steel products and systems including connections that will help drive a market transformation towards the greater integration/adoption of cold formed steel products throughout the mid-rise apartment sector.

Sebastian Thomas bio

Dr Sebastian Thomas is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Monash University. He is an electrochemical engineer, with specific expertise in aqueous corrosion and electroanalytical chemistry. His research mainly covers material durability, including corrosion performance of stainless alloys, aluminium alloys, galvanised steels, and magnesium alloys. It also covers environmentally assisted cracking of corrosion resistant alloys, hydrogen induced damage of materials, electrocatalysis and bio-corrosion of neural electrodes.

He currently works on multiple ARC funded projects, including Discovery (2) and Linkage (1) projects. He is also the theme leader for “Materials Durability” in the Monash-Woodside Future Lab based at Monash University, in close partnership with Woodside Energy (WA). Sebastian looks at corrosion both in the micro/nanoscale and the macro-scale. In the larger length scale, he works on projects in collaboration with Energy Safe Victoria and Monash Civil Engineering looking at pipeline corrosion in soils and stray current corrosion caused by train/tram-based infrastructure in Victoria. In the past, he has also worked in projects funded by Office of Naval Research (USA), Shell International (Netherlands) and FMGL (WA).

He has authored ~ 55 publications in leading Q1 journals such as Corrosion Science, Electrochimica Acta, Acta Materialia, Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry, Electrochemistry Communications, Nanoscale and the Chemical Engineering Journal. As a part of the Hub, Sebastian will work in “3.1: Coatings, Corrosion protection and prediction”, specifically investigating corrosion mechanisms in modern galvanised steels, and strategies to mitigate corrosion.

Stephen Van Duin bio

Stephen van Duin is an Associate Professor at University of Wollongong where he externally leads a national research program for the Maritime Domain within DMTC Ltd. Through DMTC he works collaboratively with Australian defence industry, multiple universities and government research agencies to advance technologies in the naval manufacture and sustainment areas. He is Chief Investigator and standing committee member for the ARC’s Research Training Centre for Naval Design and Manufacturing. He is the tertiary sector representative for Australia’s Naval Shipbuilding Industry Reference Committee and is currently a specialist committee member of International Ships and Offshore Structures Congress. 

Stephen originally trained as a Mechanical Engineer at BHP Steel from 1991 before moving to ITC, the commercial arm of the University of Wollongong in 1997. With a small research team he developed the capability to deliver niche advanced manufacturing technologies for the food processing, farming, aerospace, steel and mining manufacturing sectors.

From 2000, Stephen transitioned to an academic research position at the University of Wollongong where he completed a Graduate Cert. Business Management in 2004 and his PhD 2006 in applied industrial robotics. He is currently Principal Research Fellow for the Facility for Intelligent Fabrication, which applies welding and robotic solutions to Australia’s manufacturing sector in both defence and civil applications. He has over 60 peer reviewed publications and several patents in this research area and has been the recipient of multiple national awards for the successful application of these technologies to industry.

Irene Yarovsky bio

Irene Yarovsky is Distinguished Professor and Leader of the Materials Modelling and Simulation research group at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. She concurrently holds a Visiting Professor position at the Department of Materials, Imperial College London, UK. Prof. Yarovsky completed her PhD in Computational Chemistry at Monash University, Australia, in 1995 on the topic of protein interactions with surfaces. She then joined industry (BHP Research, Australia) where she applied computational molecular modelling to help design advanced industrial coatings, minerals processing reagents and other interfacial materials. Following her industry appointment Irene joined RMIT University where from 2000 she has been leading a research group in theory and simulation of materials with a strong application focus, ranging from industrial to bio-materials and novel nanomaterials. Prof. Yarovsky is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK) and a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute.

In the ARC Steel Hub Prof. Yarovsky will contribute expertise in high performance computer simulations of atom-resolved models of materials to develop molecular design principles and a rational approach to engineering novel surface treatments and coatings with desired properties. Molecular simulation work will help narrow down materials design options based on the fundamentals of intermolecular interactions driving the materials performance.

Yue Zhao bio


Associate Professor Yue Zhao is currently the Coordinator of Postgraduate courses for the MMM School. Between 2012 and 2016 he was the Discipline advisor of Department of Materials. His research field is mainly in two areas: Surface Engineering for wear and corrosion resistance of engineering materials in applications such as cutting tools, coated steel construction products, and biomedical implants. For functional materials research, Dr Zhao is active in TiO2 nano-particle synthesis for dye sensitized solar cells and investigation in novel hydrogen storage materials for automobile applications.


Partner Investigators

Mr Mark Bubicich is the Manager Technical Sales at Liberty Primary Steel, Whyalla Steelworks. He received his Bachelor of Engineering in Metallurgical Engineering from University of South Australia in 1991.

He has been with the Whyalla Steelworks for 32 years in a variety of Technical, Quality, and Operational roles, across the business from Iron Ore Mining through to Steel Product Sales & Marketing. His passion is Process & Product Quality, Innovation and Development. Mark is a strong supporter of the industry-academic relationship and promotes targeted research as an enabler to innovation and development within industry.

With the transformation plans of the Liberty Primary Steel business, Mark expects collaborative research within the Steel Research Hub will deliver improvement, innovation, and efficiency in the current and new steelmaking business processes and products.

Mark Cain bio

Mark has extensive experience in the Steel Industry, gained at BHP and BlueScope that spanned technical roles, R&D, sales, marketing, strategy, manufacturing and General Management throughout Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia.  Mark has also held senior executive roles as Executive General Manager at Coates Hire; General Manager Sales and Market at GME, a manufacturer of communications equipment; and Executive Director of the Metal Roofing and Cladding Association of Australia. Mark was appointed Chief Executive of the Australian Steel Institute in August 2019.

The Australian Steel Institute (ASI) is the nation's peak body representing the entire steel supply chain from the manufacturing mills right through to end-users in building and construction, heavy engineering, and manufacturing.

Sheng Chew bio

Dr Sheng Chew is a Senior Technology & Development Engineer in BlueScope Coke & Ironmaking Technology with postgraduate technical and business qualifications. He has over 20 years’ experience in the steel industry covering the primary operations value chain from raw materials through to secondary steelmaking. Throughout this time he has continued to support and participate in collaborative research.

As Program Leader (Industry) in the Process Integration & Sustainability program of the Steel Research Hub, Dr Chew provides both business and research vision and leadership.

Simon Correnti holds the position of Process Development Manager at BlueScope, based at the Western Port Manufacturing plant in Victoria. He provides leadership on process development to adapt and/or develop innovative manufacturing technology to produce new products in line with the innovation plans, optimize capability and control practices in existing processes, and develop plans for future process equipment requirements. He studied at Monash University graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Materials Engineering and has held a diverse range of positions over 15 years with BlueScope including product quality investigations and projects, in-field technical support, product development and product owner in metallic coated products.

Mark Eckermann bio

Mark Eckermann holds the position of Product Innovation Manager at BlueScope in Port Kembla. He leads the technical team focussed on long term and breakthrough innovation, operating across a wide range of science and technology fields, from fundamental steelmaking metallurgy to building physics and performance. He studied at the University of Wollongong graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Materials Engineering and has held a diverse range of positions over 25 years with BHP / BlueScope including product quality investigations and projects, website design and build, marketing, strategy, direct customer sales and indirect customer business development.

jason hodges bio

Jason Hodges is the Open Innovation & IP Manager at BlueScope - Australia Steel Products.  In addition to assisting BlueScope extract value from its IP portfolio in Australia, he seeks to forge mutually beneficial relationships with domestic and international research partners, customers, suppliers and technology vendors to advance BlueScope’s innovation pipeline.  In over 25 years at BlueScope, he has held a diverse range of technical, manufacturing and technology development roles within Australia, Malaysia and China.  Background academic qualifications include an Honours degree in Materials Science (UTS), an MBA (Deakin) and a Master of Science and Technology Commercialisation (Adelaide). 


Jason is committed to successful commercialisation of new technology by the collaborative combination of a diverse team of passionate people, extensive market engagement and the systematic application of adaptive risk management processes.  Of special interest are new insights on how lean industrial organisations establish strong long-term relationships with academic partners to efficiently develop new technology and translate to commercial benefit.

Dr Fabien is Innovation and Intellectual Property Manager at InfraBuild. He manages a small team focussed on intellectual property, new opportunities, market insight and market support. Dr Fabien holds degrees in Chemistry and Food Technology from the University of Bordeaux in France. A Graduate Diploma in Law from the University of Western Sydney and a PhD from the University of New South Wales.

Dr Fabien has been at BHP/OneSteel/InfraBuild for 23 years and has a background in coatings, corrosion, Innovation management and Intellectual Property.

David pinson bio

Dr David Pinson is a Senior Technology and Development Engineer, Iron & Steelmaking Technology at BlueScope. He received his PhD from the University of NSW in 1999 and was a postdoctoral fellow before joining BHP Steel in 2003.

He has maintained active research links with the academic community throughout his industrial career. Now working in a plant technology role, his ongoing research interests include particle transport phenomena and modelling, multiphase flow and heat transfer, signal analysis, blast furnace and iron ore sintering fundamentals, as well as the increasing importance of energy efficiency and by-products reprocessing. Dr David Pinson has extensive experience managing collaborative industrial research projects, especially where undergraduate and postgraduate students work for some or all of their time in an industrial environment. This experience has shown the value of targeted industrial-academic combined projects and is well aligned to the overall goals of the industrial transformation hubs program.

Within the Steel Research Hub, he hopes that the longer term stability of funding allows a succussion of high value projects to deliver tangible industrial process improvements which can improve the Australian steelmaking sector’s economic and environmental sustainability.

Dominique Sert bio

Dominique SERT is currently in the position of Blast Furnace scientific advisor of the Ironmaking Department of AMMR.

Dominique graduated from the engineer school Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Electrochimie et d’Electrométallurgie (ENSEEG) in Grenoble in 1980, with a specialization in Metallurgy.

He entered ArcelorMittal Maizières Research SA (now AMMR, previously IRSID) in 1982, first at the Raw materials section, then at the Blast Furnace section from 1985 on.

He had then the opportunity to investigate all aspects of the blast furnace process, both from the theoretical and practical point of view thanks to the level of expertise of the Ironmaking department of Maizières and to various involvements in industrial operation through troubleshooting activities, industrial trials, short term assignments…

He was head of the blast furnace section for 7 years.

In 2005, he entered the ULCOS program as an expert for the development of the Top Gas Recycling Blast Furnace (TGR-BF) process. He is currently involved in several ArcelorMittal developments about CO2 mitigations in the steel industry.

Dr Dake Yu has a PhD in metallurgy and material engineering from the University of Wollongong. He is currently the Technical Manager for Bisalloy Steels and has expertise on processing, testing and developing high strength, high hardness quenched and tempered steels.

Dr Yu is involved in the Q&T plate project within the Steel Research Hub.

Research Fellows

Dr Tosin Aladejebi is a Research Associate at the Centre for Ironmaking Materials Research, the University of Newcastle. His current task in the Steel Research Hub is a collaborative project between BlueScope Steel and the University of Newcastle (UON). He is working on "Sintering of Contemporary Raw Materials Blends for Ironmaking".

Tosin earned his PhD in 2018 at the University of Wollongong. He studied the “Effect of Minerals on Coke Analogue Carbon Bonding and Reactivity” with a specific focus on metallic iron and iron-bearing minerals. He also worked as an Associate Research Fellow in the Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences, the University of Wollongong between 2020 and 2021 where he studied “Phosphorus and Iron Recovery from Steelmaking Slag for Effective Recycling”.

Since 2010, Tosin has been involved in research and teaching in Nigeria and Australia. He is particularly keen on how best to continuously improve high-temperature processes, both economically and environmentally, in the ironmaking and steelmaking industries.

Dr. Abhik Banerjee is currently working as a Research Fellow at the Internet of Things Lab at Swinburne University of Technology. His research interests are in the areas of the Internet of Things (IoT), Industry 4.0, wireless networking, and indoor positioning. In his current role at the IoT Lab, his research focus is on the development of novel IoT solutions to industry problems, primarily Industry 4.0 solutions for the Australian manufacturing sector.

Before joining Swinburne University of Technology, Dr. Banerjee worked as a software architect at Robert Bosch India. As the primary technical lead in an internal Bosch startup IERO, he led the design and development of an edge-based indoor positioning platform used for context aware personalization in diverse indoor retail environments. Before that, he worked at Samsung R&D India – Bangalore, where focused on the design and development of networking middleware for Samsung devices, addressing multiple issues in connectivity management encompassing Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Cellular Data.

Dr. Banerjee obtained his Ph.D. from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, in 2012. He obtained his Bachelor of Engineering with first-class honours from the National Institute of Technology, Durgapur, India. His doctoral thesis focused on the reduction of overhead costs in wireless networks, with a particular focus on leveraging wireless broadcast advantage. After his Ph.D., he worked at Institut Telecom, France, focusing on self-organization in wireless and vehicular networks using evolutionary algorithms.

Amir bio

Dr Amir Beheshti is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the School of Chemistry and Molecular Bioscience, University of Wollongong (UOW). He obtained his PhD in 2021 from the University of Queensland, on the topic of “polymer brush grafted colloids as lubricant additives”.

Before joining UOW, Amir spent two years as a postdoc at the University of South Australia and ARC Centre of Excellence for Enabling Eco-efficient Beneficiation of Minerals, where he used surface sensitive techniques to study (bio)polymers and surfactants in mineral recovery and flotation.

Within the Steel Research Hub and by incorporating concepts from colloid and interface science and physical chemistry, Amir will collaborate with BlueScope to investigate the properties of coatings and nanomaterials.

Steve Beltrame bio

Steven is an Associate Research Fellow at the Sustainable Buildings Research Centre (SBRC) at the University of Wollongong. He has research experience in the fields of building physics, sustainable building technologies, thermal storage, energy use in the built environment, and indoor environmental quality. His research has involved significant aspects of experimental testing and field studies as well as mathematical modelling.

Steven recently graduated from his PhD, conducted under the auspices of the ARC Steel Research Hub 1, in which he investigated indoor environmental quality and occupant use of air conditioning and natural ventilation for heating and cooling in existing mid-rise apartment units. Following his PhD, Steven has focussed his research on developing more accurate characterisation methods for thermal bridges and quantifying their impacts on building energy consumption.

As part of the Steel Research Hub, Steven is contributing to a suite of research projects under a project titled “Climate optimised building systems” that aim to provide rigorous, evidence-based information to guide the optimal application of steel building products. This involves the use of experiments and mathematical modelling to investigate the thermal and hygrothermal (moisture-management) performance of various construction assemblies to further the understanding of the associated building physics

Dr Junhong Dong is currently working as an Associate Research Fellow at the Steel Research Hub. He completed his Master of Engineering and PhD at Chongqing University in China.

His previous research focused on fracture criterion of high-strength steels. He is currently working under the Hub on a project which investigates cold-formed steel shear panels for mid-rise apartment buildings.

Xuefeng Dong bio

Dr Xue Feng Dong is a Research Fellow at the Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences at the School of Mechanical, Materials, Mechatronic and Biomedical Engineering, University of Wollongong. He completed his PhD in 2004 at UNSW. After that, he worked for four years as postdoctoral fellow at UNSW and seven years as a development engineer at BlueScope Steel. His research practices cover multiple disciplines including multiphase flow, heat transfer, mass transfer with reactions, computational fluid dynamics and process engineering.

Dr Dong projects in the research hub include a fundamental understanding of processing limits in blast furnace ironmaking, as well as evaluation of the furnace internal thermal state and equipment condition to help improve the campaign life of the blast furnace.

Dr Alan Green is a Research Fellow at the Sustainable Buildings Research Centre (SBRC), University of Wollongong. After training as a mechanical engineer and working for 6 years in steel manufacturing, he started working in research in 2013 and was awarded a PhD in 2019.

Alan has a keen interest in fluid dynamics, thermodynamics and heat transfer, which has given him the opportunity to work alongside researchers in the Netherlands, UK, USA and Europe. Much of his work has focused on mathematical modelling of thermo-fluidic systems, such as building performance simulation (BPS), hygrothermal simulation and computational fluid dynamics (CFD), and on the design of experiments and equipment for studies of heat transfer, air flows, and related physical processes.

Alan's current research focuses on technical aspects of building physics, including envelope thermal performance and bushfire resistance. Under the Steel Research Hub, Alan is involved in two projects which focus on structural and cold-formed steel optimisation.

Joseph Polden bio

Dr Joseph Polden obtained his PhD degree from the University of Wollongong (UOW) in 2014. His professional experience and research activities relate largely to developing robotics solutions for manufacturing applications.

He completed post-doctoral fellowships at the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech) and the Advanced Remanufacturing Technology Centre (ARTC) before joining the ROS-Industrial Consortium to assist in developing open source software platforms for industrial applications.

Dr Polden has since returned to the University of Wollongong, where he works in conjunction with the Facility for Intelligent Fabrication (FIF) and is actively involved in research and development of Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) technologies. He is currently involved in a collaborative research project between BlueScope and UOW under the Steel Research Hub. The project will focus on automation and digitalisation at Port Kembla Steel Works, as part of the drive by BlueScope to implement Industry 4.0 in their steelmaking plants.

Andrew is a Research Fellow at the Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences at the School of Mechanical, Materials, Mechatronic and Biomedical Engineering, University of Wollongong. He completed his PhD at University of Wollongong and presently works as a researcher under the Steel Research Hub. Andrew’s current research focuses on low speed jet wiping of liquid metal coatings, which aims to minimise the surface abnormalities in the production of metal coated steel strips.

Andrew completed his PhD in spring 2017, studying energy harnessing from fluid-structure vibrations. In the Steel Research Hub, his research activities are focused on improving the uniformity of protective sacrificial metallic coatings applied to steel strip products. His primary research activities are on the application of numerical methods to investigate how the uniformity of the metallic coatings is affected by the unsteadiness of the air jets used as part of the metallic coating process. He is also involved in laboratory-scale study of related aspects of the process.

His research background is previously in the field of renewable energy technology exploiting the energy sources of ocean currents and other water flows.

Jithin is currently working at Institute for Frontier Materials, Deakin University as a Research Fellow, with InfraBuild Wire and Manufacturing. His research as a part of the Steel Research Hub is focussed on novel thermo-mechanical processing routes to create high strength reinforcement bar, and on developing new hot dip zinc coatings and processes for wire product with improved corrosion performance and durability.

Jithin received B-Tech in Mechanical Engineering with first-class honours from the University of Kerala (India) in 2008 and M-Tech in Materials Engineering with first rank from the National Institute of Technology Karnataka (India) in 2011. He completed his PhD in Engineering from the Institute for Frontier Materials, Deakin University (Australia) in 2016. He is the corresponding author of the most cited research article published in the Journal “Wear” after 2018.

After completing his PhD, he worked at the Institute for Frontier Materials, Deakin University with A/Prof Daniel Fabijanic as a research fellow with a specialisation in the research fields of:

  • Surface degradation of metals and coatings (wear, oxidation and corrosion) and to develop novel surface modifications to counter these degradation mechanisms.
  • Additive manufacturing, casting and thermomechanical processing
  • Alloy design, phase transformations and deformation mechanisms
  • Wear testing: pin-on-disc, low stress (ASTM G65) and high stress (ASTM B611) abrasive wear tests
  • Mechanical testing (nano- to macro- scale; ambient-high temperature)

Examples include the design of novel high entropy alloys for high -temperature structural applications (AISRF grant), novel ground engaging tool steel compositions with improved wear resistance and toughness (Innovations connections project, SANDVIK Mining & Co.), Coating life assessment and corrosion of galvanised steel wires (Innovations connections project, ONESTEEL Wire).

Dr. Majid Laleh is a Research Fellow in the Australian Institute for Innovative Materials (AIIM) at the University of Wollongong. His primary research interest is to understand the relationship between materials’ microstructure and composition and their environmental degradation behaviour including localised corrosion, atmospheric corrosion, and hydrogen embrittlement. Majid was previously the vice-chancellor’s research fellow at Deakin University, where he also completed his PhD in 2020. He is the recipient of several awards including ‘The Young Royal Society of Victoria Award (2020)’ and ‘Brian Cherry Award (2019)’.

Under the ARC research Hub for Australian Steel Innovation, Majid is contributing to ‘Proj 3.1: Coatings, Corrosion Protection and Prediction’, aiming to establish an accelerated exposure protocol that better simulates outdoor exposure cycles, as well as to investigate the composition and morphology of corrosion products using advanced characterisation techniques.

Denver Linklater bio

Dr Denver Linklater is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of Science, STEM college, RMIT. She received her doctorate in March 2020 from Swinburne University of Technology and has research experience in the areas of nanofabrication, materials science, and biotechnology. She previously undertook a Bachelor of Science (biotechnology) and Bachelor of Commerce at SUT. Denver’s research interests focus on the design and development of antimicrobial nanomaterials. After completing her PhD, she worked with industry partners to commercialise technology to significantly reduce the incidence of bacterial and fungal contamination in the medical implant, textiles, wearable electronics, and packaging industries.

Denver’s research excellence is reflected by numerous awards, including Humboldt Research Fellowship, Melbourne University McKenzie Fellowship, Victoria Fellowship, AINSE ANSTO French Embassy (SAAFE) Research Internship and high-quality publications in top-ranking journals such as Advanced Materials, Nature Reviewers Microbiology, PNAS, and ACS Nano. In addition to her strong relationships with industry, she has received grants totalling $200,000, since 2020.

Ben McLean bio

Dr Ben McLean is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Materials Modelling and Simulation Group within the School of Engineering at RMIT. Ben was awarded his PhD in Computational Chemistry at the University of Newcastle in 2020, on the topic of the growth mechanisms of boron nitride nanomaterials. Ben worked at the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) based at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) in Ulsan, South Korea as a Senior Researcher until June 2022, using computational chemistry techniques to study the growth mechanisms of carbon nanotubes and graphene.

Within the Steel Research Hub, Ben will apply a range of computational techniques spanning large-scale molecular dynamics simulations to quantum chemical calculations to study fundamental molecular mechanisms at functional nanomaterial interfaces. These simulations will enhance the Hub’s understanding of industrially relevant and novel surfaces, leading to optimised design and engineering of next-generation coatings.

Mohsen is an Associate Research Fellow at Institute for Frontier Materials, Deakin University as well as InfraBuild Wire Manufacturing. Within the Steel Research Hub, Mohsen aims at developing accelerated cyclic corrosion tests to assess atmospheric corrosion performance of coatings such as zinc and aluminium.

Mohsen received a PhD in Materials Science & Engineering from the National University of Singapore as well as Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (2016-2020) where he employed FEM and advanced electrochemical techniques for mechanistic studies and durability prediction of zinc-based coatings. Prior to his PhD, Mohsen had worked in the oil and gas sector as a corrosion and failure analysis engineer (2010-2013) and senior engineer (2013-2016).

Mohsen’s research interests revolve around electrochemical corrosion, mechanical and physical aspects of corrosion, and corrosion finite element modelling for materials durability.

Apart from research and outstanding publication records, Mohsen has successfully worked for and with industries (mainly oil and gas) for failure analysis investigation, problem solving and consultation.

Dr. Jaefer Yenus is a Mechanical Engineer in background with experience in industry and academics. In the industry, he worked as a Graduate Engineer and Machine Operator for more than two years. He completed his PhD at Swinburne University of Technology in 2017. His field of research focuses on the application of vibration and acoustic signals to monitor ladle stirring online in steel plants. He has done industry sponsored projects as part of his PhD and post-doctoral study in his related field.

Currently, he is working as Post-Doctoral Fellow at Swinburne University of Technology to develop a sound sensor for control of stirring in Ladle metallurgy.

PhD Candidates

Subham Dharel Bio

Subham Dharel is a dedicated Civil Engineer, who earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Tribhuvan University. Throughout his undergraduate journey, Subham demonstrated a keen interest in structural engineering, culminating in his final year project focusing on seismic resistant multi-storey buildings.

Building upon his foundational knowledge in civil engineering, Subham now embarks on an exciting academic pursuit as a first-year PhD student at the University of Wollongong, delving into the intricacies of structural engineering and cold-formed steel (CFS) construction methodologies. His doctoral research, titled " Floor-to-wall connections and portal frame effect in mid-rise cold-formed steel buildings" forms an integral part of Project B2.3 which is collaborative research project between BlueScope and the Steel Research Hub.

Jason Heenatimulla is a young Mechanical Engineer, who graduated from Swinburne University of Technology in 2020 with a Bachelor’s (Honours) degree. His final year research was on the sound analysis of ingot casting which interested him in sound and the steel making industry. His undergraduate studies helped gain a deeper understanding on signal analysis, metallurgy, and physical modelling.

Jason is currently a PhD student at Swinburne University of Technology in collaboration with the Steel Research Hub and BlueScope Steel. His research focuses on the acoustic analysis of the oxygen steelmaking process, to determine an accurate method of measuring slag foam heights in the BOF.

Renkang Huo bio



Renkang Huo completed his Bachelor of Material Engineering and Science in 2021 at Monash University. In April 2024, he continued to complete his master’s degree titled “Texture formation in magnetostrictive Fe-Ga alloy fabricated by laser powder bed fusion” at Monash University.

Currently, he is a first-year PhD candidate at Monash University working on a collaborative research project between BlueScope and the University of Wollongong's Steel Research Hub. Renkang's thesis titled " Investigation of corrosion mechanisms prevalent in modern galvanised steels" will focus on coated product passivation and modelling.

Jangho Jo is an experienced Chemical Engineer. He graduated from the Pusan National University with a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. He has developed an understanding of key knowledge in solid fuels, application of AI with coal property prediction, pyrolysis and combustion. He has also completed research in high volatile coal application to PCI blast furnace, methane co-firing power plant boiler, combustion delay suppression technique of Australian coal.

Currently, he is a first-year PhD candidate at the University of Newcastle, supported by the collaborative research project between BlueScope and UOW’s Steel Research Hub. His research will focus on the characterisation and preparation of waste plastics for coke-making.

Junior Kayembe BIO

Junior Ngoyi Kayembe is an experienced metallurgist/pyrometallurgist. He graduated with a master’s degree from the University of Johannesburg. His research on the recovery of Germanium, analogous to silicon, from amorphous slag structure to matte during copper-cobalt smelting and his technical work on the techno-economic feasibility study of slate treatment under microwave showcase his technical expertise.

Junior Kayembe has fascinating industrial experience in extractive metallurgy and the recycling of metallurgical waste material. His solid extractive metallurgy background previously made him play key roles as a metallurgy supervisor, a metallurgical plant trainer and assistant manager, a Safe Operation Procedure writer for metallurgical plants, a tutor, and a lecturer.

Currently, he brings a wealth of practical knowledge as a first-year PhD student at the UOW Steel Research Hub in collaboration with Liberty Primary Steel Whyalla. His research now centres on inclusions engineering in Si-killed steel for rail grade applications, demonstrating his commitment to advancing the field of metallurgy.


Xialan Liu is an experienced Materials Engineer. She completed postgraduate studies at the University of Wollongong from 2021-2022. During her graduate study, she developed an understanding of key knowledge in metallic materials, the design of steel, manufacturing technologies for the dual-layer structure materials, and material science. She has also completed research in containing the utilised materials to improve building waterproofing, fire safety, and structural integrity, line pipe steel weldability, wear resistance steels and alloys, and bone repair. 

Currently, she is a first-year PhD candidate on the collaborative research project between BlueScope and UOW’s Steel Research Hub. Her research will focus on the surface engineering of materials for increased resilience in Aluminium-Zinc (Al-Zn) metal coating baths.

Swarna Naidu bio

Swarna Naidu is a chemist who earned her bachelor's degree in science from RTM Nagpur University. Throughout her undergraduate journey, Swarna has demonstrated a keen interest in chemistry followed by a master’s degree at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Bhopal. She has worked in the field of functional materials gaining insights in organic polymer synthesis and various analytical techniques. Swarna completed a thesis on Pyridinium-based Porous Ionic Organic Polymers for water purification culminating in a publication titled "Pyridinium-Functionalized Ionic Porous Organic Polymer for Rapid Scavenging of Oxoanions from Water". She also has a keen interest towards teaching and has been involved in tutoring underprivileged girl students in India.


Currently, she is a first-year PhD candidate at the University of Wollongong (UOW) working on a collaborative research project between BlueScope and the UOW's Steel Research Hub.



Made Giri Natha is an experienced metallurgical engineer. He graduated with a master’s degree from the Bandung Institute of Technology. During his master’s degree, he studied the techno-economic, thermodynamic, and kinetic aspects of lithium-ion battery recycling. He has also worked at LAPI ITB on several industry projects, such as studying the thermodynamic and kinetic processes of the gold refining process and assessing the ferronickel plant and iron-making process, where he is part of the consultant team.

Currently, he is a PhD candidate at the Swinburne University of Technology in collaboration with Liberty Primary Steel Whyalla and the University of Wollongong within the Steel Research Hub. His research will focus on developing a process for converting by-products from iron and steelmaking into usable materials and valuable products.

Abyanuddin Salam is a PhD candidate at Swinburne University of Technology, where he pursues advanced studies within the School of Science, Computing, and Engineering Technology. His pioneering research is centered on the development and refinement of simulation-capable digital twins, aiming to significantly enhance the efficiency of digital manufacturing applications.

At Politeknik Manufaktur Bandung, Abyanuddin held several pivotal roles within the Automation and Mechatronics Engineering Department. He led the Digital Systems and Signal Processing Laboratory, demonstrating a keen expertise in the integration of digital systems into practical applications. As Head of Production Plan & Control, he oversaw strategic planning and operational processes, aligning production goals with broader business objectives.

In addition to his leadership roles, Abyanuddin has enriched the academic community as a lecturer and researcher, imparting technical knowledge and spearheading innovative projects. His extensive technical skills are underscored by his hands-on experience as a technician, where he developed a robust understanding of manufacturing equipment and processes.

Abyanuddin's professional journey encompasses a diverse array of projects across multiple sectors of the manufacturing industry, including automation, civil construction, and automotive. His multifaceted experience not only highlights his adaptability but also his capacity to drive advancements in manufacturing technology through applied research and practical application.

Nazish Qadeer bio

Nazish did her master's degree in inorganic/analytical chemistry from Quaid-I-Azam University Islamabad in 2019 and then her master's by research degree in inorganic/analytical chemistry in 2021 from Quaid-I-Azam University.

Nazish is a dedicated and passionate chemist and researcher who previously worked on cerium oxide-based nanomaterials, its synthesis, characterisation, and possible application as nano-additives in gasoline fuel. The work is published in an international journal (RSC advances).

Nazish is now enrolled as a PhD candidate in Institute of Frontier Materials (IFM) at Deakin University. Currently, she is working on an industry-based project of Corrosion Inhibitors for Zinc Coatings. Her main aim is to improve corrosion performance of zinc and zinc alloy coated wire through non-toxic, environment friendly and green corrosion inhibitors that replace toxic and hazardous chromate-based inhibitors.

Durga Tandon bio

Durga Tandon is an experienced Mechanical Engineer. She graduated from the University of Wollongong with a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. She has developed an understanding of key concepts in various aspects of material science, research and innovation, automation and robotics, manufacturing technologies and finite element analysis.

During her graduate study in Australia, she has participated in several student research projects including robot path planning, voltage optimisation technology, and product design and innovation. Her final year master’s dissertation was based on cold rolling and cladding technology. After her graduation from the University of Wollongong, she worked as a Mechanical Field Engineer in the construction industry in NSW.

Currently, she is a first-year PhD student at the UOW Steel Research Hub, undertaking collaborative research with Bisalloy and the University of Wollongong. Her research will focus on the fabrication of weld overlay on Q&T steels using automated wire arc additive manufacturing.

Hoang Vu Le completed a Bachelor’s (Honours) degree at the University of Architecture, Ho Chi Minh City. His final thesis focused on the design of a high-rise building made of steel structures governed by American Standards (e.g. AISC, ASCE, etc.). His research work then became part of his first publication entitled, “The Design of Connections in Steel Structures According to American Standards AISC/LRFD 360-16” Construction Publishing House, Ministry of Construction (MOC).

He received a full scholarship to complete his Masters degree study, which he completed in 2019 at Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. The research topic was about the plasticity collapse analysis of engineering structures with three prestige ISI journal papers published.

Hoang Vu is currently a USydIS Awardee and the first-year PhD candidate at The University of Sydney. His research will focus on the behavior of CFS floor joists with all weak axis assembled members in the collaboration with the Steel Research Hub and BlueScope Steel.

Ruilin Zhang bio

Ruilin Zhang completed a Bachelor of Engineering Honours (Civil) at the University of Sydney. His thesis topic was Nonlinear Analysis of the Effect of Cold-Formed Stainless Steel Member’s Material Properties on the Portal Frame’s Strength. In this thesis project, he investigated the application of direct design method to the design of portal frames.

A full scholarship has been awarded to him to conduct his PhD research topic. His current research topic is The Investigation of Floor Vibration Serviceability related to Human Activities. He will investigate the vibration serviceability of cold-formed steel floor joist and floor system in this project. The project is in collaboration with the Steel Research Hub and BlueScope Steel.

Shujing Zhao bio

Shujing Zhao is currently immersed in her doctoral studies at the Australian National University (ANU).  Her academic journey began with a Bachelor's degree in Material Science and Engineering from Donghua University, China, followed by a Master's in Polymer Engineering from the University of Akron, US.  Drawing from her professional experience as a process engineer at SINOPEC Shanghai Research Institute of Petrochemical Technology, Shujing's passion for innovation propelled her towards further education. Driven by a desire to explore the transformative potential of data analytics, AI, and advanced technology, she pursued a Master's in Computing at ANU before embarking on her current PhD journey. She is interested in applying computational technology in material modelling and design.

During her time spent at ANU, Shujing has delved into the realm of automated interpretation of the scientific literature, applying natural language processing to extract expert human level insights from texts.

One of Shujing's primary research focuses lies in tackling the complex challenges of corrosion modelling. Corrosion has been a technological significant issue, however, computational corrosion models are challenging due to complex microstructure and electrochemistry of materials, and various of environment conditions. With recent advanced material characterisation techniques, and advanced multi-physics computation tools, she seeks to develop a mechanistic modelling for steel galvanized coating corrosion. The project corporates with BlueScope, a world’s leading manufacturers of painted and coated steel products. This modelling could incorporate the changes in coating microstructure but can also be potentially used to design new metallic coating.


Elliott Pilton bio

Elliott Pilton is a Mechatronics Engineer, who graduated from the University of Wollongong in 2020 with a Bachelor’s (Honours) degree. His final year research was on the Ground Station for UOW’s CubeSat.  Which interested him in communications technology. His undergraduate studies lead him to create his own company specializing in wide area environmental sensors and machine learning algorithms (MLAs).  Gaining an understanding of IoT applications, data collection, and processing.

Elliott is currently a Research Officer at the University of Wollongong, Digital Living Lab, in collaboration with the Steel Research Hub and BlueScope Steel. His research focuses on low-cost networked Corrosion measuring sensor to enable effective data collection and efficient data integration to MLAs.

Image credit: Craig Holbrook