Distinguished Professor Yi Min “Mike” Xie - Director

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 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.

Ding Wen “Nic” Bao

Nic Bao is a Lecturer in Architecture and Architecture Technology Course Coordinator at the School of Architecture and Urban Design, RMIT University, having previously taught at the University of Melbourne, Monash University, Tongji University etc.  His research explores design methodologies for establishing a complementary relationship among computational design, structural engineering, behavioural algorithms, robotic fabrication, additive manufacturing, and intelligent construction.

Nic is a Registered Architect in Australia and the US, a RIBA Chartered Architect in the UK. He used to work for Bates Smart, Fender Katsalidis, LAB Architecture etc. Currently, Nic is completing his PhD at the RMIT Centre for Innovative Structures and Materials, where he received the full PhD scholarship. He holds Master of Architecture from the University of Melbourne and Bachelor of Architecture from RMIT University. His work has been exhibited and published widely, which is recognised at the national and international level, including HongKong BoDW, Digital Futures, IASS Expo, Shenzhen Biennale, Melbourne Design Week, Venice Biennale, Time + Architecture, Current Chinese Science, etc. Nic is a scientific peer reviewer and session chair for International conferences including CAAD Futures, CAADRIA, ASCAAD and Digital Futures. Recently Nic received the 2021 Young CAADRIA Award and 2020 RMIT Engineering HDR Publication & Impact Prize.


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.

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.

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.

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.

Dr Jonathan Tran

Dr Jonathan Tran is an Associate Professor 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 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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Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.