Our Leadership team

Professor Peter TeasdaleNBERC Director: Professor Peter Teasdale

Peter started at the University of South Australia in 2017 as Professor of Environmental Sciences, and is also the current Associate Head (Research), in the School of Natural and Built Environments. Peter graduated with a Bachelor of Science and then a PhD in Chemistry (material science) from the University of Wollongong, Chemistry Department. This was followed by postdoctoral research at CSIRO (Energy Technology) (contaminated sediment) and Lancaster University (Environmental Science) (passive samplers). Peter then worked at Griffith University, School of the Environment, for 17 years becoming a Professor in Environmental Chemistry. Peter remains an Adjunct at Griffith University. Peter is a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute and recipient of the 2011 Lloyd Smythe Medal in Analytical Chemistry. His research interests include development of improved techniques for environmental monitoring of water, sediment and soil to better understand biogeochemical and contaminant processes. He has 113 HERDC publications (h-index 27), attracted nearly $5 million dollars in research funds from all sources and has supervised 21 HDR students and 28 Honours students. Peter is most passionate about supporting research students and early career researchers to have successful careers.

Deputy NBERC Director: Professor Chris Chow

Chris joined University of South Australia in 2017 as Professor of Water Science and Engineering in the School of Natural and Built Environments. He obtained his BAppSc in Chemistry (with Distinction) in 1990 from the South Australian Institute of Technology (one of the institutes merged to form UniSA), then MAppSc in Environmental Monitoring in 1992 and PhD in Analytical Chemistry in 1995 from UniSA. Then he joined SA Water in 1995 as a Research Scientist and worked 22 years in the Research Team to the position of Manager of Sensors Technology and Assets Research. During that time, he has been involved in a number of major water quality and treatment projects (Project Leader of 4 CRCWQ&T and 3 WaterRA and PI of 7 ARC Linkage projects). His research interests include, natural organic matter, blue green algae, water treatment, disinfection, distribution system and various sensing techniques related to water quality investigation and process optimisation. More recently he is working on improving treatment plant / asset performance and management. Chris has a good track record in scientific publication, authored and co-authored over 250 technical papers in water science journals and conferences and involved in over 100 undergraduate, postgraduate and HDR student projects. He is also editor of two peer review international journals and involved in the AWA Water Quality Monitoring and Analysis Speciality Network as Committee Member (Co-Chair between 2012 and 2015). His role is focussed on leadership and mentoring staff with external engagement.


Strand Leaders

Topa PetitEnvironmental Stewardship

Strand Leader - Associate Professor Sophie (Topa) Petit

My research interests concern the understanding and conservation of nature.  I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture from the University of Kentucky, and I am currently investigating avenues for sustainable agriculture, including pollination by native insects.  My Ph.D. is in Biology, from the University of Miami.  For many years I have been working on ecosystems involving bats (in the Caribbean, Australia, and other Pacific islands), particularly those benefiting from bat pollination and seed dispersal.  Obviously I have a great interest in island biology.  In Australia I have also been conducting research on western pygmy-possums and the plants with which they are associated, on spider orchids, and on a variety of other organisms and ecosystems (photo: vertebrate shelter ecology in the arid zone).  I am involved in other organisations to facilitate research and conservation:  as Associate Research Scientist, Institute for Caribbean Research and Management of Biodiversity (CARMABI), Curaçao; Associate Researcher, NatureFiji-MareqetiViti, Fiji; and Member of the Conservation Action Team for the Southern Yorke Peninsula.  As strand leader, I want to focus on the development of a vibrant research culture, and the happiness, motivation, and empowerment of researchers, technicians, and administrators involved in environmental research.


Mizanur RahmanWater and Natural Resources

Strand Leader - Associate Professor Mizanur Rahman

A/Prof Rahman obtained his PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of New South Wales, Canberra and then worked as research associate and post-doctoral fellow at the UNSW, Canberra and the University of Canterbury, New Zealand respectively before joining the University of South Australia in 2010. He has 12 years of research experience in different disciplines involving international collaborators from USA, UK, New Zealand, Germany, India, China, Bangladesh etc. His current research interest includes soil-water interaction, seepage (permeability), reuse of waste (construction & demolition, tyre) materials, microbial induced calcite precipitation (MICP) for strengthening soils/concrete, constitutive modelling of material behaviour, finite element modelling (FEM), discrete element modelling (DEM), artificial neural network (ANN), evolutionary polynomial algorithm (EPA), data acquisition and developing new testing technique etc. His research was funded by prestigious fellowship (Australian Academy of Science Early Career Fellowship) and industry partners. He is very keen to facilitate research collaborations within/across the strands to create opportunities for other collaborations across the university and industry.


Natural and Built Environments Education

Strand Leader - Dr Paul Corcoran

Paul Corcoran is currently a Geospatial Science lecturer, Program Director and Education Research Leader within the School of Natural and Built Environments (NBE). Before joining UniSA, Paul worked for Ordnance Survey, Great Britain’s national mapping agency for 21 years where he undertook various surveying, mapping and management roles, predominantly in the North of England. Paul has used this extensive experience to add authenticity to his teaching and together with his natural enthusiasm has created an engaging learning arena for students. Paul has been at the forefront in the development of Blended and Flipped Learning within NBE and, in doing so, developed a Community of Practice of NBE educators which has now been incorporated into the NBE Research Centre (NBERC) Education Research strand. Paul is passionate about student engagement and he has created and sustained active learning orientations, student self-regulating degree program progression software and also pioneered UniSA’s first Staff to Student buddy scheme. Paul’s teaching and engagement success has been recognized across UniSA through becoming a member of the UniSA Summative Peer Review of Teaching (SPRT) team, receiving a UniSA divisional teaching award and being asked to be a member of the UniSA Student Engagement Advisory Group (SEAG). Paul maintains his links with the surveying and mapping industry through his membership of the Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute (SSSI) and South Australia’s Board of Surveyors Surveying and Mapping committee where he champions new approaches to attracting, retaining and educating surveying and mapping students..

Sustainable Infrastructure and Built Environments

Strand Leader - Dr Konstantinos Kirytopoulos

Konstantinos works as an Associate Professor of Project Management at the School of Natural and Built Environments, UniSA. He holds a PhD in Project Risk Management attained at the National Technical University of Athens (2003) and a Mechanical Engineering Diploma (BSc+MSc equivalent) attained at the same University (1999). In the past he worked as an Associate Professor of Project and Risk Management at the School of Mechanical Engineering, NTUA (Greece), Assistant Professor at the Financial and Management Engineering Dept. at the University of the Aegean (Greece) and Teaching Associate at the Hellenic Open University. Apart from the Academia, he has been strongly engaged with the industry by delivering in-house lectures to middle and senior management staff and providing consulting. With his peers (post-graduate students, colleagues from industry and academia with same interests) they work and conduct research mainly on projects and risks and they are publishing research outcomes in international scientific conferences and journals. His main goal is to diffuse project and risk management disciplines, as well as inspire people to use them, not only in order to achieve business but also their personal goals. As a strand leader he aspires to foster internal and external collaborations for quality research with a positive impact on industry and society.


Natural and Built Environments Research Centre Management Committee

  • Professor Peter Teasdale
  • AsPr Sophie (Topa) Petit
  • AsPr Mizanur Rahman
  • AsPr Konstantinos Kirytopoulos
  • Dr Paul Corcoran
  • AsPr Nicholas Chileshe
  • Dr Guna Hewa
  • AsPr Xing Ma
  • Mr Baden Myers
  • Ms Danielle Gericke
  • Mrs Elizabeth Stevens
  • Mr Neill Sanderson

Areas of study and research

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