Date & Time: 
Friday 8 June 2018

This event will be an opportunity to highlight the carbon-reduction potential of geopolymer concrete to representatives from industry, research and government. In addition, the workshop will examine the constraints preventing wider take-up of these advanced materials and explore potential opportunities for research collaboration.

See draft program below.

A light buffet-style lunch will be provided.

Confirmed speakers:


With more than 30 years’ experience in the concrete industry in Australia, Asia, the Middle East and the United Kingdom, Dr James Aldred's background includes roles such as technical director of an international admixtures company, manager of the High Performance Concrete Research Group at the National University of Singapore, technical manager of Taywood Engineering, and Honorary Research Fellow at Imperial College. He was the independent verifier for the Burj Khalifa in Dubai which is the world’s tallest tower. He is currently technical director with Concrete Future and AECOM (casual) and an Adjunct Associate Professor with the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of New South Wales. He obtained his PhD from Curtin University. He's a Chartered Professional Engineer and a Fellow of the Institute of Engineers Australia. James has received the Award of Excellence from Concrete Institute of Australia and Award for Outstanding and Sustained Contributions to Concrete Technology by ACI International Conferences and the prestigious George Stephenson Medal from Institute of Civil Engineers.


Rod is a founding Director of Structures at Bligh Tanner Pty Ltd. His expertise includes lightweight structures, conservation engineering, façade design, product development, sculpture and landscape structures, and transport infrastructure, with an adeptness for institutional and community building projects. With more than 35 years’ experience, Rod is an award-winning, industry leader renowned for his innovative approach and his many successful collaborations with architects and artists. In 2015, Rod was named Professional Engineer of the Year by Engineers Australia (Queensland).

Most recently Rod’s work has included: leading the structural and façade engineering on the $30M Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland, which saw Australia’s first use of geopolymer concrete, and won a major innovation award in 2013; collaborating on the $80M Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre in the lead up to the 2018 Commonwealth Games; design of landscape structures and stations as part of Brisbane’s Airport Link and Northern Busway projects; conservation and structural survey of Queensland Rail Heritage Assets including North Townsville Railyards; and coordinating the installation of many artworks for the Gallery of Modern Art’s Asia Pacific Triennial.

Rod is currently leading the design for a major sculptural installation in the National Arboretum in Canberra to celebrate 100 years of Engineers Australia, following his national competition winning entry.
Rod has presented lectures, speeches and workshops to diverse industry audiences. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Engineers, Australia and an Adjunct Teaching Fellow with Bond University’s Institute of Sustainable Development and Architecture. Rod studied Civil Engineering and Architecture at the University of Queensland and Structural Engineering at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland.


Professor Stephen FosterProfessor Foster is Head of School, Civil and Environmental Engineering, UNSW Australia. He is a Fellow of Engineers Australia, Honorary Member of the CIA, a member Australian Standards Committee BD2, Chairman of sub-committee BD2/1 “Strength”, BD2/6 “Fibre Reinforced Concrete” and BD2/9 “Geopolymer Concrete”. He was elected Deputy Chair of the Technical Council of the International Federation for Structural Concrete. Dr Foster has more than 300 publications in the field of structural concrete, with textbooks on reinforced concrete and prestressed concrete. His main research interests are in the fields of bringing new materials technologies to the design concrete structures.


Tom is a professional engineer and manager with more than 25 years' experience across concrete building products, engineering design, construction and project management. In his role with Australian
construction materials group Wagners, Tom manages the “Earth Friendly Concrete”, or EFC, business. EFC is an exciting new addition to the concrete industry being a low carbon emission and  high performance ‘totally cement free’ concrete based on geopolymer technology.  Prior to Wagners, Tom previously worked with Cement Concrete & Aggregates Australia (CCAA), Boral Masonry and Swan & Kavanaugh Consulting engineers. Tom is a qualified civil and structural engineer, he holds a degree in civil engineering from QUT, and a Masters degree in Business and Technology from the University of New South Wales.


Michael Lord is Head of Research for Beyond Zero Emissions. He is leading research into a zero carbon industry plan for Australia, and was lead author of the Rethinking Cement report.  Michael joined BZE from an environmental consultancy, where he advised local governments and the private sector on reducing emissions and managing climate risk. Before that Michael was the infrastructure lead on the UK Government's Climate Ready program, working with energy and transport operators to improve their climate resilience.  Michael also worked in the Climate Change team at the Victorian Government.


Liza O'Moore has more than 20 years' experience in structural and concrete design. After graduation Liza joined a local consulting firm and worked mainly in the areas of industrial and commercial structural design. Upon completion of her postgraduate research, she joined the Civil Structures group in the Brisbane office of Arup. During her time with Arup as a senior engineer and then associate, she was involved in a number of local and international reinforced concrete infrastructure projects.

In January 2001, Liza joined the academic staff in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Queensland. She is currently teaching in the areas of reinforced concrete and concrete design and applied mechanics. In 2011 Liza was elected as the National President of the Concrete Institute of Australia, the first female to be appointed to this position. In 2010 Liza was a member of the Expert Reference Panel advising the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) Review of Material 5 Credit (Concrete) for the Greenstar rating system.

She has been the recipient of School of Engineering Teaching Excellence Awards (2005, 2006), Faculty Teaching Excellence Award (2007) and a UQ Award for Teaching Excellence (2010), In 2011 Liza was award a Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student learning. On behalf of the QLD Office of Higher Education (OHE), Liza has also been Committee member advising on the accreditation of Associate Degrees in Engineering in the VET sector.


Principal, Hassell Architects

This event is jointly organised by Wagners and the UQ Global Change Institute.

For more details please email Ron Hohenhaus, GCI Communications.




Session ONE
9.00 – 9.10 am 
Introduction and overview

Session TWO
9.10 – 9.40 am 
Environmental benefits of geopolymer concrete (in context of climate change)   
Michael Lorde, Beyond Zero Emissions

Session THREE
9.40 – 10.10 am
GCI Building: Design overview, sustainability objectives and geopolymer concrete 
Mark Roehrs, Hassell Architects and Rod Bligh, Bligh Tanner Engineers

Session FOUR
10.10 – 10.25 am
Morning tea and GCI site inspection (GCI Level 1)              
David Harris, Global Change Institute

Session FIVE
10.30 – 10.50 am            
Commercial example: Wagners’ Earth Friendly Concrete in the GCI construction, Wellcamp airport and Pinkenba cement wharf        
Tom Glasby, Wagners EFC Pty Ltd

Session SIX
10.50 – 11.20 am            
Regulating building construction, barriers, solutions to geopolymer concrete       
Prof Stephen Foster, CRC for Low Carbon Living and UNSW

Session SEVEN
11.20 – 11.50 pm            
Geopolymer concrete in real projects – performance based solutions to common problems            
Dr James Aldred, Concrete Future

Session EIGHT             
11.50 – 12.30 pm            
University research to enable and accelerate commercialization, how?
Open forum following intro and example by Dr Liza O’Moore from UQ  

Session NINE              
12.30 pm – 1:30 pm       
Lunch and Industry exhibit          
Sponsored by Wagners EFC

Global Change Institute Level 2, Building 20 Staff House Road St Lucia, QLD 4067
Contact Email: 

Connect with us