About Us

QUICK LINKS:    What is a CRC?    Governance    Corporate Structure    Board    Our Team

What is a CRC?


SmartCrete CRC is an incorporated company, limited by guarantee. The governance model is based on the principles and recommendations of the Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) Program.

SmartCrete CRC will:

  • Provide an opportunity for SME’s to participate in, and nominate, research projects
  • Promote networking, training and knowledge transfer opportunities amongst SME’s.

SmartCrete CRC will provide an opportunity to partner with other segments of the industry and research community to improve the delivery of breakthrough advancements in the cement and concrete product market.

Corporate Structure


SmartCrete CRC Annual Report 2020 – 2021 (PDF)


Elizabeth Taylor

Em Prof Elizabeth Taylor


Independent Chair

Elizabeth Taylor is the current Chair of the SmartCrete CRC Board and is an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO). She is a passionate and intelligent professional with a range of skills that she brings to all facets of Board activities.

Elizabeth is a civil engineer, starting her career at the Maritime Services Board where she contributed to the design and construction of marine structures. She also has a law degree, and this assists her decision making. Presently she is a consultant specialising in complex procurement and sustainment. This brings a deep understanding of the challenges of practice, the role of innovation and the complexity of decision making.

Along with her practice in engineering, Elizabeth has academic experience, including 10 years at UTS designing curriculum and co-op. She finished her academic career as Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean, Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Health, Central Queensland University. She is a former Chair of the Australian Council of Engineering Deans.

Elizabeth has held a number of board leadership roles including Chair of Engineers Australia Accreditation Board, the Board of Professional Engineers Queensland, and she is presently Chair, Washington Accord, and Deputy Chair, Governing Group, International Engineering Alliance. She was Chair of Registered Engineers for Disaster Relief (RedR) Australia and of RedR International. She relaxes playing with the grandchildren, and “thundering” the lanes in basketball 2 nights a week.

Elizabeth is particularly passionate about and advocates for diversity and has written academic papers on engineering culture. Her appreciation for complexity and her strong background in engineering, academia and governance support Elizabeth to make decisions with integrity and in the best interests of the company.

Dr Gunilla Burrowes

Dr Gunilla Burrowes


Gunilla Burrowes is a dedicated and committed board member who brings a wealth of business experience and has held several director and board roles in her career.

As an engineer by trade, and based in Newcastle, a city founded on engineering, Gunilla has been an angel investor for 15 years, providing financial backing for entrepreneurs starting a new business. Her involvement with The Hunter Innovation Ecosystem in particular means that she brings knowledge of what start-up’s need and the commercialisation journey required for success.

Gunilla started her own successful company in underwater technology 22 years ago. From a start-up, growth was achieved through acquisition as well as organic growth and as a co-founder Gunilla has overseen the development of partnerships, products and markets and understands the financial needs of business.

As a director for Blue Economy CRC, one of the biggest CRCs in Australia, Gunilla is extremely familiar with governance, collaborative research and IP and commercialisation also in a CRC with charitable status. She is a member of the Impact and Investment Committee (IIC) and brings operational and technical know-how to the SmartCrete CRC board as she can think laterally to understand the risks involved in technical projects. Her engineering background means she understands how to work as a team and build meaningful connections but also how to identify and solve problems.

Catherine Ferrari


Catherine has had an extensive career and was most recently the General Manager Customer and Community at the Water Corporation. As an experienced senior management professional with 20+ years’ experience of Board roles, in a diverse range of sectors and industries, Catherine is well versed in governance principles and has experience in high level board decision making and advisory input.

Stephen Harmer

BComm (Marketing), GAICD

Acting CEO SmartCrete CRC

Stephen brings over 40 years’ experience across various industries including the construction and infrastructure sector and directly applicable experience in the concrete market. Stephen has extensive board experience spanning Not For Profit and Commercial organisations, senior executive and governance experience including Board roles Bipolar Australia, Sydney Drug Education, Northern Beaches Interchange and Chair Advisory Board roles with Girvan Group and LR&M Construction. Complimentary skills include stakeholder management as Chair Lendlease NSW Government Relations Committee and qualifications as a Mental Health First Aid Officer and Infrastructure Sustainability Assessor.

Elizabeth Whitelaw


Elizabeth Whitelaw has established a strong reputation as a highly motivated and effective board member, performing both chair and non-executive director roles for government-owned corporations, commercial partnerships, advisory bodies and not-for-profit organisations.

Elizabeth was a lawyer for 32 years and in this time, she specialised in property, commercial and construction transactions. She has a deep understanding of legislation surrounding board activities as well has her duties as a director which assists her in making informed decisions and participate in the development of project frameworks and assessments.

As the Director of Space Environment Research Centre Ltd (SERC), Elizabeth became familiar with the CRC program which provided funding for this Canberra based company. She worked alongside other large companies including Optus as well as universities such as ANU and RMIT. SERC is also a not-for-profit organisation with charitable status and Elizabeth was a major contributor to its start-up phase and governance. She was also responsible for developing policies and audit and risk management. Her experience in interacting with universities, her understanding of the government environment and CRC programs means that Elizabeth brings a solid base of skills and knowledge to her role on the SmartCrete CRC Board.

Peter Williamson


Peter is a company Director with proven international business experience in the global technology, engineering, and resource sectors. In the early part of his career, he was awarded the Boral Magna Carta Award for Innovation for leading Boral’s Asia-focused initiative to complete late stage Australian concrete systems R&D and commercialise across the region. Peter is a Member of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AUSIMM) and a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Our Team

Jan Fair

Chief Operating Officer (interim)

Jan has thirteen years’ experience as Business Manager within CRC’s as well as research and innovation industries, including Senior Advisor on CRC’s at Research Innovation Services UniSA.  Jan’s strengths lie in finance and administration, including budget, income and expenditure management. She has experience in establishing effective and timely funding disbursements to research providers and the implementation of supporting financial and database systems.

Zoe Schmidt

Director – Partnerships

Zoe Schmidt is the Director – Partnerships for SmartCrete CRC. She previously ran her own Consultancy business where she supported the civil, materials and construction industries in all facets of concrete from material science to site investigations and support.

Zoe commenced her career in the cement industry working for Blue Circle Cement in Johannesburg, South Africa where her technical capabilities evolved in concrete laboratories. This led her to further her career to technical selling and commercial roles within concrete material science and practices.

She later relocated to Durban to fulfill a Regional Technical Management role with Alpha Stone and Readymix, owned by Holcim AG, Switzerland, where she later took a consultant role supporting the global Readymix concrete divisions within Holcim.

In 2009, Zoe accepted the position of National Technical Manager for Admixtures and Additives with Sika Australia, and later rejoined Holcim Australia as the Regional Technical Manager for NSW. Zoe has built a strong network of industry and academic contacts in all areas within the concrete and associated industries.

Zoe has a Masters Degree in Concrete Technology. Her passion is education and training, complex research solutions and collaborating with likeminded peers.

Nancy Li

Salesforce Business Analyst

Nancy is a highly experienced administrator with an extensive background in the delivery of high-quality administration services with a wide-ranging proven skillset across program administration, systems administration, project management, compliance, data integration, reporting, funding administration, data analysis, and client service.

Nancy has been involved in designing and implementing new and improved systems across a diverse range of administrative functions. She has advanced problem-solving skills with a proven ability to deliver cost-effective solutions, project managing data integration projects, tracking record of using a variety of software and systems, typically with advanced Excel skills, Power BI, Microsoft Forms, Microsoft Automate, Powerapps, Salesforce. Nancy was awarded the staff award for Professional Excellence by the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Macquarie University for her contribution to enhancing working efficiency and automating and standardising processes by utilising a variety of tools.

Vute Sirivivatnanon

Research Director

Dr Vute Sirivivatnanon is a Professor of Concrete Engineering at the University of Technology Sydney. He has gained experience working as a Bridge Design Engineer with the NSW Department of Main Roads, a Project Engineer with White Industries (Singapore) Pte Ltd responsible for Q.C. of concrete in high-rise prefab construction, and as Principal Structural Engineer and Head of the Engineering Materials Unit with Singapore Housing & Development Board.

In 1988, Vute returned to Australia to lead the concrete research team at CSIRO Division of Building, Construction and Engineering in Sydney. The CSIRO team developed high strength high performance concrete utilising a whole range of industrial by-products. In 2001, he was awarded the American Concrete Institute Mohan Malhotra Awardfor sustained and outstanding contributions in the area of Supplementary Cementing Materials (SCM). Much of the CSIRO research was the corner stone of the durability requirements in Australian Standards AS 3600 and leading concrete specifications including RTA B80.

As CCAA Research Manager, he worked with leading industry innovators in the development and sustainable use of cementitious binders, manufactured sand and concrete aggregates. In Standard Committees, he strongly supported the development of testing standards for alkali-silica reactivity of aggregates and the revision of HB79 Guidelines on minimising the risk of ASR damage to concrete structures in Australia.

In 2013, he joined the University of Technology Sydney and helped to strengthen its Construction Materials and Structures (CMS) research team. The multi-disciplinary CMS team has gained strong support from the Australian and New Zealand cement and concrete industry in winning 5 ARC Nanocomm Research Hub projects. Throughout his career, Vute has been strongly committed to technology transfer activities organised by Engineers Australia, Australian Society for Concrete Pavements (ASCP), Concrete Institute of Australia (CIA) and was awarded an honorary CIA membership in 2019. In 2020, he became the co-director of UTS-Boral Centre for Sustainable Building. Vute recently joined SmartCrete CRC as Research Director.

Alan Leow YF

Commercialization & IP Management Director
BEng. (NZ), MBA(RMIT), M. Urban Design (UWA), M. Analytics (UNSW), Grad. Dip Property (UNSA)

Alan is a commercial and engineering professional with more than 30 years of local and international experience, with roles in design, construction, manufacturing, sales and marketing, product innovation, change management, and strategic planning. He spent a large part of his career engaged in innovation and creating value-added concrete and plasterboard products by leveraging a production-based system of quality control and lean management.

Alan has experience in commercial negotiation of large building contracts and management of IP application for patent protection of new products for multinational companies. He has a particular interest in the impact of digitisation, decarbonisation of concrete, and sustainability of the construction industry value chain and ecosystem.

Vanissorn Vimonsatit

Education Outreach Manager

Vanissorn Vimonsatit (Sorn) is an Associate Professor at the School of Engineering, Macquarie University, and an Adjunct Associate Professor at Curtin University. Sorn has a broad range of experience in research and engineering practices.  Sorn worked as a structural engineer for over 10 years in design and construction of tall concrete buildings in Asia. She was the Technical manager of an international construction firm, leading the design for value engineering and constructability. After that, she moved to Australia to take up an academic role at Curtin University, and was there for 12 years before joining Macquarie University in 2020. 

Sorn is actively involved in various activities of professional institutes, currently serving as a Regional Representative for Australasia, for International Structural Engineering and Construction Society, USA and a Director of Bridge Engineering Institute, USA. Sorn has recently been appointed Education Outreach Manager, SmartCrete CRC.

Theresa Han

Business Consultant

Theresa has extensive experience in business administration and financial management. She has been working in the higher education and research industry for almost 20 years.

Theresa holds a Master of Business Administration in Professional Accounting. She is also a Chartered Accountant.

Anjali Weerakoon

Communications and Events Manager

Anjali has worked in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry for almost 20 years and brings a broad range of skills and experience to her current role as Communications and Events Manager at SmartCrete CRC.

With a business degree from the University of Technology, Sydney, majoring in Marketing and International Marketing, Anjali has worked on both retailer and supplier sides and therefore has a deep understanding of marketing in the grocery and pharmacy landscape in Australia.

Most of her experience comes in sales and marketing where she has held several roles in Category Management and Trade Marketing. Anjali has worked for large FMCG global market leading companies such as Bayer, Kimberly-Clark and Reckitt Benckiser. During this time she implemented in-store marketing promotions and activities which she has also won awards for. She worked with many cross function departments such a finance, supply, marketing and product development, and also developed relationships with grocery giants such as Woolworths and Coles.

Anjali has also held roles in communications where she implemented traditional and digital communications programs and events across a variety of channels. She has developed annual marketing plans and strategies and aligned them to communication plans across social media, print and was also responsible for website development.