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


Em Prof Elizabeth Taylor


Independent Chair

Elizabeth Taylor specialises in governance effectiveness and ecosystem analysis.

Following a career in industry as a design and construction engineer, Elizabeth moved into academe, finishing her academic career as Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean, Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Health, CQUniversity.  Since 2013 she has undertaken numerous independent assurance reviews and smart buyer analysis of complex engineering projects.

Over her career Elizabeth has built extensive Board-level leadership in professional organisations and innovative technology entities. Currently she is Chair of SmartCrete Cooperative Research Centre (focused on concrete) and Chair, Washington Accord, and Deputy Chair, Governing Group, of the International Engineering Alliance, a suite of international agreements governing the recognition of engineering educational qualifications and professional competence.

Elizabeth has always engaged in diverse pro-bono work. Currently she is Chair of the Cambodian Children’s Trust Australia. She recently retired as Chair of RedR Australia, an humanitarian response agency, standby partner to 14 UN agencies and manager of Australia Assists, the Australian Government’s humanitarian civilian deployment program. She was Chair of RedR International until May 2021. She is recognised as one of Australia’s 100 most influential engineers.

Dr Gunilla Burrowes


An electrical engineer with a broad range of industry and academic experience, Gunilla founded an underwater tech company, BlueZone Group with her husband in 2000. Gunilla is also co-founder of a consultancy, Gender Matters that advises organisations on gender equity. With experience on numerous boards, Gunilla has also been National Vice President of Engineers Australia.

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

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


For 32 years Elizabeth was a lawyer specialising in property, commercial and construction transactions. As a senior partner in Australia’s largest Tier One law firm, she was also a Canberra Chair of Partners and a member of the firm’s International Partnership Board for many years. Both during and after private practice, Elizabeth 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 director of the Space Environment Research Centre Limited (SERC), a Commonwealth Research Centre dedicated to clearing Earth’s inner atmosphere of “space junk” that threatens satellites vital to global communications, from its inception in 2014 until its successful completion in 2021. With SERC, she performed strategic roles as Chair of its Risk Management Committee, the Contracts and Licences Committee, and as a member of its Committees for Nominations and Remunerations and Audit. As well as her managerial talents and expertise, Elizabeth brings to SmartCrete a shared commitment to the betterment of our environment, for the benefit of current and future generations.

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

Warren South

Chief Executive Officer

Dr Warren South has worked in the heavy construction materials industry for over 25 years. He started his working career in cement in 1985 with Blue Circle Southern Cement at Berrima as Assistant Works Chemist, later to become Works Chemist in 1989. During this time he worked on the development of cement and concretes specifically for high durability applications such as the immersed tube units for the Sydney Harbour Tunnel and other important infrastructure projects.

In 1996, he moved to New Zealand to become Technical Manager for Golden Bay Cement. During this time he led the development of cements specifically for use in the South Pacific, dealing with three different Standards regimes also lead the development of inorganic polymer binders for concrete.

Moving back to Australia, he gained his doctorate in Civil Engineering from the University of Wollongong in 2010, dealing with the performance of cements based on natural pozzolanic materials available in New Zealand, the outcomes of which are seeing commercial reality.

Warren was previously the Director – Research and Technology for the industry organisation -Cement Concrete and Aggregates Australia. He maintains an active focus on addressing sustainability and resilience in terms of the cement and concrete industry and is a strong advocate for the positive contributions that concrete can make to the durability of the built environment.

Warren is also an Associate Professor (Honorary) in Civil Engineering at the University of Wollongong, Adjunct Associate Professor, Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology at the University of Technology – Sydney, and a member of the National Council of the Concrete Institute of Australia.

Cheryl Farago

Chief Operating Officer

Cheryl is a highly accomplished Business, Finance and Project Manager with a proven track record of facilitating innovation through the establishment of robust business systems, effective stakeholder management and staff development. Prior to joining the SmartCrete CRC team, Cheryl held the position of Department Manager for Molecular Sciences at Macquarie University where she was responsible for the utilisation of financial and human resources to deliver improvements in the areas of research performance, student education experience and community engagement.

Cheryl has demonstrated the ability to improve efficiencies, increase transparencies and streamline processes in leadership positions in both the public and private sectors and across multiple industries including manufacturing, business consulting and retail. Some of Cheryl’s previous roles included her position as the Budget Manager for the South African Parliament and the Senior Business Manager for the Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering Division at the King Abdullah University of Science & Technology.

Cheryl holds a Master of Science degree in Project Management and a Bachelor of Commerce degree (Honours). Cheryl is also a certified Project Management Professional.

Daksh Baweja

Director – Industry Liaison

Daksh Baweja is Director – Materials for BG&E Consulting. This is a specialist group within a broader civil/structural consultancy that provides strategic advice in areas relating to civil engineering materials. Daksh is also Industry Fellow at the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Technology in Sydney. He started his career with the Electricity Commission of NSW as a civil engineer and completed his Masters degree in civil engineering by research on durability of fly ash and other concretes. He then worked in research at the CSIRO Division of Building, Construction and Engineering where he completed his PhD in civil engineering on corrosion of steel reinforcement in concrete.

Following that, he worked with CSR, Readymix, Rinker and CEMEX Australia in various functional management roles prior to setting up his consultancy and commencing at UTS from 2009. Daksh is actively involved in knowledge management, marketing and commercial R&D and is the author of over 120 research papers into aspects relating to concrete materials, structural design, concrete durability and serviceability in major infrastructure. He is a Past President of the Concrete Institute of Australia, Fellow of Engineers Australia and received an award for outstanding contributions to concrete technology from the American Concrete Institute in 2007. He received Life Membership of the Concrete Institute of Australia in 2013 and became a Fellow of the American Concrete Institute in 2014. He was Chair of the Concrete Institute of Australia organising committee for the Concrete 2019 Biennial conference in Sydney, September 2019. In 2021, he became Director – Industry Liaison for the SmartCrete Cooperative Research Centre.

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.