MILLION IN COMMONWEALTH FUNDING
INDUSTRY AND RESEARCH PARTNERS
By investing in innovation collaboration, we bring together forward-thinking businesses and some of Australia’s leading universities to collaborate and seize opportunities across our three research streams – sustainable concrete, engineered solutions and asset management.
Across Australia’s concrete ecosystem, we work with start-ups, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), large organisations, industry associations and government to
We are unapologetically bold. We are open, honest and transparent. By doing so, we remove barries, build trust and create an environment for research collaboration. And, we are not afraid of hard conversations along the way.
We embrace diversity, equality and inclusivity and treat everyone with respect. We know that we are at our best when we work together, leveraging the “collective genius” of our stakeholders and the wider community.
We do what we say we will. We are industry-led, act from a well-informed position and embrace sustainable business practices to achieve outcomes that propel Australia’s concrete ecosystem forward. We don’t lose sight of what’s right for our innovation collaborations.
True to Purpose
Everything we do drives outcomes for community benefits – whether it’s new technology or a different approach to producing, using and/or re-using concrete. We are looking for innovative, sustainable ideas that help transform Australia’s built environment. Incremental won’t cut it.
We are inquisitive, question the status quo and bring together smart people, who use their skills and expertise to make a difference and bring about change for a better, sustainable Australia.
Chief Executive Officer
SmartCrete CRC’s mission is to help transition concrete for a sustainable Australia. As Chief Executive Officer, Clare has set up the CRC as an industry innovation collaborator that invests in research and development projects to help align and transform Australia’s concrete ecosystem to reach net zero.
Clare has extensive CRC expertise, having been involved in CRCs as Industry and Research participant, CRC manager and Government program manager. She is an agile practitioner, passionate about unlocking collaborative potential by bringing together world leading research and industry specialists to solve real-world problems.
Before joining SmartCrete in 2022, Clare worked as Chief Operating Officer at the Food Agility CRC where she demonstrated her strong networking and people management skills. She was instrumental in securing government and industry investment to run research projects that improved the sustainability, productivity and profitability of Australia’s food supply chain.
Chief Operating Officer
Robert joined SmartCrete CRC as Chief Operating Officer in April 2023 to lead the financial, governance and operational side of the organisation. As a chartered accountant with over 50 years’ experience as a practicing accountant, he brings extensive expertise in business strategy, human resources and financial planning to the CRC.
Most recently, Robert worked as Business Manager and Company Secretary for the Energy Pipelines CRC and subsequently Future Fuels CRC. Whilst at the Energy Pipelines CRC, he oversaw the completion of the company’s activities in 2018 and 2019.
Robert has held a variety of company secretary and general manager roles within research and other not-for-profit organisations. Prior to that Robert held several accounting roles in Australia and the UK, both in companies and private practice.
Robert is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Hugh is SmartCrete CRC’s Portfolio Director and responsible for building and managing the CRC’s project investment portfolio. An innovation investment professional with over 15 years’ experience working in corporate and research environments, Hugh understands the complexities of identifying, investing in and governing R&D projects.
Most recently, Hugh worked as Portfolio Lead for the Food Agility CRC, where he identified new projects, guided them from incubation through to successful completion, supporting the transition of research outcomes into business and deployment.
Knowing that technology and research alone is not a solution, Hugh is interested in strategy, business model innovation and agile project design – and works to bridge the gap between inventors and industry through the processes of innovation.
As Research Director, Vute leads SmartCrete CRC’s research ambition. Working closely with industry and research organisations, he is instrumental in designing SmartCrete’s industry challenges and supervising research projects that support the net-zero transformation of Australian concrete.
Vute is also a Professor of Concrete Engineering at the University of Technology Sydney, where he works with the Construction Materials and Structures (CMS) research team to advance concrete technology, focusing on improving durability of concrete, investigating limit-states service-life design and utilising industrial by-products.
Throughout his extensive career in industry and research, Vute has been committed to knowledge and technology transfer and training the next generation in concrete experts. He actively supports organisations such as Engineers Australia, Standards Australian, 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.
Marketing and Communications Manager
Jana joined SmartCrete CRC as Marketing and Communications Manager in early 2023. She is a strong advocate for the power of industry collaboration and embodies that in her engagement with stakeholders. Working closing with industry and research partners, Jana is responsible for ideating and executing strategic marketing communication activities that demonstrate the impact, value and benefit of SmartCrete’s innovation collaboration.
Prior to joining SmartCrete, Jana helped build the brand of the Innovative Manufacturing CRC. There she told the stories of entrepreneurs and innovators in the manufacturing space.
Throughout her 20-year career, Jana has been focused on supporting the marketing needs of innovative smart and medium enterprises across the research, manufacturing, defence, IT and medical device sector, delivering creative solutions and helping them establish and grow their brands and presence in the international marketplace.
Estelle is a concrete convert who believes in sustainable concrete. As Education Manager, she inspires the next generation of concrete experts to look beyond their research.
Passionate about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) and inspiring the next generation into STEM roles, she has also taken on the role as SmartCrete’s DE&I ambassador and student engagement representative, finding opportunities for students involved in SmartCrete’s research projects to connect, exchange ideas and further their career.
Outside SmartCrete CRC, Estelle runs a global company called The Female Drive that tackles DE&I within the world of F1 & motorsport.
Zachary joined SmartCrete CRC via Macquarie University’s PACE internship program and has stayed to take on the challenge of creating engaging video content that highlights the depth and breaths of SmartCrete’s unique research portfolio. His interest in sustainability helps him to find the creative angle to depict research outcomes and shine a light on the unappreciated potential of concrete as a material.
Zachary’s passion for film and video goes back to his school days when he taught himself how to shoot and edit videos just for fun. To perfect his skills, he studied Media and Communications at Macquarie University and worked part-time as a video editor for real estate and data companies.
As Project Coordinator, Lydia is responsible for the day-to-day management of SmartCrete’s research projects. She works closely with both industry and research partners supporting their administrative commitments, including reporting, and making sure that each project is on track to achieve its research milestones.
Prior to joining SmartCrete in early 2023, Lydia worked in a similar capacity at the Innovative Manufacturing CRC, where she coordinated the successful completion of over 30 research projects and managed the CRC’s Masters by Coursework Scholarship program.
With a Bachelor of Veterinary Science and Master of Applied Science and extensive experience working in medical research, Lydia brings a wealth of scientific knowledge and understanding of research collaboration to SmartCrete. Lydia spent 10 years working on a premedical study developing therapeutic treatment for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
Research Outreach Manager
Vanissorn (Sorn) is an Associate Professor at the School of Engineering, Macquarie University, and an Adjunct Associate Professor at Curtin University. She recently joined SmartCrete CRC as Education Outreach Manager and collaborates with industry and research partners to co-create educational opportunities across the concrete ecosystem. Her experience in research and engineering practices helps her foster knowledge transfer and build leadership capabilities and capacity that will help industry transition to net zero.
Sorn moved to Australia to take up an academic role at Curtin University in 2008, before joining Macquarie University in 2020. Prior to that she worked as a structural engineer in design and construction of tall concrete buildings in Asia.
Sorn is involved in various professional institutes and industry bodies. Currently she serves as the Australasia representative for the International Structural Engineering and Construction Society, USA and is a Director of the Bridge Engineering Institute, USA.
Elizabeth is Chair of the SmartCrete CRC Board. Fascinated by complex ecosystems and with a deep understanding of research and innovation and passion for diversity, she leads the Board and SmartCrete team to invest in and drive the net zero transformation of Australian concrete.
Throughout her long-standing career in civil engineering, academia and governance, Elizabeth has helped improve disaster responses, enhanced the purchasing potential of the ADF and trained Australian engineers to work overseas.
Since finishing her academic career as Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean, Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Health, Central Queensland University, she has held numerous board leadership roles including Chair of Engineers Australia Accreditation Board, the Board of Professional Engineers Queensland. Currently she also serves as Chair of Washington Accord and Deputy Chair of the Governing Group of the International Engineering Alliance.
Elizabeth has always engaged in pro-bona work such as Registered Engineers for Disaster Relief (RedR) Australia. In 2004, she was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia and has been recognised as one of Australia’s 100 most influential engineers.
Independent Board Member
Gunilla is an electrical engineer and brings a wealth of business experience and technical know-how to the SmartCrete CRC Board.
In 2000, together with her husband, Gunilla founded the underwater technology company BlueZone Group, which since has grown to three offices around Australia. She is also co-founder of a consultancy, Gender Matters, that advises organisations on gender equity. As an angel investor, she has backed more than 20 entrepreneurs starting a new business in last 10 years. Through her involvement with The Hunter Innovation Ecosystem, Gunilla is across the world of start-ups and scale-ups and provides the Board with insights into their commercialisation journey.
Gunilla serves on numerous boards. Serving as a Director of the Blue Economy CRC, she is familiar with governance, collaborative research, IP and commercialisation. Gunilla has also been National Vice President of Engineers Australia.
Independent Board Member
Catherine has had an extensive career and was most recently the General Manager Customer and Community at the Water Corporation WA. 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.
Independent Board Member
Stephen is a seasoned business executive with over 40 years’ experience across various industries including the construction and infrastructure sector. He has been involved in SmartCrete CRC right from the start, bringing decades of leadership, strategy, and business development expertise to the Board, including a solid understanding of the concrete market and its opportunities. Stephen also acted as the Interims CEO of the CRC.
Throughout his career, Stephen has served on numerous boards spanning Not for Profit and commercial organisations such as Bipolar Australia, Sydney Drug Education, Northern Beaches Interchange, LR&M Construction and Lendlease NSW Government Relations Committee. This has given him great insights and a broad perspective on key industry issues and corporate governance matters.
He is also a qualified Mental Health First Aid Officer and Infrastructure Sustainability Assessor.
Independent Board Member
Elizabeth has 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.
For 32 years Elizabeth worked as a lawyer specialising in property, commercial and construction transactions. She knows the legislation surrounding board activities as well as her duties as a board director.
In 2014, Elizabeth accepted the invitation to join the Board of the Space Environment Research Centre Ltd (SERC), where she was instrumental in developing policies and setting up governance structures. Her involvement with SERC – interacting with universities, engaging with the Government and the CRC Program – means that Elizabeth brings a solid base of skills and knowledge to her role on the SmartCrete CRC Board.
Independent Board Member
Peter is a highly energetic company director and CEO with proven business experience in the global engineering, natural resources and technology sectors. He brings a rare combination of outstanding operational, strategic, financial, and technical skills to the SmartCrete CRC Board. Peter is passionate about science, innovation and the translation of new thinking and technology into commercial outcomes and has deep understanding of concrete, which is particularly relevant when evaluating project applications and new research opportunities.
As General Manager at Boral Concrete Panel Systems – Asia, he was responsible for the management and commercialisation of R&D to create new ultra-light concrete materials to be incorporated into new building systems.
Most recently he has provided consulting services to SME’s and publicly listed companies, led business development activities for universities and helped with the revitalisation of the Australian Innovation Research Group.
We partner with industry, research and government organisations to transition Australia’s concrete ecosystem into a sustainable future.