Partner Profile
Harish Srivastava

Harish Srivastava

Director Civil Engineering
Transport for NSW


Where is your hometown? Where do you live now?

I was born and raised in Uttar Pradesh, India. While completing my civil engineering degree I was selected to work in a public sector company, WAPCOS as a Trainee Engineer in Delhi. I worked with WAPCOS until 2005 and was promoted to Deputy Chief Engineer. During this period I developed port planning and maritime engineering skills through self-study and on-the job training. In 2005, I decided to move to New Zealand to take a position in New Plymouth in North Island where I worked for three years. New Plymouth is the most beautiful place I have ever lived, one can go hiking and surfing on same day. In 2009, I moved to Australia and have lived here since.

Where did you go to university and your field of study and most importantly why did you choose that field?

I completed my Bachelor Degree in Civil Engineering from MMMEC, Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, India and masters in Structural Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, India.

At 10 years of age, I received my first lesson in construction. During my summer vacations, I helped my dad in managing construction for the family home in a remote village in India. Every little task given to me was a game for me as I often helped tradesmen in brick laying, mortar making, curing etc. I have no doubt that this fun exercise sowed seeds of civil engineering for me.

In high school I had high level exposure to civil engineering where I prepared a project about urban design of a township under guidance of my brother who was studying civil engineering at the time. This project exposed me to key urban design and civil engineering principles. This project after competing at district level, was selected for displaying at a regional level interschool competition. The small scale exposure I received to planning, design and construction motivated me to pursue a career in civil engineering.

Who do you work for now? What has been a highlight of your career?

I work for Transport for NSW (TfNSW). Prior to joining TfNSW, I worked for a number of consultancy organisations in Australia, New Zealand and India and received an opportunity to travel to a number of iconic locations in Australia, New Zealand, India, Africa and Asia-Pacific. I worked on a number of high profile projects including Rooty Hill station upgrade and multistorey carpark, Barangaroo ferry hub, Coal Terminal-3 at Newcastle Port, NSW, Wheatstone LNG Terminal, Western Australia, Saldanha port upgrade, South Africa, Port Taranaki upgrade, New Zealand, the container terminal at Port Nauru, etc.

What do you most enjoy about your role at Transport NSW?

Currently, I am working as the Director of Civil Engineering. This role provides me an opportunity to work on a variety of projects relating to railway infrastructure, carparks, maritime and other civil engineering projects. I also get the opportunity to work with project teams and delivery partners to adopt low emission/ recycled materials and to incorporate renewable energy infrastructures in projects for improving sustainability.

Tell us why and how you first got involved with Concrete?

Immediately after graduating, I gained an opportunity to work on planning and design of cement terminals at Muldwarka, Gujrat and Panvel, Maharashtra, India. This project enabled me to understand design of reinforced concrete piles, headstocks, precast beams for berths/ approach jetty and plain cement concrete for tetrapod armour units for breakwater. From this project, I learnt about the effect of seawater exposure on durability of concrete structures and various strategies for improving durability.

What do you find most challenging about working in the industry?

I think developing a lower carbon footprint/ sustainable concrete mix while complying with the requirements for strength, durability and workability is the most challenging task. This task becomes even more challenging due to limited guidance offered by Australian Standards for use of recycled and low emission materials requiring a task based research.

If there was one thing you could bring to life to help shape the future of infrastructure, what would it be?

Probably a software or tool, capable of assessing the effect of addition of virgin/ recycled materials and admixtures to a concrete mix whilst predicting concrete performance parameters such as strength, durability, workability and carbon footprint of the concrete mix, will benefit the future infrastructure projects. Such a tool will enable to develop a fit for purpose sustainable concrete mix to suit requirement for an individual structure.

SmartCrete’s objective is to help guarantee the long-term viability of crucial concrete infrastructure in Australia, what are your thoughts on this?

SmartCrete CRC is evaluating a few research projects for use in industrial and non-industrial wastes in concrete mixes to improve sustainability and the carbon footprint of concrete while meeting performance requirements. These projects when complete, are likely to help in mitigating waste management issues.

SmartCrete CRC Welcomes Paintback Limited as Core Partner

Since establishment in June 2020, SmartCrete CRC has worked to promote scientific and engineering research forging the way for Australia’s concrete industry, including developments within the concrete supply chain and associated industries and today we are delighted to announce Paintback Limited as a new core partner to SmartCrete CRC.

Click here to read the full Media Release (PDF)

Dr Warren South, CEO of SmartCrete CRC welcomes the partnership.

SmartCrete CRC is pleased to welcome Paintback Limited as a core partner organisation. Partners such as Paintback will assist us in developing our research portfolio to inform the future sustainability of concrete infrastructure.

Paintback’s ambition is to create a stronger circular economy for the materials it collects and lay the groundwork for developing new markets.

Paint already plays a role in circular economic outcomes through preserving and refurbishing infrastructure. Paintback is exploring how it can extend that through putting unwanted paint into new uses.

From trialling recovered paint products in pedestrian footpaths to research testing paint components as new additions to concrete, the national paint recovery scheme Paintback and alliances of Australian scientists and engineers are on the hunt for new ways to extend the circular economy for paint.

“Australians buy more than 100 million litres of paint every year. About 5 per cent of that is surplus to requirements and needs a safe disposal path. The SmartCrete partnership will help harness innovation to create more sustainable infrastructure while extending the life of unwanted paint” says Karen Gomez, Paintback’s chief executive.”


Click here to read the full Media Release (PDF)

For further information please contact:

Dr Warren South
Chief Executive Officer
SmartCrete CRC
Email: warren.south@smartcretecrc.com.au

SmartCrete CRC project funding announced

SmartCrete CRC is delighted to announce the funding of the inaugural project “Recycled Waste in Concrete for Municipal Applications” in collaboration with industry and research partners OPV (Office of Projects Victoria) and RMIT University.

Click here to read the full Media Release (PDF)

Since establishment in June 2020, SmartCrete CRC has worked to promote scientific and engineering research for Australia’s concrete industry, including developments within the concrete supply chain and associated industries.

All SmartCrete CRC projects are driven by the needs of industry partners and the end-users with whom they engage.

This project covers a range of areas and will investigate and implement new applications of domestic and industrial waste materials (plastics, rubber, crusher dust, industrial by-products) in the concrete construction industry. It will provide long term environmental and economic benefits to key stakeholders – supply-chain, government, and asset owners.

The project is a strategic response to the demand-supply imbalance in the Victorian infrastructure and waste recovery sector with a primary focus on councils and local municipalities.

Concrete production in Victoria relies on aggregate and cement sourced from natural and finite sand and rock deposits. With the availability of these materials declining, alternative sources of sands and aggregates are urgently required to meet forecasted consumption.

Dr Warren South, CEO of SmartCrete CRC commends the funding.

“We are proud to be funding a project that is the first to “turn the sod” on practical research under the SmartCrete CRC brand and delivers value to both concrete infrastructure and the Australian community”.

Professor Rebecca Gravina RMIT University said:

“Finding new uses for our waste is a vital part of the transition to a circular economy. We hope this exciting collaboration will have a lasting impact, by bringing leading-edge materials technologies for concrete construction to address the performance requirements needed by our industry partners.”

Cressida Wall, Chief Executive, Office of Projects Victoria (OPV) said:

“OPV is pleased to support and promote innovation and excellence in construction which is why we are backing this important project. Recycled waste is an untapped resource and its successful application in municipal infrastructure offers a potential game-changing solution.”

The project represents the first to be funded by the Commonwealth, industry and research partners to deliver on the organisation’s goal of guaranteeing the long-term viability of concrete infrastructure in Australia.

Click here to read the full Media Release (PDF)

For further information please contact:

Dr Warren South
Chief Executive Officer
SmartCrete CRC
Email: warren.south@smartcretecrc.com.au

SmartCrete CRC announces 8 projects endorsed for funding

SmartCrete CRC is proud to announce 8 projects have been conditionally endorsed for funding following the SmartCrete CRC Board meeting held Thursday, 17 June 2021.

Click here to read the full Media Release (PDF)

Conditions are required to be met before the projects can be approved for funding and the SmartCrete CRC team are working to assist project partners with meeting these requirements. The Board meeting also accepted revisions to the Project Funding Guidelines with modifications to be communicated in due course.

The 8 projects will run up to four years and involve industry partners with support by our research providers. The program represents a cash investment of almost $5.2 million of Commonwealth funds by the CRC and partner contributions.

Project Partners include: Ash Development Association of Australia (ADAA), Australasian Slag Association, Australasian Pozzolan Association, University of Sydney, University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Macquarie University, Paintback, Hawks Excavation (VIC) Pty Ltd, Stretford Civil Constructions Pty Ltd, Transport for NSW (TfNSW), Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), University of Newcastle (UoN), Holcim (Australia) Pty Ltd, Curtin University, Australian Engineered Fasteners and Anchors Council (AEFAC), Swinburne University of Technology (SUT).

This is an exciting step in the development of industry led solutions for Australian concrete infrastructure.”
Dr Warren South, CEO
SmartCrete CRC.

Click here to read the full Media Release (PDF)

For further information please contact:

Dr Warren South
Chief Executive Officer
SmartCrete CRC
Email: warren.south@smartcretecrc.com.au

Partner Profile
Vute Sirivivatnanon

Vute Sirivivatnanon

Professor of Concrete Engineering
UTS Director – UTS-Boral Centre for Sustainable Building
School of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Faculty of Engineering & Information Technology
University of Technology Sydney


Where is your hometown? Where do you live now?

I was born and grew up in Bangkok – Venice of the East, Thailand and studied engineering in Australia. After an early academic career in Thailand and 4 years of building work in Singapore, I returned and established my family and career in Sydney.

Where did you go to university and your field of study and most importantly why did you choose that field?

I loved watching various tradesmen doing their work from a very young age and was fortunate to be able to pursue my passion in engineering under the Colombo Plan scholarship to study Civil Engineering at the University of Tasmania in Hobart. I went on to complete my PhD in Concrete Technology at the University of New South Wales under the supervision of Dr David Cook and Dr Rusty Morgan.

Who do you work for now? What has been a highlight of your career?

I have learn’t the art of concrete production while working as a project engineer in Singapore, and the science of concrete engineering as a scientist with CSIRO Division of Building Construction and Engineering in Sydney. From the challenges I faced in my work in Singapore, I found Professor Adam Neville’s 1987 inaugural concrete lecture in Singapore most encouraging when he highlighted the ‘advent of chemical admixtures’ and the ‘recognition of the importance of concrete cover’ as the two most important advances in concrete technology over the past decades. These highlights totally agree with what I had personally experienced in my working life in Singapore.

Tell us why and how you first got involved with Concrete?

While my natural inclination was in structural engineering, I was given an opportunity by Professor Ian Lee to develop premix polymer-cement concrete in my PhD research at the University of New South Wales. Concrete has since consumed my interest and my desire for people to make the correct use of its immense potential as a “liquid rock”.

What do you find most challenging about working in the industry?
The focus on sustainability in concrete construction began in the late 1970s with tremendous public-good research and innovation conducted and derived by both the private and public sectors. In Australia, we have found the innovative and economic use of a range of industrial by-products in tailoring the properties of high-performance concrete (HPC). Engineers are able to use HPC in a whole range of durable structures to meet the required design life. The challenge to our industry is to instill the current and future know-how to the various levels of professionals working in the industry from the designers to the concrete workforce, and in particular to the owners in both the private and public infrastructures. Professional bodies such as Engineers Australia (EA), Concrete Institute of Australia (CIA), the Australian Society of Concrete Pavement (ASCP) and Cement Concrete and Aggregates Australia (CCAA) have played an important role in technology transfer and training. Greater participation and leadership by the public sector is necessary to accelerate the uptake of advanced concrete technology.

If there was one thing you could bring to life to help shape the future of infrastructure, what would it be?
I would like to see the return to genuine Quality systems in construction with systematic quality control (QC) and quality audit (QA). The integrity of such quality system lies in the independence of quality auditing. However, the pressure of modern life has diluted such quality system by the introduction of the so called “Quality Assurance” which relies on self-assessment which is a complete contradiction to the principle of ‘independent quality auditing”. We have seen significant problems in buildings arising from lack of inspection by qualified engineers during construction and the use of private certification. If this fundamental and genuine quality control and auditing are not reinstated, we cannot expect to see the integrity and longevity for our infrastructure.

SmartCrete’s objective is to help guarantee the long-term viability of crucial concrete infrastructure in Australia, what are your thoughts on this?
Innovation in building materials and construction technologies can certainly contribute to the long-term sustainability and viability of concrete infrastructure, however they can only be fully realised with genuine quality systems.

Anything else you would like to add?
Much effort is put into the development of new, innovative and smart concrete. However, it is the smart way of using concrete which is crucial to the success of concrete infrastructure in Australia. Thus considerable emphasis must be put into our training and developing the next generation of smart concrete users.

Concrete Institute of Australia – Weekly Webinar Series

SmartCrete CRC was proud to be showcased as part of the Concrete Institute of Australia’s weekly webinar series on 11 March. The webinar was led by CEO, Dr Warren South, who was joined by Professor Rebecca Gravina of RMIT and Professor Simon Clark of Macquarie University.  

We looked at 3 projects that have been given the “green light” by the government and how these will in fact advance the cement and concrete industry including Recycled Material Concrete Production presented by Professor Rebecca Gravina.

Presentations can be viewed here:

Presentation 1 (pdf)
Presentation 2 (pdf)
Presentation 3 (pdf)

If you would like to watch the full webinar on the Concrete Institute of Australia’s website please click here.

Fast Track projects announced

SmartCrete CRC is proud to announce the funding of three projects submitted under its Fast Track program.

Click here to read the full Media Release (PDF)

Since establishment in June 2020, SmartCrete CRC has worked to promote scientific and engineering research for Australia’s concrete industry, including developments within the concrete supply chain and associated industries.

The new projects will run for up to the next 3 years and are spread across two of the three SmartCrete CRC research program streams, involving collaboration with our partner organisations. All SmartCrete CRC Fast Track projects are driven by the needs of industry partners and the end-users with whom they engage.

The projects cover a range of areas, including research into the following:

  1. Wastewater Pipeline Sensing System: Innovative and economical photonic sensor interrogation. Read more here
  2. Recycled Material Concrete Production: Recycled Waste in Concrete for Municipal Applications. Read more here
  3. Concrete Corrosion Tracking and Prediction: Cost-effective, deployable photonic sensor system. Read more here

The funding for the projects range from $500,000 and $1 million each.

These three projects represent the first of many to be funded by the Commonwealth, industry and research partners to deliver on the organisation’s goal of guaranteeing the long term viability of concrete infrastructure in Australia.

Industry , government and research partners include: Sydney Water, Melbourne Water, EngAnalysis, City of Ryde, OPV (Office of Projects Victoria), City of Whitehorse (Victoria), Macquarie University, Latrobe University, University of Technology Sydney, and RMIT.

Now that these are funded we are working through our portfolio of 34 active proposals to continue to develop industry led solutions for Australian concrete infrastructure.

Click here to read the full Media Release (PDF)

SmartCrete CRC announces new Board appointments

After an extensive process in evaluating required skills and experience, four Directors will be joining the Chair, Em. Prof. Elizabeth Taylor AO, and new Board member, Mr Stephen Harmer, to assist in determining the strategic direction and policies of the organisation.

New Board Members
– Dr Gunilla Burrowes
– Catherine Ferrari
– Elizabeth Whitelaw
– Peter Williamson

Click here to read the full Media Release and Board Member Bios (PDF)

The composition of the Board is now well placed to assist with areas such as commercialisation and intellectual property management, change-enabling, stakeholder management and research strategy. These skills will be vital to ensure the success of SmartCrete CRC in enabling solutions through research  to the issues and challenges facing the concrete industry.

The company has set a fast pace in opening its approvals process to proposals and developing in-house policies and procedures ensuring that it creates a balance of expectations for all stakeholders – industry, government and academia.

“SmartCrete CRC is indeed fortunate to have a strong and committed group of people as a Board committed to the success of the organisation. The Board looks forward to working alongside the Management Team as 
they continue to deliver and develop the exciting research program.”
Elizabeth Taylor AO

With an expansive breadth and depth of professional experience in its Board of Directors, SmartCreteCRC Ltd is well placed to step change the Australian concrete ecosystem and address the broader social benefit agenda.

Click here to read the full Media Release and Board Member Bios (PDF)

SmartCrete CRC Announces appointment of new CEO

The Interim Board of the SmartCrete CRC is pleased to announce the appointment of Warren South as Chief Executive Officer for the CRC.

Warren brings a wealth of technical domain experience in the research and development of concrete in Australia and New Zealand. In addition, he brings a strong existing network of industrial, academic and government relationships. Importantly, he offers a direct line of sight into issues within the concrete ecosystem and opportunities for value add.

Chair Elizabeth Taylor stated “We are delighted to welcome Warren. We look forward to working with him and our partners to operationalise innovations that address the problems, and seize the opportunities, identified by asset owners, industry organisations, SMEs, the supply chain, academics and our broader Australian community”.

Warren will join SmartCrete CRC in the middle of September and lead the consolidation of the central services function, initially supporting the “Fast Start” and Round 1 research projects.

Warren commented “SmartCrete CRC is an exciting new opportunity for the cement and concrete supply chain and leading research institutions to collaborate on research aimed at improving the sustainability and durability of concrete in infrastructure. It provides an important vehicle for industry to address pressing research needs, assisted by the best Australian academic minds, to ensure that concrete can maintain its position in underpinning the Australian construction industry. I thank the Federal government in investing in this new venture as part of its Co-operative Research Centres program. As incoming CEO, I look forward to engaging with a wide variety of industry and academic partners to ensure the vision of fully integrated product development and systems capability is achieved”.

Warren joins the SmartCrete CRC following 9 successful years as Director – Research and Technical Services with Cement Concrete and Aggregates Australia (CCAA).

SmartCrete CRC has the objective of step changing the concrete ecosystem through improvements in cost, productivity and sustainability.

SmartCrete CRC alignment to Infrastructure Australia 2019 Infrastructure Audit Outcomes

In a recent post Peter Colacino (Chief Policy and Research at Infrastructure Australia) highlighted the need for a renewed focus to our thinking about resilience and sustainability, identified in the 2019 Australian Infrastructure Audit*.

The report provides a valuable insight into the “Future of Uncertainty” and the subsequent challenges and opportunities facing Australia including the intersection between the demand for infrastructure, the user outcomes, industry capability, the escalation in costs, asset maintenance and sustainability.

The SmartCrete CRC (Cooperative Research Centre) is focussed on improved productivity, lower costs, improved asset management and the development of a sustainable supply chain.

Through outcomes-based R&D SmartCrete CRC is applying high level Technology Readiness Level (TRL) projects to deliver improvements in Concrete to facilitate the innovative design and construction of the next wave of infrastructure designed to stimulate the Australian economy.

SmartCrete CRC has three program areas designed to meet tomorrows needs with “Fast Start” projects for near term results and three further rounds of projects over the next seven years.

The Federal Government grant funding of $21m, supports the $69m raised in cash and in-kind contributions from industrial, government agencies and universities to support the $90m in research project across the three program areas:

  • Engineered Solutions – This program is concerned with improving the way we engineer concrete structures and includes development of smart cladding, reduced noise pavements, 3-d printed concrete structures, self-healing, fire resistance stronger and more durable concrete. lightweight concrete and safety in design.
  • Asset Management – This program is concerned with the way we manage our concrete assets and includes development of sensing systems to monitor structural health and usage, inform lifetime models and extend the service life of concrete infrastructure.
  • Sustainability – This program includes bio-concrete, use of artificial aggregate, CO2 absorbing concrete, luminescent concrete, energy producing concrete, waste disposal in concrete and cement less concrete.

These industry-led themes provide a forum for the development of truly cooperative research projects targeting specific industry outcome to address the productivity, cost, resilience and sustainability of the concrete industry.

Importantly, this focus provides an open environment to bring new players into the supply chain from for example the waste industry, with recycled product forming a key element of the future sustainability of the supply chain.

SmartCrete CRC is addressing the “Future of Uncertainty” with resilient and sustainable research outcomes, supporting new industries and skills development across Australia.

Stephen Harmer
Interim CEO