Dr Vrcelj is an Associate Professor in Structural Engineering and the Head of the Building and Architectural Engineering disciplines.

Prior to joining Victoria University in 2012 she was an academic for 10 years within the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). Dr Vrcelj led numerous teaching and learning innovations at UNSW, including the introduction of the new and very popular multidisciplinary Bachelor of Engineering Civil with Architecture program (the first in Australia). Dr Vrcelj's continuous efforts to improve students' learning experiences at UNSW were recognised by her success in attracting teaching and learning innovations grants (including ALTC grant and Universitas 21 Fellowship) and the Vice Chancellor's Teaching Excellence and Faculty High Achiever awards.

Her primary research interests are in the areas of composite laminated plates, optimisation of nano- and micro- members, steel-concrete composite structures, structural stability and innovations in structural engineering education.

Dr Vrcelj has published over 70 refereed technical publications and since 2010 has held a Visiting Professor position in Civil engineering at the University of Novi Sad, Serbia.


Refereed journal articles

Gohari S, Sharifi S, Vrcelj Z, Yahya MY (2015) First-ply failure prediction of an unsymmetrical laminated ellipsoidal woven GFRP composite shell with incorporated surface-bounded sensors and internally pressurized Composites Part B: Engineering. 77, 502-518.

Atanackovic TM, Novakovic BN, Vrcelj Z, Zorica D (2015) Rotating nano-rod with clamped ends International Journal of Structural Stability and Dynamics. 15(3). 

Khezri M, Bradford MA, Vrcelj Z (2015) Application of RKP-FSM in the buckling and free vibration analysis of thin plates with abrupt thickness changes and internal supports International Journal of Numerical Methods in Engineering. DOI:10.1002/nme.4936.

Khezri M, Gharib M, Bradford MA, Vrcelj Z (2015) Analysis of thick and orthotropic rectangular laminated composite plates using a state-space based generalised RKP-FSM, Composite Structures, In press, DOI: 10.1016/j.compstruct.2015.07.035.

Sharifishourabi G, Alebrahim R, Sharifi S, Ayob A, Vrcelj Z, Yahya MY (2014) Mechanical properties of potentially-smart carbon/epoxy composites with asymmetrically embedded shape memory wires Materials and Design, 59, 486-493.

View more of Zora's publications.

Conference presentations

M Khezri, Z Vrcelj, MA Bradford (2012) Thin plate bending analysis using generalised RKP-FSM, ACMSM22, Sydney, 11-14 Dec 2012.

G Ranzi & Z Vrcelj (2009) Closed form solutions for the long-term analysis of composite steel-concrete members subjected to non-uniform shrinkage distributions, ICASS09, Hong Kong.

Z Vrcelj& S Krishnan (2009) International students expectations and motivations, AaeE 2009: Nineteenth Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education, Adelaide, Australia.

Z Vrcelj & MM Attard (2008) Project X: Lessons learnt from multidisciplinary ARCH/COFA/Eng teaching, 20th Australasian Conference on the Mechanics of Structures and Materials, Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia.

Z Vrcelj & S Krishnan (2008) Gender differences in student attitudes toward engineering and academic careers, AaeE 2008: Nineteenth Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education, Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia.

Teaching responsibilities


NEC2201 Introduction to Structural Engineering Design

VAC3021 Structural Analysis.

Postgraduate research students and fellows

Completions: 50 Honours students, 2 PhD students

Current supervision: 3 PhD students, 3 internship students.

Research grants

Dr Vrcelj has been a leader of or contributor to numerous research and educational innovation projects with a total funding allocation of more than $850,000.

  • Australian Learning and Teaching Council ($211,000)
  • Australian Research Council Discovery Project ($290,000)
  • CRC for Advanced Composite Structures ($270,000).

Professional memberships

  • Institution of Engineers, Australia (IEAust)
  • Concrete Institute Australia (CIA)
  • Australian Steel Institute (ASI)
  • Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE)
  • American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).

Industry experience

  • Structural Engineering.


Areas of expertise

  • Biomimetics
  • Engineering education innovations
  • Engineering mechanics
  • Steel-concrete composite structures
  • Structural stability

Contact details

+61 (3) 9919 4459