The Institute for Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities (ISILC) aims to create resilient built environments, globally competitive industries and socially inclusive communities.

We have a cross-disciplinary approach that draws on the expertise of academic leaders to create solutions for today's social, economic, environmental and technological challenges.

Our researchers have diverse experience in collaborating with government and industry to find innovative ways of addressing a broad range of crucial issues. They are drawn from a pool of leading computer scientists, educators, engineers, economists, environmental scientists, lawyers, policy influencers and social investigators who conduct important research to produce first-rate outcomes.

ISILC research approach

ISILC undertakes applied and translational research to create healthier, smarter and more-sustainable communities in the West of Melbourne and beyond. We do this in collaboration with industry and the community, with the goal of enhancing life quality.

This approach allows us to address a wide range of important issues under our major themes, within which several disciplines interact.

Research themes

Our research aims to address major challenges, contributing to the following areas through innovative projects and programs:

  • Communities: Creating inclusive, equitable, prosperous communities through research that addresses challenges posed by climate change, emerging technology, urban growth and social change.
  • Built environments: Contributing to resilient, sustainable and efficient built environments that support quality of life for urban communities.
  • Industries: Encouraging innovative and ethical industries that are globally competitive in rapidly transforming environments.

Within these areas we examine several important themes:

  • Cultural Diversity: Migration and mobility; Social inclusion, cohesion and equity; Access to justice; and Community services
  • Urbanisation – Leading Urban Planning for the West & Beyond: Infrastructure and services; Urban and peri-urban planning; and Quality of life
  • Climate Change: Impact analysis, mitigation and adaptation; Infrastructure and planning; Risk analysis and management; and Decision support
  • Industrial Futures Preparing Technology-driven Futures: Technological change; Product innovation; Economic policy; and Regulation and governance
  • Future of Work: Technological change; Micro, small and medium business; and Skill and knowledge development.

Research disciplines

The above themes are addressed through collaborative research undertaken by experts in a range of disciplines. In particular, our expertise is focused on these disciplines, and their sub-groups:

  • Business: accounting, business analytics, business information systems, financial systems, governance, supply chain and tourism.
  • Policy: education, economics and law.
  • Social: art, education, law and psychology.
  • Technology: engineering, IT and science.

Research expertise

VU is recognised for research excellence –  in the latest Excellence in Research for Australia rankings, we were rated above world standard for our engineering, mathematical sciences, and applied-mathematics areas, among others.

We have also been ranked:

  • 2nd in Victoria for computer science
  • 3rd in Victoria for engineering & technology (Times Higher Education).

We have world-leading experts in a broad range of research areas, including alternative energy, computer science, education, economics, environmental science, diverse communities, engineering and infrastructure, construction, information technology, law, public policy and water management.

Research areas

The work of ISILC incorporates and builds on the research undertaken at VU prior to 2018 in several research institutes and centres, as well as within our Colleges (including in Business, Law, Engineering, Science, Arts and Education). To find out more about our research projects and partnerships, read the following:

  • Institute for Sustainability & Innovation (ISI) – Industry and community solutions in water treatment technology, resource management, asset management, social and behavioural research, environment, e-research, smart energy, alternative energy and packaging.
  • Centre for Applied Informatics (CAI) – Applied informatics research that engages computer scientists, experts from application domains (including health, community, business and environments), industry and government partners to develop innovative information technology applications that benefit society.
  • Victoria Institute for Education, Diversity & Lifelong Learning (VI) – Inclusive education research that uses innovative research techniques to build better learning outcomes for diverse and disadvantaged students.
  • Victoria Institute for Strategic & Economic Studies (VISES) – Study of the fundamental economic, social and technological changes that are recasting the global economy, and development of effective policy responses.
  • Centre for Cultural Diversity and Wellbeing (CCDW) – Investigation of the connection between cultural diversity and human wellbeing.
  • CESARE (Centre for Environmental Safety & Risk Engineering) – Fire research into structural behaviour and design, heat transfer, mechanical systems, human behaviour in fire, risk assessment, management and detection systems and environmentally sustainable building design.
  • Advanced Food Systems – Facing the challenges of sustainability, and healthy feeding practice of the growing future population in industrialised and developing nations through scientific and technological advancements.
  • Governance Research Program – Aims to improve governance of the private and public sectors through independent academic research, consultancies and postgraduate teaching.


Victoria University has high-tech laboratories and equipment that enable our innovative research.

These include:

  • computer modelling software packages including GIS and REALM
  • controlled-temperature rooms for botanical work
  • dynamics labs including drop- and shock-testing and thermal-imaging equipment
  • e-health software and systems, including PhysAnalyser & GP E-connect
  • fluid mechanics and hydraulics lab
  • large-scale structural fire-test furnace
  • materials engineering labs
  • PCR molecular labs
  • pluviometers, flowmeters, and water-quality monitoring equipment
  • polymer research lab.

Study with us

We supervise PhD and masters candidates in a variety of disciplines, including:

  • accounting
  • arts
  • education
  • economics
  • engineering
  • financial systems
  • governance
  • information technology
  • law
  • marketing
  • mathematics
  • psychology
  • science
  • society & culture
  • supply chain management and logistics
  • telecommunications
  • tourism.

Information on becoming a graduate researcher at VU is available in the following pages:

PhD & masters research opportunities

Partner with us

We have working partnerships with most universities in Victoria, and several large industry and government departments.

Our collaborative partners include the following, among many others:

  • Attorney-General’s Department
  • Australian Federal Police
  • Australian Multicultural Foundation
  • Australian Social Policy Institute (ASPI)
  • City West Water
  • Cross Yarra Tunnel
  • Defence Science and Technology Group (DST Group)
  • GWMWater
  • Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV)
  • Melbourne City Mission
  • Melbourne Metro
  • Memcor
  • NEXUS Online
  • Oztron Energy
  • Peter Mac Cancer Centre
  • Sunshine Hospital
  • Telstra
  • The University of Texas El Paso (UTEP)
  • United Energy
  • Western Water
  • World Health Organisation (WHO).

If you would like to collaborate with ISILC on research in our areas of expertise, please get in contact.

Contact ISILC

Executive Director

Professor Stephen Gray
Phone: +61 3 9919 8097
Email: [email protected].

Deputy Directors

Associate Professor Randall W Robinson
Phone: +61 3 9919 2885
Email: [email protected].

Associate Professor Dianne Hall
Phone: +61 3 9919 2778
Email: [email protected]

Executive Officer

Palmina Fichera
Phone: +61 3 9919 4707
Email: [email protected].

Administrative Officer

Meika Scholz
Phone: +61 3 9919 2136
Email: [email protected].

Postal address

Institute for Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities
Victoria University
PO Box 14428
Melbourne City Mail Centre
Melbourne Victoria  8001

ISILC Director Stephen Gray

Deputy Director of ISILC Randall Robinson with Dr Patrick Jean Guay, ecology researcher.