Sustainability & innovation

ISI Researchers in the lab

We specialise in research focused on managing increasing and competing demands for resources, and the development of sustainable environments and technologies that have application in Australia and overseas. Our research excellence has been independently assessed as world standard.

Research programs

Our research programs in sustainability and innovation are focused on:

  • engineering, including chemical, civil, electrical and telecommunications engineering
  • water treatment
  • water management
  • green and safe construction including fire prevention
  • economics, social and policy research on water use and environmental sustainability
  • human behaviour in fire
  • sensor technology

Our multidisciplinary approach incorporates expertise from the following institute, centre and colleges:

Research projects

Our research projects are undertaken in collaboration with government, industry and other universities, and focus on areas such as water treatment, green and safe construction, fire prevention and management, economics and social policy.

Featured research project

Monitoring our waterways

Professor John Orbell

A three-year study on microscopic invertebrates led by Professor John Orbell and Research Fellow Dr Robin Mitra is helping improve water management around the world.

The project looks at the identification and spread of microscopic 'bryozoan' creatures in Victoria's waterways, and investigates improved ways to eradicate them.

The $400,000 research project is supported by Greater Wimmera Mallee Water and Tamarama Estate, and has resulted in successful identification of up to ten species infesting the Northern Mallee Pipeline system, including some never before seen in Australia.

"We're getting closer to winning this battle and it's important that we do," says Professor Orbell.

The microscopic creatures are to blame for many clogged water pipes, pumps, filters and water-usage meters around the world. In Victoria, tens of thousands of dollars are spent every year cleaning water distribution systems blocked by bryozoan colonies.

"There is currently no ideal way of controlling or eradicating bryozoans, but the first step towards winning the battle is to know our enemy."

For more information email Professor Orbell on john.orbell@vu.edu.au or phone + 61 3 9919 8066.

Research partnerships

Research on sustainability and innovation is undertaken in collaboration with government, industry and other universities. Our collaborations and partnerships include:

  • CSIRO
  • Water Research Australia
  • Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence
  • National Centre of Excellence for Desalination
  • Fire Protection Research Foundation (USA)

We are also part of other research networks and partnerships with organisations committed to developing sustainable environmental technologies. If you would like to collaborate on research or work with us to deliver real benefits to your organisation and the broader community, please contact Professor Mikel Duke.

Graduate research opportunities

We welcome applications from prospective research students wanting to undertake a PhD or Masters by Research in the area of sustainability and innovation.

For further information about becoming a graduate researcher or guidance about possible project areas and supervisors, please contact Professor Mikel Duke.

Research Scholarships

Scholarships may be available for research in this area. For further information on current research scholarships for local and international students, visit scholarships for research students, or externally funded scholarships.

Contact us

For information on academic opportunities or supervision, contact:

Professor Mikel Duke
Institute of Sustainability & Innovation
Phone: +61 3 9919 7682
Email: mikel.duke@vu.edu.au