Australasian Joint Research Centre for Building Information Modelling

Established in March 2012, the Australasian Joint Research Centre for Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a collaboration of multidisciplinary research and industry expertise from Curtin University and Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) in Wuhan, China.

The Centre focuses on developing leading research that integrates BIM with other advanced concepts and technologies to improve the performance and productivity of building projects in the energy, mineral and construction industries worldwide.

It acts as an allied international platform for creating and sharing knowledge among researchers, engineers and innovators in these industries – which aims to enhance policy development and enable key industry stakeholders to ameliorate informed decision-making throughout a project’s life cycle.

Key facts

  • More than $7 million research funding for three years, including two ARC linkages
  • More than 200 technical journal articles over the past five years
  • Connections with more than 50 overseas universities
  • More than 40 industry partners
  • Industrial test-beds at various scales.

Our Research team

The building information modelling research team is a diverse group of academics with a wide variety of knowledge and skill-sets in many different areas.

As a globally focused facility, the researchers at the BIM Centre come from a wide array of backgrounds and countries, each bringing their own unique experience and knowledge to their projects. This international focus allows the BIM Centre to be constantly searching for the latest advancements in technology and research, not just in Australasia, but globally. This focus on innovation by our team helps make the BIM Centre an industry focused organisation; dedicated to applying new solutions to real-world scenarios and technology. Many of the researchers are also involved in teaching their chosen discipline to the next generation of industry leaders. Not only are they constantly honing their skills, but their interactions with students allow them to experience and hear different perspectives on the direction of the discipline and how their research is being used to improve industry.

International collaboration

Curtin’s Professor Xiangyu Wang leads the Curtin managing committee of the Centre, which includes Mr Charlie Thorn, Director of Research and Development.

The HUST side includes President of Northeastern University, in China, and Director of HUST’s BIM Research Centre, Professor Lieyun Ding; co-director of the joint BIM Centre, Professor Hanbin Luo; and Professor Hongping Zhu. Researchers, PhD students, visiting fellows and academics collaborate with advisors, developers and engineers across the disciplines of construction management, computer science, applied mathematics, spatial sciences, digital media, digital architecture, public health, and chemical engineering.

Benefits for industry

There is growing demand for mega construction projects in mining and oil and gas facilities and infrastructure. The Centre’s research will potentially impact the work practices of people involved in these projects worldwide. The Centre’s research will also see improvements across the life cycle of smaller-scale construction projects, such as hospitals and commercial buildings.

Industries to benefit from BIM and its integrated technologies include:

  • mining: virtual construction to rehearse the planning and construction of mining infrastructure or facilities, allowing an optimised site plan to be created prior to construction
  • oil and gas: improved cost and schedule control of mega projects will result in a productivity boost and a reduction in down time and the costs associated with this
  • construction: a reduction in the amount of rework, requests for information, scheduling and risk
  • infrastructure: safety control and quality assurance for projects such as hospitals, railways, bridges and highways.


The Centre’s research focus on the oil and gas, mining, and infrastructure sectors is sponsored by several industry partners, including the following:

Advisory Board members

  • Dr Monty Sutrisna
    Department of Construction Management,
    Faculty of Humanities, Curtin University
  • Professor Tao Tao
    Dean of the School of Environmental Engineering, HUST

Management Committee

  • Professor Xiangyu Wang
  • Mr Charlie Thorn
    Director Research & Development
  • Professor Lieyun Ding
    President/VC of Northeastern Univ and the Director of BIM centre at HUST
  • Professor Hanbin Luo
  • Professor Hongping Zhu
    Dean of Civil Engineering and Mechanics
  • Mr Martijn Truijens
    Business Development Manager
  • Dr Ying Zhou (HUST)

Scientific Committee Members

Conference Chair: Professor Xiangyu Wang, Curtin University

Scientific Chair: Professor Pekka Leviakangas, Curtin University

Research capability and projects

The Australasian Joint Research Centre for Building Information Modelling is actively pursuing new partnerships and projects with both industry and research organisations. The Centre aims to explore, investigate, develop, and evaluate new approaches, tools, theories, and technologies to improve competitiveness in the life-cycle management of assets across the building, infrastructure, oil and gas, and mining industries.

Our integrated technologies and research expertise

  • 3D, 4D, 5D, XD
  • Virtual construction
  • Mobile and pervasive computing
  • Wearable computing
  • Tracking and sensing (barcoding, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID ), GPS, NF S, LTF , UWB, laser scanning, photo/videogrammetry, pseudolite, sensors)
  • User interaction
  • Groupware / social networking tools
  • Augmented reality
  • Virtual reality / game engines
  • Cloud computing
  • Semantics

Our current research projects

Initiated by Woodside Energy Ltd, and led by Mr Martijn Truijens, Project Echo aims to use leading edge technology to improve productivity and performance in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) construction industry. The project team has created a new construction system that can be used by a range of end users, from workers to project managers, and has a number of mobile applications. The system aids construction through the use of a virtual assembly tool that locates the user in a physical space and then overlays a 3D model of what needs to be assembled in that space. It then provides a step-by-step animation of the exact assembly sequence. Depending on the end user’s role, the system also provides information from 2D/3D drawings, specifications, installation manuals, inspection requirements, and cost and schedule information. The time and costs associated with errors, rework, omissions, waste, slips and lapses made by workers can be significantly reduced using this fully integrated system. Direct benefits include increased productivity, enhanced design quality and savings in the costs of materials and labour.

The BIM Centre is continually working towards applying for and completing a multitude of Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Projects. The Linkage Projects scheme provides funding to support research and development ventures involving collaboration between researchers and industry partners to acquire new knowledge and innovations. Our close collaboration with industry partners gives depth and purpose to the BIM Centre’s research, so that we can meet the demands of real-world situations. Examples of ARC Linkage projects that the BIM Centre is currently involved in:

  • Using mobile computing technology to transform productivity on LNG plants – through the use of new mobile technology BIM Centre researchers are able to streamline construction, maintenance, and personnel management on LNG plants.
  • Optimising scaffolding design and construction – by utilising a dynamic scaffolding planning system the BIM Centre can not only optimise scaffolding construction and maintenance, but also increase its lifecycle.

An exciting partnership between BPi and the Australasian Joint Research Centre for Building Information Modelling will see the building of a new five-star hotel in Perth’s CBD. The ‘480 Hay Street project’ will use Open BIM, a platform that takes a universal and collaborative approach to building construction based on open standards and workflows. Through data sharing, processes can be streamlined and project costs reduced. The proposed building on 480 Hay Street is designed as a skyscraper. When built, it will be Perth’s ninth tallest tower, containing 37,100 square metres of office space and 268 hotel rooms, managed by the Westin hotel chain. 480 Hay Street is the first parcel of land to be developed under the state government’s Hotel Development Incentive Scheme. The project is due for completion in 2017.

The BIM Centre is currently involved in several exciting projects with the Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre. These projects focus on the future of the industry, and aim to encourage the incorporation of BIM technologies in future design and construction projects. One of these projects is using BIM computing technology to improve scaffolding safety, both in use and during construction. This will mean that, not only is scaffolding construction leaner and more affordable, but that onsite worker safety is also greatly expanded. As the knowledge of BIM and its use within the construction industry is evolving, current construction guidelines are often obsolete when used alongside new technologies. In response, the BIM Centre is involved in revising the current construction guidelines to incorporate new advancements in BIM technological fields and importing the guidelines to streamline processes for developers and decision makers.