Our Researchers

Research Node for Low Carbon Living Researchers

The Research Node for Low Carbon Living provides PhD scholarships to stimulate new multi-disciplinary, industry driven research in South Australia into different aspects of low carbon living, with research focussed on making a measurable difference.  All Node research projects seek to address issues identified by industry, and are supported by industry partners.

Our current research students are listed below.
Further information about their research projects can be found here.


Sleiman Farah

Sleiman graduated as a Mechanical Engineer in 2001, and has since worked on a range of residential and commercial buildings projects. His work has included design of mechanical services such as heating, air conditioning and plumbing systems. During his career, he developed an interest in renewable energy and sustainable systems, particularly new solar technologies.

In 2014, Sleiman completed a Master of Engineering (Mechanical and Manufacturing) at the University of South Australia, researching photovoltaic/thermal collectors.

Sleiman is currently undertaking a PhD with the Research Node for Low Carbon Living (a Node of Excellence with the national Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living), developing a photovoltaic/thermal system which includes electrical and thermal energy storage to supply both electricity and heat to an off-grid home.

Sleiman Farah


Project Title: Photovoltaic/thermal system for off-grid zero energy homes
School: School of Engineering
Supervisors: Professor Wasim Saman, Dr David Whaley
Project Partner: Bluescope Steel


Kirrilie Rowe

Kirrilie's undergraduate studies were in Earth Sciences, with an Honours in Geology, after which she returned to research, undertaking a Masters in Hydrogeology.

Her working life has been within the environmental sciences and has included the development of Catchment Water Management and Water Allocation Plans while working with the Arid Areas Natural Resource Management Board. She was also been involved with an electrical company which undertook solar installations, and learnt about renewable energy. Learning about the industry allowed her to realise her passion in this area and desire to undertake further research in it. 

Kirrilie is currently undertaking a PhD with the Research Node for Low Carbon Living (a Node of Excellence with the national Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living) in developing renewable energy systems for community precincts, with a focus on retirement villages.

Kirrilie Rowe


Project Title: Maximising renewable energy in small community precincts
School: School of Engineering
Supervisors: Dr Peter Pudney, Dr Stephen Berry
Project Partner: Breathe Retirement Village


Charles Ling

Charles is an Environmental Engineer with a strong interest in urban sustainability, particularly with resource recovery and energy/water efficiency in the built environment. Charles holds Bachelor degrees in Technology (Environmental) and Engineering (Environmental) from Deakin University, Victoria.

Whilst working previously at Flinders University, Charles was involved in supporting composting research for problematic organic wastes such as food waste and contaminated soils, both at lab-scale and full-scale. He was also involved with improving commercial composting technologies.  Additional work experience includes positions with Sustainability House, Big Switch Projects and operating his own building sustainability consultancy.

Charles is a NABERS Energy, Water & Waste Assessor and a Green Star Accredited Professional. He has led a number of waste audits including benchmarking councils in South Australia and has been involved with energy, water and waste audits and carbon footprints for commercial buildings and organisations.

 Charles is currently undertaking a PhD with the Research Node for Low Carbon Living (a Node of Excellence with the national Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living), developing carbon accounting models for food waste diversion and reutilisation.

Charles Ling


Project Title: Carbon reductions from composting food waste for food production – modelling GHG reduction and abatement in urban recycling models
School: School of Information Technology and Mathematical Sciences
Supervisors: Professor John BolandDr Julia Piantadosi
Project Partner: Sustainability Victoria, Renewal SA, Melbourne Metropolitan Waste Management Group


Hulya Gilbert

Hulya received her Bachelor degree in Urban and Regional Planning at Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey and completed her Masters in the same field at the University of South Australia in 2011. Between 2006 and 2014, she worked as the Planning Adviser at Catholic Education South Australia (CESA).  Some of her key responsibilities at CESA were to undertake numerous planning and demographic studies, to provide policy advice in relation to the planning of 103 Catholic schools in South Australia and to assist in the development of strategic plans and master plans. She was also responsible for providing policy advice in relation to development assessment.  In addition, she was one of the Independent Members of the Development Assessment Panel at the Light Regional Council between January 2013 and December 2014. 

Hulya’s research interests include the emerging planning issues and current relevant policies on compact cities, placemaking, socially and environmentally sustainable developments and the social and emotional impacts of built form on individuals throughout Australia and overseas.  She is a full member of the Planning Institute of Australia and the Chambers of Town Planners, Turkey. 

Hulya is currently undertaking a PhD with the Research Node for Low Carbon Living (a Node of Excellence with the national Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living), researching child and youth friendly public spaces in higher density developments in relation to active travel and active play. 

Hulya Gilbert


Project Title: Children's everyday mobility and low carbon living 
School: School of Natural and Built Environments
Supervisors: Dr Andrew Allan, Dr Johannes Pieters
Project Partner: Renewal SA


Sormeh Sharifi

Sormeh Sharifi is an Architect with more than 16 years experience in research about energy in architecture. Part of her career has included lecturing at University about energy and geometry as well as lecturing in Engineering Council Organization workshops about sustainable buildings and general architectural codes. She has conducted six major research projects including: Optimizing rural residential energy consumption; Optimizing thermal insulation in schools; Façade codes for residential buildings; and Dimensional codes for kitchens.

Sormeh’s return to research engages her interest in providing thermal comfort, optimizing energy usage for individual thermal comfort, and reducing energy consumption particularly in residential buildings.

Sormeh is currently undertaking a PhD with the Research Node for Low Carbon Living (a Node of Excellence with the national Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living), studying methods to provide thermal comfort in upstairs area for multi-level dwellings in South Australia.

Sormeh Sharifi


Project Title: Optimising thermal comfort for two and three storey residential buildings
School: School of Engineering
Supervisors: Professor Wasim SamanDr Stephen Berry
Project Partner: Renewal SA, CSIRO


Adelaide Living Laboratory Researchers

The Adelaide Living Laboratory (ALL) – which comprises Lochiel Park Green Village, Bowden Village and the Tonsley Innovation Hub developments, seeks to engage stakeholders with a view to provide pathways for low carbon living. Stage 1 of the ALL includes 4 main research tasks:

  • Task 1: Co-Creation Toolkit
  • Task 2: Precinct Tool Case Studies
  • Task 3: Electricity Demand Management
  • Task 4: Value Proposition of Low Carbon Living

Aaron Davis

Aaron holds Masters degrees in Architecture and in Sustainable Design as well as undergraduate degrees in Classical Music and Architectural Studies. His research spans a range of areas, linked together by a common thread of issues relating to the built environment, sustainability, health, and wellbeing. Aaron's Masters studies focussed on the barriers to including health and wellbeing as key considerations in the development of urban areas, while his current research is focussed on the facilitation of collaboration between professional, academic, and community groups.

Aaron has previously presented research at a range of national and international forums. This has included the presentation of a paper on the need for a holistic measure development in determining special and differential treatment provisions in pluryilateral and multilateral trade agreements at the World Trade Organisation Annual Forum in Geneva, and the delivery of a public lecture as a part of Australian Heritage Week that explored sociocultural issues related to the preservation and adaptation of urban form. 

Aaron is currently undertaking a PhD with the Adelaide Living Laboratories (within the national Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living) exploring whether the involvement of complex groups of stakeholders in the design and development of urban areas can lead to greater understanding (and therefore uptake and use) of low-carbon technologies.

Aaron Davis



Project Title: The application of co-creation as a methodology for low-carbon urban development.
School: School of Art, Architecture and Design
Supervisors: Dr Jane Andrew, Dr Robert Crocker
Project Partner: Renewal SA

Task 1
: Co-Creation Toolkit
Toolkit: [PDF 32MB]
CRC LCL Report: [PDF 3MB]

For questions and details about the Co-Creation Toolkit please contact Aaron Davis



Dr Peter Pudney (Postdoctoral Fellow)

Dr Peter Pudney is an Associate Research Professor of Industrial and Applied Mathematics, and Deputy Director of the Centre for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

His research expertise is in applied optimisation and operations research. In particular, he is interested in low-energy transportation and renewable energy. He is co-inventor of the Energymiser Driver Advice System, which keeps trains on time and reduces energy use; the system is being used on freight and passenger trains around the world. He works with the rail industry to develop systems for coordinating the efficient flow of trains through congested rail networks.

Peter’s PhD in applied mathematics focused upon optimal energy management for solar racing cars. This ultimately led him to design, build and race solar racing cars and electric cars. In 2010-11 the 300 kg electric car Trev, designed and built at UniSA, was driven 28000 km around the world using just $400 worth of electricity.

Peter has led projects investigating the impact that electric cars will have in Australia on CO₂ emissions and our use of electricity; as well as designing algorithms that will enable the coordinated charging of electric vehicles to control peak electricity demand. He is in the process of developing a low-energy vehicle to be used as a taxi service for transporting pregnant women to hospital in rural Zimbabwe.

Peter Pudney



Project Title: Electricity Demand Management (Task 3)
School: School of Information Technology and Mathematical Sciences
Supervisors: Prof. Wasim Saman
Project Partner: Renewal SA


Catherine Kain

Catherine completed a Bachelor of Business (Property) and Bachelor of Management at the University of South Australia. Her academic achievements resulted in numerous University awards and prizes including the Gary Lindblom Prize for the highest grade point average in Bachelor of Business (Property) over 3 years and the University of South Australia Medal – Division of Business for outstanding academic merit throughout all years of the double degree program.

In 2014, Catherine was award an Endeavour (Prime Minister’s Australia Asia) Scholarship to undertake Bachelor of Business (Honours) and an internship in China. Catherine’s interest in sustainability led her to choose Tianjin University as her base in China, in line with the University of South Australia and Tianjin University’s collaborative China-Australia Centre for Sustainable Urban Development (CAC_SUD). Catherine achieved First Class Honours on the topic: ‘Housing affordability in China and Australia – a comparative analysis’. Catherine was also honoured as the first foreigner to obtain an internship with the state-owned construction and engineering enterprise China Rail Construction Corporation Limited (CRCC) in Beijing, China. She has now returned to Australia and to research to continue to pursue her interests in sustainable development.

Catherine is currently undertaking a PhD with the Adelaide Living Laboratories (within the national Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living), detailing stakeholder perspectives in three developments in Adelaide as part of the ‘engaged communities and living laboratories’ program.

Catherine Kain



Project Title: The value proposition for low carbon transit oriented developments (Task 4)
School: School of Natural and Built Environments
Supervisors: Dr Kathryn Davidson, Dr Stephen Berry
Project Partner: Renewal SA

Areas of study and research

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