Welcome to SPBTSA 2017

The RMIT research aims to enhance the adoption of this technology in buildings and urban precincts through technology improvement, building environment simulation, energy demand modeling, scenario-based cost benefit assessment, and social-technical context analysis.

Two aims of this forum: (1) To demonstrate domestic and international research and industry outcomes in the relevant areas; and (2) To enhance communications between academics and the industry. 


Organised by:

RMIT Enabling Capability Platforms, RMIT School of Property, Construction and Project Management, RMIT School of Science

Supported by:

Australian Solar Council


Dr. Zhengrong Shi - Founder of Energus

Dr. Shi is a world-renowned solar scientist, a fellow of Australia Academy of Technological Science and Engineering and an entrepreneur. With a career spanning more than 25 years Dr Shi is the inventor of 18 patents in photovoltaic technologies, and has published and/or presented more than 90 articles and papers in PV-related scientific magazines and at conferences. Dr Shi led the growth of the global solar Industry. He is the founder of Energus, developing revolutionary solar products and turning buildings into renewable energy plants. He is also the Founder of Suntech Power, one of the world’s largest producer of solar panels.

Mr. Steve Blume - President, Australian Solar Council & President, Australian Energy Storage Council

Steve is a former political adviser, private & public sector senior executive, and policy creator. Steve works pro bono on advocacy and policy for those not-for-profit peak bodies. Steve is available for short term engagements on smart energy, solar & energy storage and grid transformation pathways to fully distributed energy networks. In his leadership roles with national and international peak bodies Steve works to amplify the voice of the smart energy, energy storage and solar industries offering solutions for a 100% clean energy future for Australia and the world.

Prof. Min Gu - Distinguished Professor in Optoelectronics, Associate Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research Innovation and Entrepreneurship at RMIT University

Min was the Foundation Director of the Victoria-Suntech Advanced Solar Facility from 2010 to 2015. He was a Laureate Fellow of the Australian Research Council, a University Distinguished Professor in optoelectronics and Foundation Director of the Centre of Micro-Photonics at Swinburne University of Technology. He has over 800 publications (over 450 papers in internationally refereed journals including Nature and Science) in nanophotonics. His innovations in greenphotonic data storage and nanoplasmoic solar cells were awarded the Victoria Prize (2016).

Dr. Rebecca Yang - Senior Lecturer in Building and Construction, RMIT University

Rebecca is a scholar of building, construction and social practice who undertakes pure and applied research that can provide innovative solutions to the sustainable development by integrating theories with cutting-edge technologies. She is the founder of the SPBTSA research group. Her current research focuses on ‘Trans urban system models for integrated renewable energy design and management’ and ‘Urban scale simulations of energy demand and smart renewable energy supply’. The key research aim is to deliver a building integrated smart renewable energy system on the urban scale with advanced modelling and scenario-based simulation methods.

Mr. Chris Buntine - Built Environment, ESD Leader VIC, Aurecon


Chris is an ESD Leader with Aurecon and has worked extensively on the design of sustainable buildings and precincts in the United States and Australia.  His focus is developing holistic solutions for the built environment that enhance sustainability, social equity and economic viability.  Recent projects have included Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, Monash Technology and Education Building and the Australian Embassy in Washington.

Dr. Niraj Lal - Renewable Energy Business Development Officer, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Victorian Government

Dr. Niraj (Nij) Lal is a Renewable Energy Business Development Officer for the Victorian Government. He's also a presenter of ABC SCIENCEY, Physics Consultant to the ARC Centre of Excellence for Exciton Science,  Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Sustainable Energy Systems at the Australian National University, CEO and founder of TheKnews.org, and Director of First Principles Consulting. His interests are in renewable energy, nanophotonics for high-efficiency solar cells, and science communication.

In 2012 Niraj ('nir-ridge' or Nij for short) graduated as a Gates Scholar with a PhD in physics from the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, and in 2016 he was named one of the ABC's Top 5 Scientists Under 40. In 2017 Nij joined the Vic Department of Environment, New Energy Technologies team, and got his first gigs on TV with Todd Sampson's Life on the Line (ABC), and Dr Karl's Outrageous Acts of Science (Discovery Channel).  Previous jobs include, being a bicycle courier in Perth, a travelling science presenter to primary school kids across regional WA, a tuna-long-line fishing boat deckhand out of Coffs Harbour and as a Renewable Energy Lecturer at the ANU.

Agenda and Venue


10th October 2017

08:45am                      Registration and Arrival catering

09:00am – 12:00pm    Presentations

12:00pm - 01:00pm     Lunch

01:00pm - 03:00pm     Panel discussion and workshop



iBis Hotel, Melbourne CBD

15-21 Therry St, Melbourne, VIC 3000



To register SPBTSA 2017, you can click the registration button on the left side to fill the registration form. If you have any questions don't hesitate to contact us via spbtsa.sb@gmail.com. Thank you.

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