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Professor Patrick Zou

Professor (Construction Engineering and Management)
PhD in Civil Engineering, The University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia


Dr Patrick X.W. Zou is Professor and Group Leader of Construction Engineering and Management in the Department of Civil and Construction Engineering and Research Leader of Construction Engineering and Management in the Centre for Sustainable Infrastructure (CSI) in Swinburne University of Technology.

He is leading a suite of academic degree programs including Bachelor of Engineering (Construction), Graduate Certificate in Construction Management, Graduate Diploma in Construction Management, Master of Construction Management, Master of Construction and Infrastructure Management and Postgraduate Studies in Risk Management, as well as reviewing current /developing new Bachelor and Master Programs.

Patrick is also leading the research in the broad field of Construction Engineering and Management focusing on sustainble and resilient infrastructure, sustainable building and construction, building energy and water modeling, analysis and reduction, safety management in construction, risk management, and building information modeling (BIM).

After arriving at Swinburne in Nov 2014, Patrick has established a "Building Energy" research team within the CSI which has more than 10 researchers including academics, post-doc fellows, PhD students, Masters students. One of the current reseach projects he is leading is "closing the energy performance gaps between predicted and reality in building" which is an ARC LP (within a ARC Hub), funded by the ARC (Australian Research Council), two government departments, and one consulting firm. Another such research project is "Retrofitting public buildings for energy and water efficiency" which involves three state government departments, one consulting firm, two peer Australian universties, and two overseas universities. In 2015, Patrick has also successfuly led an educational research project  "Attracting, retaining and developing female students and low SES students in engineering and construction courses", which is funded by HEPP.

Prior to joining Swinburne, Patrick was Professor and Chair of Building and Construction Management at University of Canberra. Under Patrick's leadership, the UC building and construction managment program had achieved significant inrease in student numbers and research output and impact; and effectively strengthened its international and national collaborations with peer universities, government bodies, professional associations / councils / institutes, and leading construction organisations.

Before the UC appointment, Dr Zou was Associate Professor and Director of Construction Management and Property Program, at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), where he obtained his PhD in Civil Engineering. During his 11 years' academic life at UNSW, Dr Zou progressed as lecturer, senior lecturer, and associate professor, and has successfully served in many leadership roles, including: Director of Construction Management and Property Program , Faculty of Built Environment's Research Students Director and Chair of the Faculty's Research Committee, Director of Master of Construction Project Management Program, Convenor of Construction Management and Economics Research Group. He had also served as a member of the University's Committee for Promotion to Associate Professor. In these leadership roles, Patrick developed and implemented new policies, guidelines and academic degree programs, and re-structured many academic degree programs, which were proven to be timely necessary and very successful. Patrick was also a UNSW ITET Fellow (ITET Innovative Teaching and Educational Technology).

Prior to joining academia, Patrick worked as a construction engineer.

Patrick has won 11 major awards: 7 for excellence in research and 4 for excellence in teaching.

Patrick's research expertise and track records are in the areas of sustainable building and construction, risk management and safety management with a focus on construction engineering projects. He has successfully undertaken many research projects funded by ARC (Australian Research Council), government departments, industry organisations and national research centres.

Patrick has also undertaken significant research and published extensively on Scholarship of Learning and Teaching (SoLT), including graduate attributes, attitude-skill-knowledge (ASK), inter-and multi-cultural learning, e-learning, group assignment and assessment.

To date, Patrick has published 200+ peer reviewed journal and conference papers, 4 books, 4 book chapters, 4 government / industry reports. His recent books include Construction Management New Directions 3rd Edition (2013) and Strategic Safety Management in Construction and Engineering (2015), both published by Wiley-Blackwell. 

Professor Zou has successfully supervised many PhD, MPhil, Master and Honours students to completion. He has examined many PhD theses from many universities in Australia and overseas.

Dr Zou has developed a wide collaboration network, and held visiting academic positions at a number of universities, including University of Cambridge, Loughborough University, The University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen University, Tsinghua University, University of Florida, National University of Singapore, Renmin University of China, Hunan University, Tianjin Chengjian Unviersity.

Patrick has been actively engaging and providing research-based consultancy to many government departments, industry organisations and construction enterprises, in Australia and China. Patrick has delivered over 50 invited-seminars and lectures to industry and universities. Patrick is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Building (FAIB) and was a member and Regional Vice President of the UK Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) Australasia, responsible for Research Development.

Patrick is editorial board member of 7 international journals, member of technical committees of CIB W99 and CRIOCM annual conferences, and reviewer for numerous international journals.

Patrick's research citations and impact can be viewed from his Google Scholar webpage:

Research interests

Sustainable Building and Construction; Safety Management; Risk Management; Building Energy Modelling and Analysis; Building Information Modeling (BIM); Sutainable and resilient infrastructure

PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Masters & Doctoral students as Principal Supervisor.

PhD topics and outlines

BIM and digital technology for improving safety in construction projects

building energy modelling and analysis: risk management approach

building water-energy nexus retrofitting

safety risk perception and tolorence in construction

Systems thinking based safety managment in infrastructure construction projects


Available to supervise honours students.

Fields of Research

  • Construction Engineering - 090502
  • Infrastructure Engineering And Asset Management - 090505

Teaching areas

Construction Engineering;Construction Management;Building Construction;Risk Management;Principles and Practice of Management


  • 2014, International, Best Conference Theme Research in Progress Submission, International Conference on Information System
  • 2013, International, Best Paper Award , International Symposium on Modeling and Simulation of Complex Management Systems (ISMSCS)
  • 2013, International, Best International Research Paper Award, Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)
  • 2012, International, Outstanding Paper Award (3rd Prize), Chinese Research Institute of Construction Management (CRIOCM) 2012 International Research Symposium on Advancement of Construction Management and Real Estate
  • 2011, International, UK Higher Education Academy CEBE Best Paper Award and Cash Prize, Association of Researchers in Construction Management (ARCOM) UK
  • 2009, International, Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence – Outstanding Journal Paper Award , Emerald Group Publishing Limited
  • 2008, International, Winner of CIOB International Innovation and Research ICPMA Award and Cash Prize, Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) UK
  • 2007, Other, Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence, The University of New South Wales (UNSW)
  • 2006, Other, Dean’s Teaching Award for Full Time Staff, Faculty of the Built Environment The University of New South Wales (UNSW)
  • 2003, National, Professional Excellence in Building High Commendation Award, The Australian Institute of Building (AIB)
  • 2003, Other, Fellowship of Innovative Teaching and Educational Technology , The University of New South Wales

Professional memberships

  • 2012 (current): Fellow, Australian Institute of Building (AIB), Australia


Also published as: Zou, Patrick; Zou, P.; Zou, Xiao; Zou, X.; Zou, P. X. W.; Zou, Patrick X. W.; Zou, X. W.
This publication listing is provided by Swinburne Research Bank. If you are the owner of this profile, you can update your publications using our online form.

Recent research grants awarded

  • 2019: Victorian Digital Asset Strategy Implementation (Student Xiaoxiao Xu) *; Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute Intern Program
  • 2017: Resilient Buildings: Informing Maintenance for Long-Term Sustainability *; Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre Funding for Pre-Project Activities
  • 2016: Australian Korean Cooperation for Virtual Design and Construction Technologies: Sustainable Partnership *; DFAT Australia Korea Foundation
  • 2016: Closing the gap between design and reality of energy retrofitted buildings *; ADBRI Masonry
  • 2015: Retrofitting Public Buildings forEnergy and Water Efficiency *; Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre Funding for Pre-Project Activities

* Chief Investigator

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