How is digital transformation improving the sustainability of infrastructure and cities? 

245SB UoM MSE Scenes Transparent Backgro

In 2021, the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic has seen ongoing changes to how we all live, work and play. COP26 has prompted many governments and businesses to commit to do more to achieve sustainable development. This seminar is focussed on how digital transformation is contributing to sustainable development and improving how we design, build and use places - and the challenges. “Digital transformation pressure, combined with pandemic-driven changes, will move us into a world where anything that isn't cloud is considered legacy”, one Gartner analyst said. “Data fabric” was identified as the top tech trend for 2022: “providing a flexible, resilient integration of data sources across platforms and business users”. In this seminar key industry speakers from the first 3 Infrastructure Platform seminars will come together (chaired by Mark Allan from the City of Melbourne) to;

  • reflect on the year gone by,

  • discuss an exemplar project (where digital transformation is improving infrastructure sustainability), 

  • discuss future directions in (digital) infrastructure for 2022, and

  • the digital transformation challenges Australian government, industry and researchers face. i.e. challenges relating to people, processes, policies in developing “a data fabric”

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Meet the panelists


Ari Hammerschlag

Sustainability Team Leader – Building Engineering, GHD 

Ari Hammerschlag is a Chartered Civil Engineer who leads the Built Environment Sustainability Team at GHD in Victoria. Prior to starting at GHD, Ari worked overseas in the UK, Middle East and Europe for over 5 years. Ari has worked on major urban development projects in Australia and overseas such as Victoria Harbour in Melbourne and Battersea Power Station in the UK. Ari’s background is in the infrastructure design for land development projects and sustainable infrastructure planning – with experience working in land use planning, city masterplanning, developing sustainability frameworks, transport planning, development feasibility, underground utility supply and demand investigations, highways and utilities design guidelines.


Joyce Ferng

Associate Director – ANZ Modular Lead, AECOM   

Joyce has been delivering complex and challenging projects across Australia, United Kingdom and Singapore for over 20 years as a chartered professional engineer, in collaboration with renowned international architects like Zaha Hadid and Lord Norman Foster. She implements innovative and economical solutions to project challenges and is passionate in pushing the boundaries of modular technologies. With her experience and expertise in Systemised Technology, Joyce is currently leading the AECOM modular initiatives working closely with digital disruptors to integrate technologies from Industry 4.0 with established lean methodologies in the construction prefabrication space. Joyce is an Adjunct Industry Fellow with Swinburne University and an Industry Technical Advisor to Melbourne University CAMP.H initiative. She is also on the board of directors for PrefabAUS, a hub advocating prefabrication in Australia.

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David Norris

GIS Systems Manager, South East Water (SEW)

David Norris is the GIS Systems Manager at South East Water (SEW). With over 30 years’ experience in the water industry, for the past 15 years he has been responsible for the technical management, administration, development, strategic direction and integration of spatial related systems and data at SEW.

David has a background in survey and mapping and holds a Master of Information Management & Systems from Monash University.

For the past 10 years he has been developing innovative solutions using multidimensional spatial models to solve challenging above and below ground infrastructure projects including the Belgrave Heights low pressure sewer project which won a global innovation award presented by the International Water Association (IWA).

With the evolution of multi-dimensional asset models, he has been leading the development of 3D model management systems and processes within SEW to support their Digital Engineering initiatives.

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Prof Alex Felson

Elisabeth Murdoch Chair of Landscape Architecture, The University of Melbourne

Dr. Felson is the Elisabeth Murdoch Chair of Landscape Architecture at the University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning. He is a senior certified ecologist and a registered landscape architect. Felson works as an academic and practicing professional to advance resilient liveable cities and sustainable planning, landscape architecture and urban design.  Felson founded and runs the Urban Ecology and Design Lab (UEDLAB) and Ecopolitan Design, where he integrates applied ecology with landscape architecture and urban design. Dr. Felson specializes in constructed ecosystems and directed the NYC Reforestation Plan as part of the MillionTreesNYC while working at AECOM. He built bioretention gardens in Bridgeport through a community process, worked on the first resiliency plan for the State in Guilford, served as a core team member on Rebuild by Design, and recently completed the Regional Resilience Framework Plan with the Nature Conservancy. Alex holds a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution from Rutgers University an MLA from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, and an MS in Land Resources from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.


Mark Allan (Chair)
Director Greenline, City of Melbourne

Mark Allan is a registered architect and qualified urban planner with a Master’s degree from the Melbourne Business School.  With a career spanning 30 years in sustainable urban development and major urban renewal projects, Mark has played key roles in the planning and design of Federation Square, Melbourne Docklands and the Queen Victoria Market Precinct Renewal.  In his current role at the City of Melbourne he is Acting Director City Design where he leads Council’s City Design Studio. Mark has previously held senior roles in architectural practice and at Mirvac, VicUrban and the former Melbourne Docklands Authority. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects and the Planning Institute of Australia and an Honorary Fellow of the University of Melbourne’s Infrastructure Engineering Department.  Mark has expertise in urban renewal projects and the design of sustainable precincts.               

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