Welcome from the Head of School

On behalf of our School, I would like to welcome you to the website of the School of Civil Engineering at the University of Sydney.  We are the oldest continuously operated School of Civil Engineering in Australia, having awarded Civil Engineering Degrees for over 130 years. As a result of our sustained commitment to excellence in education and research we have been consistently ranked in the top 20 Schools of Civil & Structural Engineering in the world and in the top 2 in Australia. In 2013 we held the best ever world ranking of any Australian University Civil School, being 12th 1.

The School has a proud history of producing world class graduates for well over a century.  Dr John Bradfield (graduate) was responsible for the design and construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, conceived over a century ago and completed in 1932, and which was the world’s widest long span bridge (500 m span at a width of close to 50 m): a record it maintained for 80 years until 20122.  More recently Dr Andy Davids3 (graduate) and Professor Harry Poulos4 (graduate and Emeritus Professor) have been involved in the design of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, completed in 2009 and standing at 828 m tall.  The School’s role in training world class graduates is also reflected in the high esteem that University of Sydney graduates maintain, recently being ranked 4th overall in the world in terms of their employability5.

The School  has also adapted to the changing needs of the world and has developed unique and innovative degrees in the area of complex systems, humanitarian engineering and project management, which reflect the challenges facing the civil engineering community into the 21st century.  These programs are underpinned by strong fundamentals which are informed by leading research undertaken by our staff in these emerging fields. In addition the School has a multitude of both undergraduate and postgraduate programs allowing combined degrees with Civil Engineering in Architecture, Commerce, Science, Arts and Project Management further emphasising the galvanic nature that a civil engineering graduate can play in major planning and infrastructure projects on a global scale.

The School’s programs are taught by world leading researchers and who have for over a century conducted research of both an experimental and theoretical nature, which was very much the mantra of Professor Henry Warren6, the University of Sydney’s first Professor of Engineering who taught Civil Engineering and Architecture when appointed in 1882.   The School is now home to first class experimental facilities, including the JW Roderick Heavy Structures Laboratory; the Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel and Convection Lab; the Geotechnical Research Laboratory and Particles and Grains Laboratory; and the CA Hawkins Computing Laboratory. Our world class facilities coupled with the outstanding research staff and student outputs has seen the School achieve a rating of 5 “Well above world standard” in the Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) ranking exercise in the most recent Australian Research Council ranking exercise of 2015, placing it equal first in Australia7.

The School is also proud of the impact it provides in its partnerships with industry for over 50 years through the Civil Engineering Foundation and now Council for Civil Engineering Sydney which brings a broad and deep experience to advise the School and to create opportunities for collaboration in education and research8.  Furthermore, the School has had an unrivalled contribution to standards development for Standards Australia with many of the most important Australian Standards having been chaired by academic staff or graduates of the School.

I invite you to explore our website further to read more about the range of activities the School is involved in and encourage you to contact either myself or our staff if there are any ways we can assist in the area of education and/or research of civil engineering for the future.

Professor Brian Uy

Head of School

BE (Hons 1), PhD, UNSW, CPEng, CEng, PE, IntPE(Aus), FIStructE, FICE, FASCE, FIEAust, FIABSE, MAICD


  1. http://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/university-subject-rankings/2013/engineering-civil-and-structural
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Bradfield_(engineer)
  3. http://www.aurecongroup.com/en/experts/andy-davids.aspx
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Poulos
  5. http://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/employability-rankings/2017
  6. http://sydney.edu.au/engineering/civil/about/history/past-and-future.shtml
  7. http://www.arc.gov.au/era-outcomes-2015#FoR/0905
  8. http://sydney.edu.au/engineering/civil/council/index.shtml


Student resources:

Information on scholarships: