Distinguished Professor Mike Xie, Director of RMIT’s Centre for Innovative Structures and Materials, and Project Leader on the CRC’s Smart Materials development project, has won the prestigious 2017 Clunies Ross Innovation Award.
The award, presented by the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, recognises the application of technology with significant potential for the benefit of Australia.
Xie is recognised globally as one of the most important contributors to the original development and subsequent worldwide adoption of evolutionary structural optimisation (ESO) and the more robust bi-directional (BESO) techniques.
The organic and strikingly elegant shapes produced by ESO/BESO have been used in landmark buildings around the world.
Xie’s techniques made it possible to quickly obtain many of the amazing forms originally designed by the architect Antoni Gaudi for the iconic Sagrada Familia Basilica in Barcelona.
And leading Japanese architects have used ESO/BESO to design spectacular award-winning buildings – including the Qatar National Convention Centre in Doha and the Himalayas Centre in Shanghai – which have had a huge impact on new approaches to structural form-finding.
Xie said he is passionate about trying to solve complex problems with simple approaches.
RMIT Vice-Chancellor and President, Martin Bean CBE, said the Clunies Ross Innovation Award was a wonderful recognition of Xie’s many years of collaborative research.
“Mike’s innovative ideas have been shaping the world – quite literally – for decades,” Martin said.
“The millions of tourists who gaze in wonder at the Sagrada Familia each year may not realise his critical role in bringing to life Gaudi’s incredibly complex designs. This is just one example of his outstanding research impact.
“This award is a well-deserved acknowledgement of his sustained focus on creating practical solutions to shared challenges, and we are all very proud of Mike for this achievement.”