Image of Dr Greg Foliente, Principal Research Scientist and CSIRO research leader with CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Highett, Victoria.

Dr Greg Foliente, Senior Principal Research Scientist with Ecosystem Sciences.

Dr Greg Foliente: improving the sustainability and resilience of urban environments

Dr Greg Foliente leads interdisciplinary research on the whole-of-life performance of the built environment and systems modelling of urban environments.

  • 18 September 2008 | Updated 16 May 2014

In this article

  1. Overview
  2. Publishing History


Page 1 of 2

Current activities

Dr Greg Foliente leads CSIRO research and innovation initiatives in climate mitigation and adaptation of the built environment, and transitions to urban resilience and sustainability.

He is a leading proponent of a systems approach to sustainability research that encompasses dimensions of:

  • space (from materials, buildings, infrastructure systems to urban scale),
  • performance attributes (across n-Bottom-Lines [nBL]: technical/functional, environmental, economic and social)
  • time or life cycles (from planning, design, delivery and operations to end of service life).

Dr Foliente actively contributes to a number of international activities, including the organisation and scientific programming of the international Sustainable Building (SB) conference series, an annex of the International Energy Agency, and the UNEP-SETAC Life Cycle Initiative.

He often serves as an expert consultant to industry, government and international organisations, such as UNEP and UNFCCC.


Dr Foliente has more than 25 years of research innovation and science leadership in diverse areas that include:

  • engineering and performance assessment (through physical testing and computer modelling) of built systems
  • nonlinear stochastic dynamics (forward and inverse modes)
  • quantitative risk analysis of structures under extreme events (including natural disasters)
  • service life modelling
  • infrastructure asset management
  • integrated delivery and sustainability assessment of buildings and urban developments
  • life cycle assessment
  • net-zero energy/emissions buildings
  • modelling of building stock energy and GHG emissions
  • spatial diffusion of technology.

Dr Greg Foliente leads CSIRO research and innovation initiatives in climate mitigation and adaptation of the built environment, and transitions to urban resilience and sustainability.

Since joining CSIRO in 1995, he has held a number of positions and research management roles in the organisation, including leading divisional initiatives and managing a large interdisciplinary research team in three cities undertaking a diverse research program.

Dr Foliente has held visiting appointments with:

  • the University of Melbourne (between 1995 and 2000),
  • the Building Research Institute of the Ministry of Construction in Japan (1997)
  • the University of California, Berkeley in the US (three occasions between 1997 and 2001)
  • the Fraunhofer Institute and Technische Universität Braunschweig, both in Germany (2012-2013). 

He has developed course materials and lectured in Virginia Tech in the US, the University of Melbourne and Technische Universität Braunschweig.

He has co-supervised PhD students and post-doctoral researchers in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia.

Dr Foliente was a member of the Australian Government’s Built Environment Industry Innovation Council (2010-2012) and the main organiser and co-chair of the 2008 World Sustainable Building Conference (SB08 Melbourne).

Considered as one of the world’s leading experts in the performance approach in Architecture, Engineering and Construction and Facility Management (AEC-FM), he was the Program Director of a performance based building experts’ networks in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.

He initiated the Australian Life Cycle Inventory Database Initiative (AusLCI) and led the Australian Zero Emissions Housing (AusZEH) and the Australian Zero Emission Office (ZEO) projects.

Dr Foliente was the facilitator and primary author of the Smart Grid R&D Roadmap for Australia and the Performance Based Building R&D Roadmap for the European Commission.

He has represented Australia in technical trade missions, scientific meetings and international standards development.

Academic qualifications

Dr Foliente's formal qualifications include a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the Philippines and two Master of Science degrees and a Doctor of Philosophy all from Virginia Tech in the USA.

Dr Foliente has also completed advanced leadership and management training in CSIRO, with the Australian Institute of Company Directors and at the MIT Sloan School of Management in Boston.


Dr Foliente has an extensive scientific publications record, including as a co-author of three books and a contributor to the Encyclopedia of Materials: Science and Technology (Elsevier London, 2001). He serves on the Editorial Board of four international journals.

Dr Foliente's research and professional achievements have been recognised widely over the years:

  • 2013 Wilhelm Klauditz Fellow, Fraunhofer Institute WKI, Braunschweig, Germany
  • 2012-2013 DAAD Visiting Professor, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Germany
  • 2011 CSIRO Newton Turner Career Award
  • 2010 Outstanding Alumnus Award, Mapua Institute of Technology, Philippines 
  • 2009 Totus Tuus Award, Most Outstanding Alumnus, University of Santo Tomas EHS, Philippines
  • 2008 CIB Commendation Award, International Council for Research & Innovation in Building and Construction (CIB) 
  • 2006 Wood Engineering Achievement Award, American Wood Council & Forest Products Society
  • 2003 James Croes Medal, American Society of Civil Engineers 
  • 2003 Best Paper Award in an international conference, American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • 1998 L.J. Markwardt Wood Engineering Award, Forest Products Society
  • 1997 STA Research Fellowship Award, the Japan Science and Technology Agency (STA)
  • 1997 George Marra Award of Excellence, Society of Wood Science and Technology
  • 1994 Wood Award, Forest Products Society
  • 1993 A B Massey Award, Virginia Tech.

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