Core Project Team

Prof. Chris Ryan – Project Leader
chrisChris is Professor of Urban Eco-innovation and founding director of VEIL Victorian Eco-innovation lab in the Faculty of Architecture Building and Planning at University of Melbourne. Chris has worked for over 30 years across various areas of science, technology, environmental policy and design, in projects that span the community sector, academia, government and international agencies and business. He is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Industrial Ecology (Yale University) and is a Visiting professor in the Technical University of Delft and a member of the Visiting Academy of the International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics at Lund University Sweden (an institute he once directed). The context of the current work in VEIL can be found in: Ryan, C. ‘Eco-Acupuncture: designing and facilitating pathways for urban transformation, for a resilient low-carbon future.’ Journal of Cleaner Production. V50. July 2013. A reflection on his design for environment career and future directions can be read in:  Ryan, C. (2013). Critical  Agendas: Designing for sustainability from products to systems. The Handbook of Design for Sustainability. S. Walker, J. Giard and H. Walker. UK, Bloomsbury. Read more about Chris here.

Dr. Idil Gaziulusoy – Principal Researcher (until 2016)
IdilIdil is now an Assistant Professor of Sustainable Design at Aalto University. Prior to that role, Idil was a principal researcher on this project, and a post-doctoral research fellow at VEIL.  She is an expert in system innovation for sustainability, particularly interested in how design and innovation at organisational level can be aligned with sustainability transitions. Idil has worked as a consultant and lecturer in Turkey and New Zealand before moving to Melbourne. She is a visiting researcher at the Design for Sustainability Research Group at the Technical University of Delft, The Netherlands. Her academic work is published in Civil Engineering and Environmental Systems and Journal of Cleaner Production.




Dr. Paul Twomey – Principal Researcher
PaulPaul is a senior research fellow at the Faculty of Built Environment at UNSW. He has worked on climate and energy policy and environmental economics at the University of Cambridge, European University Institute (Florence) and UNSW. His publications have included articles in Climate Policy and Energy Policy. His interests include robustness in policy mixes, carbon policy interactions, renewable energy policy and is currently focused on policies and governance structures for a more sustainable built environment.





Dr Seona Candy – Senior Researcher 

SeonaSeona Candy is a senior research fellow with the Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab working on food systems analysis, scenario modelling and resilient urban systems. She was joint chief investigator on the Foodprint Melbourne project and is Deputy Node Leader for the Future Cities Node of Excellence in Post-Carbon Resilient Cities, as part of the CRC for Low Carbon Living. She is the principal researcher on the Future Cities Distributed Infrastructure project and senior researcher on the Visions and Pathways 2040 project.

Seona has a background in engineering, renewable energy, participatory design and international development. Her PhD  research centred around the use of appropriate technology to improve food security and nutrition in remote mountain regions of Nepal. She has also worked on food security and energy related projects with communities in Australia, Cambodia and East Timor.

Stephen McGrail – Researcher

Stephen is currently a Research Assistant at the Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab and, prior to this, was a Research Fellow at Swinburne University (during 2013-2016) at the now defunct Institute for Social Research. He has over a decade of experience in scenario planning, visioning exercises and facilitating community engagement exercises – in both corporate and community contexts – including for climate change adaptation, regional and urban planning, and in sustainability advisory projects. Stephen specialises in interdisciplinary applied social research and the use of dialogue and decision-support tools for understanding and enabling responses to “wicked” sustainability issues. He has published in journals including Futures, On the Horizon and Journal of Futures Studies.



Philippa Chandler – Project and Research Assistant
PhillipaPhilippa is a qualitative researcher with experience in the media and higher-education sectors. In London, she worked as a researcher for the BBC and the trend-forecasting consultancy Next Big Thing. In Australia, she has worked for Curtin University and written for The Guardian. Philippa is in the final stages of a cultural geography PhD at Curtin University. At University of Melbourne, she tutors in the second-year cultural geography subject “Society & Environments” and in the first-year urban design unit “Changing Melbourne”.





 JenJen Sheridan – Communications and engagement manager
Jen has a background in journalism and communications, and now works as a sustainable food systems researcher and academic communications strategist. She works on interdisciplinary research projects which use systems thinking to approach the question of how we can better plan for a sustainable and resilient future, often with a focus on the city region scale. 





PhD Students

Che Biggs  – Victorian Eco-innovation Lab, University of Melbourne

Jennifer Witheridge – Sustainable Cities Research Flagship, Swinburne University

David Bennett – City Futures Research Centre, UNSW


Contributing Researchers

Prof. John Wiseman – Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, University of Melbourne

Prof. Peter Newton – The Swinburne Institute for Social Research, Swinburne University

Assist. Prof. Kes McCormick – International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics, Lund University, Sweden

Dr. Tuan Ngo – Department of Infrastructure Engineering, University of Melbourne

Michael Trudgeon – Victorian Eco-innovation Lab, University of Melbourne