The Concrete Institute of Australia recognises the need to provide all members of the concrete industry an opportunity to be involved to promote and develop excellence in concrete research, technology, application, design and construction. In particular, this includes young professionals as they bring new, fresh and innovative ideas and information to the industry.

The mission of the CIA Young Members Group is to promote the engagement of young professionals in the concrete industry and to encourage involvement within the Institute, at events and conferences. This can be done by:

  • Promoting collaboration
  • Building networks and connections
  • Exchanging knowledge and experiences
  • Organising events and activities
  • Liaising with international young member groups
  • Getting involved with the Concrete Institute of Australia

At Concrete 2021 we have a number of activities that are aimed at our Under 35 professionals to help develop these skills and opportunities.

Under 35’s Best Paper Award

Two new awards have been introduced in 2021 – Best Under 35 Paper and the Best Overall Paper. Judged by a panel of experts, the Best Under 35 Paper panel will also include members from our CIA Young Member Group.


Dr James de Burgh

 Dr James de Burgh is a Principal Engineer at BG&E based in Perth. James has contributed towards the detailed design of a broad range of structures – buildings, bridges, tunnels and containment type structures. James was designer for the largest above-ground cylindrical prestressed concrete potable water tank in Australia, and is currently designing bridge and tunnel structures for major infrastructure projects. Between 2012-2016 James completed his PhD dissertation at University of New South Wales on cementitious microstructure and the prediction of fire induced spalling in concrete structures. The thesis was recognized as Highly Commended in the 2017 Concrete Institute of Australia’s National Bursary Award.



Jemma Ehsman

Jemma Ehsman is a Structural / Materials Engineer at GHD based in Perth. She has been working in the engineering industry for over four years and has gained a Bachelor of Engineering, Civil Engineering (Hons) and a Bachelor of Engineering, Environmental Engineering (Hons) from the University of Newcastle. She has experience in structural analysis, condition assessment and development of remedial, maintenance and strengthening strategies of port, marine, mining and civil infrastructure.
She was the co-author of the best paper award at Concrete 2019 and is the Young Member Representative on the National Council of the Concrete Institute of Australia.


Dr Alastair MacLeod

Dr Alastair MacLeod is an Associate Research Fellow at Deakin University’s Institute for Frontier Materials, conducting research into next-generation concrete materials, with enhanced strength, durability, and self-sensing capability. In addition, as part of the Australian Centre for Infrastructure Durability, he employs his expertise in concrete durability for condition assessment and service life modelling of concrete structures.
As a representative of the Concrete Institute’s Young Professionals Group in Victoria, he is enthusiastic about promoting the latest concrete technologies – such as concrete 3D printing – and the latest understanding in concrete sustainability and supplementary cementitious materials to the younger cohort of professionals in the concrete industry in Australia.