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 NEXGen 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 2023 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 were introduced in 2021 – Best Under 35 Paper and the Best Overall Paper. These are judged by a panel of experts, the Best Under 35 Paper panel will also include members from our CIA NEXGen Group.


Jemma Ehsman

Jemma Ehsman is a Structural/Civil Engineer at Rio Tinto – Dampier Salt based in Perth. She has been working in the engineering industry for over eight 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 NEXGen Representative on the National Council of the Concrete Institute of Australia.


Dr Marie Joshua Tapas

Dr Marie Joshua Tapas is a Research Associate at the UTS-Boral Centre for Sustainable Building where she leads the durability work as well as co-supervises multiple PhD projects. She holds a Bachelor and Master’s degree in Materials Engineering and a PhD in Civil/Materials from the University of Technology Sydney. She is an experienced materials engineer with expertise in various materials characterization equipment and proficiency in cement and cementitious materials. With over 10 years combined working experience in both the industry and academia, she is also an experienced team lead, skilled at managing laboratory operations and training of laboratory personnel. She is the current RILEM Youth Council Representative for the Pacific Region.

Joel Brown

Joel is a structural engineer with over 8 years’ experience and knowledge gained across a variety of large commercial and industrial projects. Having responsibilities which involve project management, structural design, supervision of documentation preparation, contract administration and quality assurance, his skillset spans sectors such as energy, ports and marine, sports and recreation, resources, and building developments.
Increasingly inspired by the complexities and challenges of projects, Joel thrives on continuously expanding his practical and constructive approaches to all areas of his work. His roles as Project Manager and Inspecting Engineer are underpinned by Joel’s open thinking strategy, as he believes this is an essential part of the workflow process when collaborating with and meeting the individual outcomes of stakeholders. Some of his most challenging projects have involved navigating the unique needs of numerous stakeholders with differing backgrounds, however, Joel cites that the outcomes of these experiences are the most rewarding.
Joel has an innate passion for the energy sector with Yandin, Coopers Gap, and Granville Harbour just some of the larger-scale wind farm projects he has worked extensively on. Leading WGA’s energy sector in Western Australia, Joel combines his technical skills, drive for excellence, and consultation and logistics management to deliver outstanding project outcomes in the design and construction of structural and civil components of wind farms.
A future goal of Joel’s is to be involved in a wind farming or energy generation project in a third world country, which would make a significant impact on local communities and industry. As a committee member of the Concrete Institute of Australia’s WA Branch, Joel is part of a large and diverse network that share their knowledge and expertise for the development of individuals and the industry.

CIA NEXGen Activities

Pre-Conference Social Function, hosted by the CIA NEXGen

Our pre-conference social event is hosted by the CIA NEXGen and is a fantastic way to meet delegates from home and overseas before Concrete 2023 gets started. To be held at The Island in the magnificent setting of Elizabeth Quay on the Swan River in Perth, this will be the perfect way for our new generation of concrete experts (as well as those who have been a round a bit) to make some connections with new contacts as well as reconnecting with others before the conference begins.

Welcome Reception hosted by CIA Women in Concrete

The traditional welcome reception at the CIA conference, this year hosted by the CIA Women in Concrete group. Held in the Exhibition Hall, this will be a terrific chance to meet industry experts, sponsors and exhibitors, and people from all parts of the world in a relaxed and informal setting.

CIA NexGen Forum

The CIA NexGen Forum will be held on Tuesday morning starting at 7.30am, and will include a light breakfast for delegates. Aimed at our next generation of young professionals in the concrete industry, the forum will include some guest presentations from U35 delegates who have begun forging careers in different sectors of the concrete industry. Hosted by CIA NexGen Chair, Jemma Ehsman, this will be a great opportunity to learn, share ideas, and make new connections.


CIA Gala Dinner

The highlight of the Concrete 2023 social program. Organise a group to sit with at a table or come along and just find a spot. The CIA Awards for Excellence in Concrete will be presented, as will a number of Individual awards. There’ll be entertainment, lots of fun, and of course, plenty of good food and drinks.


Best U35 Paper

Introduced to the CIA program in 2019 the Best Under 35 Paper is awarded to a lead author who fits the CIA NexGen criteria and who is deemed to have written the best paper in this category. Judged by a panel of experts, including members from our CIA NexGen, and sponsored by Concrete 2023 supporter, RILEM, this is a prestigious award to take home.


Why should you come to Perth for Concrete 2023?

Listen to the three members in the video below to hear the benefits of coming to Perth next year, how you get involved and how to convince your boss that travelling to the Conference is a worth while experience!