Associate Professor Riza Yosia Sunindijo

My Expertise

  • Health and safety in construction, including mental health and wellbeing
  • Human resource management in construction, e.g., women in construction, emotional intelligence, leadership and organisational culture
  • Construction in Indonesia and other developing countries


Fields of Research (FoR)

Building construction management and project planning, Construction engineering

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Associate Professor Riza Yosia Sunindijo is Deputy Head of School (Research) and Associate Professor in UNSW Built Environment. He joined UNSW in 2009 as a sessional staff before becoming a full-time academic in 2013. He was the Undergraduate Coordinator of the Construction Management and Property program (2014-2017) and the Director of Postgraduate Research at the UNSW Built Environment (2018-2020). Prior to his career in academia, he worked...view more

Associate Professor Riza Yosia Sunindijo is Deputy Head of School (Research) and Associate Professor in UNSW Built Environment. He joined UNSW in 2009 as a sessional staff before becoming a full-time academic in 2013. He was the Undergraduate Coordinator of the Construction Management and Property program (2014-2017) and the Director of Postgraduate Research at the UNSW Built Environment (2018-2020). Prior to his career in academia, he worked as a structural engineer, contract administrator, site engineer, project engineer, project manager, and sustainability champion in multi-national construction and project management organisations.

He is drawn to construction due to the dynamic nature of the discipline where various stakeholders collaborate to achieve common project objectives. He also appreciates the contributions of the discipline to develop a nation and provide critical infrastructure that enhances the wellbeing of people.

He is particularly passionate in the areas of health and safety, mental health, leadership, and women's empowerment within the discipline, where he has focussed his research efforts for a number of years. He is also interested in research in disaster management and construction management in the context of Indonesia and developing countries. He has received recognition and awards for his teaching and research performance.

My Grants


  • School Research Grant on “Facilitating and Inhibiting Factors of Positive Mental Health among Australian Construction Workers”, $6,636.84



  • Waterproofing Design Principles training fund from Aqualand, and also in collaboration with Ross Taylor & Associates, TAFE NSW, and the Office of the NSW Building Commissioner - $25,000
  • Developing a Health and Safety Maturity Framework for Small Construction Businesses: An Interventional Study from NSW Centre for Work Health and Safety (WHS) (with Dr Tanvi Newaz (UoN), Dr Marcus Jefferies (UoN), Professor Temitope Egbelakin (UoN), Dr Maggie Tang (UoN)) - $140,828



  • Attracting, retaining and empowering women in construction from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet/Women’s Leadership and Development Program - Lead and Succeed (with Dr Cynthia Changxin Wang) - $2,311,000



  • Machine learning for infrastructure defect detection through employing rule-based verification on aerial imagery from Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) (with Dr Ahmed Hammad and Mr Hafiz Suliman Munawar) - $13,000



  • New Colombo Plan/UNSW Ambassador: International construction study trip to Indonesia - $37,400



  • New Colombo Plan/UNSW Ambassador: International construction study trip to Indonesia - $52,000
  • International Research Collaboration with Universitas Indonesia: Industry 4.0: A New Approach for Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) Management - $20,000 (with Dr Mohammad Mojtahedi)



  • Faculty learning and teaching grant: Feasible delivery of research seminar for HDR candidates - $3,000 (with Prof Robert Freestone and Dr Paola Favaro)
  • New Colombo Plan/UNSW Ambassador: International construction study trip to Indonesia - $20,000



  • Faculty research grant: Hospital safety index: Evaluating hospital disaster preparedness in Indonesia - $9,000 (with Dr Bee Oo)
  • Inspired learning initiative: High-rise building construction digital uplifting - $10,000
  • UNSW-Indonesia seed fund: The development of safety culture framework for infrastructure projects in Indonesia - $10,000 (with Prof Martin Loosemore)
  • UNSW-Indonesia seed fund: A procurement system selection framework for post-disaster reconstruction - $10,000 (with Dr Bee Oo)



  • ARC Linkage: Innovative procurement theories to optimise education per cost of school - $391,000



  • Early career researcher faculty research grant: Improving health and safety in small construction organisations in Australia: Strategies and challenges - $12,000

My Qualifications

PhD (UNSW), MEng (Asian Institute of Technology), MEng (Petra Christian University), BEng (Petra Christian University), Member of Australian Institute of Building (MAIB), Member of Chartered Institute of Building (MCIOB)

My Awards

Social Impact Award and People’s Choice Award during the Digital Makers Demo Day, sponsored by UNSW Founders program, for the PsycheGuard project (with Samuel Frimpong, Emmanuel Boateng, Cynthia Changxin Wang, and Carol Hon), 2024

Echo360 Impact Grant Award, Echo360 A/NZ, 2023

Exemplary Teaching Practice Award in the category of "Linking Learning to Context", UNSW, 2022

Best paper award in the theme "Education in Built Environment" for a paper entitled 'Retention over Attraction: A Review of Factors Affecting Women's Experiences in the Australian Construction Industry' - the 45th AUBEA Conference, 23-25 November 2022 (co-authored by Amir Ghanbaripour, Roksana Jahan Tumpa, Weiwei Zhang, Parinaz Yousefian, Ranka Novak Camozzi, Carol Hon, Nima Talebian, Tingting Liu, Mina Hemmati)

Silver medal in best paper award category for a paper entitled 'Empowering Female Students to be Successful Professionals in the Construction Industry' - Digital and Empathic Architecture Civil Engineering, 2021 (co-authored by Christina Liem and Cynthia Changxin Wang)

Research supervisor award from Arc Postgraduate Council, UNSW, 2019

Merit paper award for a paper entitled 'Job Stress Characteristics of Chinese Engineering Design Professionals: A Case Study of Suzhou' - 24th International Symposium on Advancement of Construction Management and Real Estate, 2019 (co-authored by Shang Zhang and Shane Galvin)

Australian Institute of Building (AIB) F E Crowle Award for Teaching Excellence, 2019

Best paper award for a paper entitled 'People-centred Perspective on Resilience: A Story of Urban Kampung in Surabaya, Indonesia' - 12th Conference of International Forum on Urbanism, 2019 (co-authored by Shirleyana, Scott Hawken, and David Sanderson)

Built Environment Award for Teaching Excellence, 2016

Built Environment Staff Excellence Award, Research Excellence - Lecturer, 2016

Built Environment Staff Excellence Award, Research Excellence - Lecturer, 2014

Australian Institute of Building (AIB) NSW Chapter President's Research Award, 2013

CATEI High Achiever, S1/2013

Best paper award - Association of Researchers in Construction Management (ARCOM) Conference, 2011

UIPA Scholarship, University of New South Wales, 2009-12

My Research Activities

Riza is particularly interested in the following research topics:
Topic 1 - Health and Safety in Construction
Despite significant improvement, construction remains as one of the most dangerous industrial sectors worldwide. An integrated effort from all stakeholders is required to further improve health and safety performance in the industry. Some are common issues that should be investigated further:
  • Client roles in health and safety: Clients are in the best position to drive the cultural change needed to bring about safety improvements as they initiate project development and make key decisions concerning budget, project objectives, and performance criteria which can create pressures and constraints on health and safety implementation. Strategies should be proposed so that clients are more proactively involved in health and safety.
  • Health and safety in small and medium construction organisations: Today market leaders have established health and safety management systems, thus their performance is significantly better than the national average. The industry, however, is still dominated by small and medium organisations who are facing difficulties in improving their health and safety performance due to economic pressures. Strategies are needed to address this issue.
  • Safety culture: Improving health and safety requires safety culture development in organisations. Such development requires the integration of the psychological, behavioural, and corporate dimensions of safety culture. Practical methods and strategies to develop and measure safety culture is one of the needs of the industry.
  • Mental health: Due to the stressful work environment, construction personnel are experiencing mental health issues. How can the industry improve the wellbeing of its workers?
  • Learning from other high-risk industries: Some high-risk industries have better health and safety than the construction industry. What can the construction industry learn from them? Can their approach be adopted into the construction industry?
  • Construction health and safety in developing countries: Lack of health and safety awareness, focus on reducing construction costs, lack of health and safety enforcement, and the use of informal workers are some factors that constrain the implementation of health and safety in the construction industries in developing countries. What are strategies that can be adopted to address this situation? 
Topic 2 - Construction Leaders and Human Resource Management
Many management and self-development books have proposed numerous qualities needed by the 21st century leaders to be successful in today's dynamic work environment. Some of these qualities are emotional intelligence, political skill, leadership, communication, interpersonal skill, resilience quotient, stress management, motivation, and so on. Further research is needed to study the tangible impacts of those qualities and modern management techniques on performance. The relationships between those qualities are also need to be established to determine any redundancy.
Furthermore, the construction industry is a male-dominated industry and is missing the significant contributions from women. What are strategies to attract, retain, and empower women in the construction industry?
Topic 3 - Resilience and disaster management
Disasters have become more and more frequent nowadays, causing great social, economic, and environmental losses. Improving resilience and effective disaster management are important to minimise the impacts of disasters. Some key research areas include:
  • Post-disaster reconstruction
  • Community resilience
  • Infrastructure resilience
  • Urban resilience
  • Sustainable disaster management

My Research Supervision

Supervision keywords

Areas of supervision

Health and safety in the construction industry, mental health in construction, human resource management in construction, disaster management and resiliency, and construction-related research in the context of Indonesia. See research activities for details.

Include the following documents when contacting me for supervision request:

  • Research proposal
  • CV
  • Transcripts
  • English test result for international applicants
  • Scholarship requirements

Currently supervising

Riza has supervised the following research projects:



  • Leadership in construction 4.0 (Kevin Kaijun Yang - PhD candidate)
  • Prefabrication and mental health in the Australian construction industry (Rasaki Fagbenro - PhD candidate)
  • Empowering women in the Australian construction industry (Diya Yan - PhD candidate)
  • Empowering women in the Australian construction industry: The role of construction 4.0 (Aba Afful - PhD candidate)
  • Incorporating greneery systems in construction projects in Lagos, Nigeria (Ayodele Adegoke - PhD candidate)
  • Attracting and retaining women in the Australian construction industry: human resource management perspective (Jingya Chen - PhD candidate)



  • Facilitating the transition to positive mental health among young construction personnel from the Global South: the case of Ghana (Samuel Frimpong - PhD supervision completed)



  • A stakeholder approach to develop a women's empowerment framework in the Indonesian construction industry (Christina Liem - PhD supervision completed)
  • Factors affecting the life cycle cost of prefabricated construction in China (master's thesis)
  • Programmable money, smart contracts & the problem of subcontractor insolvency in the Australian construction industry (master's thesis)



  • Community perspectives on risk and resilience in the kampungs of Surabaya, Indonesia (Shirleyana - PhD supervision completed)
  • A framework for promoting health and safety through procurement in the construction industry in developing countries: A case of Ghana (Elijah Frimpong Boadu - PhD supervision completed)
  • Safety program implementation in the Iraqi construction industry (Mohanad Buniya - external PhD supervision completed)
  • The social value of Indigenous procurement policies in the Australian construction industry (George Denny-Smith - PhD supervision completed)
  • Comparison of quality performance between conventional and prefabricated construction in Australian housing projects (master's thesis)
  • Benefits and challenges of prefabricated steel structure for bridge construction in China (master's thesis)
  • Impact of prefabrication on worker satisfaction in the Australian construction industry (honours thesis)
  • Barriers to constructing compliant buildings among small construction organisations (honours thesis)



  • Application of Lean Management Concept and Its Impact on Construction Project Performance in Australia (master's thesis)
  • Carbon fibre for strengthening existing buildings in India (master's thesis)
  • Comparing the waste profiles of prefabrication and conventional construction in housing projects in Australia (master's thesis)



  • Integrated collaborative FM approach for post-occupancy evaluation of higher education facilities (Olatunji Abisuga - PhD supervision completed)



  • Risk and opportunity of using nanomaterials in the Australian construction industry (honours)



  • Emotional intelligence of graduates in the Chinese real estate industry (honours)
  • Post occupancy evaluation of on-campus accommodation buildings (honours)
  • Barriers and success factors of ECI in the local government level (honours)



  • Learning experience of international undergraduate students in construction management and property in UNSW (honours)
  • Post-occupant satisfaction towards sustainable and conventional buildings in Australia (honours)



  • Factors that influence safety motivation in construction organisations (honours)
  • Work-life balance trends in a construction firm in Australia (honours)



  • Impacts of the WHS Act 2011 on safety management in small and medium construction companies in NSW (honours)



  • Partnering in the SMEs in the Australian construction industry (honours)
  • Challenges and barriers faced by SMEs to implement safety in the construction industry (honours)
  • Effects of resource boom on the Australian construction industry (honours)
  • Construction project insurances: Methods of mitigating financial risks and drivers for change (honours)



  • The roles of client in construction safety (honours)

My Engagement


  • Member of Australian Institute of Building (MAIB)
  • Member of the Chartered Institute of Building (MCIOB)

My Teaching

Riza is teaching or has taught the following courses:

  • Construction Management Principles (Undergraduate)
  • Introduction to Construction Management and Property (Undergraduate)
  • High-Rise Building Construction (Undergraduate)
  • International Construction Study Trip (Undergraduate)
  • Management of Construction Organisations (Postgraduate)
  • The Principles and Practice of Management (Postgraduate)
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Lawrence B. Centre West Room 3008




Some people use the terms safety culture and safety climate interchangeably. This is a quick review on the differences between safety culture and safety climate. The method to measure safety culture is also discussed.