Ron Sharpe

By September 19th, 2014


Dr Ron Sharpe was one of the key scientists involved in developing BCAider expert system.

Dr Sharpe graduated with BEng (Civil, Hons I) Melbourne University in 1964. He then completed a MEngSc in 1966 at Melbourne University followed by a PhD in Civil Engineering at Southampton University in 1968.

He then joined CSIRO Division of Building Research, Melbourne in 1969 to undertake systems research and computer modeling for the building, construction and infrastructure industries. This led to the development of the mathematical model called TOPAZ which was widely applied in Australia and overseas to various urban, transport and building planning resulting in major cost savings.

In 1984, he started a research program with five other scientists to apply artificial intelligence techniques such as expert systems and neural networks to improve building industry efficiency. After several successful expert system developments for industry, BCAider was produced in 1991 to help building designers and regulators apply the Building Code of Australia and the achievement was recognised with sseven awards.

In 1992, Dr Sharpe was made a Chief Research Scientist and Program Manager of Construction Systems as a result of BCAider and other achievements. He held this position until retiring from CSIRO in 2000.

Honours and awards


1994 Australian Institute of Building ‘ Professional Excellence in Building Awards (both Vic and National) for BCAider
1994 Institution of Engineers ‘ Professional Excellence Award (Vic) for BCAider
1994 CSIRO Medal
1993 Powerhouse Museum Selection Award for BCAider, NSW
1992 Australian Design Award for BCAider
1992 Software Product of the Year Award for BCAider (AITA)
1966 SCTF Scholarship for PhD studies in UK
1965 – 66 Commonwealth Postgraduate Scholarship
1964 Argus Scholarship for first place in Civil Engineering at Melbourne University

Honorary Visiting Professor positions include

2001 – 04 Queensland University of Technology
1997 – 98 University of Newcastle
1983 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


  • Sharpe R, 2008, Personal communication.