• The University of Western Australia (M257), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus

Personal profile


Sharon Biermann was appointed in the position of Professor and Director of the Planning and Transportation Research Centre (PATREC,) based at the University of Western Australia, on 1 October 2012.

With a Ph.D. (Geography) from the University of South Africa which delivered an infrastructure potential cost model for integrated land use and infrastructure planning, Sharon Biermann’s key areas of expertise include: scientific research leadership and program management of integrated planning and water projects, Planning Support Systems – computer-based spatial information and knowledge support for integrated urban and regional planning, integrated land use and infrastructure planning and modelling, urban form and sustainable cities and regions and urban water management.

As Program Manager of the South East Queensland Urban Water Security Research Alliance, a five year partnership between the Queensland State Government, CSIRO, The University of Queensland and Griffith University, to help address the drought crisis, Sharon managed the Alliance Program from January 2010 to September 2012. The Program comprised 19 projects in three theme areas aligned with the Water Strategy for South East Queensland (SEQ): Demand Management, Water Quality and Total Water Cycle Planning and Management. In addition, she was more directly involved as the Project Leader for the Water Smart Cities project and was responsible for delivering a component of the Decentralised Systems project concerning rainwater tanks.

Before moving to Australia in December 2009, as Competence Area Manager: Planning Support Systems, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Built Environment, South Africa, Sharon managed four research groups: Urban and Regional Planning, Development Informatics, Geo-modelling and Sustainable Human Settlements, in the successful delivery of a range of integrated planning research projects including: evidence to support the National Spatial Development Perspective; an on-line Integrated Development Planning Information Centre; monitoring, evaluation and reporting methodologies to improve service delivery and the quality of water and sanitation infrastructure and a range of Integrated Development Planning guidelines and capacity building processes. She personally led and published on a number of substantial multi-year, multi-stakeholder, multi-disciplinary research projects including: The Demonstrator Toolkit for Integrated Planning, the Gauteng Spatial Development Perspective; a series of national level Housing Atlases; and, the Gauteng Directional Change in Housing Locality project, an integrated project investigating the costs and benefits of housing location in Gauteng, South Arica.

Before joining the CSIR, Sharon was Chief Professional Office – Land Use Planning at the Metropolitan Planning Department, Johannesburg City Council, where she was responsible for the metropolitan population and employment databases, metropolitan GIS and spatial analysis. During this time, she completed a part time M.Sc degree by dissertation with the title: “Residential development in the Johannesburg Metropolitan region: an analysis of the dynamics of urban sprawl”. She actively participated in the production of the Johannesburg Metropolitan Integrated Land use/Transportation Plan and was involved in boundary demarcation processes; Integrated Development Frameworks; GIS for metropolitan planning; land identification for low income housing (including specialist studies on land valuations and ownerships, engineering services systems capacity analysis, accessibility analysis, environmental sensitivity) and office location studies.

Roles and responsibilities

=> Scientific research leadership and program management of integrated planning and water projects.
=> Planning Support Systems – computer-based spatial information and knowledge support for integrated urban and regional planning.
=> Integrated land use and infrastructure planning and modelling.
=> Urban water demand management, source water quality and total water cycle planning and management.
=> Impact assessment and multi-criteria evaluation.
=> Land suitability assessment.
=> Population and employment databases.
=> Boundary demarcation.
=> Sustainable livelihoods cost-benefit-affordability modelling and evaluation.
=> Urban form and sustainable cities and regions.
=> Development prioritisation and resource allocation.
=> Integrated development planning, spatial frameworks, structure plans.
=> Scenario planning.
=> Land use – transportation modelling.
=> Infrastructure economics and financing.

Funding overview

$805,000.00, 2015: ARC LIEF - LE160100174
$385,600.00, 2015: Department of Transport (Mass Transit Plan for Perth at 3.5 Million and Beyond)
$198,448.00, 2014: AURIN WA Data Hub (Spatial Planning)
$10,000.00, 2014: Freight and Logistics Council of WA (WA Road Freight Network for the Movement of Grain)
$105,000.00, 2014: Main Roads WA (Activity Centres: Making Land Use and Transport Work
$200,000.00, 2013: RAC Transport Research Program

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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