Samsung Lim

Associate Professor
Sch-Civil & Environmental Eng
Contact details:
(+61 2) 9385 4505
(+61 2) 9385 5657

Civil Engineering Building (H20)
Level 4, Room CE411
Kensington Campus

Associate Professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research interest

Level 1: I use geographic information systems to support location-based decision-making.

Level 2: I develop geospatial technologies that allow us to improve the way we view, understand, design, plan, manage, analyse, interpret, and extract information such as patterns and trends of geospatial data.

Level 3: I investigate point clouds from terrestrial, mobile and airborne lidar (known as light detection and ranging) mapping, images from unmanned aerial vehicle mapping, and airborne/satellite imagery for the purposes of data segmentation and classification, digital elevation modelling, feature extraction, building edge detection, change detection and monitoring environmental changes.

Interest in engineering

Why did you get into engineering?

I was a mathematician by training and, at some point, got engaged in satellite orbit design and manoeuvre which diverted my research interests to satellite geodesy, global navigation satellite systems, and geospatial information science.

What are your research goals?

My main research aim is to apply the geospatial information approach to real-world problems and help decision-making in the fields of asset/utility management, natural resources exploration, intelligent transportation, natural disaster and emergency management, and public health research.

What do people not understand about you do?

Almost all human activities and natural phenomena are spatially distributed, so can be studied using geospatial information systems. For example, I collaborate with public health professionals to explore correlation between epidemic diseases and geographical context of patients.

Advice for prospective civil and environmental engineers

The broadness of geospatial information systems is only limited by your own imagination. Geospatial technologies are now being used by local governments and business firms on a daily basis. Geospatial technologies are a game changer that shapes the future. Be a leader, not a follower.

Lectures/Courses taught

  • GMAT3220 Geospatial Information Systems
  • GMAT4220 Geospatial Information Science
  • GEOS9016 Principles of Geographic Information Systems


Number currently in lab: 6 PhD students and 0 Masters by Research students

Number graduated: 17 PhDs and 7 Masters by Research

Current Student Thesis Projects:

  • Badal Pokharel (PhD Candidate) Developing a physical model for establishment of early warning system of rainfall-induced landslides in the Central Nepal Himalayas
  • Jiyu Liu (PhD Candidate) Developing a new approach to assess landscape functions of disturbed forest ecosystems
  • Sharareh Akbarian (PhD Candidate) Implementing machine learning algorithms on multispectral time-series aerial imagery for precision agriculture
  • Bingnan Li (PhD Candidate) Machine learning-based spatio-temporal analysis of epidemic diseases using social media data
  • Zi Chen (PhD Candidate) Emergency management based on volunteered geographic information
  • Shuran Zheng (PhD Candidate) Vision-based real-time mapping and navigation for autonomous vehicles

Past Student Thesis Projects:

  • Li Liu (PhD, 2019) Aboveground biomass estimation of individual trees with airborne lidar data
  • Qishuo Gao (PhD, 2019) Spectral-spatial classification techniques for hyperspectral imagery
  • Siti Aisyah Binti Tumiran (PhD, 2019) An improved community structure method for catchment classification
  • Jingyi Sun  (ME, 2019) A study of the distributional and structural characteristics of Australian remnant forests in major structural types using a data collation method and airborne lidar data
  • Chau Minh Bui (PhD, 2019) Investigating the spread of emerging avian influenza viruses using cross-disciplinary and computational approaches
  • Zeyuan Qi (ME, 2018) Assessment of quality and equity of transportation services to central business district in Sydney, Australia
  • Yang Zhang (PhD, 2018) Understanding wildfire patterns in the south-eastern Australia
  • Xuefen Liu (PhD, 2018) City-scale evacuation management in flood scenarios, implementation and comparison of a multi-agent based approach and a traffic assignment approach
  • Hossein Asefi (PhD, 2017) Optimal site selection and location-routing for a sustainable integrated solid waste management system
  • Sara Shirowzhan (PhD, 2016) Spatial and temporal pattern analysis of 3D urban development using airborne lidar
  • Ligaya Leah Lara Figueroa (PhD, 2016) Spatial modelling for understanding the correlation between school facilities and academic performance in the Philippines
  • Nur Fadhillah Norzahari (ME, 2016) Stem classification and modelling from lidar for a semi-automated forest inventory
  • Hossein Aghighi (PhD, 2015) Markov random field models for classification of remote sensing data and super-resolution mapping
  • You Shao (ME, 2015) A fusion approach to building-boundary extraction using airborne lidar data and multi-spectral images
  • Li Liu (ME, 2015) Road extraction from airborne lidar data and integrated remote sensing data
  • Isabella Kay Lee (ME, 2015) The applicability of remote sensing techniques for meteorological and environmental monitoring
  • Hong Joo Park (PhD, 2014) Analysis of full waveform airborne lidar remote sensing data for the individual tree inventory in Australian forestry
  • Aulia Riza Farhan (PhD, 2013) Assessment of integrated coastal zone management: a case study in the Seribu Islands, Indonesia
  • Ali Mohammed Al-Shaery (PhD, 2013) Addressing some remaining challenges of integrated high precision GPS/GLONASS positioning
  • Sharon Kazemi (PhD, 2011) Cartographic knowledge-based generalisation of spatial features
  • Napat Jakrawatana (PhD, 2010) An integrated decision support tool for more sustainable management of biomass resources in agricultural regions
  • Muhammad Usman Iqbal (PhD, 2009) Location privacy in automotive telematics
  • Thomas Surya Sanjaya Yan (ME, 2009) Analysis on distribution of real-time GNSS data over IP networks
  • Tajul Ariffin Musa (PhD, 2008) Analysis of residual atmospheric delay in the low latitude regions using network-based GPS positioning

Looking for students for projects related to:

Geographic Information System (GIS) GIS is now more than ever an enabling technology for utilities and communications, transportation, public safety, natural resources, health and human services, etc. My main research is to apply GIS to real-world problems and help decision-making in the fields of asset/utility management, natural resources exploration, intelligent transportation, natural disaster and emergency management, and public health research. My publications include spatial and temporal fire occurrence patterns using landscape attributes such as climate, terrain, land use, etc. to develop a better understanding of wildfire occurrence across Australia, identifying the most significant attributes linked to fire occurrence, effective flood emergency plans and response measures, integration of spatial analysis and an agent-based model for shelter assignment and routing in flood scenarios, and risk analysis methods to flag epidemics for urgent intervention.

Remote Sensing Traditional photogrammetry and hi-resolution optical and infrared imaging systems continue to be important geospatial data acquisition technologies. Digital image capture systems are mounted on different platforms, such as hi-resolution satellites, aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, road vehicles, etc. Research areas include sensor calibration, direct georeferencing of sensors and automated feature extraction, as well as those related to a variety of mapping/imaging applications. My publications include deep learning from multispectral/hyperspectral images and data fusion of lidar point clouds and multispectral/hyperspectral images which are essential for the enhanced feature extraction from multi-layered datasets.

Light Detection and Ranging (Lidar) Lidar provides massive volumes of “point cloud” data, consisting of 3D coordinates of points, together with their information on the ground reflected laser signals. Lidar systems are typically mounted on aircraft or road vehicles and are used for civil engineering applications with higher spatial resolution and accuracy. There are many research challenges, ranging from sophisticated analysis of lidar sensor data, through to the development of applications-specific algorithms for terrain and forest mapping, 3D city modelling and rapid mobile mapping of transport corridors and engineering structures. My publications include spatial information extraction from lidar data, UAV imagery and aerial/satellite imagery for data segmentation and classification, digital elevation modeling, feature extraction, building edge detection, change detection, and monitoring environmental changes.

Professional Organisations and Consulting positions

  • Senior Member, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
  • National Delegate, Commission 3, International Federation of Surveyors (FIG)
  • National Representative, Commission on Sensor-driven Mapping, International Cartographic Association (ICA)
  • Working Group Member, WG I/6 Lidar for Airborne and Spaceborne Sensing, International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS)
  • Working Group Member, WG 4.3.3. Numerical Weather Prediction for Positioning, International Association of Geodesy (IAG)
  • Professional Member, Surveying & Spatial Sciences Institute (SSSI), Australia
  • Professional Member, American Geophysics Union (AGU), USA
  • Professional Member, Institute of Navigation (ION), USA
  • Editorial Board, International Journal on Civil Engineering and Urban Planning 
  • Editorial Board, International Journal of Geoinformatics 
  • Editorial Board, Korean Society of Surveying, Geodesy, Photogrammetry and Cartography


Awards, Grants, Patents


  • Excellent Researcher Awards, Korean Ministry of Science and Technology (2017)
  • Outstanding Best Paper Awards, IEEE WA Section (2010)
  • NSW Awards for Excellence in Surveying & Spatial Information (2008)
  • Excellent Paper Awards, Korean Society of Surveying, Geodesy, Photogrammetry & Cartography (2001)

Research Grants

  • Scotch, M, MacIntyre, R, Steinhofel, K & Lim, S (2018), Enhancing global health security through avian influenza genomic models, PLuS Alliance Collaborative Research
  • Scotch, M, MacIntyre, R, Lim, S, Hogue, BG, Steinhofel, K & Stelzer-Braid, S (2016), Reducing the Risk of a Human-to-Human Transmissible Form of Highly Pathogenic H5N1 Influenza Virus, PLuS Alliance Collaborative Research
  • Whitty, M, Homaira, N, Lim, S & Jaffe, A (2016), Identification of indoor localisation solutions for tracking patients in hospital environments to minimise cross-infection, CRCSI Project
  • O'Reilly, D., Shewan, L., Armstrong, R., Lim, S., Chang, N., Domett, K., Halcrow, S., Unraveling the Mystery of the Plain of the Jars, Lao PDR, ARC-DP150101164, 2015-2019.
  • Whitty, M., Lim, S., Improved yield prediction for the Australian wine industry, NSW Department of Primary Industries/GWRDC R&D Applications Shared Grant, 2014-2017.
  • Ross, S., Karskens, G., Lim, S., et al., Federated Archaeological information Management System, National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources (NeCTAR) Project, 2012-2014.
  • Lim, S., Trinder, J.C. and Turner, R., Full-Waveform Lidar Remote Sensing for Forest Inventory, ARC, ARC-LP100100847, 2010-2013.
  • Zhang, K., Teunissen, P., Rizos, C., Lim, S., Marshall, J.L., Kuleshov, Y., Liou, Y., Platform Technologies for Space, Atmosphere and Climate, Australian Space Research Program (ASRP), 2010-2013.
  • Lim, S., Message Passing Method for N-screen Services, Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute, S. Korea, 2011-2012.
  • Rizos, C., Lim, S., and Roberts, C., The Feasibility and Design of an Operational Real-Time GNSS CORS Analysis Capability for the Australian Region, CRC-SI, Project 1.15, 2009.
  • Zhang, K., Wu, F., Rizos, C., Lim, S., Le Marshall, J., Rea, A., Kuleshov, Y., Satellite-Based Radio Occultation for Atmospheric Sounding, Weather Forecasting and Climate Monitoring in the Australian Region, ARC, ARC-Linkage, 2008-2011
  • Collier, P. and Lim, S., Quality Control Issues for Real-Time Positioning, CRC-SI, Project 1.12, 2008-2010.
  • Higgins, M., Feng, Y., Rizos, C. and Lim, S., Lorimer, R., Integrating Electricity, Telecommunications and Government Infrastructure to Deliver Precise Positioning Services in Regional Areas, CRC-SI, Project 1.04, 2007-2010.
  • Lim, S., Metadata Research on Spatial Data, Omnilink Ltd. Pty, 2005-2008.



Ph.D. (Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics), University of Texas, Austin, TX, USA.

M.A. (Mathematics) Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea.


B.A. (Mathematics) Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea.