Engineering for Resilience

The Engineering for Resilience strategic theme of the School of Engineering and Information Technology concerns the design, operation, retrofitting and maintenance of human engineered systems which are resistant to external influences, and/or which are designed to withstand or recover from extreme events. Strengths of the School within this theme include impact dynamics (effect of blast on structures and vehicles), protective structures, high performance materials and metamaterials, innovative structural design, environmental contamination, instrumentation, imaging, and the modelling of urban systems and urban networks.

Within this theme, we conduct teaching and research mainly in the fields of civil engineering and mechanical engineering. Civil engineering encompasses all modifications of the natural environment, including design, construction and maintenance, to suit human needs and aspirations. Mechanical engineering is the branch of engineering that is concerned with machines and the production of power, and particularly with forces and motion.

In our research and teaching, our School has had considerable impact on Engineering for Resilience systems, technologies and highly trained personnel, both in Australia and worldwide. These include research on impact dynamics and armouring, including with the fastest gun for impact testing in the southern hemisphere; protective and environmentally sustainable construction materials; high performance materials and metamaterials; probabilistic modelling of urban systems. We have also been responsible for the education of highly trained computer scientists, technologists and engineers, many of whom are now in leadership positions in Defence and civilian industry. Our recent research covers various aspects on engineering for resilience and these include:

 

  • Development of sustainable and resilient construction materials and composite materials that can stand varieties of detrimental causes ranging from impact, blast, fire, earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, hurricanes, in addition to natural aging and degradation. We work on green and environmental friendly construction and building materials by using various industrial wastes aiming to reduce the environment impact. We also work on bio sourced materials that not only have zero embodied energy but also help reduce energy consumption with their ability to control humidity and improve the thermal and acoustic comforts of occupants. For composite materials, we work on nanocomposite adhesive materials aiming to improve the integrity of structures in mechanical and aeronautical engineering. We also research on ultra-high temperature ceramics (carbides, nitrides and borides) on the development of optical devices both theoretically and experimentally.

 

  • Development of modelling and simulation method and technology so as to provide effective and reliableprediction of the responses of materials, structures and behaviours of complex engineering structures under various loading including extreme conditions.

 

  • Design of Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructures in mechanical, aeronautical and civil engineering aiming todevising design rules to exploit the advantages of emerging construction materials and advance modelling techniques that can make infrastructures more sustainable and resilient.

 

  • Development of new structural design and analysis methods, experimental characterisation of new materials, studies of the structural performance and manufacturing effects. For example, these include research projects related to ballistic impact response and damage tolerance of CFRP sandwich panels, FGM ballistic plates manufacture by 3D printing, vibration and buckling analysis of composite anisogrid lattice plates and shells, effect of a steel strike face on ballistic performance of a Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene hybrid composite. In addition some work is conducting on the theoretical and experimental developments of ultra-high temperature ceramics (carbides, nitrides and borides) on optical devices.

 

  • Research on Smart Urban Networks using probabilistic inference methods (maximum entropy analysis and Bayesian inference), coupled with real-time machine learning and optimization, for user-driven improvements in the efficiency and resilience of urban networks, including water distribution, energy distribution and transport networks.

 

Our School offers undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in the Engineering for Resilience domain. We offer a number of undergraduate coursework degrees, including the Bachelor of Civil Engineering (4 years duration), Bachelor of Electrical Engineering (4 years duration), Bachelor of Computing and Cyber Security (3 years duration), as well as other degrees in aeronautical engineering, mechanical engineering and aviation. We offer postgraduate coursework degrees related to this field including: the Master of Systems Engineering and Master of Engineering Science. In conjunction with other Schools, we also offer the Master of Logistics Management, Master of Project Management, Master of Security & Defence Management, Master of Strategy and Security, and Master of Sustainment Management. Finally, we offer research degrees which include the Master of Philosophy, Master of Engineering by Research and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Professional Doctorates.

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