The School scores again with 5 ARC DP Grants 2019

ARC Discovery Project Winners 2019Researchers at the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering have won almost $2M in a total of five grants, in the latest round of highly sought after ARC Discovery Project funds, announced in early December. The projects involve many of the major cutting edge research areas of the School including coastal engineering, computational mechanics, reinforced concrete structures and standards, and hydrology.

Head of School Professor Stephen Foster congratulated Professors Ashish Sharma, Chongmin Song, Ian Turner, Emeritus Professor Ian Gilbert and Dr Kristen Splinter on their success.  He also acknowledged the efforts of the many CVEN staff who were in the top 10% of unsuccessful grants, and he thanked all who applied. ‘As we know,’ Professor Foster said, ‘ARC funding is extremely competitive with a success rate of just 23 per cent. I’m very pleased to say that the School has again done fantastically well! ‘


Details of the Grants are as follows: 

Professor Stephen Foster (CI).
DP200103764 —   Mixed Mode Torsion-Shear-Bending Failure in SFRC Elements .

Summary:  In 2017 and 2018 the Australian Standards for the design of concrete bridges and structures were released; these are some of the first in the world, to include design procedures for steel fibre reinforced concrete (SFRC) in a comprehensive way. While rules have been introduced for shear and bending of SFRC girders, the rules exclude the use fibres to carry torsional moments. This study investigates the torsion-bending-shear interaction performance of SFRC members. The study will provide vital data needed for adoption by engineers and Standards bodies.

Funding: $380k

Em/Prof Raymond Gilbert (CI) UNSW, 
Dr Ali Amin (CI)USyd
DP200102114 — Time Dependent Behaviour of Fibre Reinforced Concrete Structures.

Summary: The project aims to quantify the initial and long-term cracking and deformation of fibre reinforced concrete structures such as tunnel linings and slabs under sustained in-service loads and conditions. Concrete structures with and without conventional steel reinforcement and containing either steel or polypropylene fibres mixed in the concrete will be tested experimentally and modelled analytically and numerically. Expected outcomes are benchmark experimental data on structural behaviour under sustained loads, development of reliable simulation models and robust design procedures for the control of time-dependent cracking and deformation in fibre reinforced concrete, with reduced maintenance costs and more sustainable concrete structures.

Funding: $405k

Professor Ashish Sharma (UNSW); Dr Conrad Wasko (U Melbourne); Associate Professor Rory Nathan (U Melbourne): 
DP200101326 — Assessing Water Supply Security in a Nonstationary Environment. 

Summary: About 25% of the global population currently has inadequate access to safe and secure water. This number is expected to rise to 50% by 2050 due to increased populations and reduced river flows. While a visible water crisis (such as the one in Cape Town in 2018) can culminate in the funding of new water supply infrastructure, a planned push for infrastructure augmentation often stalls due to contradictory projections of how much water will be available in the future. To address this, a novel alternative for assessing water security is proposed. Our approach assesses change using historical information on river flow and water demand, adapting these to form projections that exhibit greater reliability than currently existing alternatives.

Funding: $345k

Professor Chongmin Song: 
DP200103577 — Computational fracture analysis of structures and materials.

Summary: This project aims to develop a computer simulation technique to address the safety of engineering structures. A novel numerical framework based on the scaled boundary finite element method will be developed to model the fracture process critical to assessing structural integrity. The expected outcomes of this project include an innovative technology for numerical simulation and improved capabilities to generate high-fidelity predictions of structural safety at minimum human efforts. The fully automatic and robust numerical tool developed in this project will help engineers and government authorities to perform safe and cost-effective design and management of engineering structures that are vital to modern economies.  

Funding: $425k

Dr Kristen Splinter(CI); Professor Ian Turner (CI); Associate Professor Giovanni Coco (PI)  -University of Auckland, NZ; Dr Margaret Palmsten (PI) -  United States Naval Research Laboratory
DP200100134 — Quantifying the impact of infiltration on dune erosion under waves & surge. 

Summary: Through a series of controlled laboratory experiments and numerical model development, this project aims to determine and quantify for the first time the role of water infiltration on sandy soil stability at actively eroding coastal sand dunes. This project expects to generate much-needed understanding of fundamental dune erosion processes using innovative instrumentation to obtain continuous measurements of wave-dune interactions, dune profile evolution, and water infiltration. Expected outcomes of this project include improved coastal engineering models to predict dune erosion under waves and increasing water levels. This should provide significant benefit to the future management of coastal assets using nature-based solutions.

Funding: $370k

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