Research facilities

Energy systems

High voltage laboratory 

The laboratory has facilities for high voltage testing (AC, DC and Impulse voltages) and condition monitoring of electrical equipment, with partial discharge detection equipment, transformer ratio arm bridges, recovery voltage testing, thermal testing and variable frequency testing of insulation.

Power electronics and drives laboratory

This facility has extensive power electronic inverter/converter systems for operation with a range of motor drives and other applications such as superconducting fault limiting devices. There are also available sophisticated data acquisition systems able to be used for fast on-line parameter determination of rotating machines. The laboratory also has available finite element analysis software for magnetic, thermal and electric field modelling and analysis. 

ACRE laboratory 

The Australian Centre for Renewable Energy has a laboratory which provides power quality assessment equipment for monitoring the characteristics of power electronic inverters supplied by renewable sources such as photovoltaic systems.


Signal processing laboratories 

Signal processing includes PCs equipped with the latest Texas Instruments signal processing hardware and standard software package. In addition, these laboratories contain the necessary equipment for analysing speech and video signals.

Mobile communication laboratories 

The mobile communications laboratories, which were re-equipped in 2001, contains some of the most advanced measurement, and simulation equipment for communication systems. For example, it has facilities for testing GSM, IS-95, 3G, PCS RF and Antenna design.

Communication networks laboratories 

These laboratories provide a state of the art experimental environment specifically aimed at carrying out:traffic analysis; design and testing of protocols at all levels;performance analysis of end terminals and servers and large scale simulation of networked systems

The experimental network consists of commercial low and high-end routers, numerous LAN switches and experimental NetFPGA routers. In addition to this, the network consists of a vast array of Linux and FreeBSD based PC routers, wireless LAN, and Infrared access points. The experimental network is fully instrumented with specialist measurement devices both commercial and those based on public domain package which allow real-time and non real time analysis of network traffic and protocol performance. 


This discipline has a comprehensive range of photonic facilities to underpin its research activities. It has a great combination of light sources, including a very expensive solid-state laser system that is capable of tuning from 200nm to 2000nm. It has various conventional laser sources including YAG, Argon, He-Ne and diode lasers, as well as amplified spontaneous emission and fibre laser sources. The discipline has a wide variety of equipment - an optical autocorrelator for measuring femtosecond pulses, a low coherence reflectometer for micron resolution device characterisation, a fibre tapering facility for coupler manufacture, a Carl-Zeiss Yena interference microscope for phase measurement, etc.

Silica optical fibre fabrication facility 

This optical fibre facility is for fabricating special silica-based optical fibres and fibre devices. It consists of a MCVD preform fabrication system updated in 2011 and a fibre drawing system due to be commissioned July 2011. It has the capacity to produce rare-earth doped fibres for fibre amplifiers and lasers, photosensitive fibres for fibre bragg gratings, as well as polarisation maintaining fibres, single polarisation fibres, multi-core fibres, D-shaped fibres and custom fibres for many specific applications. It also includes various facilities for characterisation and measurement of fibre preforms and optical fibres. This facility supports the discipline's extensive research activites in optical fibre communication technology.

Polymer optical fibre fabrication facility 

This optical fibre facility is for fabricating special polymer-based optical fibres and related devices. It consists of facilities for material processing, preform fabrication and fibre drawing. It has the capacity to develop electro-optic fibres for optical switches and modulators, laser-dye doped, rare-earth doped fibres for fibre amplifiers and lasers, single-mode polymer optical fibres for fibre bragg gratings and sensing. This facility supports the discipline's extensive research in novel optical fibre technology.

Optical waveguide fabrication facility 

The optical waveguide fabrication facility includes a Hollow Cathode Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapour Deposition (HC-PECVD), a Hollow Cathode Plasma Enhanced Reactive Ion Etch (HC-RIE) and related equipment in association with the SNF. This facility supports research in photonic waveguide circuitry technology.

Microelectronics discipline 

Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF) 

The Australian National Fabrication Facility was established under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) in 2007 to provide Australian researchers from both the public and private sectors with access to micro- and nano-fabrication tools and services. One of eight Nodes within the national network, the NSW Node (ANFF-NSW) offers advanced nanofabrication capability in cleanrooms and laboratory spaces spanning 750 square metres.

At the heart of the ANFF-NSW laboratories are three electron beam lithography systems, all capable of producing sub-20nm device features. This capability is supported by a full Si-MOS process line (high temperature furnaces for oxidation, diffusion and annealing; photolithography; a range of deposition and etching tools; and dicing, packaging and bonding capability) as well as additional tools allowing MOS-incompatible processes to run in parallel. The Node also operates a suite of molecular beam epitaxy systems producing ultra-low-disorder III-V heterostructure material as well as a wide range of high quality complex oxide layers and nano composites. More details about the ANFF-NSW facility can be found here.

CAD facilities 

A network of SUN workstations supporting software for computer aided design of integrated circuits, VHDL design, MEMS devices. CAD packages include Mentor Graphics, H-Spice, ANSYS.

Systems and control discipline

The Systems and Control Research Group has a multidisciplinary focus and facilities spanning several areas in engineering into the biological and medical sciences. Three groups of laboratories are available.

Industrial and process control 

These laboratories emphasise problem based learning and research using pilot plants. Personal computer based workstations are utilised. Each control workstation comprises a computer equipped with data acquisition equipment and pilot plant. The pilot plants may be motor sets simulating electromechanical systems, interacting tanks whose levels are to be controlled or air heater processes representing process control plants.Standard software packages such as Matlab and Simnon for control design and analysis are routinely used. The department is also equipped with Boeing's EASY5 nonlinear simulation package such as MAPLE software for use in nonlinear control systems design. A variety of software packages have also resulted from the department's research. A modular simulation shell SSIM has been developed for a SUN workstation and allows the user to build up complex simulation from component modules. Another byproduct of the department's research is a real time kernel for adaptive tuning and control.

Systems Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering 

The laboratory is equipped to study human movement control systems. Electrical activity from muscles, nerves and brain as well as joint angles and forces are measured and logged. Response characteristics of reflex and voluntary muscle control systems can be assessed.A systems Physiology Laboratory is equipped to study cardiovascular control systems. This laboratory has a number of medical workstations which meet all the requirements of standard medical practice.

Vision and Control Laboratory

The laboratory is under development. Activities underway include; visual serving experiments and autonomous vehicle control of a model hovercraft.