CIES Research Funding Success

Best of the best – School and CIES - one of the highest UNSW achievers in ARC research grants awarded for 2015

ARC Discovery & LIEF Grants

With 4 new Discovery grants and 1 new LIEF grant, CIES won more than half the School’s total and more than any other research centre in its discipline nationwide. These wonderful results consolidate CIES’ position as the leading infrastructure centre in Australia. 

Discovery Project Grants:

Professor Mark Bradford DP 150100446 -To investigate the capacity of high-strength steel (HSS) flexural members by undertaking physical tests and numerical simulations, and proposes to craft innovative overarching design guidance for them within a paradigm of Design by Advanced Analysis.

Professor Stephen Foster & Dr Hamid Valipour - DP 150104107 - To investigate the moment-rotation performance of steel fibre reinforced concrete ( SFRC) beam-column connections containing economical fibre dosages.

Associate Professor Adrian Russell, Prof David Muir Wood DP 150104123 - To make discoveries for modelling initiation, rate of progression and consequences of seepage induced internal erosion through soils which make up critical water retaining infrastructure like dams

Professor Chongmin Song, Emeritus Professor Francis Tin-Loi, Dr Sawekchai Tangaramvong DP 150103747 - To develop, directly from computer-aided design models or digital images, an automatic numerical simulation approach for the safety assessment of engineering structures in three dimensions.

LIEF – Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities

Russell, A/Prof Adrian R; Khalili, Prof Nasser; Zhao, Dr GaoFeng; Khoshghalb, Dr Arman; Sloan, Prof Scott W; Kouretzis, Dr Georgios; Indraratna, Prof Buddhima N; Rujikiatkamjorn, A/Prof Cholachat; Cassidy, Prof Mark J; Gaudin, Prof Christophe; Williams, Prof David J; Scheuermann, Dr Alexander LE 150100130 - To develop Australia's most advanced earthquake shaking table to investigate soil-structure interactions.

Dr Gaofeng Zhao and Professor Khalili were also involved in a successful LIEF grant (LE150100058) administered by Monash University. Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Les Field welcomed the result.

“This impressive result in ARC grants recognises the calibre of research underway at UNSW. Our position as number one in the country this year is a testament to the importance and impact of the work we are doing,” he said.

ARC Linkage Grants

CIES Staff were successful in receiving over $1 million in Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Grants for 2015

Five CIES members were successful in receipt of four ARC Linkage grants totaling over $1 million in the ARC Linkage Grants scheme announced on 7 July, 2015.

Professors Mark Bradford and Brian Uy were awarded funds to carry out research on the use of high strength steel in building frames in a project in collaboration with Tsinghua University, Beijing and the China Construction Steel Structure Corporation.

Dr Ali Akbar Nezhad and Dr Redmon Lloyd

A/Professor Arnaud Castel, Prof Stephen Foster and Dr Ali Akbarnezhad, together with Dr Redmond Lloyd of the industry project partner Boral, received ARC funding for a project to investigate the fundamental mechanics of early age thermal cracking in mass concrete elements.

Professor Stephen Foster and Dr Hamid Valipour were awarded funds in collaboration with One Steel Reinforcing to carry out research on the use of high strength steel reinforcement in reinforced concrete structures.

Professor Abhijit Mukherjee (Curtin University, Perth) in collaboration with Professor Brian Uy also received funds to collaborate with Lastek to develop a laser ultrasonic device for structural health monitoring of major infrastructure, with particular focus on structural steel elements.

Full details of the four CIES Linkage projects are provided below.

LP150101196 Bradford, Prof Mark; Uy, Prof Brian; Guo, Prof Yanlin; Dai, Prof Li Xian


This project plans to investigate the use in building frames of composite steel-concrete members that use high-strength steel (HSS) instead of mild steel (MS). HSS is finding increased use in construction, and HSS has a much greater strength-toweight ratio than MS, leading to lighter composite structures, less material usage and smaller foundations. Overall, this reduces the cost and carbon footprint of steel-framed buildings. The investigation is planned to involve physical testing, numerical studies, developing structural models and crafting design guidance for T-beams, columns and joints. The major intended outcome of the project is design guidance that will support the expanded use of HSS.

LP150100725 Castel, A/Prof Arnaud; Foster, Prof Stephen; Akbarnezhad, Dr Ali; Lloyd, Dr Redmond

Industry Partner Organisations: BORAL CEMENT LIMITED

The aim of this project is to determine the fundamental mechanics of early age thermal cracking in mass concrete elements and in members with high cement contents, and to develop a tool to predict early age cracking. Early age thermal cracking in concrete due to heat of hydration and thermal gradients is a major engineering problem and is undesirable for durability and structural performance, as well as aesthetics and project economics. The research outputs include new theories and relationships from which advanced engineering models will be derived that will support improved design and construction of mass concrete elements.

LP150101102 Foster, Prof Stephen; Valipour, Dr Hamid; McGregor, Mr Graeme


The aim of this project is to develop the fundamental understanding needed to design and construct high-strength concrete columns with high-strength steel reinforcement, with the intended outcome of providing design rules for adoption by engineers and Standards bodies. With significant innovations in Australian steel bar technology, strengths grades of 750 megapascals, and higher, are becoming available. These high-strength steels can be used in reinforced concrete building construction and would increase the competitiveness of Australia's manufacturing industry and enable the export of high-value-added technologies. Significant efficiencies in construction costs and in carbon emissions are possible.

LP150100475 Mukherjee, Prof Abhijit; Uy, Prof Brian; Karaganov, Dr Victor; Stanco, Mr Alex

Industry Partner Organisations: Curtin University of Technology, THE TRUSTEE FOR LASTEK UNIT TRUST/LASTEK PTY LTD

This project aims to develop technologies to monitor the health of Australia’s ageing infrastructure with the use of a unique laser ultrasonic device. The laser device will be used to conduct experiments that are expected to develop a set of techniques for monitoring the critical areas of structures with most frequently observed ageing problems. Precise estimates of damage will be made by processing signals from a combination of simulation and experimental modelling. Feedback from the user community is expected to further improve the techniques.