Congratulations to our CIES 2021 ARC Grant winners

Congratulations to our CIES 2021 ARC Grant winners.

Our Centre for Infrastructure, Engineering and Safety (CIES) researchers have won over $700,000  in highly competitive Australian Research Council grants announced in November.

Heartiest congratulations to Professor Mark Bradford, Professor Stephen Foster; Professor Wei Gao, Dr Ailar Hajimohammadi and, in collaboration with rCITI, Dr David Rey.

The ARC’s Discovery scheme aims to expand the knowledge base and research capacity in Australia and support research that will provide economic, commercial, environmental, social and/or cultural benefits for the nation.

Our researchers are working on:

  • leading a paradigm shift in concrete mix design methodology,
  •  researching the fragility and resilience of steel lattice towers - such as electricity transmission towers- to fire, and
  • a new computational design methodology to address current challenges facing creation of ultralight structures.

Professor Nasser Khalili, the School’s Director of Research, was delighted to announce the news. “2020 is turning out to be a magnificent year in securing competitive grants and I hope it signals better times ahead.”

“Writing these grants takes a great deal of time and energy and I sincerely thank all staff for the effort that they put into preparing them and congratulate them on their successes.”

These grants follow on from our recent success in two DECRAs, and in winning a NSW EPA grant for developing sustainable construction materials.

Professor Nicholas Fisk, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research, also congratulated the University’s researchers on their exemplary grant success – fuelling them up to address some of society’s most pressing challenges and improve outcomes for all Australians.


Details of CIES researchers ARC DP& LP grants as follows:


Professor Mark Bradford    DP210102833 - Vulnerability of Steel Lattice Towers to Fire.Professor Mark Bradford


Project Summary: Steel lattice towers find widespread use as structural components in electricity transmission systems and as base towers in UHF and microwave communications networks. They tend be protected from bushfire damage by active backburning or clearing through their easement or right of way, because the response of towers to bushfires is surprisingly unknown, and it is not known if they can provide passive protection without clearing/backburning. A world first, this Project aims to use advanced numerical techniques to assess the fragility and resilience of lattice towers in fire using a systems approach based on fire load data available with a further goal to explore potential pragmatic strengthening strategies if necessary and feasible.    Award: $324,603






Professor Stephen Foster; Dr Ali Nezhad; Dr David Rey; Mr David Hocking; Dr Ailar HajimohammadiProfessor Foster, Dr. Rey and Dr. Hajimohammadi; Dr Farzad Moghaddam - LP200100531 Concrete Mixes for Durability: A Hybrid Mathematical Optimisation Approach.  Industry Partner: Boral

Project Summary
:  This project will lead a paradigm shift in concrete mix design methodology, which is currently focused on meeting the mechanical performance objectives of concrete, to a holistic approach that maximises durability of concrete alongside its mechanical performance. The approach is based on a hybrid methodology involving mathematical optimisation of concrete mix based on empirically formulated objective functions for durability properties and mechanical properties. The multi-objective nature of proposed optimisation model will allow simultaneous consideration of several design objectives including minimising the overall risk of cracking, minimising the permeability: and maximising the rate of strength development.  Award $534,117 ($384,117 ARC + $150,000 industry).


Australian Bulk Handling Review by William Arnott   

Wednesday 13 January 2021





CIES researcher Professor Wei Gao is also involved in an ARC Discovery project administered by UTS. Professor Gao is the second Chief Investigator (CI) in 
DP210101353  Topological Design of Mechanical Meta-Structures,

Professor Wei Gao

Associate Professor Zhen Luo; Professor Wei Gao; Dr Paul Walker; Professor Michael Wang


Project Summary:

This project aims to establish a new computational design methodology to address current challenges facing creation of ultralight structures with ultra-high-performance characteristics. The latest technologies in structural topology optimization and its correlated numerical simulation and structural analysis methods will be unified towards an integrated design framework. Expected outcomes include an advanced generative design platform for discovering novel geometries to underpin new meta-structure architectures, validated by appropriate fabrication techniques considering their geometric complexity. Such capabilities will benefit defence, civil, aerospace, energy and transport industries that pursue competitive advantage through innovation. Award $394,287.



Congratulations to all!

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