Three ARC Discovery Project 2024 Grants for CIES

Congratulations to CIES Professors Wei Gao, Chongmin Song and Brian Uy who have each been awarded an ARC Discovery Project Grant for 2024. The grants are to the value of $1.6M. 

Projects include

  • The development of advanced computational multiphysics analysis and modelling techniques to quantitatively assess the impacts of climate change on structures,
  • establishing an advanced nondeterministic design methodology that will largely reduce the need for repetitive large-scale experimental tests on structures,
  • designing composite clad steel-geopolymer concrete systems - towards Net-zero structural design.

“This is a stellar outcome and testament to the quality of our staff and the research we conduct,” said Head of School PSM Prof. Nasser Khalili.  The three Discovery Projects won by CIES researchers form part of seven grants in total awarded to researchers at UNSW Civil & Environmental Engineering. “Our success rate in this round has been over 38% compared to the national success rate of 16%.” 

In total, 38 UNSW projects were granted $21 million, with UNSW Science and UNSW Engineering awarded the lion’s share. 

UNSW Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research) Professor Dane McCamey congratulated the University’s researchers on their grant success. “Discovery Projects support cutting-edge research that improves our understanding of the world we live in and generates knowledge that will help address society’s greatest challenges, now and in the future,” he said. “It’s great to see UNSW researchers perform strongly in this funding scheme once again this year,” 


List of CIES DP Grants 


Professor Wei Gao; Professor Dong Ruan; Associate Professor Zhen (Jeff) Luo 

DP240102559  Award: $519,537.00

Title: Experiment-numerical-virtual Generative Design for Nondeterministic Impacts. 

Summary: This project will establish an advanced nondeterministic design methodology to uncover the optimised material properties and 3D printed metastructural capacity in real-time against impact loading. It will develop a rigorous framework that integrates numerical simulation, experiment, and machine learning-based virtual modelling to tackle practical challenges in design and manufacture of impact-proof materials and structures with intrinsic uncertainties. The generative design-calibration system unifying experimental-numerical-virtual processes will largely reduce the need for repetitive large-scale experimental tests. This project benefits civil, aerospace, automotive, and defence with competitive advantage through technological innovation. 


Professor Chongmin Song; Associate Professor Ean Tat Ooi

DP240101471  Award: $528,283.00

Title: Computational MultiPhysics Analysis of 3D Structural Damage and Failure. 

Summary: This project aims to develop advanced modelling techniques to assess quantitatively the impacts of environmental changes caused by climate on structures. New and existing structures need to be climate-resilient to sustain more frequent and hazardous climatic actions. Attention will focus on modelling structural damage caused by extreme loads and MultiPhysics mechanisms caused by climate change. The expected outcome is a new computational tool that will benefit Australian society by facilitating more reliable assessments of risks associated with structural damage and failure. This is significant in the design of structures where effective measures to improve functionality can be implemented to add value to an asset's life-cycle management.


Scientia Professor Brian Uy; Professor Zhong Tao 

DP240100489   Award: $569,705.00 

Title: Composite clad steel-geopolymer concrete systems for resilient structures. 

Summary: This project aims to develop innovative clad steel-geopolymer concrete composite members that will significantly improve the safe and economical design and construction of civil engineering systems. The expected outcomes will result in improved durability which has become a key issue in the economic justification of civil engineering infrastructure systems. Fire resistance in multi-storey buildings will also be improved through this project, and the coupled use of clad steel and geopolymer concrete in composite systems will reduce consumption and contribute toward Net-zero structural design. This will provide considerable benefits to Australian structural engineers and constructors in advancing their capability in composite construction.

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