Structural engineering and materials for civil infrastructure
Whether you intend to work in research or industry, a higher degree by research can give you a competitive edge throughout your career. Find out more about studying a Master of Philosophy or Doctor of Philosophy.
Our researchers are particularly focused on developing:
- high-performance, environmentally sustainable construction materials, and their associated design standards
- more efficient and resilient structural forms for civil and military infrastructure
- innovative approaches to strengthening existing structures.
Ensuring the safety and serviceability of structures under all levels of load is a key objective. We also devise and test novel techniques for modelling these complex materials and structural systems with greater accuracy.
Our Structural Engineering and Materials for Civil Infrastructure research directly benefits the construction industry. This includes in areas such as:
- structural design, assessment and monitoring
- structural retrofitting
- seismic assessment
- materials development.
The computational mechanics underpinning our modelling techniques is also highly applicable to many other industries, including:
- oil and gas
- technical software.
Our Structural Engineering and Materials for Civil Infrastructure researchers are driven by industry needs. Among our highest priorities are:
- strengthening existing buildings that don’t meet building code requirements and pose significant safety hazards to the public
- limiting the construction industry’s environmental impact
- deepening material-failure understanding
- evaluating full-scale civil structures using smart sensing technologies
- assessing component and whole-structure integrity and service-life
- predicting structures’ and materials’ linear and non-linear response to usual and extreme loads
- modelling and fabricating multifunctional structural panels—sandwich, stiffened and other forms—made of steel, concrete, lightweight fibre-reinforced composite, and other materials.
Our research outputs are regularly embraced and applied in both the public and private sectors. Some prominent examples include:
- ultra-high-performance concrete, used in blast-resistant panels by the Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group and US Air Force
- geo-polymer concrete, used by South Australia’s Department of Planning Transport, and Infrastructure Development
- well integrity assessment, used by South Australia’s Department of the Premier and Cabinet , and which influenced policy on hydraulic fracturing’s use in Australia
- numerical techniques, used by many commercial software programs
- Australian standards (HB 305—2008 Design handbook for RC structures retrofitted with FRP and metal plates: beams and slabs) for structural retrofitting
- rock/coal bursts and modelling, supported by OZ Minerals and the Australian Coal Industry
- seismic assessment and strengthening of St Peter’s Cathedral
- rail-track condition assessment technology, supported by Australian Rail Track Corporation
- power-pole safety inspection technology, supported by SA Power Networks .
We advise on, and lead, projects relating to:
- component strength and serviceability laboratory testing
- structural integrity assessment
- masonry buildings’ seismic strengthening
- full-scale structures’ non-destructive testing and evaluation.
We have expertise across a wide range of areas. Many of our researchers are available to assist with research project supervision for Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy students.
Research team Expertise Professor Scott Smith Dr Han Fang Associate Professor John Culton Professor Michael Griffith Earthquake engineering; Masonry structures; Structural dynamics Associate Professor Abdul Hamid Sheikh Finite element modelling; Composite structures; Failure analysis Associate Professor Giang Nguyen Damage and fracture of materials (metals, concrete, composites, soils, rocks); Constitutive modelling; Computational mechanics Associate Professor (Alex) Ching-Tai Ng Non-destructive testing and evaluation; Structural health monitoring; Vibration testing Dr Mohamed Ali Sadakkathulla Retrofitting and rehabilitation; Concrete structures and technology; Bridge engineering Dr Terry Bennett Computational mechanics; Structural integrity; Porous media Dr Phillip Visintin Concrete and masonry structures; Sustainable and high performance cementitious materials; Analytics and design Dr Jaroslav Vaculik Earthquake engineering; Unreinforced masonry; Structural strengthening by composites Professor Deric Oehlers Reinforced concrete structures; Fiber-Reinforced Polymer (FRP) retrofitting; Structural design Professor Robert F Warner
Reinforced concrete structures; Prestressed concrete structures; Structural design
To enquire about consulting or working with us on a research project, please contact: