B. Engineering, B. Commerce (Hons) –University of Sydney
Postgraduate Research Student
School of Civil Engineering, Room 478
Phone: +61 2 9351 2116
Fax: +61 2 9351 3343
Research project - Design optimisation and reliability-based advanced 3D analysis of high-strength scaffolding systems
Supervisor: Prof Kim Rasmussen
Associate Supervisor: Dr Hao Zhang
Structural engineers spend their lives designing permanent structural systems, however although temporary, little attention is paid to the structural systems that support the heavy concrete slabs, steelwork and workmen that load these systems during construction.
The main aim of this project is to develop new advanced high-strength steel formwork systems, through the design of innovative new joints, new structural configurations and advanced reliability analyses, through the combined resources and expertise of The University of Sydney and Boral Formwork and Scaffolding Pty Ltd.
Current industry practice often relies on “rules of thumb” and trial and error methods, to remove bracing in order to reduce costs. There is growing evidence in the industry showing that contractors, of other systems, use less than specified bracing to gain a competitive edge. The consequences of failure due to under-design involve risk to the safety of workers and the public as well as financial risks, while over-design poses a threat to the competitiveness of the construction company bidding for the project. Boral Formwork and Scaffolding Pty Ltd is with this application, responding to the financial pressures imposed by the trend towards using less-than-specified bracing.
This project focuses on provide a scientific basis for the reduction of bracing to ensure that formwork systems are safe and reliable by engaging in research to (i) investigate the strength of selectively braced systems through advanced finite element analysis, (ii) develop a rational design methodology for selectively braced systems and formwork systems in general, and (iii) increase its competitive edge by developing a new generation of joints with enhanced stiffness
In summary, the aims of this project are to develop:
- a new generation of SuperCupLok joints featuring enhanced joint rigidities,
- a new system of structural configurations with less intensive and more competitive bracing systems, and
- a new design methodology based on advanced analysis and reliability modelling that will provide a scientific basis for industry to take advantage of increased capacities derived from inherent system redundancy in the 3D failure modes governing the strength of selectively braced systems.