News

4 ARC Grants for Civil Staff


26 October 2009

The School is pleased to announce that Giang Nguyen, Itai Einav, Pierre Rognon, Gianluca Ranzi, John Patterson and Changwang Lei have been successful in the recent round of ARC Discovery Grants.

Dr Giang Nguyen's project is called "A computational approach to fracture of quasi-brittle materials across the scales".

Summary: The mining industry is a significant contributor to the economy of Australia. Since only a small part of the input energy in mining is useful, improving the energy efficiency through simulation based optimisation of rock fracturing processes will have a huge impact on reducing the costs of mining operations. Besides, the numerical prediction of rock mass failure in mining, and collapse of concrete structures under extreme conditions in civil engineering and defence will also benefit from the project. This will improve Australia's capability to deal with catastrophic events. Through advances in numerical simulation of fracture of geomaterials, the project will also enhance Australian research in computational failure mechanics.


Itai Einav
Itai Einav

A/Prof Itai Einav &Dr P Rognon have shared a project with Prof I Vardoulakis (who sadly passed away a few weeks ago) entitled "Shear heating in granular materials: micromechanics of thermal conduction and production"

Summary: Oil, gas and geothermal exploration are amongst the major energy industries in Australia and must be optimised to enable efficient production. These processes are dominated by the transfer of heat through granular soil media. Past research was based on continuum heat flow solutions, but these problems are governed by distinct networks of particle particle contacts and interparticle pore fluids. Heat flow solutions depend on effective terms of thermal conduction, production and convection, but these change with loading. A systematic study must therefore be accomplished to formulate the micromechanics of the effective thermal properties, such that continuum solutions are refined to optimise energy exploration.


Chengwang Lei
Chengwang Lei

John Patterson
John Patterson

A/Prof Chengwang Lei & Prof John Patterson will study "Enhancing natural convection heat transfer using a single horizontal non-metallic fin"

Summary:
This project will develop the basis for a simple design to improve the energy efficiency of natural convection heat exchangers. Heat exchangers are widely adopted in many electronic devices and industrial processes as they require no external power input, additional space, and are quiet, reliable and economical. The research will exploit the interaction between two flows to trigger turbulence, and will result in an increase of the overall capacity and performance of engineering systems. This will contribute significantly to reductions in power consumption and improvements in productivity and work environment, leading ultimately to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and to economic benefits.

Dr Gianluca Ranzi will collaborate with Prof MA Bradford &Dr A Heidarpour from UNSW on "Unified analysis of steel and composite frame structures subjected to static, thermal, earthquake and blast loading"


Gianluca Ranzi
Gianluca Ranzi

Summary: Understanding the science of extreme loading on engineering structures is essential for their design, and increasingly with terrorism threats there is a need for assessment and strengthening of identified vulnerable critical infrastructure. Rational design paradigms have not yet matured for extreme load scenarios, and they are much needed to protect life, limb and amenity. Australian research is at the forefront in steel and composite structures, and this project will strengthen Australia's positioning in the discipline by developing transparent design and assessment procedures from an efficient algorithm that delivers hands on guidance for engineering practitioners.