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Building bridges between research and industry

17 December 2019
University of Sydney further strengthens ties to industry
The University of Sydney has expanded its industrial connections and educational opportunities with two new Professors of Practice appointments in the areas of advanced structural materials and bridge engineering.

The School of Civil Engineering has welcomed two conjoint Professors of Practice into its ranks, as the school moves to bolster industrial connections and educational opportunities.

Head of School Professor Brian Uy said the appointments of Professor Anna Paradowska and Professor Wije ‘Ari’ Ariyaratne would further the school’s commitment to expanding its industrial connections and knowledge base.

“The addition of two Professors of Practice will help to galvanise the School's research collaborations and will reinforce existing partnerships," said Professor Uy.

"Research that is both vital to industry and that benefits the wider community is at the heart of these two appointments."

Strengthening ties to industry

Professor Anna Paradowska

As current Industry Engagement Manager at ANSTO, Professor Paradowska brings a wealth of experience to her new role of Professor of Practice (Advanced Structural Materials) at the University of Sydney.

Her role will focus on strengthening the school’s industrial links and community engagement across a number of areas including residual stress and defect analysis, safety improvements and infrastructural integrity.

Professor Paradowska specialises in residual-stress analysis, with a particular focus on welded structures and advanced manufacturing processes.

She has supported Australian and global industry through the facilitation of long-term collaborations and partnerships with universities, other research organisations, and businesses. She has previously developed partnerships and worked collaboratively with CSIRO, Toyota, Honda, and Boeing.

“I am delighted to be joining the University of Sydney and am looking forward to collaborating with my new colleagues to improve modern manufacturing processes," said Professor Paradowska.

“Manufacturing, transport and structural engineering industries are exploring new techniques in Australia and worldwide.

My work at the University of Sydney will work to develop the next generation of engineers capable of innovating materials and technologies that will pivot these fields into the future.”

Australia’s pre-eminent bridge expert

Professor Wije ‘Ari’ Ariyaratne

Professor Wije ‘Ari’ Ariyaratne has commenced as the first Professor of Practice (Bridge Engineering) in the School of Civil Engineering.

He will develop a Bridge Engineering course for students and will work with the School’s Engagement Committee and Advisory Council to help to foster and strengthen industry engagement.

“I chose bridge engineering as I had, from my childhood days, a passion for bridges because of their function of breaking the barrier of movement of goods and people from place to place," said Professor Ariyaratne.

"A transport network without constraints is a fundamental for our civilisation and industry."

Professor Ariyaratne has completed 50 years’ service as a professional engineer, 47 years of which have been with the Department of Main Roads/Roads and Traffic Authority/Roads and Maritime Services (RMS).

Until his retirement in February 2019, for almost 20 years he worked as the Director of Bridges and Structures. During this period, he was responsible for managing the technical risk of Australia’s oldest and most complex bridge assets, comprising of over 6,000 bridges with a replacement value of about $20 billion.

Among his many achievements, Professor Ariyaratne has pioneered the development of a dedicated bridge load testing facility: the only such facility in Australia that resulted in more than $150 million in revenue being saved during the New South Wales bridge upgrade program of the mid 1990s.

This method is still used to approve travel of heavy vehicles on Transport for NSW road network bridges, which bringing in millions of dollars of revenue to New South Wales.

As a result of his innovations and the effective delivery of infrastructure, in December 2018 Professor Ariyaratne was awarded the prestigious New South Wales Premier’s Award for Infrastructure Delivery.

He also chaired the national committee that reviewed the Bridge Design Code for Australia and New Zealand which was published in March 2017.

Luisa Low

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