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  1. ARC Laureate Fellowship (2019-2023): Development of multi-hazard resilient and sustainable infrastructure.

Summary: This project aims to develop next generation construction of multi-hazard resilient structures for the safety and wellbeing of the public, society and economy, as well as structural health monitoring techniques for effective engineering asset management. Sustainable infrastructure development involves the use of green materials to reduce greenhouse gas emission, and new technologies to reduce construction and life-cycle maintenance cost. The project will use new green materials and techniques to prefabricate structural components which can be easily assembled and dismantled to meet the requirement for adaptation to technology advancement, urban planning and climate change. The project will advance the construction practice for sustainable infrastructure development.

Researchers: Prof Hong Hao, Dr Wensu Chen, Dr Xihong Zhang, Dr Thong Pham, Dr Jingde Li, Dr Qingzhao Kong, Mr. Huawei Li


2.  ARC Future Fellowship (2020-2024): Innovative Data Driven Techniques for Structural Condition Monitoring

Summary: Safe and sustainable infrastructure involves the development and application of structural monitoring and assessment techniques for condition evaluation. This project develops an innovative structure condition monitoring approach based on the emerging digital technologies on image processing, data analytics and machine learning techniques, for better infrastructure asset management under operational environment. Expected outcomes of this project enhance the capacity to conduct the operational monitoring and data interpretation to deliver the best life cycle performance of infrastructure. This project should provide significant benefits to Australia in infrastructure asset management by reducing the interruption of infrastructure operations.

Researchers: Associate Prof Jun Li, Mr Gao Fan, Mr Yu Xin, Mr Zhen Peng, Mr Dong Tan


3. ARC Linkage Project (2018-2020): Analysis and design of Interlocking Brick System against Earthquake Loading

Summary: This project aims to develop optimised interlocking bricks to resist static and earthquake loads. Using conventional bricks in masonry construction requires skilled labour to connect bricks with mortar. Development of interlocking bricks for mortarless connection has been attracting great interest because the easy alignment improves construction efficiency and quality. Interlocking also leads to better mechanical performance of the resulting structures. This project will have significant impact on construction technology and the Australian masonry industry, and greatly improve the competitiveness of the Australian construction industry in the international market.

Researchers: Prof Hong Hao, Dr Xihong Zhang


4. ARC Discovery Project (2019-2021): Improved analysis and design of structures to resist blast and impact

Summary: This project aims to develop an improved single-degree-of-freedom (SDOF) model which can be easily used in design analysis by engineers and yield accurate structural response predictions in analysis of structures subjected to blast and impact loads. Current practice uses SDOF models in analysis of structures subjected to blast and impact loads, however many experimental tests and high fidelity numerical simulations have revealed the current SDOF analysis approach does not always lead to accurate structural response predictions. This project will develop an improved SDOF model, which can be easily used in design analysis by engineers and yield accurate structural response predictions. These will lead to more economical designs and robust structures to resist blast and impact loads.

Researchers: Prof Hong Hao, Dr Xihong Zhang


5. ARC Discovery Project (2019-2021): Development of novel inerter-based damper for platform vibration control

Summary: This project aims to develop a novel inerter-based damper to mitigate the excessive vibrations of offshore floating platforms (OFP), which are widely used in the offshore industry for oil exploration. Harsh environmental loads such as wind and waves can induce excessive vibrations to OFPs and endanger their safety and stability. This project aims to develop a novel inerter-based damper that can produce a considerable apparent mass that is much larger than its physical mass through an amplifying mechanism by translating the linear motion into high-speed rotational motion, which can significantly reduce the mass and cost of the damper. Benefits of the project include more economical and safer OFP designs, which are expected to improve the competitiveness of Australian pillar oil and gas industries.

Researchers: Dr Kaiming Bi, Mr Ruisheng Ma


6. ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre (2018-2021): ARC Training Centre for Advanced Technologies in Rail Track Infrastructure

Summary: This Centre aims to transform Australia’s rail construction and maintenance technologies through specialist training of industry-focused researchers. This is to be achieved by close collaboration with companies within the rail supply chain, synergistic interdisciplinary programs promoting novel design approaches, and innovative fabrication of products delivered through advanced manufacturing techniques. The programs will address the key geotechnical challenges inherent in building cost-effective rail infrastructure to meet the future demands of increased operating speeds and axle loads. The outcome will be safe, reliable and cost-effective rail networks that immensely benefit the nation’s transportation, mining and agriculture sectors.

Researchers: Associate Prof. Jun Li, Prof. Hong Hao, Mr. Yue Zhong


7. ARC Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (2018-): New Generation Facility for Impact Testing

Summary: This project aims to develop a new generation, national-impact testing facility to study the impact response of civil and mechanical structures and components. This project expects to seek simultaneous, realistic impact scenarios with very high velocities, which were previously impossible. This will enhance the capability for innovative research on real-time behaviour of components/systems under high amplitude impacts to augment their protection through advanced materials. This project is essential for research on rational design philosophies and effective retrofitting of high-risk buildings, infrastructure and armoured vehicles. Benefits include the saving of lives and property through new knowledge from credible impact testing.

Researcher: Prof Hong Hao


8. ARC Linkage Project (2017-2020): Bridge performance assessment through advanced sensing and modelling

Summary: This project aims to create cyber infrastructure to manage and maintain civil infrastructure, specifically bridges. Current sensor data interpretation approaches are not good at assessing the performance of civil infrastructure or evaluating the reserve capacity; in particular, they do not adequately account for high levels of systematic modelling uncertainties. This project intends to ease the current scientific data interpretation bottleneck. Expected outcomes are better infrastructure management and maintenance planning, fewer redundant interventions, modified infrastructure and improved future design.

Researchers: Associate Prof Jun Li, Prof. Hong Hao, Mr. Yu Xin


9. ARC Discovery Project (2016-2019): Development of Ambient Cured High Performance Fibre Reinforced Geopolymer Composite

Summary: Ambient cured high performance geopolymer composite. The project intends to develop an ambient-cured high-performance, sustainable, fibre-reinforced geopolymer composite for construction. Compared to cement, which is currently used extensively in the construction industry, production of the geopolymer material not only recycles industry wastes which would otherwise end up in landfills, but also consumes less energy and emits significantly less greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The composite is also designed to have a higher strength and deformation ability than cementitious material. The project plans to perform intensive experimental tests to determine the optimal mix for the best performing material, and develop material and numerical models to predict the responses of structures made from the composite when subjected to static and dynamic loads.

Researcher: Prof Hong Hao, Faiz Shaikh, Musaad Zaheer, Tung Thanh Tran


10. ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centres (2016-2020): Training Centre for Advanced Manufacturing of Prefabricated Housing.

Summary: This training centre aims to unlock the potential for growth of Australia’s prefabricated building industry by creating a sustainable training ecosystem including both industry and universities. It seeks to enable the next generation of engineers and architects to apply advanced manufacturing principles to prefabricated modular buildings. This emerging highly trained workforce, driven by the needs of the customer, should identify innovations in the use of advanced materials, designs for manufacturing, and assembly. The centre aims to secure a competitive advantage for Australia in the global value chain leading to local employment growth and increased exports of prefabricated products and services.

Researchers: Prof. Hong Hao, Dr. Wensu Chen, Dr Xihong Zhang, Mr. Andrew Lacey, Ms Yijun Chen,


11. ARC DECRA Project (2016-2018): Development of Sandwich Structures to Mitigate Blast and Impact Loading.

Summary: Innovative sandwich structures are proposed in this project and should lead to better designs for structure and personnel protection. Critical civil infrastructure such as government buildings might be subjected to severe blast/impact loads during their lifetime, which may lead to catastrophic consequences. Therefore, protective techniques are desired to increase the resistance capacity of critical structures against blast/impact loads. The expected outcome is to develop an innovative sandwich structure with new structural forms to mitigate blast/impact loads for better structure and personnel protections.

Researchers: Dr. Wensu Chen, Prof. Hong Hao, Mr. Zhejian Li


12. ARC DECRA Project (2015-2017): Using Sandwich Pipe for Pipeline Vibration Control

Summary: Pipelines are important lifeline structures but are vulnerable to different types of damages. These damages are often associated with pipeline vibrations. Therefore, it is important to control these adverse vibrations to reduce the possible catastrophic damages. This project proposes using sandwich pipe to suppress different sources of vibrations that may be experienced during the lifetime of the pipeline. Analytical, numerical and experimental investigations will be carried out to demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed method. The research results will find direct applications in designing of pipelines to suppress different sources of vibrations and to guarantee the safety of pipelines.

Researchers: Dr Kaiming Bi, Mr Hamid Martin Nikoo


13. ARC Linkage Project (2015-2018): An innovative light weight composite panel system for high speed modular construction

Summary: This project aims to develop an innovative composite panel system using aerated geopolymer and a thin high strength steel casing. The new panel system will have a number of significant enhancements compared to the traditional panels in terms of load resistance, much lower carbon footprint and life-cycle costs. It will offer desirable properties, such as being light-weight, easy to construct, economical, recyclable and reusable. A significant gap in knowledge exists in the material and system behaviour of the aerated geopolymer and its fire performance. A comprehensive research program will be carried out to address those challenges and to provide design guidelines to rapidly progress this technologies in Australia and overseas.

Researchers: Prof. Hong Hao, Associate Prof Jun Li. Yanqiang Cui


14. ARC Discovery Project (2015-2018): Development of Precast Concrete Segmental Columns to Resist Dynamic Loads

Summary: Using precast segmental concrete columns in structures improves the construction efficiency and site safety, leads to better construction quality control, reduces the construction cost, site disruption and environmental impacts. The performance of segmental columns to resist earthquake and blast loads is not well studied yet. As a structure during its service life might subject to such loads, understanding its resistance capacities is essential for structural safety. This project will perform experimental and numerical investigations to study the performance of precast segmental concrete column under earthquake and blast loads, and develop analytical and design methods for applications of such columns in building and bridge structures.

Researchers: Prof Hong Hao, Dr Xihong Zhang, Thong Pham, Bipin Shrestha, Emma Leitner, Mr Chao Li, Mr Tin V. Do


15. ARC Linkage Project (2015-2018): Study of blast resistance capacity of basalt fibre strengthened structures.

Summary: This project plans to investigate the dynamic response of basalt fibre reinforced polymer (BFRP) reinforced structures against blast loading. Critical infrastructures such as embassy buildings, high-rise building, bridges and defence facilities are intensively targeted by increasing terrorist activities or accidental explosions. BFRP is a promising material for such structures because it is cheaper than carbon fibre and has better physico-mechanical properties than glass fibre. However, there has been very limited study of the effectiveness of BFRP strengthening on structure blast-loading resistant capacities. This project aims to perform numerical and experimental studies to support the development of BFRP applications in strengthening structures against blast loads.

Researchers: Dr. Wensu Chen, Prof. Hong Hao, Mr. Cheng Yuan, Dr. Thong Pham


16. ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (2014-2018): Development of a Self-powered Wireless Sensor Network from Renewable Energy for Integrated Structural Health Monitoring and Diagnosis

Summary: The proposed project aims to develop a green and sustainable self-powered wireless sensor network from renewable energy sources, such as wind, sea wave and operational vibrations, for integrated structural health monitoring (SHM) and diagnosis to support infrastructure management. Vibration based energy harvesting techniques will be investigated to power the wireless sensor networks and support the long term condition monitoring. Vibration data from the sensor network will be used for damage detection, performance assessment and safety evaluation of structures. The impact of the project output includes fundamental advances in vibration energy harvesting, wireless sensor network and intelligent SHM strategy for Australian Infrastructure.

Researchers: Associate Prof Jun Li, Prof. Hong Hao, Mr. Xingyu Fan, Mr. Gao Fan


17. ARC Linkage Project (2013-2016): Development of Fuel Storage Tank with Frangible Roof to resist Accidental Explosion Load

Summary: Investigation of fully and partially confined explosions, including High Explosive (HE detonations and fuel/air deflagrations. The main research objective is to study the frangible behaviour of roofs installed on fuel storage tanks in order to mitigate damage caused by accidental gas deflagrations. That is, the frangible roof provides a ventilation which is utilized to reduce the explosion load. As part of this project, a set of field blast tests is planned. As a secondary aim, Francisco is also investigating partially confined chambers subjected to internal HE detonations.

Researchers: Prof Hong Hao, Dr Xihong Zhang, Dr Jingde Li, Francisco JH Prado


18. CSIRO Flagship Project (2013-2016): Response and vulnerability modelling of structural facades and partition walls to resist windborne debris impact.

Summary: This project is to study of the performances of existing structural envelopes (e.g. structural insulated panels, fabric and masonry wall) against windborne debris impacts. The testing results can be used for the assessment of the application feasibility of different structural envelopes in cyclonic or non-cyclonic area. Fragility curves of structural panels, accounting for various uncertainties and random variations of the panel and debris parameters, are generated and used in loss predictions of building structures in extreme wind events. Possible strengthening techniques have also been investigated to increase the impact resistance capacities of the commonly used structural panels.

Researchers: Prof. Hong Hao, Dr. Wensu Chen, Dr. Qingfei Meng