Civil and Structural Engineering (including Building and Construction) is the centre of growth in the Department, and it already plays a vital role in research and in teaching. This discipline brings together the strategic research themes enlisted below. This encompasses research, engineering, and field application activities that also include commercial and industry-funded activities.
A key theme is computer simulation-guided engineering of engineered and natural complex systems with the aim to understand cause and effect chains that control their emergent behaviour. What-If? scenario analysis and experimental design studies are used to detect unwanted side effects of engineering measures prior to implementation. This is supported by high-performance computing and software engineering efforts aimed at creating technology and capabilities for the multi-stakeholder engagement that current civil engineering projects nowadays demand.
Carbon capture and storage
The Peter Cook Centre for Carbon Capture and Storage Research seeks to develop environmentally and socially acceptable, cost effective carbon capture and storage solutions for a carbon constrained world.
Composite structural materials
Bio-inspired composite structures for use in construction.
Engineering project management
Our expertise are in the following areas: public private partnerships; governance in projects; risk management in large infrastructure projects; and lean processes.
Geopolymer and mineral processing
The Geopolymer and Mineral Processing Group studies the formation, molecular structure, and performance properties of novel advanced geopolymeric materials, and in the development of unconventional technology for precious metal extraction.
Indoor air quality
Our research investigates the causes and consequences of exposure to pollutants, with a focus on indoor built environments.
The Porous Media Research Laboratory focuses on the fundamental understanding of soil behaviour and geo-related phenomena, along with other porous materials, energy geotechnics and geophysics.
Life-cycle assessment of bridges
Using reliability-based computational methods to accurately predict future damage from traffic demand and degradation of construction materials.
Prefabricated housing manufacturing
The Centre for Advanced Manufacturing of Prefabricated Housing works with industry partners to deliver breakthrough product and process innovations that will enable the Australian housing industry to compete on a global stage.
Renewable energy and energy efficiency
The energy we consume is impacted by the technologies we use to consume it, and produce it. Our research focusses on the theoretical and practical applications of energy systems and their planning.
Simulation-guided complex systems engineering
Focussing on CO2 geo-sequestration, the Matthai team unravels the complex interplay of sub-surface processes in geological structures by means of novel numerical simulations, simultaneously considering wide-ranging time and length scales from the rock pore to the scale of the earth’s crust.
Structures and materials
We work closely with industry and government organisations in the design, modelling and development of advanced materials and structural systems for construction, infrastructure and defence.
Our research program is focussed on connected vehicle and roadways, autonomous vehicles, connected public transport and city logistics, connected travellers and smart stations. We seek to change the way we travel, create sustainable transport, and work toward more liveable cities.
Unconventional gas recovery
We have made great contributions to clarifying the CO2-ECSG (enhanced coal seam gas recovery) field by identifying CO2 behaviour in deep coal seams in its super-critical state.