Monash Civil Engineering through Monash Infrastructure, a virtual institute that fosters interdisciplinary infrastructure research across the university, has won an Australian Research Council Industrial Transformation Research Hub project on Smart Next Generation Transport Pavements in the latest funding round.
The project was awarded funding of $4,918,357 over five years with additional industry funds amounting to $4m.The ARC Research Hub for Smart Next Generation Transport Pavements aims to make road, airport and dockyard pavements smart, low cost, long-lasting, safe, green and adaptable to future transport demands. Australia’s $250 billion road network, the basic infrastructure upon which the nation depends for its economic and social prosperity, is currently at risk of degradation due to increased passenger and freight traffic, and a scarcity in materials and expertise scarcity. Our roads are currently unprepared to meet these future demands.
The Hub will undertake transformative research for future-proofing the pavement industry and innovating next generation pavements through five main themes, including:
- Innovative materials, modelling and design
- Smart sensing, and construction and maintenance monitoring
- Pavement rehabilitation, environmental footprint minimisation and infrastructure resilience
- Future transport demand adaptation and safety
- Advanced design and construction specification, test methods and smart integrated asset management.
The Hub will deliver new materials and modelling, smart construction, and rehabilitation systems required for future demands, while improving road safety and reducing environmental impact.
Also dubbed ‘SPARC Hub’ (Smart Pavement Australia Research Collaboration), this project is a partnership between several industry organisations, peak bodies and universities both local and international.
Led by Professor Jayantha Kodikara of Monash University, the team includes chief investigators from across Monash, including Professor Jeffrey Walker, Professor Hai Vu, Professor Malek Bouazza, Dr Ha Bui, Dr Ye Lu, Dr Yihai Fang, Dr Xu Yang from Civil Engineering, Professor Chiu Wing Kong from Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Dr Andrey Molotnikov from Materials Science and Engineering, Professor Mark Wallace and Dr David Albrecht from the Faculty of Information Technology and Dr Selby Coxon from the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture.
SPARC Hub also includes 30 investigators from other Australian and international universities, and researchers from ARRB including Chief Research Officer Dr Mike Shackleton. Twenty industry partners are involved, including the Australian Road Research Board (ARRB), EIC Activities and Austroads.
SPARC Hub Director Professor Jayantha Kodikara said, “ SPARC will provide the incubation for industry innovation and skill development for future proofing Australia’s position in the pavement industry.”
“SPARC joins ARC Nanocomm Hub as the second Industry Transformation Research Hub run within Monash Civil Engineering,” said Professor Jeff Walker, Head of the Department of Civil Engineering. “These hubs bring together world-leading researchers, industry and government to address significant challenges facing industrial economies today and into the future.”
Professor Elizabeth Croft, Dean of Engineering, said “SPARC is well positioned to be a major research platform that delivers transformational innovation to the Australian Pavement Industry and generates significant scientific, economic and societal impact.”
“Smart pavements are a critical part of Australia’s connected and automated transport future,” Michael Caltabiano, CEO of ARRB Pty Ltd said. “As the National Transport Research Organisation, ARRB is proud to be a part of the SPARC Hub, delivering next generation pavements to create smarter, safer, greener roads.”
Australian Research Council Industrial Transformation Research Hub project on Smart Next Generation Transport Pavements participants include:
- ARRB Group Ltd
- Austroads Ltd
- CIMIC Group Ltd
- Australian Asphalt Pavement Association
- AustStab Ltd
- Downer EDI Works Ltd
- Pavement Management Services Pty Ltd
- Intelligent Security Integration Australia Pty Ltd
- Melbourne Water
- Department Of Transport and Main Roads; Logan City Council
- Global Synthetics Pty Ltd
- Polyfabrics Australasia Pty Ltd
- Geofabrics Australasia Pty Ltd
- Geoexchange Australia Pty Ltd
- Nantong Ding Feng New Materials Co. Ltd
- Newcrest Mining Ltd
- C.F.C. Holdings Pty Ltd
- Geo-Con Products Pty Ltd
- Monash University
- Swinburne University of Technology
- RMIT University
- Queensland University of Technology
- Curtin University
- University of Sunshine Coast
- The University of New South Wales
- The University of Newcastle
- Tu Delft University of Technology
- The University Of Nottingham
- University Of Pretoria
- North Carolina State University
- Indian Institute of Technology
- The French Institute of Science and Technology for Transport, Spatial Planning, Development and Networks
- The University of Auckland