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Faculty of Engineering, Architecture & Information Technology

Profile 2010


Contents 1 Introduction 2 Investment in People and Infrastructure 4 Teaching and Learning 6 Teaching Showcase 8 Spotlight on Student Success 10 International Links 11 Graduate Profile 12 Engagement with Industry 14 Commercialisation 15 Research Strengths 18 Spotlight on Research Centres 20 Research Projects 34 Faculty Programs 35 Fast Facts 36 Contacts


“I am delighted to introduce the Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology.”

Introduction I am delighted to introduce the Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology. Established on 1 January 2009, the Faculty brings together some of the world’s leading researchers and teachers in the fields of engineering, architecture, multimedia design and information technology. The Faculty itself may be young but UQ boasts a long history in these areas. UQ appointed its first engineering professor in 1919 and the University commenced its architecture program in 1937. The roots of the current IT programs began in the early 1960s with the Diploma in Automatic Computing. Today, with more than 300 academic and research staff, 500 research higher degree students, and approximately 4500 undergraduate students, the Faculty provides high quality teaching in its disciplines, develops graduates to support industry and conducts fundamental and applied research to meet society’s needs. The Faculty is comprised of five schools and an internationally renowned research centre: > School of Architecture; > School of Chemical Engineering; > School of Civil Engineering; > School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering; > School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering; and > Advanced Water Management Centre. Excellence underpins all of the Faculty’s activities. The highest priority is placed on strengthening our research expertise and teaching performance by attracting and developing the best staff and students. Our dedication to

innovative teaching is reflected in the Faculty’s nationally and internationally recognised staff, programs and high quality graduates. The provision of the highest quality resources and facilities for staff and students is fundamental to the Faculty’s continued growth and success. Our exciting building program, which has seen the construction of new teaching and research facilities throughout the engineering, architecture and information technology precinct, will continue in the years ahead with a $130 million state-of-the-art Advanced Engineering Building due for completion in 2012. We have an increasing emphasis on engagement with external stakeholders, including industry, government, our graduates, future students and the community. Many of our priorities align with those of industry, which have resulted in a number of strategic partnerships that have supported the creation of new study programs, the development of key infrastructure and work-based learning initiatives. We value the diversity of our staff and students and are committed to increasing the number and participation of women, disadvantaged and minority groups in our students and staff. Sustainability is a key focus for the Faculty and is reflected in our association with Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Australia. This profile gives an introduction to the Faculty and provides a snapshot of the leading-edge research and the teaching activities being conducted across our disciplines. Professor Graham Schaffer Executive Dean

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Investment in people and infrastructure The Faculty invests significant resources in attracting and retaining the best staff and students, and ensuring they are provided with appropriate infrastructure and support for their work and study. We now count within our ranks: > Eighteen ARC Fellows, including three Australian Professorial Fellows > Eight Fellows of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering > Two Members of the Order of Australia > One recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Individual University Teacher of the Year > The Young Queenslander of the Year 2010 The high student demand and lower than average attrition rates within our undergraduate programs reflect the quality of our teaching and learning initiatives. The Bachelor of Engineering program is the leading engineering degree in Queensland, with almost 1000 high quality students enrolling in first year. Our approach to teaching and learning balances theoretical knowledge with practical skills to ensure the Faculty’s graduates have excellent career opportunities.

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EAIT FACULTY PROFILE 2010

The Faculty provides the highest quality learning and working environments for its students and staff to ensure they are supported with resources which facilitate the finest educational experience and provide a strong foundation for research. An unprecedented investment in building and refurbishment has seen upgrades to much of the Faculty’s precinct over the last two years and this will continue in the years ahead. The building program’s centrepiece is the $130 million Advanced Engineering Building (AEB) which is due to be completed in 2012 and will house the Centre for Advanced Materials Processing and Manufacturing (AMPAM), Civil Engineering and the new Centre for Innovation in Engineering Education (ICE2). Collaboration between staff and students within the building will transform engineering education and position the University’s engineering programs at the forefront of international teaching and learning. The Advanced Engineering Building will enable the University to: > Integrate learning and discovery in an area of national importance;


mid-2010 on the Building work will commence in Building $130 million Advanced Engineering

> Integrate currently independent research in materials and manufacturing; > Embed a research experience in the undergraduate program; > Enable extension and deployment of leading engineering education pedagogies; and > Provide innovative spaces and blended learning laboratories for engineering students. Large increases in undergraduate student numbers have also driven the development of new learning centres and computer laboratories, renovated classrooms, teaching laboratories and extra office space for academics and postgraduates.

The Faculty provides the highest quality learning and working environments for its students and staff to ensure they are supported with resources which facilitate the finest educational experience and provide a strong foundation for research.

> Learning Centres for Chemical Engineering students, First Year Engineering students, and a Mechanical and Civil Engineering Learning Centre; > A Bioengineering Teaching Laboratory; > A Power Engineering Laboratory; > A Metallurgical Engineering Research Laboratory; > A Hydrogen Laboratory; > A new technology-enabled active learning classroom for Electrical Engineering students, to accommodate hands-on and collaborative learning activities; > A Mining Engineering Computer Laboratory; > Aboriginal Environments Research Centre offices; and

In addition to the Advanced Engineering Building, building projects include:

> Dedicated Architecture studios for each student year level.

> A new floor on the Mansergh Shaw building to accommodate the Queensland Geothermal Energy Centre of Excellence;

The Faculty is a dynamic environment and actively seeks opportunities for investment in its people and infrastructure in order to enhance the outcomes of its research and teaching.

> Lihir Gold Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Laboratory;

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Teaching and Learning The Faculty’s coursework degree programs in architecture, engineering, multimedia design and information technology are experiencing strong growth with increasing domestic and international student enrolments. Many of our teaching staff are national and international leaders in teaching, curriculum development and scholarship of teaching and learning, winning competitive teaching awards and grants for teaching and learning innovation and development.

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EAIT FACULTY PROFILE 2010

> Professor Ian Cameron, from the School of Chemical Engineering, is a past recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Individual University Teacher of the Year, and has recently completed a Carrick Senior Fellowship in Engineering Education and is now undertaking further work as the Engineering and ICT Discipline Scholar with the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC). > Professor Paul Memmott from the School of Architecture was recently acknowledged for teaching excellence by the ALTC, winning the Neville Bonner Award for Indigenous Education. > Professor Tapan Saha from the School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering and Dr Mehmet Kizil of the School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering have recently been recognised with ALTC national citations for outstanding contributions to student learning in the areas of power engineering and mining engineering, respectively. > Director of First Year Engineering Associate Professor Lydia Kavanagh and Dr David Carrington from the School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering have been recognised with UQ Awards for Teaching Excellence. Our commitment to enriching the student experience is also evident with Faculty education programs recently receiving UQ Awards for Programs That Enhance Learning.


Image by: Peter Tran

> A team led by Dr Mehmet Kizil was recognised for their contribution in developing the Mining Education Australia program, a collaborative education venture between UQ, The University of New South Wales, The University of Adelaide and Curtin University of Technology. > UQ Engineering was acknowledged as leading Australia in the introduction of the Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Design Challenge into first year coursework. UQ Engineering continues to work with EWB on this important initiative in which undergraduates investigate and recommend engineering technologies and designs appropriate to real needs. To further enhance and support the Faculty’s leading educational initiatives, a number of teaching-focused academic appointments have been made. These include the appointment of Associate Professor Lydia Kavanagh as Director of First Year Engineering and Associate Professor Carl Reidsema, who is a specialist in engineering and design education. Engagement with industry and support for student learning and activities from employers is growing. The Faculty now offers industry-sponsored undergraduate scholarships that, in total, are worth over $500,000 per year. With the Faculty’s support, our students and graduates are excelling in their academic and extra-curricular achievements. Recent highlights include: > University medallist and Chemical and Biological Engineering graduate Katie Quinn won a General Sir John Monash Award for 2009;

> University medallist and Civil Engineering graduate Joseph Gattas won a General Sir John Monash Award for 2010; > PhD students Michael Heitzmann, Alex Ng and Benjamin Lindenberger won the inaugural Airbus “Fly Your Ideas” challenge at the Paris-Le Bourget Air Show in France; > Bachelor of Engineering student Yassmin Abdel-Magied won the 2010 Young Queenslander of the Year award; > Engineering students Rima Gupte and Yasmin AbdelMagied attended the “Women Engineers: Working in a Changing Global Climate” summer school at the International Institute of Women in Engineering in Paris, France; > An interactive learning tool developed by UQ Multimedia Design postgraduate students received first place in the student category of the prestigious Australian Computer Society (ACS) Queensland ICT Awards; > Architecture students Nicholas Flutter and Zuzana Kovar won awards in the Colorbond Steel Student Biennale, Australia’s foremost design competition for students; and > Materials Engineering student Samantha Passmore was selected to represent UQ at the Universitas 21 undergraduate student research conference in Glasgow, Scotland. Looking to the future, we will continue to deliver worldclass teaching and learning programs to ensure that our students are provided with a strong foundation to take leading roles in their chosen fields.

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“Our dedication to innovative teaching is reflected in the Faculty’s nationally and internationally recognised staff, programs and high quality graduates.” - Professor Graham Schaffer

Associate Professor Kavanagh won a UQ Award for Excellence In Teaching and is part of a team that won an Award for Programs That Enhance Learning in 2009

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EAIT FACULTY FACULTY PROFILE PROFILE2010 2010


Teaching Showcase Associate Professor Lydia Kavanagh

Professor Ian Cameron

First Year Engineering

Chemical Engineering

Associate Professor Kavanagh has been instrumental in the design and implementation of significant curriculum developments. Courses in the newly emerging area of product design deal not only with technical aspects of product development but also examine business development, marketing and entrepreneurship. Bringing together chemical engineering, mechanical engineering and journalism students has introduced multidisciplinary work into engineering courses and has been nationally recognised as best practice.

Professor Ian Cameron’s teaching spans all levels of undergraduate and postgraduate education and he is impressive in his versatility and ability to successfully address a variety of student needs. He is actively engaged in developing new initiatives related to on-site industrial learning and the use of virtual reality systems. Professor Cameron was the driving force behind the development of VirtualPlant, which takes students behind the scenes, virtually, at the BP Bulwer Island refinery. This program is now being used across several Australian chemical engineering programs. Professor Cameron is a previous winner of the Prime Minister’s Australian Award for Individual University Teacher of the Year; Senior Carrick Fellow and Engineering Discipline Scholar with the Australian Government.

The PETS (Proactively Ensuring Team Success) process which Associate Professor Kavanagh developed to more effectively support and manage student teams operates within project centred courses. The process includes purposeful team allocation, in-semester mentoring and peer assessment as formative feedback. Associate Professor Kavanagh has presented several successful workshops and leads a significant national Australian Learning and Teaching Council project on the process. She has formed a cross-campus, cross-institution steering group which has strengthened the development and affords the opportunity for further joint international projects and benchmarking. Her approaches to teamwork and team-based assessment have been widely acclaimed.

Professor Cameron was instrumental in the development and implementation of a team-taught, project-centred chemical engineering curriculum which has excited national and international interest from engineering educators and won an Australian Award for Programs that Enhance Learning. Courses he teaches are used worldwide, as is his textbook on process modelling and analysis.

Associate Professor Peter Sutton Computer Systems Associate Professor Peter Sutton has been involved in the coordination, assessment design and management of large undergraduate classes in Computer Systems since 2002. Students hold Associate Professor Sutton in high regard, commenting on the outstanding organisation of his courses, his enthusiasm, dedication and the exceptional level of support he offers, especially through his extensive use of technology to provide timely assessment feedback. Associate Professor Sutton is a past winner of the national Carrick Award for Teaching Excellence. Colleagues acknowledge that Associate Professor Sutton has had a major impact through the quality of his teaching and through his enthusiastic adoption of technology not only in the classroom but also in support of teaching administration. Several computer-based resources developed by Associate Professor Sutton are now widely used and greatly simplify the lives of students, supervisors and course coordinators. He has also been instrumental in developing new technology enabled active learning classrooms. Students from throughout the Faculty have opportunities

Associate Professor Peter Sutton was instrumental in the development of the new Axon Learning Lab.

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Spotlight on Student Success to take part in a range of extra curricular activities that build their knowledge, skills and creativity. Participation by students in societies, competitions, industry visits, internships and other professional development activities has resulted in many impressive achievements.

Bright future for structural engineering

Multimedia Design win easy as ABC

Mr Gattas will use his award to pursue a Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering Science at Oxford University. He will focus his studies on the design of low-cost deployable structures which can easily be dismantled, transported and erected in any location.

An interactive learning tool developed by UQ postgraduate Multimedia Design students received first place in the student category of the prestigious Australian Computer Society (ACS) Queensland ICT Awards in 2009. The ACS ICT Student Project Award recognises a secondary or tertiary student project which emphasises practical demonstration of ICT skills and applications. Team members Lilys Thamrin, Diem Phuong, Hoomie Hung, Melody Co and Zunnarain Zaini won the award for their iMage table, an innovative educational tool for prep-school children. Constructed using a child’s table, the iMage table’s surface comes to life with colourful animations and sounds when a plastic number or letter is placed over one of the sensors located beneath the table surface. Group member Lilys Thamrin, who has now completed a Master of Interaction Design, said the iMage table was designed for children to learn independently in their own time and at their own pace. “It’s an educational tool which facilitates visual and auditory recognition of letters and numbers, including the simulation of adding two numbers,” Ms Thamrin said. “The concept merges the physical and digital worlds by having real plastic numbers and letters that children can easily recognise and then turning these into graphical animation triggers on a table surface.

“We wanted to demonstrate that composite materials made entirely with castor plant fibre can reduce the aircraft carbon footprint and enhance environmental protection.” 8

EAIT FACULTY PROFILE 2010

Civil Engineering graduate Joseph Gattas is one of eight Australians to receive a General Sir John Monash Award for 2010 which recognise academic excellence, leadership and community service.

Mr Gattas said he hoped his research would help communities which had been affected by natural disasters. “For me, the difficulties of relocating families following Australia’s recent bushfires and floods highlighted the shortcomings of currently available post-disaster infrastructure,” Mr Gattas said. “I hope to study and develop deployable technologies with the ultimate aim of creating an emergency housing system that could be used in Australia as temporary housing in the wake of natural disasters.”

Top of the world in Airbus Competition A team of UQ postgraduate Engineering students won the inaugural Airbus “Fly Your Ideas” challenge at the 2009 Paris-Le Bourget Air Show in France. The COz team won for its project investigating the use of the castor plant in the first-ever single plant-based high performance composite materials for aircraft cabin components. The goal was to reduce dependency on non-renewable sources and improve end-of-life disposal thus contributing to a reduction of aviation carbon footprint. They conducted a comprehensive feasibility analysis entailing fibre production and testing, demonstrating very encouraging mechanical and environmental properties. “We wanted to demonstrate that composite materials made entirely with castor plant fibre can reduce the aircraft carbon footprint and enhance environmental protection,” team leader Michael Heitzmann said.


The students were congratulated at the ceremony, at Le Bourget, by Tom Enders, President and Chief Executive Officer of Airbus, who awarded the $30,000 prize to the winning team. UQ Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Greenfield, praised the team members as leading examples of UQ’s research higher degree program, which is “the engine room of research”. “They have combined original ideas with high-quality research practice, and delivered an outcome that has both industry relevance and the potential to address a

global sustainability challenge,” Professor Greenfield said. “Their success highlights the value of UQ’s expanding PhD program, where students are urged to work at the cutting edge of innovation, and are frequently encouraged to consider problems that communities would like to overcome.” Airbus has also taken out a provisional patent on the winning idea with the students’ names as inventers and entitling The University of Queensland to conduct further research for publication.

The team of UQ Engineering students who won the inaugural Airbus “Fly Your Ideas” challenge.

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Internationalisation Architecture, engineering and information technology are global professions. The Faculty is developing and strengthening relationships with key international partners to progress research and offer students a growing range of international mobility options and opportunities. The Faculty aims to provide students with international experiences enabling them to: > Prepare for a career which can take them anywhere in the world; > Gain an international perspective on their profession; > Study courses that are not offered at UQ; > Adapt to a foreign environment and gain independence and self-confidence; > Develop or improve foreign language skills; and > Gain knowledge of other cultures and develop international contacts and networks.

dent Maye Walraven

UQ Engineering stu

agreement gn si ls oo h sc g n ri ee n gi n UQ and French E In a first for Australian engineering education, UQ Engineering students now have the opportunity to complete two internationally recognised degrees simultaneously during the course of their studies. An agreement between the Faculty and the Écoles Centrales in France will see outstanding Engineering students from both countries participating in a unique double degree program. Representing five of France’s elite Grandes Écoles, the Engineering schools in the Écoles Centrales group offer world-class facilities with

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campuses in Lille, Lyon, Nantes, Marseille and Paris. The Écoles Centrales have a strong industry focus and participate in partnerships with international companies such as Airbus and Renault. In addition, the schools take a multi-disciplinary approach to their engineering education to produce engineers of a high scientific and technical level with global perspectives. UQ students will spend the first two years of their undergraduate program at UQ before studying for two years in France and then returning to Queensland for a further two years to complete their Masters studies.

EAIT FACULTY PROFILE 2010

trale Paris

(right) at École Cen

At the end of their six years of study, the Australian students will be awarded a Bachelor of Engineering and Master of Engineering from UQ and a Diplôme d’Ingénieur from the French institution. The degrees awarded to the students are of the highest international standards and will enable them to work anywhere in the world.


Else Shepherd wa

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Graduate profile UQ Alumnus of the Year 2009 Powerlink Chair and the first woman to graduate from Electrical Engineering at UQ, Else Shepherd AM, was the University’s Alumnus of the Year for 2009. Ms Shepherd was inspired to pursue a career in engineering by the 1957 launch of the Russian satellite Sputnik. After attending Brisbane Girls’ Grammar School, she began studying Electrical Engineering at UQ from 1962, graduating in 1965. Ms Shepherd married and lived in Mackay for the next 18 years, working at the Sugar Research Institute as an operation research engineer for 10 years and raising two children. By the end of 1983, she moved back to Brisbane and in 1986, formed Mosaic Information Technology, a company specialising in the design and manufacture of telecommunications products, particularly customdesigned modems. In 2002, she co-developed a new company, Microwave & Materials Designs, specialising in microwave filters for mobile phones. In 1994, Ms Shepherd was appointed to her current position as Chair of Powerlink which owns, develops, operates and maintains Queensland’s $3 billion, 1700km high-voltage electricity transmission network. Ms Shepherd is a firm believer in workplace flexibility, having worked while raising her two children at a time

when married women with children in the workplace were generally frowned upon by Australian society. For her contributions to engineering, education and the electricity generating industry, Ms Shepherd was appointed a Member in the General Division of the 2003 Queen’s Birthday Honours List. Ms Shepherd continues to contribute to the University in her capacity as Chair of the Executive Dean’s Strategic Development Council. As a member of Engineers Australia’s Accreditation and National Industry Liaison Board, Ms Shepherd is keen to see increasing public awareness of the role engineers play in society. She sees interdisciplinary collaboration, for example the early take-up by engineering professionals of recent developments in quantum physics and materials science, as an opportunity to enhance the standing and contribution of the profession. She also sits on the National Electricity Market Management Company (NEMMCO) Board, the Brisbane City Works Advisory Board and the International Electrotechnical Commission Council Board. Ms Shepherd’s attachment to The University of Queensland is strong. Her father, Professor Otto Budtz-Olsen, was Head of the Physiology Department for many years, while her mother, Molly Budtz-Olsen, was Principal of Women’s College and a member of the University Senate.

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Our reputation for quality research has enabled us to achieve major grant success and one of the best records for industry collaboration in the country.

ing Chair in Min ishi Alliance ights Kn r te BHP Mitsub Pe r Professo Engineering

Externally funded Chairs in the Faculty include: > BHP Mitsubishi Alliance Chair in Minerals Processing > BHP Mitsubishi Alliance Chair in Mining Engineering > CRC Mining Chair in Mining Engineering > Defence, Science and Technology Organisation Chair in Hypersonics > Golder Associates Chair in Geomechanics > P&H Mining Equipment Inc Chair in Mechatronic Engineering > Powerlink Chair in Electricity Transmission > Queensland Government Department of Main Roads Chair in Civil Engineering > Queensland Government (Departments including Main Roads, Queensland Transport and Queensland Rail) Chair in Transport Futures > Xstrata Chair in Metallurgical Engineering

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EAIT FACULTY PROFILE 2010

Engagement with Industry UQ partners with power industry for new Chair A new partnership between The University of Queensland, the Australian Power Institute (API) and Powerlink Queensland is set to energise the future of the State’s power sector. The initiative will fund a Chair in Electricity Transmission to support the existing research and teaching partnerships between the power industry and UQ. UQ Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Greenfield welcomed the commitment by API and Powerlink, which will ensure that the industry benefits from both a supply of high quality specialist graduates and new technologies to improve its sustainability. The Chair will maintain a close relationship with the Australian and Queensland power industries to remain responsive to the sector’s technology development and research needs. Powerlink Queensland’s Chief Operating Officer and current Chair of the API, Simon Bartlett, said that Powerlink and the API recognised the need for senior academic leadership to attract, inspire and retain the top academics in the field and foster research opportunities in partnership with industry. “We believe it is imperative for us to take an active role in ensuring our most promising engineering students receive the highest quality education, and that our tertiary education curriculum is keeping pace with the power industry’s needs,” he said. “The establishment of the Australian Chair in Electricity Transmission at The University of Queensland will help us to achieve this goal at a critical time for the industry in Queensland and in Australia as a whole.” Group leader, Professor Tapan Saha from the School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, said the new partnership would equip graduates with the skills required by the power industry.


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“Tomorrow’s power engineers will need to be trained in specific areas such as power system economics, transmission pricing, congestion management, security of supply, power system dynamics and the integration of renewable energy,” he said. “The Chair will play a central role in developing and leading teaching and research programs in these areas, as well as collaborating with industry and other universities to ensure that UQ power engineering graduates meet industry requirements.”

UQ-industry partnerships reignite Metallurgical Engineering UQ has partnered with industry to reinvigorate the University’s metallurgical engineering teaching and research profile. Support from Xstrata and BHP Mitsubishi Alliance has enabled UQ to increase the number of Metallurgical Engineering students, build a solid team of academic staff, revamp vital facilities and become an international leader in metallurgical engineering teaching and research. Programs for high school students have been created to develop student interest in the study of metallurgical engineering and these are backed up by professional development programs for secondary school teachers, who are key influencers in student tertiary study choices. Today more than 80 engineering students are completing a major in Metallurgical Engineering as a part of their degree, which is the highest number of metallurgy students at the University in more than 30 years.

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Matching learning with experience The Professional Engineering Placement Scholarship (PEPS) and Professional Information Technology Placement Scholarship (PIPS) are work based learning programs that allow final year UQ Engineering and Information Technology students to spend up to six months in industry while still gaining full academic credit. Students usually undertake vacation work with the industry partner, government agency or research organisation during the summer holidays prior to commencement of their PEPS/PIPS placement, which runs from February to June. The placement sees students work full time in industry for 16 weeks and during this time they complete a project proposed by the industry partner, either a major investigation or research project or a significant design task that integrates technical, commercial and other factors including risk and project management. The industry partner benefits from the project work and other tasks performed by the student during the program and PEPS/PIPS provides an authentic experience of professional practice for the student. Examples of previous projects include: > Designing and implementing a brake testing system for coal trucks; > Assessment of air conditioner loads; > Optimisation of screw press for oil palm nuts; > Brisbane CBD noise map development; and > Extending an electronic tagging system for cattle.

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Commercialisation The University of Queensland is highly regarded in Australia and internationally for its many commercialisation successes across various fields of research and for its longstanding and productive research partnerships with industry. The Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology has been one of the leading

Dr Richard Harris and Mr Peter Brooks of Fultec Semiconductor

sources of this commercially oriented research and development. In partnership with UniQuest Pty Limited, the main commercialisation arm of the University, the Faculty has developed many novel and relevant technologies which are meeting industry needs. Examples of successful start up companies from the Faculty are:

Searching for images using Imprezzeo

Fultec Semiconductor

Imprezzeo

Hydrexia

As a student in the School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Dr Richard Harris developed a revolutionary new surge protection technology. In 2001 Fultec Pty Ltd was set up by UniQuest to seek investment and develop this technology to a fully commercial product. In 2004, as Fultec Semiconductor, Inc. it transferred to California and in 2008 was acquired by Bourns, Inc., one of the world’s largest companies in the surge protection industry. The company offers a range of Transient Blocking Units to the market based on Dr Harris’s original discovery.

Imprezzeo is an image-based search technology company. Its technology allows users to search for images using other images as examples rather than textual search terms. Those images might be scenes, landmarks, objects, graphics, people or even personalities. Irrespective of the size of the collection, Imprezzeo Image Search helps to quickly locate the image sought. Imprezzeo’s core technologies were developed in UQ’s School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering and at the University of Wollongong. International media group Independent News & Media has invested in the start-up.

Hydrexia Pty Ltd is a start-up company founded in 2006 to commercialise fundamental research undertaken by Dr Kazuhiro Nogita and Professor Arne Dahle of the School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering. Hydrexia is developing hydrogen storage systems based on proprietary magnesium hydrides and is initially targeting several current and emerging hydrogen applications, including:

www.bourns.com

www.imprezzeo.com

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Hydrexia Pty Ltd CEO Jeffrey Ng

EAIT FACULTY PROFILE 2010

> Large-scale, industrial hydrogen storage; > Transport fuelling storage; and > Storage for hydrogen fuel cell back-up, remote area and telecoms power. www.hydrexia.com


Research Strengths Architecture UQ Architecture research is improving the quality of the built environment through the study of design quality issues, areas of Indigenous environments, sustainability, and urban design and management. UQ’s School of Architecture houses three research centres and groups: > Aboriginal Environments Research Centre (AERC) > Architecture Theory Criticism History Research Group (ATCH) > Centre for Sustainable Design (CSD) The Aboriginal Environments Research Centre has changed commonly held beliefs about the nature of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander uses of space, showing the sophistication and richness of Indigenous environments and how this knowledge affects current issues. Researchers from the Architectural Theory Criticism History Research Group examine how 17th and 18th century debates colour our understanding of current architectural capacities.

Biomedical and Biological Engineering Increasing and ageing populations, the rise in obesityrelated illness and the threat of new and fast moving disease, including pandemics, are driving innovation in the area of biomedical and biological engineering. To meet these challenges, researchers are working in areas as diverse as designing better drug-delivery technologies, improving medical diagnostic systems and developing systems for effective tissue regeneration and cell expansion.

Biomedical and Biological Engineering research at UQ is combining biological sciences with engineering technology to improve future healthcare for a global community. Research is conducted in: > Biomedical engineering > Biological engineering > Medical biotechnology

Energy and Power The world is seeking sustainable energy solutions to the growing and complex needs of industry, government and communities of all types. This energy will need to be produced in environmentally and socially responsible ways, including dealing with greenhouse gas emissions, and it must be economically distributed to all areas of society. In rising to the energy challenge, UQ Energy and Power research is developing new sources of energy and designing the distribution systems for their integration into the main electricity grid. Research is conducted in: > Geothermal energy > Power and energy systems > Hydrogen production and storage > Fuel cells > Coal mining, thermodynamics, cleaning, above and below ground gasification, coal bed methane, separation, geosequestration

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Intelligent Systems Intelligent systems bring the power of computing technology into our daily lives and business practices. Intelligent systems allow machines and devices to anticipate user requirements and respond to the challenges of complex, changing and unpredictable environments. Comprising sensors, software and computers embedded in machines and devices, these technologies emulate and enhance the human ability to perceive, reason and make decisions. Researchers are developing advanced computing techniques and products that address practical problems requiring intelligence and the integration of diverse capabilities. Research is conducted in: > Computational sciences > Data and knowledge engineering > eResearch > Thinking systems > Ubiquitous computing > Security and surveillance

Hypersonics Hypersonics, the study of velocities greater than five times the speed of sound, includes the development of highspeed atmospheric transport as well as access to and return from space and planetary exploration. The potential social, economic and strategic benefits of these systems are enormous, including cheaper and easier deployment of satellites for communications and remote sensing.

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EAIT FACULTY PROFILE 2010

The Faculty is at the forefront of international research into more economical, safer and faster flights into the upper atmosphere and space, with smaller and lighter craft. In particular, research is undertaken in hypersonic airbreathing propulsion (scramjet) and re-entry flow physics. Research is conducted in: > Scramjet R&D > Re-entry test and capsule design > Flight and laboratory testing > Super-orbital facility development > Computational fluid dynamics > Rarefied gas dynamics > Diagnostic methods for laboratory testing

Materials Engineering Materials developments are among the greatest achievements of every age and are central to the growth, prosperity, security and quality of human life. It is materials that open new horizons for product design and technologies to underpin the solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges from the molecular to the global. Researchers are investigating new materials in a diverse range of areas including health, aerospace, automotive, mining, electronics, energy and sustainability.


Research is conducted in: > Light metals > Nanomaterials > Sustainable polymers and processing > Materials characterisation, rheology, processing and simulation > Biomedical polymers > Stimuli-responsive smart biomaterials > Adsorption and membrane materials > Food, soft materials and multiphase fluids > Composite materials and coatings

Mining and Minerals Technology Australia’s mining and minerals sector is one of the top five producers of most of the world’s key mineral commodities and is tightly linked to the nation’s prosperity.

> Sustainable mining > Metallurgical engineering > Mine planning, mineral and energy economics > Mining asset management > Virtual reality in mining > Smart machines and smart systems technology

Water Engineering Water is an essential and often limiting resource for population development, manufacturing, agriculture and mining operations. Effective management of water, rivers and coasts and the associated infrastructure are absolutely critical for the sustainability of our population and lifestyle. Research is conducted in:

The future of this important industry relies on the sustainable use of resources, effective environmental management and improved mining health and safety.

> Hydraulic engineering

EAIT researchers are developing innovative technologies and solutions to the technical challenges facing the global mining and minerals industry.

> Catchment hydrology

> Coastal and estuarine engineering > Groundwater hydraulics > Wastewater treatment > Water management

Research is conducted in > Minerals processing > Automation of mining equipment

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dent Yan

PhD stu AWMC

Spotlight on Research centres Many of the Faculty’s staff are associated with research institutes, centres and groups. These specialist academic groupings draw together expertise from around the world to drive research innovation and deliver benefits to industry and society. UQ’s Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI) and the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) are recognised as world-leading centres of excellence within their fields. The Faculty has also developed strong links with other research institutions, government and industry through staff participation in Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs) and National Research Centres. High profile examples are the prestigious ARC Centre of Excellence for Functional Nanomaterials, the ARC Centre of Excellence for Design in Light Metals, CRCMining and CAST CRC.

and informatics. This unique combination offers exciting opportunities for the development and application of userspecific solutions to challenging environmental problems. The AWMC has a vast expertise base in its research team with 40 academic and research staff and more than 40 research students. The AWMC has an outstanding track record of successful research, development and application projects currently worth almost $9 million per annum, many in close collaboration with industry and international partners.

Queensland Centre for Advanced Materials Processing and Manufacturing (AMPAM) The AMPAM Centre provides a focus for the University’s materials engineering and manufacturing activities, and those of its partners the CAST CRC, CRC for Advanced Composite Structures, CRC Polymers, the Defence Materials Technology Centre, the ARC Centre of Excellence for Design in Light Metals and QMI Solutions. AMPAM will work closely with manufacturing companies to assist them to improve their national and international competitiveness by jointly creating improved process technology and new business opportunities.

Centre for Coal Energy Technology (CCETech)

Advanced Water Management Centre

The University of Queensland has a significant number of engineers and scientists working in clean energy delivery, including a large concentration of internationally recognised researchers in low emission coal technology.

EAIT FACULTY PROFILE 2010

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A selection of research centres housed within the Faculty are highlighted in the following pages.

The Advanced Water Management Centre (AWMC) is an international centre of excellence in innovative water technology and management. Over the last 14 years, the AWMC has developed leading expertise in education, research and consulting. Its particular strength is the close integration of biological science, process engineering

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CCETech integrates and leverages UQ’s research capabilities in the context of coal energy and low emission technology. Over 20 leading academics and their


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Pyrometallurgical Research Centre (PYROSEARCH) associated research teams are assembled in the Centre to deliver the technical solutions required in a de-carbonised economy. CCETech has three research programs: > Novel Clean Coal Processing Technologies; > Gas Cleaning/Separation/Reaction; and > Modelling/Simulation/Control.

Centre for Medical Diagnostic Technologies (MedTeQ) The goal of the Centre for Medical Diagnostic Technologies in Queensland (MedTeQ) is to enhance the development of Queensland innovations in medical diagnostic technologies. MedTeQ, a centre within the School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering (ITEE), will permit the closer alignment of leading world class academic research with clinical researchers in a range of disciplines. MedTeQ has two broad aims; firstly to improve health care and efficiency through enhanced diagnostic systems and alternate modes of care delivery, particularly for select cancer and cardiopulmonary diseases, and secondly to generate innovative diagnostic devices and systems.

Aboriginal Environments Research Centre The Aboriginal Environments Research Centre (AERC) is a multidisciplinary centre for research and teaching into the culture, environment and architecture of Australian Indigenous peoples. Its staff and postgraduate students also work on numerous consulting projects for government and non-government agencies and organisations. The Centre maintains a substantial collection of research material, including literature, images and sound recordings.

The Pyrometallurgy Research Centre undertakes research for the minerals industry in the areas of high temperature processing of non-ferrous and ferrous metals, smelting and refining, and coal utilisation. The research strengths of the PYROSEARCH Centre are in the fields of: > Chemical thermodynamics and phase equilibria in high temperature metallurgical systems; > Physico-chemical properties of slags; and > Reaction kinetics and mechanisms in metallurgical systems. PYROSEARCH has particular expertise in the experimental determination of phase equilibria in complex slag systems relevant to industrial practice and in the development of the FactSage chemical thermodynamic databases and software.

Queensland Geothermal Energy Centre of Excellence The Queensland Geothermal Energy Centre of Excellence (QGECE) conducts research relevant to the development of deep geothermal resources in South Australia and Queensland. Key foci for research include: > New power conversion equipment for supercritical cycles and new cycle fluids to substantially increase electricity generation from Australian geothermal resources; > Efficient and cost-effective natural draft dry cooling tower and heat exchanger technologies for geothermal and solar thermal power plants; > Long-distance electricity transmission and power network modelling to resolve issues caused by the distance of Australian geothermal resources from the national grid; and > New techniques to explore deep geothermal resources by analysing surface alterations and surface water geochemistry. The QGECE is working with other national and international research groups to address all challenges that need to be overcome before deep geothermal energy becomes a proven commercial reality.

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Research Projects

Research Projects There are hundreds of research projects being conducted in the Faculty at any given time. The following pages contain a snapshot of some current projects across our range of disciplines.

A breakthrough in renewable energy materials Associate Professor Lianzhou Wang Photocatalysis is an important chemical process which underpins the development of renewable energy technologies critical to alleviating currently environmental problems and improving industrial processes. Photocatalytic technologies include water and air purification, production of hydrogen from water, self-cleaning coatings and highly efficient solar cells. A team led by Associate Professor Lianzhou Wang from the School of Chemical Engineering, and Professor Max Lu from the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, is generating new photocatalysts with high light adsorption and activity. They have recently developed an innovative technology that, when applied to the solar hydrogen production and water/air purification industries, increased efficiency and reduced chemical usage. The new technology involved developing novel modification techniques for titanium dioxide based photocatalysts, understanding the nanostructure, charge generation and charge transfer mechanism, and understanding the fundamental relationships between synthesis and modification parameters, mesostructure and electronic structure, photoactivation process and photocatalytic activity. Known as Lightanate, the new photocatalytic material can be manufactured in various forms. For example, granular particles can be dispersed in fluid or air and it can be used as a thin layer over glass or

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Associate Professor Lianzhou Wang

ceramic. Importantly, some of these material forms are more efficient at harvesting light and more effective as a photocatalyst than the current industrial benchmarks. The technology is the basis of a new start-up company, Lightanate Pty Ltd, which has secured investment to develop the titanium-based technologies with applications

including solar energy and water treatment. The company is now working closely with two industrial partners in testing the products for organic pollutant removal for industry wastewater treatment and low-cost high efficiency solar cells. It is expected that innovative enabling technologies for the water and photovoltaic industries will be developed in the coming years.


Research Projects

Assessing the impact of water stress on ecosystems Professor David Lockington

As in many parts of the world, Australia is experiencing rapid development of the coastal zone with human settlement and agriculture dramatically modifying the landscape. Local and regional waterways, soils and aquifers, and their associated ecosystems (including important breeding and life-stage critical habitats) are all being negatively impacted. The coastal zone is also threatened by climate change. Effective management of this development requires the ability to forecast or analyse a wide range of possible options and environmental consequences. As development changes the amount and flow of water in coastal systems, due to climate and land use change, as well as direct water resource use, environmental and water managers need to understand the environmental water requirements of groundwater and surface water dependent ecosystems.

Professor David Lockington is studying mangroves and their reaction to water stress

Professor David Lockington leads a team of water resources researchers in Civil Engineering’s Centre for Water Studies. This group specialises in the quantitative analysis of water, nutrient and chemical flows through mathematical modelling and the linking of physical flow modelling with quantitative understanding of chemical and biological processes. Professor Lockington is working with Associate Professor Catherine Lovelock in the School of Biological Sciences to develop advanced knowledge of the dependency of coastal vegetation on

freshwater availability and the likely response of mangroves, melaleucas and casuarinas to water stress. This work is funded by the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training where Professor Lockington is the program leader for the Groundwater-VegetationAtmosphere Interaction research program. This is a nationwide program and researchers are developing the skills and tools to better quantify the sensitivity of a wide range of ecosystems in a wide number of climates to water stresses.

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Research Projects

Imaging advances improving cancer diagnoses Professor Stuart Crozier Researchers in the School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering’s MedTeQ Centre are advancing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology to better diagnose and monitor breast and brain cancer. MRI uses a powerful magnetic field, radio frequency pulses and a computer to produce and analyse detailed images of organs, soft tissues, bones and virtually all other internal body structures. Breast cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers in women, with an estimated one in nine women being diagnosed by the age of 85. Many breast screening programs rely on X-ray mammography, however high rates of incorrect test results have led to the increased use of MRI as a supplementary tool for detection and staging of breast cancer.

MedTeQ Director Professor Stuart Crozier

MedTeQ’s Director Professor Stuart Crozier is leading research aimed at improving the diagnostic capabilities

of breast MRI technology. MRI has high sensitivity to invasive cancer and is the most reliable method for assessing tumour size and extent, but its specificity is poor and only one in three cases recommended for biopsy due to a suspicious MRI finding actually has a cancer. “By integrating information about tissue enhancement, morphology and microstructure, and reducing the subjectivity in routine clinical interpretation, our research aims to improve the specificity and clinical utility of breast MRI,” said Professor Crozier. The Centre’s MRI research is also helping patients living with and being treated for brain cancer by improving neuroimaging strategies to better monitor patients’ health. In Queensland alone, approximately 520 people per year are diagnosed with brain tumours, of whom around two-thirds will die from the illness within a year.

Making the most out of wastewater Advanced Water Management Centre Recent chronic water shortages across Australia and around the world have highlighted the key role that water plays in just about all human activities. Under the leadership of Professor Jurg Keller, the Advanced Water Management Centre (AWMC) is investigating a range of water recycling options and technologies and taking a leading role in conserving water supplies for the future. AWMC research is showing there is more to be recovered from wastewater than just water. The organics from both industrial and domestic wastewater can be converted to energy, chemicals or new biomaterials. “The anaerobic treatment technology generates valuable biogas that can be used for heating or power production, while at the same time creating an

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agricultural fertiliser in the form of biosolids,” Professor Keller said. The Centre is looking at how the organics in wastewater can be used to regenerate chemicals such as caustic and hydrogen peroxide that can be directly reapplied in industry operations. The bioelectrochemical process used to achieve this was pioneered by AWMC researchers and a pilot scale is already in operation at a brewery near Brisbane. According to Professor Keller, the technology has the potential to directly generate a significant payback from the organic waste materials present in the used water. Similarly, the organics can also be converted through biological processes to produce novel biopolymers that can directly replace current plastics made from fossil resources.

AWMC research is also addressing the nutrients present in wastewater, including fertiliser compounds such as nitrogen and phosphorus, which are critical for plant growth but can also cause serious environmental damage if left to leach into waterways. The Centre has been at the forefront of biological nutrient removal technology for many years and is increasingly focusing on not only removing these nutrients, but also recovering them in a valuable, re-usable form, primarily as fertiliser for agricultural applications. This is particularly critical for phosphorus, which is a limited resource globally and needs to be recovered and reused in the future far more efficiently than has been done in the past. Centre research is supported by a broad range of industry partners,


Research Projects

Current strategies such as computed tomography, MRI and positron emission tomography (PET) alone do not reliably establish treatment efficacy and long-term treatment outcomes. A significant problem is the difficulty of differentiating residual or potential tumour regrowth from radiationinduced brain injury. MedTeQ research is combining MRI with a technique called fluorodopa positron emission tomography (FDOPA PET), an amino acid which can detect increased metabolic activity in tumours. “By combining the anatomical and functional information from MRI with the molecular information from FDOPA PET images we aim to more accurately grade the tumour, measure its extent and determine whether a tumour has been successfully treated or is regrowing despite treatment,” Professor Crozier said.

Director of UQ’s Advanced Water Management Centre Professor Jurg Keller

such as the Queensland Government’s WaterSecure, Veolia Water, and Grain R&D Corporation, as well as many water utilities from around Australia including the Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne and Western Australia.

Professor Peter Halley is making tastier pureed foods for the elderly through his understanding of rheology.

Making food easier to swallow Professor Peter Halley A team of UQ researchers is improving the taste and texture of pureed foods to help elderly patients with swallowing difficulties. For a variety of reasons, about 40 percent of elderly people have difficulty chewing and swallowing food leading to a flow-on effect for their health in terms of nutrition, wellbeing and general quality of life. Pureed or texture-modified foods given to patients with swallowing difficulties generally all feel the same in the mouth and can also lack the taste and aroma of regular food. Current texture-modified foods have been made largely by trial and error processes to generate desired levels of texture, yet most texture modification processes tend to make foods considerably less appealing in terms of appearance, flavour and aroma. Led by Professor Peter Halley from the School of Chemical Engineering and Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, the multidisciplinary team is bringing a more scientific process to the design of texture-modified foods. The study is the first to use detailed rheological (the study of

the flow of fluids) understandings to develop a novel chewing and swallowing model. This model will be used in conjunction with novel food flavour and property measurements to develop texturemodified foods that increase ease-of-swallowing, nutrition and hydration in patients. According to Professor Halley, although the texture-modified foods are primarily aimed at the aged care sector, there are also possible applications in helping people living with a disability and wider food applications. “The food designed by the team can be used in a variety of situations, ranging from community care and nursing homes through to informal carers in home environments working with frail aged people,” he said. Supported by an ARC Linkage grant, the project involves UQ, RSL Care, a leading not-for profit provider of home and residential care, and Two Short Giraffes, Australia’s first speciality practice offering services related to feeding and swallowing disorders. The project brings together researchers in bioengineering, chemical engineering, food science, deglutition, biochemistry and industrial food technology.

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Research Projects

Integrating technology to protect ports Professor Brian Lovell Australia’s economy and the reputation of its maritime industry rely heavily on the safe and secure passage of billions of dollars in imports and exports. As the nation’s third busiest port, the Port of Brisbane is responsible for the security and protection of people, infrastructure and assets in a geographical area that extends from Caloundra to the southern tip of Moreton Island. NICTA, Australia’s Information and Communications Technology Research Centre of Excellence, has secured $1 million in Commonwealth funding to develop an advanced video surveillance system for the Port of Brisbane. This funding, awarded to NICTA under the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet’s Research and Support for National Security Program, will go towards supporting three researchers over several years. The system is being developed at NICTA’s Queensland Research Laboratory by the Advanced Surveillance team which is led by researchers from the Faculty’s

School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering. It will incorporate a range of technologies including software that recognises individual faces from live feeds and then matches them to a database, along with technology that improves the clarity of video footage taken in poor conditions where images may be obscured by rain, dust or fog. A single desktop interface provides all the information needed at a port, making it easier to supply video feeds as well as context information for external agencies, such as police and fire services, during emergencies. UQ Professor and NICTA’s Advanced Surveillance Project Leader, Brian Lovell, said the combination of technologies would create a “scalable situational awareness system”. “Video feeds are placed on a 3D texture mapped surface, similar to a modern computer game,” Professor Lovell said. “The beauty of the system is that you don’t need to know the camera numbers or where they are

positioned because it is implicit in the display. If you want to go to the oil bunkering facility, for example, you can just scroll along with your mouse, zoom in and, if there is a video camera present, you can see what is going on in real time.” The Port of Brisbane hosts around 40 to 60 cameras, with the movement of boats visible in the system along with the cargo they are carrying and tidal/wind information. The researchers will also look at using advanced surveillance cameras that have 16 megapixel frame size, compared to 0.3 megapixels per frame for standard definition. These super megapixel cameras can digitally pan, tilt and zoom after the footage has been recorded, enabling users to have both the wide angle view for situational awareness as well as the ability to zoom in to indentify faces or number plates. Professor Lovell said he hoped the project not only solved problems for Brisbane, but would also help other ports. NICTA is aiming to commercialise the system in the future and discussions with overseas ports are already underway.

A single desktop interface provides all the information needed at a port

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Research Projects

Creating intelligent power grid systems with renewable power Professor Tapan Saha

Professor Tapan Saha is developing solutions to add more power sources to the grid

Electricity networks of the 21st century will be totally different compared to that of the last century. Renewable energy sources such as solar photovoltaic, solar-thermal, wind and geothermal will play significant roles in our future energy growth. This means more and varied sources of renewable power will be introduced to the power grid. Professor Tapan Saha, from the School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, is investigating these potential impacts and is developing solutions to manage the introduction of smaller and less constant sources of power into the network. Rapidly evolving energy technology makes it possible to run smaller generators with high efficiency to feed power into the grid. For example, most of the new wind farms being introduced are between 10 and 15 MW capacity, compared to typical coal-powered plants which are several hundred MW capacity. Professor Saha said currently, new distributed electricity generators were mostly connected to low and

medium voltage grids and not to the high voltage transmission grid. “While these new technologies only provide a small fraction of the system load, they have little impact on the behaviour of a power system,” he said. “However, if the amount of new generation technology introduced in a power system becomes substantial, the overall behaviour of the system will change.” Professor Saha’s research project will model the level of penetration of new smaller technology and their locations and to analyse the future dynamic behaviour of power systems. He is developing a software platform for testing and evaluating new distributed generation technologies and creating algorithms and software for integrating this energy into the national electricity grid. This project is a part of the Intelligent Grid Cluster, which is a major collaborative research venture between the CSIRO and the university sector, which explores the economic, environmental and social impacts and benefits of the large

scale deployment of intelligent grid technologies in Australian electricity networks. Professor Saha said while small scale power plants would be important additions to our grid, power system overall reliability and security could be better maintained by the large scale renewable energy based base load power plants, which would be feasible from geothermal energy sources. In Australia geothermal energy is abundantly available in the Coopers Basin area, which is several hundred kilometres from the national electricity grid. Professor Saha is currently working to resolve transmission issues inherent to a large power plant, which is located more than 500km from major load centres and the national grid. This work is a part of the Queensland Geothermal Energy Centre of Excellence, which will help Australia become a vanguard provider of technology and expertise to the growing global geothermal sector.

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Research Projects

High-tech solution to prevent mining shovel collisions Professor Ross McAree and CRCMining

Mining engineering researchers from CRCMining, led by Professor Ross McAree and working with P&H MinePro Services, have developed the Trackshield Collision Control System, a computer system to minimise the occurrence of bucket and track collisions on electric mining shovels. The system has the potential to make significant savings for the mining industry by reducing loss of production and the frequency of repairs on mining shovels. Prior to each digging motion, the bucket is repositioned between the crawler tracks in a process known as tucking. During tucking, the bucket comes in close to the tracks and risks significant damage to the machine if it hits the crawler tracks. Bucket strikes are among the most damaging incidents that can occur during regular operation of a mining shovel.

Bucket collisions are most commonly the result of operator misjudgement and even the most competent operator can hit the bucket once or twice during a long shift. Collisions between the bucket and tracks cause damage to the machinery, generating a loss of production due to unplanned down time and significantly reducing the operating life of a shovel. The immediate consequence of a bucket strike is the fracture of one or more of the crawler shoes but incremental damage is also caused to the car-body structure, the handle, the crowd transmission and the swing transmission.

bucket is in relation to the tracks. Professor McAree said the unique technology used a predictive control framework to prevent collisions.

The Trackshield system comprises computer hardware that is mounted on the shovel, computer software that runs the hardware and a suite of sensors to determine where the

The Trackshield Control System is currently being commercialised by P&H MinePro Services and is expected to be installed on shovels around the world.

“The system predicts future locations of the bucket using a set of mathematical models that are driven by the operator’s joystick commands,” he said. “If impact is predicted, the collision prevention algorithms calculate the minimum change needed to the operator’s command that will avoid the collision by a specified clearance distance. The altered joystick references are then passed on to the shovel’s control system.”

The Trackshield system reduces damage caused by bucket collisions

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Research Projects

Attempting to define architecture PROFESSOR John Macarthur

UQ Architecture research is taking a fresh approach to a debate which has been raging for centuries – is architecture art or is it a profession?

of architecture as an art accounted for the history of this debate and how this perspective shapes the challenges facing architecture.

Architecture, Disciplinarity, and the Arts, a book edited by UQ Architecture researchers, opens a new chapter in the international debate surrounding architecture’s status as an art discipline alongside its more commonly accepted standing as a profession.

Director of the ATCH (Architecture Theory Criticism History) Research Group, Professor Macarthur, said the book looked at the factors which had historically determined architecture as an art.

Since it was professionalised in the 19th century, architecture has been considered art, science, social science, engineering specialisation and profession. In the book, editors Dr Andrew Leach and Professor John Macarthur examine how thinking

“Architecture today owes much to the way these issues were thought about in the 18th century,” he said. “By looking closely at these theoretical and historical issues as they were once discussed we can learn more about the way our own discussions, profession and education are organised.”

The project looks at architecture’s status as an art after the rise of aesthetics and considers whether or not it is legitimate today to describe architecture as an art. International contributors to the book include scholars from the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States. UQ’s ATCH Research Group is represented by essays from Dr Leach and Professor Macarthur, Dr Antony Moulis, Dr Naomi Stead and Dr Deborah van der Plaat and also UQ alumna Dr Rosemary Hawker. Professor Macarthur said he hoped the book would encourage further local debate as it showcased leading Australian research in the architectural humanities.

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Research Projects

Developing a nanoscale transport theory Professor Suresh Bhatia

Professor Cooper-White, right, developed a stem cell based, tissue-engineered meniscus.

Tissue engineering the meniscus Professor Justin Cooper-White Tissue engineering is a rapidly developing, multidisciplinary research field in which the engineering and biological sciences interface to develop novel concepts and materials for tissue repair, regeneration and, ultimately, replacement. The menisci, located in the knee joint between the femur and tibia bones, are the body’s shock absorbers, taking on the majority of the load associated with normal physical activity, such as walking, running and jumping. The meniscal tissue, however, has poor inherent regenerative capacity due to a lack of resident stem cells and low blood supply. Professor Justin Cooper-White from the School of Chemical Engineering and the AIBN has worked to develop a stem cell based, tissue-engineered meniscus. The team has developed a novel biomaterial that, when coupled with a new surface engineering strategy, allowed researchers to replicate the biochemical and biomechanical cues ‘seen’ and ‘felt’ by cells within meniscus tissue. In a major advance, the team demonstrated that this strategy promoted the growth of fibrocartilage from human bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells, without relying on external growth factors or chemical inducements. Large animal trials are planned for 2010 to prove this technology prior to seeking funding for human clinical trials in the near future.

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Professor Baha’s research will develop a new theory for the flow of molecules in very narrow spaces. Such flow is inherent to a variety of emerging nanotechnologies related to gas storage and separation, energy conversion, as well as carbon dioxide capture and sequestration, but is poorly understood. For example the storage of hydrogen or natural gas in the nanopores of adsorbents such as carbon is being vigorously investigated worldwide, and the effectiveness of such process utilising the stored gas will be affected by the flow. The efficiency of numerous conventional technologies, such as in catalysis as well membrane separation of pollutants and other gases and liquids, is also significantly influenced by the flow behaviour of fluids in narrow pore spaces. Professor Bhatia said a key feature affecting the flow was the interaction between the fluid molecules and the solid, and this interaction was either overlooked or treated in an oversimplified manner in existing theories. “The intended outcome is a novel theory of the transport of fluid mixtures in solids that have very narrow pores of molecular dimension, which can be readily used in process design,” he said. “Existing theories do not perform well at these small scales, and the current theory is

therefore critical for the development of nanotechnologies based on such nanoporous solids.” Professor Bhatia said the theory would provide a tool to model the flow behaviour and thereby lead to more reliable process design. Simulation is also emerging as a modern alternative for predicting fluid behaviour but is computationally very expensive, and therefore essentially a research tool. “The infiltration of fluids in nanoporous solids is central to numerous nanotechnologies, including those for gas separation and storage, and our theory will facilitate the development and design of processes based on these nanotechnologies,” Professor Bhatia said. The theory will also be relevant to membrane separations, molecular sieving, catalysis, fuel cells, lab-on-achip technology and nanofluidics. “We are using a combination of experiment, simulation and theory. Experiments will be conducted to study the flow behaviour of gases such as hydrogen, methane and carbon dioxide, which are important to numerous energy and environmental related processes, as well as other gases important in industrial separation. The new theory developed will be used to interpret the observed flow behaviour, and will be validated by simulation.”

Professor Suresh Bhatia


Research Projects Preliminary concept for SCRAMSPACE I

One $14m step towards scramjets for access to space UQ Hypersonics

UQ Hypersonics is leading a $14 million international consortium to help develop scramjet-based access-to-space systems, flying an autonomous scramjet vehicle at eight times the speed of sound – Mach 8, or 8600 km/h. In parallel, scramjet concepts will be tested at even greater speeds, up to Mach 14, in UQ’s world class hypersonic ground-test facilities. Scramjets are air-breathing engines capable of travelling at hypersonic speeds, greater than Mach 5. Scramjet-based launch systems offer considerable promise for safe, reliable and economical access to space. The project has been awarded $5 million in phase one of the Australian Space Research Program — the largest grant — and also attracts $9 million from an international partnership consortium. Chief investigator and project director Professor Russell Boyce said the project would allow the deployment of space-based systems and technologies for communications, remote sensing, climate monitoring and space science.

“The ultimate aim, however, is to reach high technology readiness levels for access to space. “This requires scramjet vehicles that can operate at much higher Mach numbers, up to say Mach 14, as part of a multi-stage rocket/scramjet system to accelerate a vehicle to the speed required to leave the Earth’s atmosphere. “No scramjet designs have been flight tested at these extreme speeds before now. The gap cannot be easily closed in one leap, and a stepping-stone approach is required. “Our flight will build on the hypersonic flight experiments that have already been conducted by Australia, and will fly an exciting scramjet concept at the entry point to the scramjet access-to-space Mach range. The knowledge we gain will position us for future, higher speed flights, but will also feed back into current efforts at the lower speeds. “Importantly, we will be training the talent pool for a future spaceaccess industry with the hard core experience that only hypersonic flight experiments can provide.

“In addition, the testing in UQ’s X3 expansion tunnel will push two of our scramjet concepts up through the Mach range, up to Mach 14. Noone has ever done that before for a complete scramjet flowpath.” Professor Boyce said the project represented the first phase of a 20-year program that ultimately would include ground testing, the development of new materials and flight testing at Woomera, South Australia. Partners in the new program include four Australian universities: UQ; the University of Adelaide; the University of New South Wales; and the University of Southern Queensland, plus a US university, the University of Minnesota. It also includes three international aerospace organisations — DLR in Germany, JAXA of Japan and CIRA of Italy; Australia’s Defence Science and Technology Organisation; the Australian Youth Aerospace Association; and industry partners including Brisbane firm Teakle Composites Pty Ltd, Cairns firm AIMTEK Pty Ltd, BAE Systems Australia, and Boeing Research and Technology Australia.

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Research Projects

Alyawarr Elder Muscly Tommy (left in foreground) directs trainees from the Myuma pre-vocational training course in the construction of a traditional desert shelter with spinifex grass. CREDIT: Paul Memmott

Combining Aboriginal knowledge and Western science to create building materials of the future Professor Paul Memmott

UQ researchers have teamed up with the Indigenous people of the Myuma Group to identify and develop potential technological applications for Spinifex grass. The project is exploring uses and properties of this uniquely Australian resource as a future material to replace current resource-intensive materials. Director of the Aboriginal Environments Research Centre at UQ’s School of Architecture, Professor Paul Memmott, said the project used biomimetic theory, which advocated drawing from nature to find new technical solutions. “Spinifex has unique physical and chemical properties that evolved within harsh environments that were recognised and have been utilised by Aboriginal people for many centuries,” Professor Memmott said. “The project will examine exactly how Spinifex was used in the past and how its properties can

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be used in the future to develop commercial products for residential and architectural purposes which will benefit all Australians.” Researchers will also examine how Spinifex can be sustainably harvested, providing remote communities with a new local industry and training and employment opportunities. The research will contribute to an environmentally sustainable Australia by capturing the value of a natural resource which has been largely ignored until now. “This project will deliver a cleaner, more efficient way to build infrastructure within remote communities, which currently require all materials and fuel to be transported from the coast, which is expensive and inefficient,” Professor Memmott said. “The research will also provide significant economic outcomes for local communities, including the Indjilandji/Dhidhanu

people of the Myuma Group, through harvesting Spinifex for Aboriginal commercial use.” In addition to providing a greater understanding of the ecology and the sharing of knowledge between Aboriginal people and scientists, the project will document traditional Aboriginal usage of Spinifex to maintain cultural heritage. The project is one of many being progressed by the Aboriginal Environments Research Centre (AERC) at UQ, which conducts multidisciplinary research and teaching into the culture, environment and architecture of Australian Indigenous peoples. The University of Queensland is establishing an arid zone field station in Camooweal to support this and other important research which aims to build more sustainable communities in remote and arid areas.


Research Projects

New low emission coal technology will provide double power, reduce costs and help the environment Professor John Zhu

Chemical engineer Professor John Zhu from the School of Chemical Engineering is working on Direct Carbon Fuel Cells (DCFC) which will create twice as much power from coal as current methods and minimise greenhouse gas emissions. When coal reacts with air in the DCFC, it generates highly energyefficient electricity. “The very high energy efficiency of the new technology will effectively halve the amount of coal required to create electricity,” Professor Zhu said. “When applied, it will provide industry with very significant cost and energy savings, which could then be passed on to the consumer.” In addition to saving money and energy, the DCFC will also provide clean power and enable the byproduct of coal-fired power – the harmful greenhouse gas carbon dioxide – to be trapped and stored easily and safely. “One of the major challenges for coal-fired power is reducing its impact on the environment by developing ways to separate carbon dioxide from other gases produced in the power generation process, and ensuring it is not released into the atmosphere,” Professor Zhu said. “The DCFC produces pure carbon dioxide as a byproduct, making it much easier to manage.” The next stage in development will involve consulting with the energy sector and securing industry and government funding to scale up the DCFC technology. With funding, the new DCFC technology is expected to be ready for implementation in about 10 years.

Chemical engineer Professor John Zhu

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Research Projects

Novel material paves the way for next-generation information technology Professor Jin Zou

Professor Jin Zou and Dr Yong Wang from the Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology have collaborated with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Intel Corporation to create advanced ‘magnetic quantum dots’. Magnetic quantum dot technology is expected to underpin future communications and resolve power consumption and variability issues in today’s microelectronics industry by providing computers and other devices with extraordinary electrical and magnetic properties. Professor Zou said the team’s breakthrough had enabled their magnetic quantum dots to simultaneously utilise both ‘charge’ and ‘spin’ – two types of outputs generated by electrons. “Developing quantum dots which are able to harness both outputs may help to significantly reduce the size of electrical devices and reduce power dissipation inherent in electrical systems, because the collective spins in spintronics devices are expected to consume less energy than current charge-based technology,” Professor Zou said. Significantly the team was able to prove the novel technology in experiments at relatively high temperature, which was not previously thought possible. ARC Australian Postdoctoral Fellow Dr Yong Wang said the successful operation of the technology in sustainable and manageable conditions would enable it to be more easily integrated into existing silicon-based microelectronic technology, which was the current platform used by industry.

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“This research will lead to greater efficiency and stability for electrical systems and information technology which provide essential infrastructure for every sector. “We hope our work will help to improve the performance of

microelectronics in applications used in health care to defence to communications,” Dr Wang said. The breakthrough research was published in the prestigious scientific journal Nature Materials in April 2010. Professor Jin Zou and Dr Yong Wang


Research Projects

Streamlining healthy water management Professor Jane Hunter

Climate change, urban development and population growth in South East Queensland are putting significant pressure on urban water supplies. Billion dollar investments in new water projects, such as the South East Queensland Water Grid, will enhance and secure water supply to the region. However the potential benefits of these massive investments in physical infrastructure will not be fully realised, without the investment in corresponding cyberinfrastructure. The Health-e-Waterways Project is a collaboration between The University of Queensland, Microsoft Research and the South East Queensland Healthy Waterways Partnership (SEQ-HWP). The aim of the project is to develop a highly innovative framework and set of services to enable streamlined access to a collection of real-time, near-realtime and static datasets acquired through ecosystem health monitoring programs in South East Queensland. Project leader, Professor Jane Hunter from the School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, said the secure Webbased system would integrate the array of water-related datasets generated and overseen by SEQ government agencies and research organisations. “We need this system to streamline access to high quality water data and models and to enable more effective water resource management,” she said. “It will give us the knowledge and ICT infrastructure to manage the new multi-billion water infrastructure projects underway in South-East Queensland.”

A screenshot of the Health-e-Waterways program

The new system enables nextgeneration water management by harnessing the power of the Internet to search, analyse, interpret and communicate waterways information. In particular, scientists, policy makers and natural resource managers will be able to obtain a more accurate and timely understanding of problem sites and causes. Data analysis tools will also enable water resource managers to quickly adapt management strategies in response to changes observed in the catchment areas and waterways. Health-e-Waterways also provides an interactive map interface which enables users to access visualisations of the Report Card data through eco-health plots and site photos. The interface allows panning, zooming and animations that visualise changes in waterway health across regions and time. Professor Hunter said the project would expedite the delivery of SEQ-HWP’s annual Ecosystem

Health Report Cards, which reflected waterway health, based on statistical and graphical analyses of comprehensive monitoring data. “Currently a massive amount of work is required to collate and analyse the data from a range of different sources and to produce hard-copy, graphical reports that show how our catchments and estuaries are responding to human activities and catchment remediation measures,” Professor Hunter said. “The Healthe-Waterways Web Portal will unite Queensland’s water information and provide users with dynamic online access to near-real-time and legacy datasets, enabling them to generate personalised reports that reveal trends requiring new strategies and actions.” The system is expected to not only save agencies significant time and money in generating environmental accounts, but it can be used to guide regional, state and national environmental policy development, based on high-quality evidential data.

EAIT FACULTY PROFILE 2010

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Engineering Undergraduate programs

Postgraduate programs

Bachelor of Engineering in the following specialisations

MASTER OF ENGINEERING in the following specialisations

– Chemical

– Electrical

– Chemical and Biological

- Biomedical

– Chemical and Materials

- Microwave Telecommunications

– Chemical and Metallurgical

- Power Systems

– Civil – Computer Systems – Electrical – Electrical and Aerospace – Electrical and Biomedical – Environmental – Mechanical – Mechanical and Aerospace – Mechanical and Materials

– Electricity Market – Engineering Science - Chemical - Civil - Materials - Mechanical - Mechatronic – Power Generation

– Mechatronic

– Software Engineering

– Mining

– Systems

– Software

Available minors

MASTER OF ENGINEERING (MANAGEMENT) in the following specialisations

– Biomedical

– Electrical

– Software Systems and Aerospace

Faculty Programs

Information AND COMMUNICATIONS Technology Undergraduate programs

– Food Engineering

- Biomedical

Bachelor of Information Technology in the following specialisations

– Geomechanics

- Microwave Telecommunications

– Bioinformatics

– Mineral Processing

- Power Systems

– Computer Systems and Networks

– Mining

– Engineering Science

– Enterprise Information Systems

– Software

- Chemical Engineering

– Games Modelling

– Telecommunications

- Civil

– Health Informatics

- Materials

– Human-Computer Interaction

- Mechanical

– Information Security

- Mechatronic

– Scientific Computing

– Software MASTER OF INTEGRATED WATER MANAGEMENT

Architecture

MASTER OF MINERAL RESOURCES in the following specialisations

– Software Design – Software Information Systems Bachelor of Multimedia Design in the following areas of interest – Games Design focus

– Environment

– Film & Television focus

Undergraduate program

– Exploration

– Advertising & Marketing focus

Bachelor of Architectural Design

– Minerals Industry Risk Management

Postgraduate coursework program Master of Architecture

– Web Design focus – Visual Arts focus – E-Learning focus Postgraduate coursework programs MASTER OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

Postgraduate research programs The Master of Philosophy and the Doctor of Philosophy are available in all academic disciplines in the Faculty.

34

EAIT FACULTY PROFILE 2010

MASTER OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (MANAGEMENT) MASTER OF INTERACTION DESIGN


The Faculty... Hosts important research hubs Two

ARC Centres of Excellence

One ARC Centre

Boasts a large and dynamic body of staff

nine

More than

300

Cooperative Research Centres (CRC)

academic and research staff

Houses world class academic and research staff

18

ARC Fellows

Eight Fellows of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering One Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science Two Smart State Fellows

seven

$30M

Australian University

10 Externally-funded Professorial Chairs

Teaching Awards

Attracts high quality students More than 4500 undergraduate students More than

in research income

$1.5M per annum in scholarships and prizes

Two Members of the Order of Australia

Attracts significant external support for teaching and research

500

research higher degree students

Generates commercial success

nine

active start-up companies

Publishes high impact research

four

Nature publications, One Science publication

EAIT EAITFACULTY FACULTY PROFILE PROFILE 2010

35


Contacts Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology The University of Queensland St Lucia Brisbane QLD 4072 AUSTRALIA General Inquiries Phone: +61 7 3365 4777 Fax: +61 7 3365 4444 Email: admin@eait.uq.edu.au Web: www.eait.uq.edu.au

Executive Dean

School of Architecture

Professor Graham Schaffer

Phone: +61 7 3365 3537 Fax: +61 7 3365 3999 Web: www.architecture.uq.edu.au

Phone: +61 7 3365 3329 Fax: +61 7 3365 1881 Email: exec.dean@eait.uq.edu.au Associate Dean (Research) Professor Justin Cooper-White Phone: + 61 7 3346 3858 Fax: +61 7 3365 1881 Email: research@eait.uq.edu.au Associate Dean (Academic) Professor Caroline Crosthwaite Phone: +61 7 3365 3533 Fax: +61 7 3365 4444 Email: adacademic@eait.uq.edu.au International Development

School of Civil Engineering Phone: +61 7 3365 3619 Fax: + 61 7 3365 4599 Web: www.civil.uq.edu.au School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering Phone: +61 7 3365 2097 Fax: +61 7 3365 4999 Web: www.itee.uq.edu.au

Phone: +61 7 3365 9103 Fax: +61 7 3365 4444 Email: international@eait.uq.edu.au

School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering

Faculty Innovation and Commercial Development

Phone: +61 7 3365 4777 Fax: 3365 4799 Web: www.mechmining.uq.edu.au

Dr Howard Leemon Manager, Innovation and Commercial Development

Advanced Water Management Centre

Phone: +61 7 3365 8884 Fax: +61 7 3365 4444 Email: h.leemon@eait.uq.edu.au

Phone: +61 7 3365 4730 Fax: +61 7 3365 4726 Web: www.awmc.uq.edu.au

Ms Sue Smith Manager, Advancement and Alumni Phone: +61 7 3346 7533 Fax: +61 7 3365 1881 Email: s.smith@eait.uq.edu.au

EAIT FACULTY PROFILE 2010

Phone: +61 7 3365 6195 Fax: +61 7 3365 4199 Web: www.chemeng.uq.edu.au

Mr Brendon Lutwyche Manager, International Development

Advancement and Alumni

36

School of Chemical Engineering


EAIT FACULTY PROFILE 2010

37


This publication is printed on recycled paper. CRICOS Provider Number 00025B

Faculty of Engineering, Architecture & Informaiton Technology Profile  

The University of Queensland, Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology profile.

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