Meeting Melbourne's future railway infrastructure needs is the focus of a $1 million collaboration between RMIT and Metro Trains Melbourne.
Metro Trains Melbourne will provide sponsorship for a Chair in Asset Management of Railway Infrastructure at RMIT.
The Chair will lead collaborative research on investigating the remaining safe life of railway infrastructure managed by Metro. RMIT will provide funds in cash and in kind to undertake the research.
Specific areas to be investigated include the remaining safe life of Melbourne's underground railway loop, its overhead structures, and bridge structures.
RMIT Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Margaret Gardner AO, said the collaboration would look at Melbourne's ageing railway infrastructure, which was facing increasing demands.
"The safe and reliable operation of infrastructure is of paramount importance to all stakeholders - particularly the public," she said.
"There is an urgent need to develop a methodology to predict the remaining safe life of infrastructure, so that failures can be prevented and Melbourne and Victoria can extend the service life of infrastructure, rather than having to replace it prematurely."
Professor Gardner thanked Professor Chun-Qing Li, Head of the School of Civil, Environmental and Chemical Engineering, for his work in bringing the parties together.
The collaboration will consolidate the expansion of infrastructure management research at RMIT and provide strategic and practical research for the asset management of railway infrastructure managed by Metro Trains.
Metro CEO, Andrew Lezala, said that the collaboration will only help to improve Melbourne's suburban railway.
"Metro has taken giant strides in terms of its asset management capabilities, but through ongoing collaborative research with RMIT we can further deepen our knowledge of the railway infrastructure and deliver a better experience for customers," he said.
"What's more, we can effectively tap the latent expertise in one of Melbourne's finest educational institutions, where world class engineers are stepping up to make a mark on their city and society."
The research will bring together different elements of the University's engineering expertise, such as civil and environmental engineering, and mechanical and manufacturing engineering.
RMIT is a world-leader in engineering education.
Earlier this year it was ranked in the top 100 in the world for electrical and mechanical engineering in the Quacquarelli Symonds rankings, and is in the top 150 for civil and structural engineering.
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