Civil and Infrastructure Engineering

Civil and infrastructure engineering research focuses on delivering materials, structures, design and construction technologies that cope with the requirements of civil infrastructures during their service life.

Our expertise covers a broad range of applications including buildings, bridges, underground utilities, power and energy, transport networks, road and airport infrastructures, railways as well as mining structures. Sustainability is a key driver to deliver better and resilient design, construction, use and maintenance, recycling and end-of-life management practices.

Capabilities

Our research activity encompasses six capability areas, each supporting several key technologies.

Advanced materials technology

  • Concrete, geo-polymer concrete, green concrete and cementitious materials
  • Soils and pipelines
  • Steel
  • Asphalt, polymer-modified asphalt, recycled asphalt and bituminous materials
  • Polymer-wood composites from waste materials
  • Waste water sludge in construction materials

Innovative structures

  • New structural forms and topology optimisation
  • Nano-structures and materials
  • Structural design for dynamic loading including earthquake and wind engineering and large-scale structures

Infrastructure asset management

  • Durability and sustainable management
  • Strengthening of structures
  • Deterioration forecasting
  • Public asset management
  • Risk assessment

Sustainable construction

  • Lower carbon construction
  • Green buildings and benchmarking of green construction practices
  • Life-cycle analysis
  • Noise management in urban environments
  • Environmental impact assessment
  • BIM application for sustainable construction
  • Prefabrication
  • Innovative procurement methods such as PPP and relational contracting

Geotechnical engineering, geo-mechanics and mining

  • Expansive soils mechanics
  • Soil contamination
  • Bulk material handling
  • Improving residential footings and slab design
  • Monitoring in-situ soil moisture movement and modelling unsaturated soils
  • Design and construction methods of screw piles
  • Innovative drilling fluids to improve efficiency of exploration

Transport engineering

  • Transport network design and vulnerability analysis
  • Infrastructure management and land use
  • Driving behaviour
  • Freight management strategies
  • Traffic operations and ITS

Our impact

The civil and infrastructure engineering research group works with a range of Australian and international organisations, government councils and industry partners to provide innovative solutions to practical problems and future challenges. Our partners have included:

  • Government agencies/bodies such as VicRoads, Metro Trains, Melbourne Water
  • Local governments such as City of Melbourne, City of Yarra, City of Kingston and City of Brimbank
  • Construction companies such as Multiplex, BMD, and Hansen Yuncken
  • Engineering consultancy companies such as AECOM and GHD

Highlights of our current research include:

  • Evolutionary structural optimisation techniques which have been used around the world by engineers and architects to design innovative buildings and bridges, and to create new microstructures of materials and composites.
  • Optimisation of construction plans and techniques to achieve lower carbon construction
  • Sustainable management for public buildings and infrastructure
  • Intelligent council asset management in partnership with community
  • Crumb rubber recycled concrete to maximise recycling of shredded tyre rubber in construction
  • Asphalt and concrete healing to reduce maintenance and related expenses during the service life of roads and airports
  • Recycling cigarette butts into construction and road materials
  • Self-sensing structures to advice and localise damage in real time
  • Sensors for structures and infrastructures monitoring
  • Rehabilitation (strengthening and crack repair) of concrete structures using Fibre Reinforced Polymers (FRP)
  • Development of an automated council tree inventory using airborne LiDAR and areal imagery
  • The effects of climate change on the rates of chloride ingress into reinforced concrete infrastructure
  • Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC project

Research centres and groups

Our expertise and facilities contribute to many research organisations across Australia.

  • Centre for Innovative Structures and Materials
  • Sustainable Infrastructure and Asset Management Research Group
  • Recycled Concrete and Cementitious Materials Research Group
  • Geotechnical and Geo-environmental Engineering Research Group
  • Water Resources Management Group
  • Transportation Research Group
  • Asphalt and Smart Pavement Materials Research Group

Facilities

Our work is supported by major state-of-the-art research infrastructure.

  • Heavy structures and concrete materials laboratory
  • Soil laboratory
  • Fluid laboratory
  • Advanced asphalt materials laboratory

Who we are

Civil and Infrastructure Engineering staff

Latest news

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Professor Mike Xie has been awarded one of Australia’s most prestigious competitive grants to expand his research into sustainable, free-form architecture.

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How can you recycle the world’s stockpiles of treated sewage sludge and boost sustainability in the construction industry, all at the same time? Turn those biosolids into bricks.

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Software developed by RMIT researchers is being used to help plan for the lifecycle and maintenance costs of assets including buildings, bridges and stormwater drainage.

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nations on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.

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