Project duration: 3/2022 - 3/2023
RMIT’s RDF Team is working with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ Office of Australian War Graves (OAWG) to help ensure that commemorative bronze plaques and lettering on marble & granite headstones remain in good condition and are legible for the maximum time. OAWG is responsible for the care & maintenance of these commemorations in perpetuity. RMIT will work with OAWG to examine both fabrication & exposure conditions to provide guidance to enhance the life of these important memorials.
Electrified solid/liquid interfaces play a crucial role in many research fields related to electrochemistry, such as corrosion inhibition. However, including the electrode potential’s effect within modeling approaches is challenging. Also, the typical sizes of the systems needed to address realistic electrolytes are often prohibitive in terms of computational cost. Current literature usually neglects the effects of this voltage, which oftentimes neglects its important effects. Here, we propose tackling this problem using a multiscale approach by combining the non-equilibrium Green’s functions (NEGF) formalism with the quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) method to balance the competing demands of accuracy & computational cost. Specifically, a fully quantum mechanical description of the metallic electrodes (under a voltage) is achieved via the NEGF, while the reduced cost of QM/MM simulations allows us to address realistic electrolytes.
Corrosion is a critical technological problem and preventative methods are a highly active research area. Among other ways of inhibiting corrosion, the use of small molecules adsorbed on the material’s surface is remarkable. Currently, toxic inorganic compounds are often used for this purpose, leading to highly negative environmental implications. An alternative is the use of organic molecules with the ability to transfer charge to the surface, preventing its degradation.
From a simulation point of view, it is challenging to account for all factors involved in the adsorption of molecules on metallic – and potentially electrified – surfaces. This project aims to improve simulation resolution when exploring potential small organic molecules to mitigate corrosion in commercial aluminum alloys. To do so, we will use non-equilibrium Green’s functions (NEGFs) to fully account for the electrode’s potential. Realistic electrolytes will be included using the quantum mechanics (QM)/molecular mechanics (MM) method, achieving a good balance between computational cost & accuracy.
A new research project sponsored by the Victorian State Government’s Higher Education State Investment Fund (VHESIF) has brought together seven industry partners (from large multinationals to SMEs) and five research teams from across RMIT’s schools & disciplines to quantify Victorian workers’ risk of infection from poor indoor air quality.
This ethically approved research involves placing Internet-of-Things (IoT) sensors around industry worksites to anonymously track people movement, the flow of air, and indoor air quality. These worksites are then recreated digitally to predict how a virtual worker infected with COVID might infect others. These simulations are then a virtual test bed to determine the most cost-effective way to reduce infection risk, e.g. by altering HVAC settings, placing clear partitions, or placing air purifiers at strategic locations. The below images show the cumulative infection risk predicted within a scientific research laboratory by one worker infected with COVID-19.
Our industry partners are receiving detailed feedback on the air quality & infection risk in their workplaces and are engaging with RMIT on approached for risk minimisation. Future work will involve extracting generic guidance for any Victorian workplace to reduce its risk of spreading airborne pathogens.
Acknowledgement of Country
RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation 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 - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.
Acknowledgement of Country
RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation 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.