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Monash University’s capabilities in construction materials, structural health monitoring and geo-infrastructure are enabling the delivery of more resilient and sustainable structures and increased productivity of existing infrastructure.

Focus areas

  • Geo-infrastructure
  • Railways, mining equipment, water pipes, bridges and port structures.
  • Construction materials
  • Structural health monitoring
  • Corrosion
  • Modular construction

Research capabilities

Our researchers are developing novel materials for construction including high performance concrete and steels, nano-materials for reinforcement and for corrosion control. We have exceptional facilities for materials characterisation and structural testing, including a wind tunnel, and leading expertise in analysis of fractures and fatigue. Monash’s Maintenance Technology Institute uses high-tech monitoring and assessment techniques for large equipment that have led to enhanced productivity of mining assets.

In the geo-infrastructure field the flagship project Critical Pipes is helping governments in Australia and overseas determine when and how to best replace ageing water pipes.

In design for structures our principal expertise is digital fabrication, design of housing at the precinct scale and engineering for resilience in extreme conditions.

We are also researching emerging technologies for building and managing structures such as 3D printing of concrete, modular construction, sensor networks for infrastructure monitoring, and robots and remotely piloted aircraft systems for asset inspection.

High performance construction materials for sustainable and resilient infrastructure

The ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub for Nanoscience-based Construction Materials Manufacturing will be hosted at Monash University from 2017 to 2022. The hub will draw on the expertise of knowledge leaders from Australia’s best universities to develop energy-efficient and high performance construction materials and structures to meet Australia’s infrastructure needs. The hub aims to drive advances in nanotechnology, cement chemistry, concrete technology and next generation construction technology like 3D printing, to transform the construction materials industry into an advanced manufacturing sector.


Protecting our water supply

A vibrant collaboration of researcher and water utilities from around the globe is helping water utilities manage critical water pipe assets effectively, via a research program called Advanced Condition Assessment and Pipe Failure Prediction.

Researchers at Monash University, University of Technology Sydney, and University of Newcastle worked together with two international partners and nine Australian water utilities, including Sydney Water from 2011 to 2016 to solve the problem of how to predict failures in ageing case iron water pipes. The results produced by the research are assisting water utilities to get the best possible data, to ensure that pipelines are only replaced near the end of their life, which provides significant savings.

The project’s chief investigator, Professor Jayantha Kodikara said, “the project has produced excellent results, which is creating a paradigm shift, in improving industry practice locally and around the world”.

Asset Infrastructure Research Coordinator at Sydney Water, Dammika Vitanage said, “The research and the tools the project has produced have already contributed to a decrease of millions of dollars in annual expenditure on water main renewals for Sydney Water.

Burst water main in Port Melbourne, 2014. Photo: South East Water