Two weeks ago the Australian Research Council released the results of Linkage Projects for the 2010 Round 2 for funding commencing in July 2011. We are very pleased to announce that the SBEnrc was awarded funding of $575,000 for two of our research projects:

  • Project 1.8a Greening Procurement of Infrastructure Construction: Optimising Mass-Haul Operations to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Russell Kenley, Swinburne, $340,000
  • Project 2.7a Leveraging R&D for the Australian Built Environment, Keith Hampson, QUT, $235,000

These successful projects will extend our Centre funded work in each of these significant areas as we grow the SBEnrc over this next period.

Our Board, at its last meeting, approved three new industry partners for us to work with, and we welcome Lend Lease, WA Main Roads and Vic Roads. This extension of our Centre will allow us to undertake additional work in terms of duration, scope and depth. We are continuing to seek new partners to extend our partner network beyond the original SBEnrc core network.

As we have mentioned in previous newsletters, our Chair, John McCarthy AO, is the International President of the CIB. Part of his role is to host the World Building Congress, which will be held in Brisbane, 5-9 May 2013. The SBEnrc and QUT will be working closely with the CIB to organise the Congress, and we are excited about the opportunity to promote the work being undertaken in our industry in Australia, and of course, to be promoting the work of our partners on this international stage.
The CIB Board has also recently established a new Task Group TG85 on R&D Investment and Impact and appointed myself and Dr Judy Kraatz (also from QUT), as well as Professor Aminah Robinson Fayek, from University of Alberta, Canada as its Joint Coordinators. We will be focusing on building better understandings of R&D investment practice globally, including analysis of past investments and their impact. This will lead to an enhanced understanding of how public and private sector policy and practice can be enhanced to better leverage investments.

In May I was invited to speak at the CRC Association National Conference on Life Beyond the CRC. My presentation focused on how we transitioned from the CRC for Construction Innovation to the SBEnrc and the challenges that we overcame.

Professor Göran Roos, Honorary Professor at Warwick Business School, UK and founder of Intellectual Capital Services Ltd, has been appointed as the 20th Thinker in Residence by the Government of South Australia. The main objective of his residency in 2011 is to set future directions and raise the profile of the manufacturing industry in South Australia. Professor Roos will provide assistance to companies to handle complexity in various aspects of their business, present a range of flexible business models and provide examples of how latest technologies are being used internationally. One of the key approaches will be a set of workshops with selected firms to illustrate how to implement innovation in all areas of the business.

Dr Keith Hampson CEO, SBEnrc and John V. McCarthy AO Chair, SBEnrc

Dr Keith Hampson CEO, SBEnrc and John V. McCarthy AO Chair, SBEnrc

Project news

In each newsletter we aim to focus on a different project. This month, we are looking at Project 1.8 Sustainable Infrastructure Procurement, led by Professor Russell Kenley of Swinburne University of Technology.

This research is expected to provide one way to help shrink Australia’s carbon foot-print. We aim to help reduce the carbon foot-print by providing methodologies for measuring and comparing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) for linear infrastructure construction tenders.

The premise of the study is that road authority procurement processes are drivers for change of construction practice. Procurement tenders can be used for comparing GHGE produced during construction. Those construction operations that have been optimised should have lower levels of GHGE. For example, earthworks materials handling, commonly known as mass-haul, has been identified as a major contributor to high levels of GHGE. Mass-haul, according to an internal report from an industry partner, is arguably the only construction operation that could significantly reduce GHGE without resorting to a design change.

A successful ARC Linkage Project grant, Greening Procurement of Infrastructure Construction: Optimising Mass-Haul Operations to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions, provides additional funding of $340,000 to extend this research to 2014. The purpose of this Linkage Project’s study is to obtain proof-of-concept for the assertion that optimisation of mass-haul during infrastructure construction is the foundation of a methodology for calculating GHGE.

The expected outcome of the combined projects is an adaptable procurement framework for both road authorities and contractors to estimate, compare and track GHGE for mass-haul during linear infrastructure construction to contribute to the reduction of Australia’s carbon foot-print.

SBEnrc and Linkage Project partners are: Swinburne University of Technology, Queensland University of Technology, Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads, Roads and Traffic Authority (NSW), Main Roads, Western Australia, Parsons Brinckerhoff and John Holland.
Best regards

Keith Hampson