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Major projects

Find out more about the major projects involving the research of the Sustainable Engineering Group:

Kwinana Industrial Area (KIA) 2001-2007

The Kwinana Industrial Area (KIA) was established in the 1950’s to accommodate the development of major resource processing industries in Western Australia. For the past 60 years the KIA has been Western Australia’s most significant heavy industrial region and is adjacent to a thriving suburban precinct and a sensitive marine environment.

In 1991 the Kwinana Industries Council (KIC) was established by core industries in the KIA to  manage the required air and water monitoring for the KIA in response to increased government and community pressure to manage the air- and watersheds, and protect the sensitive marine environment in the adjacent Cockburn Sound.

In 2001 the Kwinana Industries Synergies Program was initiated to develop more symbiotic linkages in the KIA and to assist it in its development as an Eco-industrial park. During the 8 year symbiosis program  some 106 synergies were developed, including 68 between core process industries and 38 with service and infrastructure industries. These synergies resulted in significant economic and environmental gains for the industries involved and sought to address a broad range of environmental and growth issues common to Kwinana’s major industries, whilst seeking to foster positive interactions between member companies and between industry and the broader community.

The development of a Sustainability Roadmap was the next step for the KIA in further developing its sustainability credentials as a leading Eco-industrial park. The KIA Sustainability Roadmap was intended to provide a decision-making tool for assessing and benchmarking the KIA’s sustainability achievements and to provide a map for guiding the KIA’s future sustainability efforts. A matrix of different sustainability indicators forms the core of the Sustainability Roadmap and provides individual targeted performance metrics in managing sustainability performance over the longer term. The achievement of these indicator targets will go a long way in providing more sustainable performance outcomes for the KIA and also in highlighting the direct economic and environmental benefits associated with industrial symbiosis programs.

The Kwinana symbiosis program was established to develop synergy opportunities, and communicate the associated improvements in overall environmental management and eco-efficiency to the local area. Like the Kalundborg industrial symbiosis program, one of the major synergy focuses of the Kwinana symbiosis project was in further improvement in energy recovery and water recycling through joint industry initiatives.

Upper Spencer Gulf Industrial Symbiosis Project 2011-2013

Through the Office of Manufacturing, Department of Manufacturing, Innovation, Trade and Resources of the South Australian Government, a number of industries in the Upper Spencers Gulf/Whyalla (USGW) region expressed an interest in conducting a detailed study to identify and rank the opportunities for industrial symbiosis (regional synergies), waste and by-product exchanges.  A detailed scoping study was proposed by Curtin University through its Sustainable Engineering Group (SEG).

The main objective of this project was to provide opportunities for the companies in Upper Spencer Gulf (USG) to recognise, develop, evaluate and implement Industrial Symbiosis opportunities and eco-efficiency initiatives. Industrial Symbiosis is the recovery and reuse of one company’s by-product (solid, liquid, or gaseous)  and another company’s input material, or the shared use/development of infrastructure (e.g. water, energy, and road). Industrial Symbiosis aims to reduce the environmental impact of business activity and increasing the resource efficiency.

Initially a preliminary study of the potential synergy opportunities was proposed over 12 months, starting in March 2012. The results from this study indicated where there was potential for significant industrial symbiosis development opportunities in the Upper Spencer Gulf region.

Performance and Sustainability Assessment of Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) Materials 2015

Current research in collaboration with IUAV University in Venice is investigating a new generation of structural materials for the construction industry and resources sector, particularly focused on FRP materials.

Experimental laboratory research is currently investigating the performance of FRP under severe temperature and compression stress. Further research is investigating  the sustainability performance of FRP when compared with similar pultruded materials.

Sustainable infrastructure

  • Sustainability performance assessment of modern composite materials
  • Use of FRP in sub-sea pipes
  • Review of sustainability frameworks in Civil & Construction Engineering
  • Sustainability & performance assessment of road and paving materials
  • Use of recycled materials in civil construction
  • Life cycle assessment of construction technologies