Research Centre for Geomechanics and Railway Engineering

Research Centre for Geomechanics & Railway Engineering

Improving the Design and Performance of Major Infrastructure

The Centre for Geotechnics and Railway Engineering (GRE) was established at UOW under the leadership of Professor Buddhima Indraratna more than a decade ago and as a result of several geotechnical and rail track projects funded by the ARC since the mid-1990s. GRE has continued to prosper through numerous external grants (ARC DP and Linkage, CRC for Rail Manufacturing and Environment Trust), and is one of the 3 nodes forming the ARC Centre of Excellence for Geotechnical Sciences and Engineering. The GRE is well equipped with state-of-the art geotechnical laboratories and excellent technical staff support. It is a key component of UOW’s SMART Infrastructure Facility commissioned in 2011, and well supported internally as a strategic research priority. 

Sustained and Excellent Performance

The proposed Research Strength is built around several interdisciplinary research phases (e.g. geotechnical, geological, mechanical and structural) interacting between ground conditions, wheel loading and rail track performance. The existing and proven research excellence places UOW easily at the top of the region in a number of key areas, including the dynamic modelling and prediction of track performance in poor soils, automated monitoring of track defects, assessment of wheel-rail-ballast degradation, effect of slope movements on rail tracks, landslides hazards and risk management, improvement of soft coastal clay foundations, remediation of acid sulphate soils to prevent corrosion of track components, decision support systems applied to track maintenance scheduling, stability assessment of rail corridors and embankments, use of synthetic materials for improving sub-surface drainage and reducing track deflection, and the role of filtration in eroded soil retention.