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The equipment in Deakin University’s new civil engineering laboratory might be on a small scale, but the outcomes for students and the wider community could be enormous.
The new $3.5 million laboratory at Deakin’s Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus is used for teaching and research associated with Deakin’s civil engineering programs.
“Having this new laboratory means we can expose our students to the real world practical applications of the civil engineering program,” said the head of Deakin’s civil engineering program, Professor Bas Baskaran.
The laboratory is used for a range of experiments from testing the structural health of bridges to identifying the impact of rainfall on the soil stability of embankments and trialing waste water treatment systems for water reuse in industry.
Having small scale equipment not only saves on space, it also has the potential to allow Deakin students to conduct experiments from home.
“Traditional civil engineering laboratories have massive pieces of equipment that take up huge amounts of space,” Professor Baskaran said.
“We have opted for bench-scale models that provide the same outcomes as the larger equipment, but take up less room.
“The added advantage of small-scale equipment is we can add remote control access. This means that when our students are off campus they will be able to operate the equipment and see the experiments taking place remotely via their computers.”
Professor Baskaran added that, along with the small equipment, the civil engineering laboratory includes larger equipment used to perform tests on concrete, steel or timber elements taken from buildings and bridges to test if they are strong enough to take structural load.