The School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering within The University of Queensland is one of the leading providers of engineering research in Australia. With an annual research income of more than $15 million, the School is internationally known for its high levels of industry collaboration, research quality and output and commercialisation of discoveries.
Materials Engineering research at UQ is concentrated on the net shape processing of the light metals, particularly casting and solidification of aluminium and magnesium and the powder processing of aluminium. Research is also conducted in corrosion and polymers, including biopolymers. Please see more information on Materials Engineering research via the following links:
Mechanical Engineering at UQ conducts research in a number of research areas including hypersonics, geothermal energy and combustion.
Mining Engineering at UQ is a major research provider to the minerals industry worldwide. Fundamental and applied research is conducted within the School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering, through Centres within the Sustainable Minerals Institute and Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs) such as CRC Mining.
The Academic staff of the Division of Mining Engineering are active in the following areas of mining research:
The University of Queensland conducts research in mine automation in close collaboration with CRCMining and equipment manufacturers including Caterpillar and P&H. Current projects are directed at developing systems to automate shovel swing loading and to prevent collisions between shovel dippers and truck trays. A recent final year student project examined the effect of shovel load variance on truck loads, whilst another student is currently quantifying the production loss due to truck bunching that results from such variance. A further line of investigation concerns the use of remote support environments (sometimes called Collaboration Centres) for the diagnosis, analysis and ultimately control of mining plant.
Contact Professor Paul Lever
Maintenance costs account for approximately 40 per cent of the operating costs of a large surface mine. Under the supervision of Professor Peter Knights, research conducted at The University of Queensland has focused on:Development of software to enable value-driven decisions for resolving conflicts between operations and maintenance. This software allows the value implications (as determined by revenue less costs) of maintenance and operational decisions to be jointly quantified. Development of life cycle models for optimising machine and component rebuild and / or replacement decisions. As part of the newly funded CRCMining program, these models will be extended to include the energy and productivity cost impacts of worn ground engaging tools, enabling optimal GET replacement to be optimised according to digging conditions. The determination of the economic impact of machine downtime considering direct and indirect losses. Professor Knights was invited to present a keynote paper at the ICOMS conference in Perth in 2008 related to this work.
Contact Professor Peter Knights
The use of adiabatic oven testing to assess spontaneous combustion propensity of coals from Australia, New Zealand, The United States of America, Indonesia and India, and relationships with coal quality (final year undergraduate student projects)Bulk coal testing using a 2-metre column to assess hot spot development rates and associated gas evolution patterns (one PhD student project, one Industry Masters by Research student project, two final year undergraduate student projects)
Numerical modelling of coal spontaneous combustion in coal piles (Collaborative project with Istanbul Technical University, one PhD student project) Development of training modules (one final year undergraduate student project)Consultancy project work on spontaneous combustion management of clean coal products
Contact Dr Basil Beamish
Mine Ventilation and Heat management research at UQ is conducted under the supervision of Dr Saiied Aminossadati. Current projects include:
The School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering is associated with a large number of research centres and groups. These specialist academic groupings draw together expertise from around the world to drive research innovation and deliver benefits to industry and society.
The School has also developed strong links with other research institutions, government and industry through staff participation in Co-operative Research Centres (CRCs) and National Research Centres, including the prestigious ARC Centre of Excellence for Design in Light Metals.
Research centres and groups associated with the School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering are listed below: