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Our research involves understanding the design, manufacturing, operation, maintenance and management of mechanical systems including machines, infrastructure and engineering assets.

Our work overlaps in all areas of engineering and is increasingly relevant in other fields, including:

  • 3D printing
  • advanced materials
  • biomechanics
  • computer modelling and simulation
  • food processing.

Real students


Our discipline is comprised of researchers in:

  • acoustics and vibrations
  • advanced materials development
  • applied mechanics
  • biomechanics
  • computational mechanics
  • computational fluid dynamics (CFD)
  • engineering asset management
  • food processing
  • renewable energy
  • manufacturing
  • mechanical design
  • nano-materials and nano-devices
  • structural health monitoring
  • thermal storage.

Our research contributes in each of these areas and aims to tackle a variety of real-world problems. We've established broad and long-term linkages with industry partners from different sectors. We also collaborate with national and international research institutions.

View our student topics

Airports of the Future

Airports present great planning, operational and security challenges, balancing the need to move people and goods swiftly and efficiently, yet with ever-increasing levels of security and safety.

The program aims to improve the safety, security, efficiency and passenger experience within Australian airports by developing an integrated and adaptive complex systems approach for the design, management and operation of airports.

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Novel multiscale model to investigate mechanical properties of cartilage

ARC Discovery Project
Project leaders


Project summary

This project aims to develop a new multiscale model to investigate anisotropic and inhomogeneous mechanical properties of cartilage. It has been found that the mechanical properties of cartilage highly depend on its microstructures and components. The new model is proposed based on a new constitutive relation in the macroscale and a novel algorithm to obtain local stress distributions in the microscale as well as through rigorous experimental validations.

This model will be a powerful tool to understand cartilage mechanical properties. It will accelerate the design of mechanically viable artificial cartilage biomaterial, which will provide significant economic benefits and place Australia in the forefront of modelling and biomaterials.

Antibacterial impact assessment of nanopillar surfaces on titanium implants

ARC Discovery Project
Project leaders


Project summary

This project aims to further understand the bactericidal properties of nano-pillared/textured surfaces, onto orthopaedic implants. It will do so by mimicking the nano-pillar structures derived from cicada wings by using Helium ion microscopy (HIM) and also Hydro Thermal techniques. The project also aims to study the physical mechanisms of the fracture of bacteria using numerical modelling.

This project will result in new generation implants with minimal bacterial infection that could result in cost savings to the Australian healthcare, improved quality of life in aged population, and may lead to the establishment of new implant industry sector in Australia.

Xe-plasma dual beam for advanced future materials

Project leaders


Project summary

This project will establish a state of the art Xe-Plasma dual-beam facility providing characterisation and fabrication capabilities to Australia’s research community. The project will use two beams - one Xe, the other electrons - to mill the surface of bulk materials which are subsequently analysed by electron or ion beam techniques to determine atomic-scale microstructure(s) and compositions.

Anticipated outcomes are advanced materials engineering and new knowledge about ancient and future materials. This is expected to provide significant advances across a variety of fields including material science, engineering and geology and enhance trans-disciplinary collaborations.

A multiscale modelling framework for mechanical properties of ECM

ARC Discovery Project
Project leaders


Project summary

This project aims to develop a novel hierarchical multi-scale modelling framework to understand factors that influence the mechanical deformation behaviour of the extracellular matrix (ECM) such as cartilage, whose mechanical performance is critical to human wellbeing. Modelling ECM presents significant challenges due to the need to incorporate effects at scales from atomic interactions up to the fibre network in a continuum model.

The proposed framework follows ECM's natural hierarchical structure and integrates efficient models for each key structural scale based on rigorous experimental validations. It is expected to provide a powerful tool for designing successful artificial ECM materials and understanding the mechanisms of the ECM degradation.

Imaging-based fluid-structure interaction modelling of carotid atherosclerotic plaque

ARC Future Fellowship
Project leader

Professor Zhiyong Li



Project summary

This project aims to combine computational modelling, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), mechanical measurement and pathological analysis to investigate carotid plaque progression, and quantify the critical blood flow and plaque stress/strain conditions under which plaque rupture is likely to occur.

MRI-based 3D computational models with multi-component plaque structures and their interaction with blood flow will be developed and solved numerically to identify suitable plaque rupture risk indicators. Mechanical properties of plaque components will be measured ex-vivo and fibre orientation-based constitutive rules will be developed. This project aims to lead to quantitative understandings of plaque progression and rupture.

Improving productivity and efficiency of Australian airports - A real time analytics and statistical approach

ARC Linkage Project
Project leaders

Professor Prasad Yarlagadda



Project summary

Aviation is a major economic driver both within Australia and overseas, but the aviation industry faces growing challenges from the increase in passengers and changing regulations. To meet these challenges, airports, airlines, government agencies and others need to maximise their efficiency and productivity; however, complex dependencies and differing operational objectives complicate this task.

This project aims to develop a real-time, whole-of-system operational performance framework that can help operators in finding and evaluating solutions to maximise throughput, reduce wait times and mitigate flow-on effects. Innovative new video analytic and Bayesian Network based tools are integrated to address the challenges of adaptability and uncertainty.

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Our researchers collaborate on projects in specialised research groups and facilities across disciplines and institutions.

Some of our industry and community partners have included:

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Our topics

Are you looking to study at a higher or more detailed level? We are currently looking for students to research topics at a variety of study levels, including PhD, Masters, Honours or the Vacation Research Experience Scheme (VRES).
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Our experts

We host an expert team of researchers and teaching staff, including Head of School and discipline leaders. Our discipline brings together a diverse team of experts who deliver world-class education and achieve breakthroughs in research.
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