Newcastle researcher awarded prestigious national Fellowship
Laureate Professor Scott Sloan at the University of Newcastle is one of just 15 researchers across Australia to be awarded an inaugural Australian Laureate Fellowship.
The Fellowship, announced today by the Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator Kim Carr, will provide $2.7 million for Professor Sloan's research over the next five years.
Laureate Professor Sloan has an international reputation for developing computer methods to predict the maximum load capacity for structures such as tunnels, dams, highways, ports, offshore platforms and building foundations.
The methods have delivered groundbreaking new tools for engineers to design cheaper and safer civil infrastructure.
"Infrastructure is now a priority area for Australian research, as it is an essential foundation for a successful economy," Professor Sloan said.
"Over the next five years, the nation will spend around $200 billion on civil infrastructure. This means that even small percentage savings in design and construction will lead to major savings in absolute dollar terms.
"The ability to accurately estimate the load capacity of geostructures is crucial to many forms of infrastructure design, but is complicated because natural ground often responds in a complex manner in any given area.
"Research undertaken in my Australian Research Council Federation Fellowship has created new methods and software for engineers to tackle this challenging problem.
"This new Fellowship will take the research to another level, supporting the development of cutting-edge methods and software to improve the design of a broad range of civil infrastructure."
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Mike Calford, said it was an honour to have a University of Newcastle researcher recognised through such an esteemed award.
"Laureate Professor Sloan is known worldwide for his groundbreaking research. In addition to his own research endeavours, he has contributed greatly to the development and governance of research across the University.
"This Fellowship is especially important as it will provide opportunities for young, talented researchers to work with Laureate Professor Sloan on this area of national significance."
The new research will take place in the 40-strong Priority Research Centre for Geotechnical and Materials Modelling, directed by Laureate Professor Sloan. He is one of six Laureate Professors at the University of Newcastle and is also a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science - the peak body of the nation's scientific researchers - and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.
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