The University of Newcastle, Australia

UON to host international conference on protective structures

Friday, 30 January 2015

The University of Newcastle will host the 3rd International Conference on Protective Structures at Crowne Plaza Newcastle from February 3 to 6.

The biannual conference will focus on the protection of engineering infrastructure such as buildings, bridges or ships against natural or man-made explosion and impact actions from terrorist attacks, military ordnance, earthquakes or accidental gas explosion. 

Professor Mark Stewart from the University of Newcastle will chair the conference with speakers from Defence, industry and both national and international universities.

More than 80 papers will be presented over three days of the programme including a paper from Professor Stewart discussing the costs and benefits of preventing progressive collapse of structures as a result of terrorist acts.

Stewart has received extensive Australian Research Council support over the last decade to develop probabilistic risk-modelling techniques for infrastructure subject to military and terrorist explosive blasts, as well as cost-benefit assessments of counterterrorism protection measures. Expressly influenced by the events of 9/11, he is simultaneously looking to dispel widely held beliefs about terrorist competencies and opportunities.

Keynote speakers include recently retired Air Vice-Marshal Kym Osley of the Royal Australian Air Force, Dr Jadranka Sunde from the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO), Professor Hong Hao from Curtin University and Dr Len Schwer of Schwer Engineering and Consulting Services.

Air Vice-Marshal Osley joined the RAAF in 1977 and in 2006 was deployed as Director of the Coalition Air Operations Centre in the Middle East. During this time he directed more than 400 aircraft and 25,000 Coalition air personnel, including those involved in air strike, collateral damage estimation and bomb damage assessment.

AVM Osley's keynote presentation will discuss the realities of planning, conducting and assessing the effectiveness of air strike operations based on his experiences in the Middle East during 2006/07.

Dr Jadranka Sunde leads the Weapon Effects & Protection Group (WEPG) at DSTO. She has extensive experience in the performance characterisation of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and the technologies used to protect against them.

In her keynote, Jadranka will describe the structural protection program and capability of DSTO to address current problems, in both military and national security environments. The talk will cover the past, present and future of this work in DSTO.

The 3rd International Conference on Protective Structures is supported by the UON Defence and Security Research and Innovation Hub, the University of Newcastle, the International Association of Protective Structures and is sponsored by PPG Industries.

For more information please contact Professor Mark Stewart on (02) 4921 6027 or email

ICPS3 Conference Logo

Defence and Security Research and Innovation Hub

  • Professor Mark Stewart
  • Phone: (02) 4921 6027

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