Studies investigate community issues

Final year civil engineering students at La Trobe University will tomorrow present some interesting ideas following their investigations into community issues in Bendigo and Melbourne.

Joel Heil &Brett KortumEngineering lecturer, Dr Andrew Kilpatrick, said the students have tackled some interesting topics.

‘The students have investigated a range of topics and come up with some excellent suggestions of ways to tackle civil engineering issues relating to areas such as public transport, water and concrete construction.’

Students Brett Kortum and Joel Heil chose to study a supplementary source of potable water for Bendigo. The focus of their investigation was the use of groundwater from two major units near Bendigo rather than stormwater and recycled treated water. The study also considered sustainable yield and recharge of the aquifer system and the cost of infrastructure to transport the water to Bendigo.

Victor Lorena and Clara Mulholland have analysed the catchment and triple bottom line evaluation of alternatives for an orbital public transport system in Melbourne. They found that an orbital rail line along the Albion-Jacana line was viable and, in conjunction with the regional rail link, would effectively provide a western link from Werribee to Sunshine. The students estimate annual patronage of some half a million passengers on the line, which would cost around $310 million.

A third study by students Phillip Cursons and Tim Reid looked at safety issues relating to spliced bars used to reinforce concrete. With new design rules for overlapping spliced bars in the yet-to-be published new edition of the Australian Standard for Concrete Structures, Phillip and Tim conducted a test series of six slabs by varying the lap length and spacing between the longitudinal bars.

The slabs were tested to destruction to assess their safety and the results compared with superseded rules and international standards.

These studies and others will be presented by sixteen final year civil engineering students on Friday 13 November 2009.