School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering
Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences
Having spent several years as a consulting engineer, I have practical design experience using a variety of different structural types and materials. However, I am also familiar with some of the limitations inherent in our design standards and the challenges faced particularly in the area of seismic design.
My current research focus is spread across several areas as described under the "My Research" tab below, with a particular focus on the seismic response of unreinforced masonry buildings and a key emphasis on developing outcomes that can be used by engineering practitioners.
Heritage Stone and Brick Masonry
Australia has a wealth of culturally significant heritage masonry buildings constructed from the colonial years of the early 1800s up to the early-to-mid 1900s. Whilst these buildings tend to be among the most earthquake-prone of our overall building stock, undertaking seismic assessment of such buildings is insufficiently catered for by our modern-day design standards.
This research aims to characterise Australia's heritage stone and clay brick masonry buildings in terms of material properties and structural layouts to better understand their behaviour under earthquake loading, and to devise efficient methods for strengthening them for better earthquake performance so that they can survive for future generations.
Strengthening of Unreinforced Masonry with FRPs
It is well known that unreinforced masonry buildings perform poorly in earthquakes as evidenced most recently by the events in New Zealand and Italy. To address this inherent lack of capacity, retrofitting masonry walls using fibre-reinforced polymers (FRPs) has emerged as a popular means of enhancing their seismic capacity---both for in-plane and out-of-plane loading.
Among the aims of this project are:
- Develop a generic bond model for the interaction between FRP sheets, plates and bars to clay brick and concrete block masonry;
- Develop mechanics-based analysis techniques for predicting the strength and ductility of FRP-strengthened walls; and
- Investigate the influence of environmental exposure on the long-term durability of strengthened systems.
Out-of-Plane Response of Unreinforced Masonry Walls Under Earthquake Loading
Out-of-plane wall collapse is regarded as arguably the single greatest vulnerability of unreinforced masonry construction in earthquakes. This project comprises a long-term, ongoing research effort aimed to better understand the structural mechanics and dynamics of out-of-plane response, with the ultimate aim of developing analysis tools that can be used for practical design and assessment.
Areas of focus include:
- Enhancement of capacity from two-way bending;
- Building response effects including interstorey drift, dynamic amplification, and height amplification;
- Development of alternate design approaches which are, respectively, reliant and not reliant on bond strength; and
- Force-based and displacement-based design techniques.
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