- Business - 11:00 Behaviour incentives raise GCSE attainment in schools in poor neighbourhoods
- Administration - Oct 20 U-M annual research funding rises to $1.39 billion
- Business - Oct 20 Four years later, what effect has expanded video gambling had on Illinois?
- Business - Oct 19 Berkeley economists launch Opportunity Lab
- Environment - Oct 19 MIT to neutralize 17 percent of carbon emissions through purchase of solar energy
- Business - Oct 19 Housing market drives franchise expansion
- Environment - Oct 19 3 Questions: Maria Zuber on stepping up MIT’s response to climate change
- Business - Oct 18 La Follette School’s Smeeding, others offer proposal for reducing child poverty in U.S
- Medicine - Oct 18 Making a splash in health care economics
- Environment - Oct 17 How to reach ecologically sustainable welfare societies
- Business - Oct 17 Could cryptocurrency help the bottom billion??
- Business - Oct 17 Executive pay gets boost from common owners
- Medicine - Oct 17 Hatfield talk takes on challenges of drug discovery Oct. 27
- Philosophy - Oct 14 Robert J. Sternberg weighs in on ’What Universities Can Be’
- Life Sciences - Oct 14 Super yeast? has the power to improve economics of biofuels
- Life Sciences - Oct 14 Computer ’brains’ solving mysteries of human behaviour
Smart Timber Monitor set to save industry millions
Researchers at the University of Melbourne are reporting the success of a remote monitoring device that can accurately measure decay and insect infestations in construction timber over vast distances - and could save Australia’s building and electrical distribution industries, millions of dollars.
The wireless device, which will eventually fit into the palm of a hand, can be attached to timber beams, joists or power poles, where it monitors at predetermined intervals their structural integrity, moisture content, and - through an ingenious ’listening device’ - the movement of termites and other wood-boring insects.
The device is the brainchild of Berhan Ahmed, a senior research fellow at the University’s Department of Forest and Ecosystem Science and a 2009 Victorian of the Year, who has been developing the technology over the past four years with distinguished radar technology expert, Associate Professor Peter Farrell and senior engineering lecturer, Graham Brodie.
Ahmed has spent more than 20 years studying environmental impacts on hardwoods and softwoods in some of Australia’s harshest natural terrains. Supported by IT technician Deepan Babu Thanigasalam and PhD student Ahmed El-Hadad, he recently completed successful field trials with hundreds of sensors reporting decay and insect damage on 40 power poles and 87 miniature model houses at a test site near Gove in Arnhem Land - "one of the most challenging building environments in Australia".
The researchers believe their system, which delivers its findings in real-time through a dedicated online program, will provide significant savings in building inspections, transport and labour costs - and, ultimately, in the amount of timber consumed by the construction and electrical industries.
"We have strong evidence that thousands of power poles are pulled down and discarded when they could still have several years of valuable service left in them," says Ahmed. "By monitoring the health of the timber according to appropriate parameters for their specific environments, we can determine precisely when they will reach the end of their safe and useful service life."
In addition to Australia’s 3.5 million wooden power poles, the device has major implications for home builders and owners, whose life savings can be tied up in a property that may literally be disintegrating around them.
"Thanks to advances in online , our monitor can deliver its findings remotely in real time to a server which will send a warning directly to the mobile phone of a home owner, a building inspector, or an electrical company, identifying exactly where a problem is emerging," says Ahmed.
This research also has implications for domestic markets. "If these remote sensors can reproduce the same levels of accuracy and reliability in urban settings as they have in simulated conditions, there’s no doubt they hold enormous promise for the building inspection trade," says Archicentre’s State Manager for Victoria, David Hallett. Archicentre is committed to supporting this kind of research to ensure our inspectors can continue to utilise the most advanced technology in their structural monitoring work."
Last job offers
- Environment - 21.10
Leiter/in der Forschungsgruppe Vegetationsökologie (80 - 100 %)
- Business/Economics - 14.10
Wissenschaftliche(r) Mitarbeiter(in) / Doktorand(in)
- Architecture - 14.9
Wissenschaftle/r Mitarbeiter/in oder Postdoktorand/in im Bereich Architekturvermittlung
- Social Sciences - 20.10
Assistant Professor Socio-spatial Planning (0.8 fte)
- Business/Economics - 20.10
Full Professor in Economic Geography (1.0 fte)
- Business/Economics - 6.10
UniversitätsassistentIn - Postdoc
- Life Sciences - 28.9
Postdoctoral Research Associate (40 hours per week)
- Business/Economics - 18.10
Postdoc (m/w) Autonome Systeme