+ OzTrekk Educational Services Home
 
 

Articles categorized as ‘University of Sydney Engineering School’

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

Sydney Opera House project assisted by University of Sydney researchers

Sydney’s iconic Opera House has embarked on a concrete conservation project that will keep the grand diva of construction looking its best for future artists, audiences and visitors.

The Sydney Opera House in conjunction with researchers from the University of Sydney have spent the past 18 months researching and cataloging an inventory of renovation and restoration needs for the World Heritage-listed site.

University of Sydney Architecture School

The famous Sydney Opera House

The project forms part of the Getty Foundation’s Keeping It Modern initiative, dedicated to the conservation of significant 20th century architecture around the world.

“The Opera House is one of the world’s most recognisable concrete buildings. With its unique sculptural form, the building is known for its innovative use of structural concrete as an architectural element,” says Sydney Opera House Building Director Greg McTaggart.

“As we renew the building for the next generation we are currently reviewing and updating our asset management approach. The team’s research results will be integrated into the Opera House’s long-term conservation management plan and will be easily accessible to building managers and staff involved in the day-to-day maintenance of the building.”

Professor Gianluca Ranzi from the University of Sydney School of Civil Engineering said, “Concrete is a highly versatile material that has been used since the Roman Empire.

“In the last century it enjoyed a renaissance and, since then, has been used as primary material in many modern-day constructions, including the Opera House designed by Jørn Utzon and completed in 1973.

“Academics and students from the disciplines of civil engineering, chemical engineering, architectural science and heritage conservation have been involved in this project by undertaking specialised students’ projects.

“They have been contributing to various aspects ranging from the analysis of past and current concrete condition assessment reports to the development of the structural assessment framework for the Opera House within the context of concrete conservation principles, addressing the needs of historic twentieth-century concrete buildings.

“This has been an extraordinary experience for our students who have been able to be exposed to one of world’s most attractive concrete structures, and it has been a pleasure to see them engaged with this project,” says Professor Ranzi.

Master of Architecture

The Master of Architecture degree operates around a series of studios that require students to engage at a graduate level with projects with an emphasis on research, design and vision. Student work is defined by the rigours of industry practice and surveys the social, environmental, practical and aesthetic needs of the brief while working within the larger context of architectural theory and philosophy. The University of Sydney is currently ranked #1 in Australia for architecture according to the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016.

Degree: Master of Architecture
Location: Darlington Campus, Sydney, New South Wales
Duration: 2 years
Semester intake: March and July
Application deadline: January 30 and June 29; however, it is recommended that students apply at least three months prior to the program start date.

Apply to the University of Sydney Architecture School!

*

Would you like more information about studying architecture at the University of Sydney? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Architecture Schools Admissions Officer Shannon Tilston at shannon@oztrekk.com.

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

Sydney Computer Engineering study warns of the rise of artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence must be kept under human control or we may become defenceless against its capabilities, warn two University of Sydney machine-learning experts.

Professor Dong Xu, Chair in Computer Engineering from the Sydney School of Electrical and Information Engineering said the defeat of the world champion Go player has raised fresh concerns about the future role of artificial intelligence (AI) devices.

Sydney Engineering and Information Technology School

Study at the University of Sydney

The professor, whose research interests include computer vision, machine-learning and multimedia content analysis, says the question now is how much we should control AI’s ability to self-learn.

“The scientists and technology investors have been enthusiastic about AI for several years, but the triumph of the supercomputer has finally made the public conscious of its capabilities. This marks a significant breakthrough in the technology world,” Professor Xu said.

“Supercomputers are more powerful than the human mind. Competitive games such as Go or chess are actually all about rules  —they are easy for a computer. Once a computer grasps them, it will become very good at playing the games.”

Professor Xu said “The problem is that computers like AlphaGo aren’t good at the overall strategy, but they are good at partial ones because they search better within a smaller area. This explains why AI will often lag behind in the beginning but catches up later.

“A human player can be affected by emotions such as pressure or happiness, but a computer will not.

“It’s said that a person is able to memorise a thousand games in a year, but a computer can memorise tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands during the same period. And a supercomputer can always improve—if it loses one game, then it would analyse it and do better next time.

“If a super computer could totally imitate the human brain, and have human emotions such as being angry or sad, it will be even more dangerous.”

Currently, AI is good for the labour-intensive industries and can work as human substitutes to serve the public interest. They can clean, work as agricultural robots in the fields, or probe deep underground.

“Another challenge is that AI needs a more intelligent environment. For instance, self-driven automobiles often can’t recognise a red light, so if the traffic lights could send a signal to the cars and they could sense them, it would solve the problem. Singapore is making an effort to build an area with roads that are friendly or responsive to self-driven vehicles.”

Professor Xu believes it is crucial for companies such as Google and Facebook to set up “moral and ethics committees” to take control to ensure scientific research won’t head in the wrong direction and create machines that act maliciously.

Dr Michael Harre, a senior lecturer in complex systems who spent several years studying the AI behind the ancient Chinese board game, said “Go is probably the most complicated game that is commonly played today. Even when compared to chess, which has a very large number of possible patterns, Go has more possible patterns than there are atoms in the universe.

“The technology has developed to a point that it can now outsmart a human in both simple and complex tasks. This is a concern because artificial intelligence technology may reach a point in a few years where it is feasible that it could be adapted to areas of defence where a human may no longer be needed in the control loop: truly autonomous AI.”

*

Would you like more information about engineering and information technology programs available at the University of Sydney? Contact OzTREKK Admissions Officer Shannon Tilston at shannon@oztrekk.com.

Friday, March 18th, 2016

Nanoscience and technology institute launching at University of Sydney

Cross-disciplinary institute and flagship $150m building cements Sydney’s place advancing frontier knowledge.

The Australian Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology, launching next month, provides a world-leading environment for scientists at the forefront of nanotechnology to address some of the biggest challenges facing society. A recent issue of the Sydney Morning Herald featured an insight into the university’s “quantum leap” into the next frontier.

The Australian Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology, which launches next month at the University of Sydney, brings together in a purpose-built facility the capacity to design, fabricate, measure, test and deploy nanotechnology innovations—in an Australian first.

The new $150m Sydney Nanoscience Hub—the headquarters of the Australian Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology—is among the most advanced laboratories for advanced measurement and experimental device demonstration globally built for this purpose and joins just a handful of facilities at some of the most prominent universities globally.

Available for public use will be a prototyping facility and cleanroom, which will be augmented by a bespoke electron microscope in one of the most electromagnetically and mechanically stable environments in the world.

The Australian Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology officially launches on April 20, 2016. 

*

Find out more about science and technology degrees available at the University of Sydney. Contact OzTREKK Australian Science Programs Admissions Officer Shannon Tilston at 1-866-698-7355 or shannon@oztrekk.com.

Monday, December 14th, 2015

New chip technology inspired by student laser projector

University of Sydney electrical and information engineering researchers have developed a new silicon alignment and packaging system that could improve the manufacturing efficiency of biomedical and measurement sensors.

The system was developed using silicon CMOS technologies, and designers, Professor Xiaoke Yi and research honours student Keith Powell believe it will improve the speed and repeatability of packaging.

Sydney Dental School

Learn more about engineering and IT at Sydney

The pair’s invention provides a new closed loop system to perform the silicon photonic alignment and packaging process autonomously, significantly reducing the time, cost and manpower needed.

It has also increased the efficiency, consistency and scalability for massive packaging of photonic inter circuit (PIC) chips. The primary applications for PICs are in the areas of fibre-optic communication, biomedical and photonic computing.

The new technology can also be used in radar, antenna, optical interconnect, nanophotonic packaging and recently the technology was identified as having potential applications for earthquake monitoring and early detection of landslides.

Professor Joe Dong, head of the Sydney School of Electrical and Information Engineering congratulated the team on their groundbreaking achievement, stating he has no doubt that it will create a profound impact for Australian’s industries.

Associate Professor Xiaoke Yi, Fibre-optics and Photonics Laboratory at the university said, “Photonic alignment has been a major stumbling block in the silicon photonics industry.

“I was impressed by the laser projector my honours student, Keith had developed in his spare time and asked him to try and solve the nanophotonic alignment problem.

“Within weeks Keith had a solution. And in just over a year, Associate Professor Yi and Keith had a working prototype developed and experimental verification completed.”

Keith, who is currently a PhD student in the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies, says the unique laser projection technology enables high sensitivity to displacements at the nano-scale and has a large measurement range.

Funding from the Federal Department of Defence through the Capability and Technology Demonstration Program Office (CTDPO) supported the invention and construction of the prototype, which is now under an Australian provisional patent.

*

Find out more about engineering and information technology programs available at the University of Sydney. Contact OzTREKK Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

Sydney engineer’s Superman dreams come true

Childhood dreams are full of superheroes but how many of these dreams come true?

Xiaopeng Wang, PhD research candidate at the University of Sydney’s School of Electrical and Information Engineering is close to realising his dream of being like Superman, having X-ray vision and saving people’s lives.

Sydney Information Technology School

Xiaopeng Wang, PhD research candidate at the University of Sydney’s School of Electrical and Information Engineering (Photo credit: University of Sydney)

Wang’s superhero dreams led him to the telecommunication research group at the university where he is part of a team developing a device with capabilities to see through the walls of collapsed buildings or piles of rubble.

The 25-year-old, who grew up in a village outside Beijing overlooking the Great Wall of China said, “I suppose I have had a little bit of heroism in me since I was a kid. I wanted to be Superman, with super powers to protect the innocent, fight against crime and save lives.”

After successful trials of a large-scale version of the team’s device, Wang is now working on a smaller model of his prototype.

“To achieve the x-ray vision, we used electromagnetic (EM) waves, which are the same thing that give us the radio and Wi-Fi. Some kinds of the EM waves can go through a wall and send back the information relating to the object hidden behind it,” said Wang.

“We can then process the waves to retrieve the information we want. We then reshape the wave so people can tell the shape of the object it has captured.”

Dr Zihuai Lin, Wang’s PhD supervisors says his device has the potential to be used broadly in natural disasters, emergencies, such as the recent Tianjin Tanggu explosion and the Nepalese earthquake.

“When people get buried under collapsed buildings, a device such as this one could pinpoint the precise location of the survivor and definitely speed up the rescue mission,” says Dr Lin.

Before he embarked on his research journey, Wang was a devotee of video gaming. He admits to spending hours and hours playing games such as War of Warcraft, Counter Strike or Call of Duty. His immersive gaming experience also gave him some inspirational ideas for his research.

“In those virtual reality games, you use a gadget to probe inside architectural structures or buildings, either to win a fierce battle or rescue a teammate,” the University of Sydney Engineering School student said. “I thought this is what I want to achieve in reality.”

*

Are you interested find out more about the University of Sydney’s School of Electrical and Information Engineering? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Engineering Schools Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Friday, August 28th, 2015

Generous donation to support Farmbot for the People project

Anonymous $1.5-million donation to robotics research aims to make technology accessible to the average Australian farmer.

Project coordinator Salah Sukkarieh Professor of Robotics and Intelligent Systems and Director of Research and Innovation at the Australian Centre for Field Robotics says the affordable farmbots will give farmers a tool to help better manage their farms.

University of Sydney IT and Engineering

Professor Salah Sukkarieh and Mark Calleija work on the Ladybird (Photo credit: University of Sydney)

“It will also help them reduce the time spent on laborious farm duties, crop and animal monitoring, as well as invasive pest management,” he said.

“The technology will provide our farming community with low-cost platforms that can be adapted easily to meet the farmer’s individual needs.

“The new technology will assist agriculturalists in taking their farms into the future as well as provide an education tool for the next generation of growers.

“We will develop two low-cost Farmbot devices – the EmuBot™ and the KangaBot™. The platforms will be rugged, robust, battery and solar powered, energy efficient, simple to operate, and easily adaptable to meet different faming needs,” the University of Sydney Engineering School professor said.

The two variants will capture a wide range of agriculture applications from livestock, to tree crops and vegetable rows.

“We want to give all farmers the opportunity to have access to transformational technology by creating an affordable robot,” says senior technical developer Mark Calleija.

“Access to low cost robots would positively impact the quality of life for our farmers and their communities.

“It would help them address input and labour costs and improve efficiencies.

“It will also provide a generic platform that will enable farmers to grow technological capability on their farms as well as provide an educational tool for next generation growers.

“The mainstream use of agricultural robotics will also encourage a renewed interest in farming and attract a new technology-savvy generation back to the farm,” said Calleija.

With Australia’s population expected to reach around 38 million by 2060, the Australian Productivity Commission’s July 2015 update report said future growth in Australia’s agricultural sector “is likely to depend on the more productive use of land, water and other natural endowments through the application of the most up-to-date equipment and technologies against the background of changing productive potential.”

Professor Archie Johnston, dean Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies, said this type of generous donation would accelerate researchers’ efforts in working collaboratively with industry groups to deliver innovative technologies that will inevitably revolutionise farming techniques.

With every gift to the University of Sydney, donors become part of INSPIRED – the Campaign to support the University of Sydney, which aims to raise $600 million by 2017.

University of Sydney Mechatronic Engineering

Mechatronic engineering is the study of computer-controlled systems that form the basis of the ‘intelligent’ products that are ubiquitous in today’s society.

Drawing on aspects of disciplines such as mechanical, electrical and systems engineering, as well as computer science, it provides the foundation for cutting-edge technologies in fields including robotics, manufacturing, aerospace and bioengineering. The University of Sydney Engineering School offers an exciting range of undergraduate and postgraduate research opportunities in mechatronic engineering and robotics.

Apply to the University of Sydney Engineering School!

*

Contact OzTREKK for more information about studying mechatronic engineering or agriculture at the University of Sydney. Email OzTREKK Australian Engineering Schools Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com or call 1-866-698-7355.

Friday, March 6th, 2015

Sydney biomedical engineering creates bone replacement implants

A biomedical engineering team based at the University of Sydney has developed a new, low-cost method for producing bone replacement implants for severely damaged skulls.

The group worked with a Sydney neurosurgeon to create the new 3D printing technique that enables clinicians to produce a patient-matched implant in a matter of days rather than several weeks.

Dr Phillip Boughton, head Sydney Faculty of Engineering‘s cutting edge Implant Design and Manufacture laboratory and supervisor of the project said, “Serious head trauma can lead to significant loss of skull bone. The current procedure requires a surgeon to stretch and stitch excess skin around the wound and wait until a suitable implant can be produced.

“Our new rapid templating method makes it possible to generate patient-matched, safe, sterile cranioplasty implants using polymer based bone cement within days of receiving a patient scans.”

The rapid templating craniosplasty technique is not only faster but also significantly cheaper than current methods used to match a patient’s anatomy says Annabelle Chan, PhD researcher on the project.

“Cranioplasty implants widely used to reconstruct smashed bone include titanium meshes and 3D printed parts or bone cement moulded by hand. They can cost as much as five thousand dollars.

The biomedical engineers worked with Dr James Van Gelder lead neurosurgeon at Liverpool Hospital.

“Existing 3D printed implants are weaker; they are also associated with a higher risk for contamination that can lead to infection or inflammation,” states Dr Van Gelder.

“I was particularly interested in working with biomedical engineers to create implants for individual patients. Implants that could be customised based on radiology and my specific requirements for the patient.

“Anatomical matching of patient’s skull bone is important for improving a patient’s quality of life post-operation” says Doctor Van Gelder.

“With this new technique we are able to create a sterile template of the patients damaged region, then in a sterile environment apply bio-compatible polymer bone cement to that patient’s specific template to produce their personalised implant.”

The pioneering technique has successfully been used on several patients.

The team of biomedical researchers responsible of the rapid templating craniosplasty also includes David Shen, and Jeremy Kwarcinski.

“We’ve had some great initial clinical success for cranioplasty and the next steps will be to help regenerate bone and cartilage via our rapid templated scaffold implant systems,” says Jeremy who will undertake his PhD at the University of Sydney in 2015.

University of Sydney Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical engineering is a multidisciplinary branch of engineering that combines knowledge of mechanical, mechatronic, electronic, chemical and materials engineering with the life sciences of medicine, biology and molecular biology. It is one of the fastest growing branches of engineering.

Biomedical engineers design and manufacture implantable and external medical devices including orthopaedic, cardiovascular and other electronic and surgical equipment. These include artificial joints and limbs, dental devices, medical electronics and implantable devices, as well as tissue engineering and computer simulation such as MRI, x-ray and CT scans.

Master of Engineering (Biomedical Engineering)

A postgraduate specialisation in biomedical engineering will allow you to apply engineering principles in order to understand, modify or control biological systems. You will also learn how develop technology to monitor physiological functions and to assist in diagnosis and treatment of patients. You may engage in areas of study including biomaterials engineering, applied tissue engineering, advanced engineering materials and computational fluid dynamics.

Program: Master of Engineering (Biomedical Engineering)
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Semester intakes: February and July
Duration: 1.5 years

Apply to the University of Sydney Engineering School!

*

Contact OzTREKK for more information about the biomedical engineering program offered at the University of Sydney Engineering School. Email OzTREKK Australian Engineering Schools Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

Sydney Engineering hosts agricultural robotics meeting

Sixty of the world’s top agricultural roboticists are meeting this week (February 2 – 6) at the University of Sydney to discuss future directions for the globe’s horticultural and farming industries.

University of Sydney Engineering School

Learn more about Sydney Engineering School

Dr Robert Fitch, convener of the Summer School on Agricultural Robotics (SSAR), a first-of-its-kind meeting, says Australian and international experts will present research and discuss their ideas on the future of this rapidly advancing field.

“Technological innovation such as robotics could save the world ‘s agricultural industries,” says Dr Fitch, himself an expert in experimental robotics.

“Exciting new technologies including robotics has the potential to attract young people back to the sector which has experienced a steady decline over the past four decades in both environmental and human resources.

“Interest in agricultural robotics is motivated by the need to improve the processes that will inevitably feed the planet,” he says.

“Historically agriculture has benefited from technical innovations, and now must respond to significant new demands and pressures to increase efficiency.”

Statistics show that the number of farmers in Australia has dropped by 40 percent since 1981. This decrease is due in part to the reluctance of young people to remain in family farms. Worse, nearly one quarter of farmers are at or above retirement age. Similar trends are present worldwide.

However, exciting new autonomous systems are already being developed for tasks such as pruning, thinning, harvesting, mowing, spraying, and weed removal.

University of Sydney Engineering School‘s Professor Salah Sukkarieh, an international expert in the research, development and commercialisation of field robotic systems says devices are also being developed that collect valuable real-time information that will enable new ways to estimate yield and reduce pesticide and herbicide use.

Increasing demand from Asia had prompted the Australian government to set aggressive targets for food production increases.

“One such target is to increase exports by 45 percent by year 2025,” says Professor Sukkarieh. “Because natural resources are limited, achieving such goals must involve increasing the efficiency of production while at the same time engaging in environmental stewardship, and contending with rising human labour costs and diminishing availability of human labour.”

University of Sydney Mechatronic Engineering

Mechatronic engineering is the study of computer-controlled systems that form the basis of the ‘intelligent’ products that are ubiquitous in today’s society.

Drawing on aspects of disciplines such as mechanical, electrical and systems engineering, as well as computer science, it provides the foundation for cutting-edge technologies in fields including robotics, manufacturing, aerospace and bioengineering. The University of Sydney Engineering School offers an exciting range of undergraduate and postgraduate research opportunities in mechatronic engineering and robotics.

Apply to the University of Sydney Engineering School!

*

Contact OzTREKK for more information about studying mechatronic engineering or agriculture at the University of Sydney. Email OzTREKK Australian Engineering Schools Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355 to find out how you can study in Australia.

Friday, November 7th, 2014

University of Sydney makes space to reduce waste

A new centre that will help Australian food manufacturing companies stay globally competitive was officially launched Nov. 3 at the University of Sydney.

The “ARC training centre for the Australian food processing industry in the 21st Century” (ARCFPTC) was awarded $3 million over three years from the Australian Research Council through its Industrial Transformation Research Program.

University of Sydney Engineering School

Study engineering at the University of Sydney

The key objectives of the centre are to boost the Australian industry’s capacity to successfully compete in global market by developing cost-effective processes and produce high-value products such as nutriceuticals with health benefits for the prevention and treatment of chronic and acute diseases.

According to Professor Fariba Dehghani from the Sydney School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and co-director of the new centre ARCFPTC has been designed to boost the nation’s food technology and manufacturing capacity.

“The new centre aims to boost the Australian industry’s capacity to compete in a global market, particularly in the production of nutraceuticals for pharmaceuticals, dietary supplements, or food ingredients,” Professor Dehghani stated.

“The centre will design cost effective and sustainable processes for producing these types of products with a view to minimising waste while enhancing efficiency and reducing energy consumption,” said Professor Dehghani.

The centre will provide a multidisciplinary research environment that includes 14 researchers from engineering, agriculture, science and medicine, as well as international collaborators, and 10 food and biotechnology industry partners.

The ARCFPTC will work with Australian businesses to develop more advanced manufacturing techniques in order to reduce costs and increase energy efficiency. The funding of the centre has been supplemented by its 10 industry partners through cash and in-kind contributions.

“This particular ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre has an important focus and it covers a key research sector identified in the Australian Government’s recent Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda-food and agribusiness. This centre will educate a new generation of engineers and scientists and foster the capacity of Australian Food industries to further develop advanced technologies in manufacturing and product improvement,” ARC CEO Professor Aidan Byrne said.

“Another key objective of this centre is to work with industry partners to develop improved processes for the production of nutraceuticals, such as nutrients and dietary supplements, for the promotion of health and well-being.

“These high-value products have the potential to significantly increase Australian exports in agribusiness.”

University of Sydney School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Established in 1946, the Sydney School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering offered the first university-level chemical engineering program in Australia. Since then, the school has been committed to excellence in both teaching and research.

The school offers an exciting range of chemical engineering and biomolecular engineering undergraduate, postgraduate and research programs. Areas of study include chemical engineering, biochemical engineering and biotechnology, energy and environment, green product and process design, minerals processing, process systems engineering and sustainability. They also offer a unique industrial placement scholarship program, where top undergraduate students can spend 6 months of full-time work undertaking high-level investigative projects with one of the university’s industry partners.

*

Would you like more information about studying chemical engineering or biomolecular engineering at the University of Sydney? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Engineering Schools Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1 866-698-7355 to find out how you can study in Australia!

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Sydney Engineering researchers study recycling to benefit agriculture

Urine could be successfully recycled to fertilise crops according to University of Sydney civil engineering researchers who have examined the effectiveness of reusing nutrients from the human waste.

University of Sydney Engineering School

Find out more about civil engineering at Sydney

Dr Federico Maggi, senior lecturer in the Sydney School of Civil Engineering and expert in environmental modelling says there is growing evidence that the use of human urine in agriculture is completely viable.

“Our preliminary results indicate that human urine can be effectively used extensively in agriculture to reduce the production and use of mineral commercial fertilisers.

“It contains the highest levels of nutrients among all the human excreta and yields considerable amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. These are the most essential nutrients for the growth of plants, and substantially all micronutrients plants need for healthy growth,” the Sydney Engineering lecturer explained.

The researchers believe the model they have developed could be used to increase the effectiveness of urine fertilisation as well as crop yield, substantially lowering costs in terms of supplied nutrient.

Fiona Tang Ph.D. candidate, who studied the use of urine during her Bachelor of Civil Engineering degree, explains: “In human urine we have complex compounds that can be broken down into simpler molecules that plants and crops actually want to take up as their food source. Soybean, cabbage, cauliflower for example flourish with it.”

As part of her undergraduate studies Fiona conducted a survey investigating attitudes towards the use of human urine as a substitution to mineral fertiliser. She found there was a high acceptance level to its application in agriculture.

“Human waste has been used as organic fertiliser since ancient times. Its use in agriculture is still commonly practiced in many areas around the world, including parts of Southeast Asia and Africa,” Fiona says.

“Over seventy percent of the respondents in the survey were very positive towards the idea of applying human urine in agriculture and were willing to buy and consume crops grown by urine-based fertiliser,” she says.

Fiona says that unless we find alternatives to phosphorus or a similar mineral the world will potentially run out of these natural resources.

“Extensive reliance on mineral fertilizer is consuming copious amounts of fossil energy and mineral resources. Phosphorus, especially, is depleting and some studies have revealed the reserves of phosphate rock that are economically exploitable will only last for about a hundred years at current extraction rates. Recycling nutrients from human urine is a promising solution to the depletion of mineral resources,” Fiona said.

Taking the concept forward the researchers say it would be possible to design a toilet system that separates human waste at the point of deposit.

“Years ago society baulked at the idea of separating their household waste into recyclable and non-recyclable bins, now in Australia it is second nature,” states Dr Maggi.

University of Sydney School of Civil Engineering

The Sydney School of Civil Engineering offers students a well-rounded understanding of the discipline, combined with the much sought-after design, research and problem-solving skills needed to help create and manage sustainable built and natural environments.

Civil engineering is behind many aspects of everyday life we take for granted. It incorporates the intricate behind-the-scenes planning and design, and the construction, maintenance and all-important recycling of community facilities and infrastructures all over the world. It’s why our high-rise buildings, roads, bridges, railways, power stations, airports, dams and harbours are safe, efficient and easy to use.

The University of Sydney is the top ranked Australian university and 15th in the world for civil engineering and their leadership is reflected in the outcomes of teaching and research, and leading alumni.

Master of Engineering (Civil Engineering)

A postgraduate specialisation in civil engineering will teach you about planning, designing and testing structures within the built environment. It is concerned with all types of infrastructures including dams, bridges, pipelines, roads, towers and buildings. You may engage in areas of study including steel/concrete structures, environmental geotechnics, advanced water resources management and numerical methods in engineering.

Program: Master of Engineering (Civil Engineering)
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Duration: 1.5 years
Semester intakes: March and July
Application deadline: January 31, 2015 for the March 2015 intake; however, applicants are strongly encouraged to apply a minimum of three months in advance of the program start date.

Apply to the Sydney Engineering School!

*

Contact OzTREKK for more information about studying civil engineering or agriculture at the University of Sydney Engineering School. Email OzTREKK Australian Engineering Schools Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355 to find out how you can study in Australia.