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Posts Tagged ‘Monash University Engineering School’

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

Monash Engineering ranked 41 in the world

Monash University has ranked 41 in the world in Civil Engineering, and placed in the top 100 and 200 universities across five further categories, according to the latest Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU).

Monash Engineering ranked 41 in the world

Monash Engineering ranked 41 in the world (Photo credit: Monash University)

Monash ranked in the top 100 universities for Chemical Engineering, Environmental Engineering, and Materials Engineering, and placed in the top 200 for Energy Science Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering.

Monash Provost and Senior Vice-President Professor Edwina Cornish commended staff and graduates on the latest world rankings.

“This outstanding result is a reflection of Monash Engineering’s world leading research which is focused on bringing real benefits to Australia into the future.”

ARWU ranks more than 1200 tertiary institutions each year and the best 500 are published.

Monash Engineering School

Did you know that Monash Engineering School offers the widest choice of engineering courses than any other Australian university?

Monash Engineering School offers a Master of Advanced Engineering, which commenced in 2015. Delivered at the Clayton campus, the Master of Advanced Engineering offers flexibility to complete your master degree in just one or two years depending on your previous study and work experience.

Specialisation options

  1. Chemical engineering
  2. Civil engineering (Water)
  3. Civil engineering (Transport)
  4. Civil engineering (Infrastructure Systems)
  5. Electrical engineering
  6. Energy and Sustainability (Malaysia campus only)
  7. Materials engineering
  8. Mechanical engineering

Apply to Monash Engineering School!

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Learn more about engineering degrees at Monash. Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Engineering Schools Admissions Officer Shannon Tilston at shannon@oztrekk.com.

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

Monash Motorsport is Australasian champions for seventh consecutive year

The Monash Motorsport team has blitzed the field again at the annual Formula SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) Australasian event. Overall winners for a record seven years in a row, the Monash University crew defeated 29 other teams from around Australia, New Zealand, India and Japan.

The team scored 894.6 points out of a possible 1000, achieving the highest overall score and top-scoring in the Design and Autocross events.

Monash University Engineering School

Monash Motorsport team (Photo credit: Monash University)

According to team leader Areeb Hassan, the competition was tight.

“Some of the other teams had really strong entries this year, but we’re thrilled with the performance of our team and our vehicle,” Ms Hassan said.

Ms Hassan was especially pleased, given that the car was a completely new and very ambitious design this year.

“It was fantastic to have all our hard work recognised with a perfect score of 150 for Design, and to finish as overall winners,” she said.

The 2015 Monash Motorsport team was made up of 75 students from Monash University who were responsible for all elements of the the design, construction, management and racing of their open-wheel, formula style race car.

The team’s supervisor, Dr Scott Wordley, said that the team had performed extremely well under pressure.

“It wasn’t easy for them, getting the new car across the line, but all their hard work has really paid off. It’s a terrific result,” Dr Wordley said.

The Australasian Formula SAE event, part of the world’s largest university engineering design competition, was held at Calder Park Raceway from Dec. 10 – 13.

The Monash Motorsport team is now making plans for next year, when it hopes to visit Europe to compete in equivalent events at Silverstone in the UK and Hockenheimring in Germany. These Formula Student races are the most competitive in the world, with more than 100 entries from as many as 25 different countries.

Many of the team’s current students will be moving on to internships and graduate positions at top companies, including Rolls Royce Aero Engines, Audi Sport LMP, Ford Australia, Bosch Motorsport and various V8 Supercar teams.

Monash Motorsport

Monash Motorsport is a student run racing team that represents Monash University locally and internationally in the Formula SAE competition. Each year the team, comprising of students mainly from the Engineering, Information Technology and Business and Economics faculties, designs, builds and races a formula style race car against other teams from around the world.

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Would you like more information about engineering at Monash University? Email OzTREKK’s Australian Engineering Schools Admissions Officer Shannon Tilston at shannon@oztrekk.com, or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355. Find out how you can study in Australia!

Monday, December 7th, 2015

Monash engineering researchers co-discover ultralight magnesium alloy

Professor Nick Birbilis, Head of Materials Science and Engineering Department at Monash Engineering School, said that the new magnesium-lithium alloy weighs about half as much as already lightweight aluminum, and could potentially be used across a broad range of manufacturing to reduce the weight of motor vehicles and other items such as laptops by up to 40 per cent.

Monash Engineering School

Dr Nick Birbilis (Photo credit: Monash University)

Professor Birbilis, who is part of a research team that includes Professor Michael Ferry and key researcher Dr Wanqiang Xu from University of New South Wales, came across the discovery by chance when they noticed that a piece of the magnesium alloy had been resting in a beaker of water for quite some time without corroding.

“Normally for magnesium alloys, you walk away and a day later you come back and there’s very little left. This particular alloy stunned everyone in that it looked pristine after very lengthy periods of exposure in saltwater conditions,” he said.

The findings, published in the current edition of Nature Materials, describe how the alloy forms a protective layer of carbonate-rich film upon atmospheric exposure, making it immune to corrosion when tested in laboratory settings.

Even when scratched, the metal is able to reform a protective surface film, making it similar to stainless steel, but at a fraction of the weight. In fact, this magnesium alloy could be the world’s lightest and strongest metal.

This discovery is particularly relevant to the transport industry, where a reduction in the weight of cars, trucks and airoplanes could improve fuel efficiency and greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“These panels will make many vehicles and consumer products much lighter and, eventually, just as durable as today’s corrosion-resistant materials, another example of how advanced manufacturing is unlocking the potential of materials that have been under investigation—in too narrow a manner—for centuries,” said Professor Birbilis.

The international team working on this project including researchers from Monash University and UNSW, Nanjing University of Technology and Chinese aluminum-production giant, CHALCO, also used facilities at the Australian Synchrotron to study the molecular composition of the alloy and carbonate-rich film.

Prof Birbilis said they hope to better understand how the corrosion process is averted and are working toward imparting the ‘stainless’ effect to a wider range of alloys. This is being further assisted by an ARC Discovery Project awarded this year.

Department of Materials Science and Engineering

The ability to understand and manipulate materials and their properties is a key factor in any industrial process or technology, new or old. Increasingly nanotechnology, sustainable materials and biomaterials are becoming important areas of endeavor. Because of the enabling aspect of Materials Science and Engineering, and the multidisciplinary nature of the skills learned, Monash Engineering graduates are much in demand in many industrial organisations. Many also go into research, be it in academia, industrial laboratories or government research organisations.

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Want to learn more about Monash Engineering School? Contact OzTREKK’ s Australian Engineering Schools Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com.

Monday, July 20th, 2015

New pathway for Monash engineering students

Achieving engineering Chartered status is now within reach for masters students, following an agreement forged recently between Monash University and professional association Engineers Australia.

Monash University Engineering School

Find out how you can study at Monash University

The new agreement will give students another pathway to climb engineering’s professional apex and accelerate their careers thanks to a new streamlined certification process. The agreement will see Monash become the first university to achieve this level of certification with the new Monash Master of Advanced Engineering program.

The Monash Masters degree is the only one within Australia designed for alignment with Engineers Australia Stage 2 Competency Standards.

Engineers Australia certifies that the Monash University Master of Advanced Engineering provides accelerated progress for students towards the attainment of Chartered status. The knowledge acquired from the Masters degree for each specialisation aligns with the requirements of many of the Chartered competencies when coupled with relevant industrial experience.

Chartered status is an internationally recognised benchmark for professional aptitude among engineers that recognises an engineer practices in a competent, independent and ethical manner.

Professor Frieder Seible, Dean of Monash University’s Faculty of Engineering and Faculty of IT, said a chartered engineer’s strong leadership skills and expertise boosted potential earning power, job opportunities and promotions within their branch of engineering.

“Students with certification are on track to receive an internationally recognised badge of competence that is benchmarked and transferable with standards applicable in other parts of the world,” Professor Seible said.

“Chartered engineers are recognised by the community, industry and governments as a professional and responsible contributor to the well-being of Australian society.”

Engineers Australia CEO Stephen Durkin said the new program would “develop transformational, global and socially responsible leaders in the engineering profession. We are proud to be working with Monash University, an institution recognised as a world leader in engineering education and research.

“The high quality knowledge and skills developed through the new Master of Advanced Engineering program at Monash University directly supports a path to international recognition via Chartered status.”

Master of Advanced Engineering at Monash Engineering School

Did you know that Monash Engineering School offers the widest choice of engineering courses than any other Australian university?

Monash Engineering School is offering a new Master of Advanced Engineering, which commenced in 2015.

Delivered at the Clayton campus, the Master of Advanced Engineering is a one-year qualification. The course is designed to extend your knowledge in your specialisation area and advance your leadership and complex-problem-solving skills.

Specialisation options

  1. Chemical engineering
  2. Civil engineering (Water)
  3. Civil engineering (Transport)
  4. Electrical engineering
  5. Materials engineering
  6. Mechanical engineering

Structures and Geotechnical specialisations planned to commence in 2016.

Entry requirements

To apply for the Master of Advanced Engineering, you must have the equivalent of a four-year Australian Bachelor of Engineering in the relevant discipline with a minimum 70% average.

Apply to the Monash Engineering School!

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Learn more about the Master of Advanced Engineering and other engineering degrees at Monash University. 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. Find out how you can study in Australia!

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

Monash Engineering’s chipless tracker could transform barcode industry

Barcodes on packaged goods could soon be a thing of the past with the rapid expansion of chipless tags, and Monash University researchers are at the forefront of developing this technology.

Monash University Engineering School

Barcodes on packaged goods could soon be a thing of the past

A research team lead by Dr Nemai Karmakar, from the Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering, have long been developing chipless radio frequency identification (RFID) tags that can be printed directly onto products and packaging—including postal items, drugs and books—making it cheaper, smaller and faster than any other tracking system on the market.

Now, the team have developed fully printable tags for metals and liquids including water bottles and soft-drinks cans. Until now, this hasn’t been possible because the metal and liquids interfere with the technology. The tag can be printed with an inkjet printer and can be read when they are attached to reflective surfaces such as metal cans and water bottles.

Dr Karmakar said the team was believed to be the first to develop fully printable chipless RFID tags on paper and plastics, and the technology could revolutionise the multi-billion-dollar RFID market.

“The fact that chipless tags be printed directly onto products and packaging means they are far more reliable, smaller and cost effective than any other barcoding system,” Dr Karmakar said.

“The new chipless RFID technology is a high data capacity mm-wave barcode system that operates at 60 GHz mm-wave signal. This means it is much smaller than any other commercially available chipless RFID tags; however, it can still contain a high amount of data and information.

“The main challenge that we have overcome is to transfer the technology to paper and plastic while retaining the required printing resolution. Uniquely, the 60 GHz mm-wave tag can handle printing errors and surface variations. It’s very promising indeed in its ability to revolutionise the multi-billion-dollar RFID market.”

Dr Karmakar said the chipless RFID tag could also be used in temperature above 80 degrees and cryogenic temperatures.

“Another application could be biomedical samples stored at cryogenic temperatures,” Dr Karmakar said.

The researchers, based in the Monash Microwave, Antenna, RFID and Sensor Laboratory (MMARS) recently received a US$90,000 grant over three years from Xerox to further develop the cutting edge 60 GHz Chipless RFID.

The research has been supported by the Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery and Linkage Projects.

Monash University Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering

The Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering (ECSE) is an extremely diverse department specialising in telecommunications, RFID, biomedical engineering, robotics, sensing, vision, systems-on-a-chip and smart energy systems. These applications are based on fundamental research in electronics, photonics, signal processing, communications theory, artificial intelligence, real-time software, optimization, electromagnetics and numerical modeling.

The ECSE program at Monash University equips students with the skills necessary to succeed in this rapidly changing industry, with graduates going on to make an impact in many areas. The department is at the centre of ECSE research, with Monash researchers working on innovative projects including bionic vision, augmented reality, medical diagnostics, optical communications, wireless communications, sensor systems and high-voltage engineering. This research is creating and supporting high-tech industry.

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Would you like to learn more about engineering programs at Monash University? 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.

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

Monash chemical engineers invent new blood test

A blood-typing test based on bioactive paper has enormous implications for use in the developing world and poor and remote regions.

Inspired by the magical Harry Potter diary that absorbs ink and prints its own letters, Monash University chemical engineering researchers Professor Wei Shen and Professor Gil Garnier have invented a paper-based test that spells out a person’s blood type—in blood.

Monash University Engineering School

Find out how you can study at Monash University

The test uses bioactive paper, which can be stored in a variety of conditions, maintains its efficacy for months, and can be manufactured easily and cheaply. The results can be interpreted by someone without medical knowledge or skills.

By comparison, traditional blood-type tests require complex and expensive laboratory equipment, careful refrigeration of antibody reagents and someone with a university degree in pathology.

The key to this development being put into practice is the need for it to be as accurate as current blood-typing methods. So far, in more than 1000 comparisons between the paper-based and conventional assays, there has not been a single disagreement.

“We have to provide the same safety and that’s what the invention has done; we have the same efficacy as modern technology,” Professor Garnier said.

The test works by having text and symbols to represent A, B and O blood types as well as Rhesus factor printed on the paper using special inks laden with the relevant antibodies for each blood type. A drop of blood is placed on each symbol, and the paper is washed with a saline solution. If the blood type is A, for example, it will interact with the antibody printed in that letter, causing it to coagulate and give an unambiguous report of the blood type.

“If this blood is specific to that antibody then the drop stays where it is and if it’s not specific, it will wash away,” said Professor Garnier, a chemical engineer at Monash University and director of the Australian Pulp and Paper Institute.

The result can then be easily interpreted according to which letter or letters remain highlighted in red. This seemingly magical technology comes down to relatively simple science that uses the porous structure of the paper, said Professor Shen, also a chemical engineer at Monash University.

“When blood cells coagulate, their size increases and they get locked into the fibre structure, whereas in a negative test the cells can be flushed away by a saline solution,” Professor Shen said.

Monash Department of Chemical Engineering

Established in 1961, the Monash Department of Chemical Engineering is one of the leading chemical engineering departments in Australia. Monash prides itself on their commitment to outstanding research and teaching. The department’s mission is to create fundamental knowledge and pioneer technologies in the chemical engineering sciences. With outstanding academic staff and well funded research programs, their facilities provide excellent opportunities for postgraduate research work leading to master’s or PhD degrees.

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Find out more about Monash University Engineering School. Email OzTREKK’s Australian Engineering Schools Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com, or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355. Find out how you can study in Australia!

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Monash Computer Systems Engineering duo win international accolade for wearable computer

Monash University researchers have scooped an award at an international symposium on wearable computers.

A Monash PhD student Titus Tang and his supervisor Dr Wai Ho Li, from Monash Vision Group and the Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering won the Best Paper Award at the 18th International Symposium on Wearable Computers in Seattle, a major conference for specialists in the field.

Monash Computer Systems Engineering

Study engineering at Monash University

Titus presented the research on the EyeWear prototype which assists vision impaired users by translating 3D visual information into 3D audio cues, to more than 700 delegates.

After the win, Titus was invited to visit Microsoft’s research campus in Seattle as well as a Ubiquitous Computing Research Lab at the University of Washington sponsored by Belkin and other industry partners.

Titus said giving the presentation was a nerve-wracking experience because it was the first time he showcased the work to fellow researchers working in the field of wearable computers.

“We knew our paper had been nominated for an award before the conference and we were also told that the best paper award would be judged not just by the paper itself, but also by the quality of the podium presentation. This certainly added to the pressure I felt on the day,” Titus said.

“But it feels great that our work is being recognised by the research community. The award has certainly boosted confidence in my own research.”

The assistive system, which Computer Systems Engineering student Titus developed over the last three years with the help of his supervisor Dr Li, uses a wearable 3D camera and fast computer vision to detect objects in the environment. The 3D location of detected objects is then conveyed to the user in real time using 3D audio much like virtual objects in video games.

Whereas previous electronic aids have been used for navigational tasks, the Monash system is the first to detect and sonify nearby objects. In tests, the aid provided volunteers who were blindfolded, with enough accuracy to reach out and grasp an object by hand.

Titus’ supervisor Dr Wai Ho Li said that there was tough competition for the award.

“Just getting the research accepted was no mean feat as the symposium only accepts ten per cent of submissions as full papers. Despite the tough competition, the research won the best paper award,” Dr Li said.

“The fact that we won speaks volumes about the quality of the work. Titus did a great job presenting our work to some of the world’s leading experts on wearable computers, including researchers from Google and Microsoft. In an ocean of research focused on mobile devices with visual touchscreens, our work on an accessible audio-only interface stood out amongst the crowd.”

The assistive system was designed after discussions with Vision Australia and vision-impaired people, which revealed that traditional aids like the white cane and guide dogs have limitations—one of which is finding an object without touching it. The Monash University system is a first step in addressing these deficiencies, with user trials on vision-impaired volunteers currently underway.

Titus said the work was challenging because it was dependent on volunteers to assist with the trials.

“I have personally collected about 1,500 data points from my user trials. Each trial is labour intensive and it is a challenge to recruit volunteers and then getting everybody’s schedule right,” he said.

“But what’s significant is that all the volunteers I have worked with have been extremely helpful and enthusiastic about the project.”

The research was carried out within Monash Vision Group, who are developing a bionic eye that interfaces directly with the human brain. The knowledge gained about 3D sensors, wearable computers, computer vision and 3D audio has the potential to greatly improve the efficacy of the Monash Vision Group device and other visual prostheses.

Monash University Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering

The Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering (ECSE) is an extremely diverse department specialising in telecommunications, RFID, biomedical engineering, robotics, sensing, vision, systems-on-a-chip and smart energy systems. These applications are based on fundamental research in electronics, photonics, signal processing, communications theory, artificial intelligence, real-time software, optimization, electromagnetics and numerical modeling.

The ECSE program at Monash University equips students with the skills necessary to succeed in this rapidly changing industry, with graduates going on to make an impact in many areas. The department is at the centre of ECSE research, with Monash researchers working on innovative projects including bionic vision, augmented reality, medical diagnostics, optical communications, wireless communications, sensor systems and high-voltage engineering. This research is creating and supporting high-tech industry.

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Would you like to learn more about engineering programs at Monash University? 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. Find out how you can study in Australia!

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Monash Engineering PhD student wins Three Minute Thesis finals

PhD student Tridib Saha has emerged the victor of the Monash University Three Minute Thesis finals.

After taking part in numerous heats and faculty finals, the student, from Monash University Malaysia and the Faculty of Engineering, wowed judges at the Monash finals Sept. 19, with the summary of his work on the possibilities of harvesting electrical energy from vibrations.

Monash Engineering School

Study at Monash School of Engineering

After defeating over 200 fellow Monash PhD students, Mr Saha will now compete against 30 other PhD students from universities across Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific in the transnational Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) finals at the University of Western Australia on Monday, Nov. 3, 2014.

Mr Saha who started his PhD in Engineering in December 2012, after graduating from a Bachelor of Engineering (with Honors) in the field of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering, decided to take part after encouragement from his supervisor, Dr Ramakrishnan from the Monash School of Engineering.

“Research can be very one-dimensional and I’m always looking for new things to do to keep myself occupied. All it needed was a bit of convincing from my supervisor, and the next thing I know, I’m representing my faculty for the campus rounds,” Mr Saha said.

“I’m usually good with people and I tend to talk a lot, so I wasn’t really scared of the public speaking part. The biggest challenge was condensing and simplifying my work in a way that everyone would understand.”

Guest judges were Dr Graham Phillips from ABC TV’s Catalyst program, Monash Vice-Provost (Research), Professor Pauline Nestor and CEO of PACIA, Ms Samantha Read. Associate Professor JaneMaree Maher, School of Social Sciences convened as the Master of Ceremonies.

The panel of judges declared Mr Saha the winner based on his ability to creatively convey his research to a general audience, leaving them wanting to hear more.

Vice-Provost (Graduate Education), Professor Zlatko Skrbis, said the Three Minute Thesis competition represents a unique challenge for graduate research students.

“One of the key characteristics for any researcher is to make an impact by conveying the importance of their work to the general public. This competition is a great opportunity to develop those skills,” he said.

“The entries this year were of an incredibly high standard. Mr Saha’s presentation stood out because he used a winning combination of humour with a clear, expressive style to effectively convey his research to non-specialist audience.

“On behalf of everyone at Monash, I wish Mr Saha the very best of luck at the finals,” Professor Skrbis said.

Mr Saha said he was truly honoured to have the opportunity to represent Monash University at a national level.

“It is a huge step going from representing a campus to representing the whole university. I can’t wait to meet my competition and see where I stand among all the trans-national universities,” he said.

Mr Saha’s prize from the Monash University final is $2,000 and an all-expenses-paid trip to the transnational final, where he now has a chance of winning a research and travel grant.

Monash Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering

The Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering (ECSE) is an extremely diverse department specialising in telecommunications, RFID, biomedical engineering, robotics, sensing, vision, systems-on-a-chip and smart energy systems. These applications are based on fundamental research in electronics, photonics, signal processing, communications theory, artificial intelligence, real-time software, optimization, electromagnetics and numerical modeling.

The ECSE program at the Monash School of Engineering equips students with the skills necessary to succeed in this rapidly changing industry. The department is at the centre of ECSE research, with researchers working on innovative projects including bionic vision, augmented reality, medical diagnostics, optical communications, wireless communications, sensor systems and high-voltage engineering. This research is creating and supporting high-tech industry.

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Would you like more information about engineering at Monash University? Email OzTREKK’s Australian Engineering Schools Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com, or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355. Find out how you can study in Australia!

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

New Master of Advanced Engineering at Monash University

What about engineering? We often talk about medicine, dentistry, and law, but let’s take a moment to talk about engineering, shall we?

How about if we say “All students who commence Monash’s new Master of Advanced Engineering program in 2015 will receive a $6,000 scholarship?

Now we’ve got your attention!

Joking aside, if you’ve got a Bachelor of Engineering, further postgraduate study can be the foundation to a great career, and can turn an existing career into something brilliant, help you change careers, or aid in pursuing your passion. Did you know that Monash Engineering School offers the widest choice of engineering courses than any other Australian university?

Monash Engineering School is offering a new Master of Advanced Engineering commencing in 2015.

Delivered at the Clayton campus, the Master of Advanced Engineering is a one-year qualification. The course is designed to extend your knowledge in your specialisation area and advance your leadership and complex-problem-solving skills.

Specialisation options for 2015 include

  1. Chemical engineering
  2. Civil engineering (Water)
  3. Civil engineering (Transport)
  4. Electrical engineering
  5. Materials engineering
  6. Mechanical engineering

Structures and Geotechnical specialisations planned to commence in 2016.

Scholarship for ALL commencing 2015 Master of Advanced Engineering students

To celebrate the launch of the new program, all students commencing the Master of Advanced Engineering program in Semester 1, 2015 will receive a $6,000 scholarship! Questions about this scholarship? Email OzTREKK’s Australian Engineering Schools Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com.

Do a double Master

Take your career even further by combining your postgraduate engineering qualification with another one-year Master degree. Combine with

  • Master of Business
  • Master of Business Information Systems
  • Master of Information Technology

Entry requirements

To apply for the Master of Advanced Engineering, you must have the equivalent of a four-year Australian Bachelor of Engineering in the relevant discipline with a minimum 70% average.

Apply to the Monash Engineering School!

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Learn more about the Master of Advanced Engineering and other engineering degrees at Monash University. 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. Find out how you can study in Australia!

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Monash Engineering: Minimising drag to maximise results

One of the most exciting parts of the Tour de France for spectators is the tactical “vying for spots” in the breakaway group at the front of the pack.

Monash Engineering School

Study at the Monash  Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

In trying to better understand the aerodynamic interactions between cyclists, researchers from Monash University and the Australian Institute of Sport studied how riders’ drag was affected by the relative position of multiple cyclists (in a formation).

Nathan Barry, a PhD student from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, said the research, undertaken by the Monash Wind Tunnel Sports Group, was designed to optimize the aerodynamics of elite riders when in a drafting or slipstreaming configuration.

Drafting or slipstreaming happens when two or more cyclists align in a close group. Taking advantage of the lead rider’s slipstream reduces the effect of drag, or air resistance. Drafting can significantly reduce the average energy expenditure required to maintain a certain speed and can also slightly reduce the energy expenditure of the lead rider.

“Typical racing speeds seen in professional cycling are 45km/h and getting up to 65-plus in a sprint, and over 90 per cent of an athlete’s power is expended overcoming drag,” Mr Barry said.

“If cyclists can reduce that drag, it will significantly improve their performance.”

The researchers found that two riders drafting the trailing rider could experience up to a 49 per cent drop in drag and the lead rider up to 5 per cent. When riders were travelling closely side by side or overtaking, the drag could increase by up to 6 per cent above that for a rider travelling alone.

“With the time being a critical factor in winning a stage or even the whole tour, it is important that teams understand how drag works when they are in a pace line such as a small breakaway group, overtaking or travelling side by side with another rider,” Mr Barry said.

Given the many complex interactions taking place in road cycling, the research could help fine-tune team tactics as well as potential interference tactics.

“Small reductions in drag leading to gains in speed across the duration of an event can mean the difference between crossing the finishing line first or second,” Mr Barry said.

This research is part of a Australian Research Council linkage project grant.

About the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

In addition to their role of imparting knowledge through their undergraduate teaching programs the department is actively engaged in creating new knowledge through its research activities. It is a large and diverse department consisting of a large academic staff, two industry-focused research institutes, postdoctoral research staff and a significant postgraduate student community.

Through their work, the department is internationally renowned for its teaching expertise, its research output and its facilities. Some of the areas of engineering research specialisation are

  • Aeronautical and industrial fluid dynamics (FLAIR)
  • Aerospace, turbulence and combustion (LTRAC)
  • Composite structures (CRC for Advanced Composite Structures)
  • Maintenance technology (MTI)
  • Micro/nano solid and fluid mechanics (MNRL)
  • Railway technology (CRC for Rail Technology and IRT)
  • Robotics and mechatronics (RMRL)

About the Monash Wind Tunnel

The Monash Wind Tunnel is a low-speed automotive aerodynamic testing facility. It is the largest wind tunnel in the southern hemisphere. The facility is open to industry partners, academics and students. Here, researchers facilitate aerodynamic and wind noise research, and help to develop full-scale production vehicles for Australian and international markets.

Key technologies

  • Large aerodynamic wind tunnel facility (four test sections)
  • 2×2 m cross-section 450 kW wind tunnel (boundary layer tests)
  • Six-component force balance system
  • Scale model force balance systems
  • Multi-channel dynamic pressure measurement system
  • High-frequency velocity probes
  • Anthropometric manikin

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Would you like more information about engineering at Monash University? Email OzTREKK’s Australian Engineering Schools Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com, or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355. Find out how you can study in Australia!