Associate Professor Alex Remennikov and Associate Professor Neaz Sheikh from The School of Civil, Mining and Environmental Engineering (CME) have been successful in securing ANSTO-UOW Seed Funding of $18,000 for a project entitled “Improving Resilience of Reinforced Concrete Nuclear Containment to Breaching by Contact and Close-in Detonations”. The project is a collaboration between UOW and ANSTO researchers working in the area of extreme loading and international partners Électricité de France (EDF owns 58 active nuclear reactors in France) and Buffalo University, USA (representing ASCE Nuclear Standards Committee). This seed funding will be used to produce high-quality experimental datasets using the Advanced Blast Simulator (funded by ARC-LIEF grant) in Russell Vale for benchmarking modelling techniques to accurately capture structural behaviour of concrete nuclear containment structures. This project will develop a strong foundation for larger scale funding in the area of safety of nuclear power stations.

Dr Ana Heitor from School of CME together with Dr Robert Russell from ANSTO and Dr Jitraporn (Pimm) Vongsvivut  from the Australian Synchrotron have been successful in securing ANSTO-UOW Seed Funding of $10,000 for a project entitled “Soil stabilization using biopolymer xanthan gum”. The project is an interdisciplinary collaboration focussing on the investigation of the potential use of a biopolymer (xantham gum) for stabilizing soil. The funding secured will support a preliminary study of the biopolymer synthesis, e.g. characterization of the microorganism system and the geometric compatibility between the biopolymer and soil grains as well as macroscopic investigation (shear strength) of the behaviour of soil inoculated with microorganisms  (e.g. in situ biopolymer synthesis).