Civil infrastructure research at Swinburne is undertaken within the Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Digital Construction. Infrastructure is critical to the economic wellbeing of Australia with some $30 billion invested annually. Infrastructure underpins the delivery of essential services, drives economic growth, supports social needs and is closely linked to the high quality of life enjoyed by the developed world. All individuals, corporations and governments gain the benefits of good infrastructure or suffer the losses from poorly performing infrastructure.
Contemporary challenges facing the community include extending the life of ageing infrastructure and the provision of new infrastructure for a growing population in a cost effective and environmentally sustainable manner. The life cycle of any infrastructure system involves planning and procurement, design and construction, performance monitoring and renewal and in each of these phases different research challenges exist including the impact of new technologies, incorporation of sustainable materials, modelling and retrofitting for deterioration effects, asset management and the impact of extreme loads, climate change and the carbon economy.
The centre provides a focus for multi-disciplinary research in the field of sustainable civil infrastructure, which is a topic of national importance in the 21st century, and will expand research links through collaboration both nationally and internationally in a manner consistent with the new Federal Governments research model of 'hubs and spokes'.