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CEED Project Abstracts 1999-2000

School of Civil & Resource Engineering

School of Electrical, Electronic & Computer Engineering

School of Geography

School of Mathematics & Statistics

School of Mechanical Engineering

School of Psychology



Re-evaluation of Substation Gantry Design
Adam Kidd
Department of Civil Engineering
Western Power

As the power network expands the short circuit loading increases on gantry structures. It has been proposed that a device placed between the gantry and the conductor may reduce the effects of short circuit loading. This would provide cost savings in structure upgrades as well as construction of new gantry structures. The most effective way to determine the required properties of the device and its effect would be through full scale testing. The excessive costs involved in full-scale testing have made this uneconomical. It is for this reason that a finite element model was developed to model possible devices and test their effect on the system. The finite element model has shown reasonable correlation with current design equations and full scale testing. Initial runs have indicated that the use of a linear spring is capable of reducing loads by approximately 35%. The magnitude of the load reduction is limited by conductor clearances in most cases. It is expected that the model has the most benefit in the construction of new structures where increased clearances can be used.


Load Rejection on Long Distribution Lines
Justin Marshall
Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Western Power

Overvoltages can arise in power systems from a variety of sources, one such source being load rejection.  Transient overvoltages, lasting typically from 50ms to 100ms, can be significant following load rejection with magnitudes dependent on a number of factors.  Through a series of computer simulations, the overvoltages following a 3MVA or 48% load rejection on the rural distribution line for Geraldton to Kalbarri were studied.


Wine Industry Growth in the Great Southern:  Infrastructure Provision and Regional Environmental Planning Implications
Megan Farrelly
Department of Geography
Great Southern Development Commission

The aim of this study is to address infrastructure requirements of the Great Southern Wine Region and to consider the implications for regional environmental planning.  Questionnaires, informal and formal interviews, and literature analysis were used to achieve the aim.  Existing infrastructure was found to be lacking in areas such as power supply, telecommunications and tourism support.  The infrastructure provision needs to be upgraded and improved to service the region equitably.  Regional environmental planning will need to consider water constraints, agriculturally significant areas and land use conflicts to help the industry achieve sustainable development.

The Effect of Blending Constraints in Long Term Mine Planning
Enrico Palermo
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Rio Tinto Technical Services

In the mining of bulk commodities such as iron ore there is a pressing need to blend ore to specified grade targets.  This makes long term mine planning of such deposits a complex task requiring sophisticated mathematical techniques to generate optimal mining schedules.  This report identifies inadequacies in current techniques for dealing with blending and discusses models constructed to overcome these inadequacies.  These models were tested on real mine data with the aim to understand the blending problem better and to quantify the potential increase to be exploited if optimal blending strategies are employed.  Results are given for various sized models and recommendations for further research are made.


Modelling of Syntactic Composite Materials
Scott Fillery
Department of Mechanical & Materials Engineering
Matrix Asia Ltd

This project investigated the compressive strength–density relationship observed in Syntactic Composites used in the subsea buoyancy industry by Matrix Asia Pacific Ltd.  Predictive Models and Finite Element Analysis were used to model the compressive strength–density relationship over the available range of volume fraction and filler type  The results from predictive modelling showed good correlation with the experimental results under uniaxial compression.  With this information, Matrix can determine correct filler types and volume loadings for different depth ratings on subsea products.


Optimisation of Aluminium Extrusion Details
Callan Gault
Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering
Austal Ships

This project is concerned with finding a method of designing hollow core aluminium extrusions for use on the vehicle decks of high speed ferries.  The goal of the design is to produce an extrusion that carries the specified loads whilst minimising weight.  The finite element analysis program “Strand7” was used to model the extrusion to predict the stresses that arise in critical load cases.  An iterative approach was taken, using stages of design with varying degrees of complexity.  A progression from 2D plate models, to 3D plate models, to simplified brick models allows the designer to converge on the best solution in the least amount of time possible.


Automation of a Powder Application Process
Matthew Grootveld
Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering
Quickwater Pty Ltd

This project deals with the design and construction of a prototype machine used to automate a section of the manufacturing process at Quickwater.  A design process was followed and this produced a number of different solution candidates each of which had the potential to do the task effectively.  From these the most promising candidate was selected and developed leading into the current prototype which has been built.  At this point in time it is in the process of being refined and improved.  An eight-fold increase in the speed of manufacturing has been achieved as well as huge improvements in consistency and repeatability.


Investigation of Rapid-Heating Combustion Technology
David Longhurst
Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering
Woodside Petroleum Ltd

The widespread utilisation of Furnaces and combustion in various industrial applications means that even small improvements in combustion technology have the potential to realise significant financial and environmental benefits.  A Perth based Western Australian company, BRN Burners and Furnaces, is one such company that claims to have achieved such improvements.  This paper outlines the theory behind the combustion technology utilised by BRN and describes the test rig and testing that will be conducted to determine the potential of the technology.  Preliminary theoretical considerations of the technology suggest it is particularly suited to rapid-heating applications. 


Inter-tank Slurry Transfer
Enrico Suwandi
Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering
Metplant Engineering Services Pty Ltd

The possibility of plant expansion in the gold mining industry has led to plant managers seeking remedies to prevent tank overflow and potential plant shutdown.  The problem generally arises because of significant head losses caused by friction in the screens and launder system that slows down slurry flow.  The current system may not be able to respond positively to the situation, resulting in a tank overflow.  The slurry may also begin to solidify and consequently block the path of the unaffected slurry until eventually it forms a barrier that curtails slurry transfer into the next tank.  In response to this problem, several modifications have been proposed but these generally mandate an undesirable temporary plant shutdown.  The paper attempts to provide a solution to the slurry transfer problem that avoids tank downtime with minimum alterations to the existing tank configuration.


Grain Refinement of Pure Platinum
Yohanes Tenggara
Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering
The Perth Mint

The scope of the project is to improve the surface finish of high quality platinum coins.  Surface finish of platinum coins can be improved significantly by refining its grains.  The investigation involved various factors of the process making of platinum coins, which affect the quality of the finished coins.  This paper describes the effects of all the investigated factors on the improvement of grain size.  A very brief discussion of the discovered solution is included due to commerical confidentiality with the project.


Developing Good Performance Measures for Customers Becoming Self-Reliant
Robert Browton
Department of Psychology
Family and Children’s Services

Family and Children’s Services (FCS) is Western Australia’s governmental organization devoted to the care and protection of children.  It provides myriad services based around adoption, child protection, crisis support, educational support, family information and family records.  The common goal of all services provided by FCS, regardless of their specific target population, is to help customers become self-reliant.  The department required that the self-reliance construct be developed theoretically and that a rigorous and contextually appropriate measure of it be constructed.  Due to the unique nature of the population that FCS customers comprise, direct contact with representative samples was impossible.  Consequently, an innovative methodology was employed to collect valid and appropriate content for both the construct and a statistically rigorous measure of self-reliance.


Individual and Organisational Characteristics Affecting Risk Exposure to Medical Mishaps
Karina Hanssen
Department of Psychology
Metropolitan Health Service

To date relatively little information has been collected that deals specifically with the occurrence and prevention of adverse events in health care.  In the present study, health care professionals from two metropolitan hospitals were surveyed about their perceptions of one individual level factor (i.e. performance pressure ) and two group-level factors (i.e. team communications/coordination and safety climate) and asked to self-report adverse event frequencies in an attempt to: (i) infer the causal relationship between variables that have been identified by previous research to be relevant to understanding error predictive of performance, and sensitive to training interventions; (ii) provide a baseline against which changes to organisational practice can be assessed against pre-specified organisational performance criteria; (iii) identify pockets of excellence and opportunities for improvement in regards to risk management within the Western Australian health care industry.


Leadership Style and Behaviours of Effective Supervisors in the Health Care Industry
Megan Schmitt
Department of Psychology
Metropolitan Health Service

The role of management in establishing a safe work environment remains a topic that receives less attention in the literature than it deserves.  This study investigates the role that management style has in influencing the occurrence of adverse events in two public hospitals under the government of the Metropolitan Health Service (MHS) in Perth, Western Australia.  In particular, this study tests the hypothesis that a participative leadership style leads to enhanced employee feelings of safety ownership and responsibility, which in turn influence the safety climate and subsequently lead to a reduction in adverse events.  This study also examines the mediating effect of job characteristics on the occurrence of adverse events.  Ths sample consisted of 476 ward-based health care professionals.  A quasi-experimental survey methodology was used to identify: employee perceptions of safety climate, employee job characteristics (including job control, job demand, influence and role clarity), employee feelings of responsibility for safety, employee ratings of their leaders’ behaviour and employee reports of adverse event frequencies.  Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) was used to test models of the relationship between the aforementioned variables.


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