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CEED Project Abstracts 2006-2007

Graduate School of Management

  • Planning a Learning City for Subiaco to Develop an Innovation Cluster

School of Architecture

  • Predictive Building Life Cycle Cost Model and Architectural Design In Building Maintenance

School of Civil & Resource Engineering

  • Improving the Durability of Open Graded Asphalt
  • Modified Asphalt Binder to improve Travel Characteristics

School of Computer Science and Software Engineering

  • Regular Expression Matching for XWraps Action Level data

School of Electrical, Electronic & Computer Engineering

  • Applying Statistical Methods to Optimise Transmission Line Ratings
  • Reactive Power Compensation at the Distribution Feeder
  • Comparison of STATCOMs and SVCs in voltage support at the fringe of the Power System

School of Enviromental Systems Engineering

  • The Hydrological Impacts of Climate Change and Variability in the Murray Hotham River Catchment WA

School of Mathematics and Statistics

  • Discrete Element Modelling (DEM)

School of Mechanical Engineering

  • Finite Element Analysis of a Fluide Catalytic Cracking Reactor Cyclone
  • Implementation of Reservoir Fluid Property MOdels in Well Log Analysis Software
  • A Techno Economic Study fo Mineral Sand Transportation Methods
  • High Strength Stainless Steel Refractory Anchors: Alternative Welding Technique Feasibility
  • Identification of the Parameters which Influence Panel Flatness and their Control
  • Progress Tracking on Industrial Construction Projects
  • Review Vibration Condition Monitoring Program across Iluka Western Region
  • Gelcasting and Thixtropic Casting of Industrial Ceramics
  • Measurement of Residual Stresses Caused by Welding

School of Population Health

  • The Relationship between Ambient Measurements of Particle Matter and GP Presentations for Respiratory Complaints

School of Psychology

  • Measuring Mental Workload: Assessing the Face LAB4 Eye Tracking Device

UWA Business School

  • An Economic Analysis of Removing Older Vehicles from the Perth Fleet


Predictive Building Life Cycle Cost Model and Architectural Design In Building Maintenance

Yan Tinapple
School of Architecture
Dept of Housing and Works

This research project addresses the forecasting of maintenance fundings for buildings under the management of Department of Housing and Works (DHW). The research studies the theoretical background of Government maintenance funding policy, and conceptual development of a life cycle cost (LCC) model for public building maintenance.  Attempts to develop a predictive LCC model from the database of the DHW are illustrated.  Other factors, such as architectural design that impact on the cost of building maintenance are briefly described.

Finite Element Analysis of a Fluide Catalytic Cracking Reactor Cyclone
Travis Bassan
School of Mechanical Engineering
BP Kwinana Refinery

The BP Kwinana oil refining process includes a residue Cracking Unit (RCU).  In July 2004 problems were first identified within the process.  Subsequent investigations revealed significant structural damage to the two reactor cyclones.  Finite element modelling was used to analyse the structure and identify the most significant damage mechanisms.  The analysis confirmed the thermal constraint during shutdowns, due to coke deposition, to be the primary cause of the structural failure.  The modelling showed the coke restraint was likely to result in significant weld failure on the cyclone roof due to excessive throat stresses.  This situation was found to be further exaggerated by the use of austenitic stainless steel in the construction of the reator cyslones.  Other damage mechanisms considered included fatigue and static overloading.  However, these were not found to have a significant effect on the structure.  The project has highlighted the effects of coke deposition on the reliability of the reator cyclones.  The minimization of coke growth from a design perspective and the removal of coke deposits during shutdowns have been identified as key factors in addressing this problem.


Planning a Learning City for Subiaco to Develop an Innovation Cluster
Jamie Blanchard
Graduate School of Management
City of Subiaco

This project examined the existence and development of an innovation cluster around the Health and Community Services Sector in Subiaco.  The importance of the Advanced Business Services Sector for the City of Subiaco and the innovation cluster was also assessed.  The project examined the role of the City of Subiaco in encouraging the development of an innovation cluster.  The major recommendation of the project was for the City of Subiaco to adopt the learning city model to encourage further development of the innovation cluster.


Implementation of Reservoir Fluid Property MOdels in Well Log Analysis Software
Debra Bolton
School of Mechanical Engineering
Woodside Energy Ltd

Hydrocarbon gas, oil and brine are commonly found in subsurface reservoirs.  Knowledge of each fluids in-situ density and sonic velocity is essential to petrophysical well log analysis processes and consequently the accurate evaluation of the hydro carbon content within the reservoir.  The fluid properties density,gas-oil-ratio, gas specific gravity and brine salinity are usually well known from fluid analysis at surface conditions.  At the high temperature and pressure environment within the reservoir, density measurments can vary significantly form their surface values, thermodynamic models are required to correct for this variation.  Sonic velocity is not generally measured in surface fluid analysis, thus it must also be calculated from measured properties and mathmatical models.  This project aims to implement the most up-to-date fluid property models for in situ density and sonic velocity in Woodside Energy's well analysis software Paradigm Geolog 6.6, to increase the accuracy and efficiency of well log analysis.  Accompanying the implementation will be a study into the variation between different fluid models and the impact of this variation on the well analysis.  This paper gives and overview of the common well analysis processes and the implementation and review of fluid property models.


A Techno Economic Study of Mineral Sand Transportation Methods

Matthew Bourke
School of Mechanical Engineering
Iluka Resouces Limited

Iluka Resources Ltd is a leader in the global production, processing and sales of titanium minerals and zircon.  Mineral sand deposits containing valuable titanium minerals and zircon are typically found in ore bodies along ancient coastlines.  Cost associated with transporting mineral sands are significant compared to the overall capital and operating expenses of Iluka's mine sites.  This projects has been requested in an attempt to reduce transportation cost between the mining pit and concentrator.

The project is a continuation of the 2005 CEED Project by Damintha Chandrasekara, which compared conventional pumping, multistage pumping and overland conveying.  This year the transport methods under consideration include: Slurrying Pumping, Overland Conveying and Trucking.  Each method will be individually optimised then compared in regards to technical aspects such as reliability and availability as well as economic issues such as capital, operating and maintenance cost of transportation methods.  The outcome results in optimum transportation methods for various input factors such as tonnage rates, elevation, distance, heavy metal concentration, time period etc.  Project conclusions and recommendations will equip Iluka with the ability to identify the optimum method for transporting mineral snad between the mining pit and concentrator.


High Strength Stainless Steel Refractory Anchors: Alternative Welding Technique Feasibility  
Tony Daniel
School of Mechanical Engineering
United Group Limited

This paper provides a gerneral overview of the logic, processes and theories involved in the investigation; testing and feasibility study on an alternate welding technique for Refractory Anchors to meet the client's requirements.

Applying Statistical Methods to Optimise Transmission Line Ratings
Malcom Farm
School of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering
Western Power Corporation

With the growing demand for power, it is Western Power's responsibility that the transmission lines can maintain the higher load demand predicted in the future.  Western Power uses conservative standards to determine the maximum ratings of these transmission lines.  According to these standards, Western Power would need to up-rate many lines to meet the demand for power and would incur large cost to the corporation. However, many lines are often under-utilised and Western Power may defer their up-rating.

The Relationship between Ambient Measurements of Particle Matter and GP Presentations for Respiratory Complaints
Anita Fuhrmann, Nabilah Islam Siao-Nge Hoon, Kate Francis, Chen-Hsin Lo and Harjit Kaur
School of Population Health
WA Dept of Enviroment and Conservation

Numerous studies have found a relationship between poor air quality and respiratory disease.  Most previous research has focused on hospital presentations, however, many people with respiratory symptoms may present to their general practioner (GP) rather than to a hospital.  Anecdotal evidence suggests the GPs in regional Australia have observed an increased frequency of respiratory presentations during periods of elevated wood heater use.  This study aimed to explore whether any association existes between the frequency of GP visits for respiratory complaints and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) levels, an air pollutant associated with wood fire smoke. Data on respiratory symptoms were collected from a large general practice in Bunbury, WA.  Records of 1285 patients who presented to this GP clinic during selected periods of high and low PM2.5 concentrations in 2004 were studied.  Average PM2.5 concentrations per hour from 6pm to 12am were used as a measure of pollution from wood fire smoke.  Patients' symptoms were compared to the corresponding PM2.5 concentration data for 0-7 days prior to presentation.  No relationship was found between PM2.5 concentrations and respiratory presentations to the GP clinic, even when accounting for a lag of 1-7 days.  The results of this initial investigation suggest that PM2.5 measurements, at levels recorded in this study at this specific location, did not affect respiratory presentations to the GPs.

The Hydrological Impacts of Climate Change and Variability in the Murray Hotham River Catchment WA
Leonie Joyce
School of Enviromental Systems Engineering
Dept of Water

There is growing evidence that the Earth's climate is changing as a reslut of natural variability and the enhanced greenhouse effect.  This has serious implications for water resources at a regional scale.  In south west of WA alterations in the rainfall pattern have been observed, with noticeable consequences for streamflow.  This paper presents an assessment of how rainfall patterns have changes in the Murray Hotham Catchment during the last century, and how the catchment has responded hydrologically to this change.  The LUCICAT catchment hydrological model is employed to investigate how further climate variability and change, as projected by the CSIRO's C-CAM Gerneral Circulation Model, may impact stream yields, flood peaks, and salinity processes.

Improving the Durability of Open Graded Asphalt
Vivienne Moir
School of Civil and Resource Engineering
Main Roads WA

Open graded asphalt is a highly porus friction course utilised on high-speed roadways, due to its ability to reduce water spray and traffic noise.  These functional characteristics have shown to deteriorate over time, reducing the durability of this pavement course.  International research has demonstrated the effectiveness of polymer modified and crumb rubber bitumen, fibre additives, two-layer asphalt and maintenance techniques at improving durability.  This study has investigated the effectiveness fo varying bitumen content, type and fibres of the existing gradation and also on mixtures with an altered aggregate gradation.

Identification of the Parameters which Influence Panel Flatness and their Control
Ian Munslow-Davies
School of Mechanical Engineering
Ayres Composite Panels

Ayres Composite panels produce AYRLITE 2022 panels mainly for the marine industry.  The panels are manufactured in steam heated presses.  The panel core is hexagonal aluminium honeycomb, faced on each side with sheet aluminium.  The dimensions of the finished panels are 240mm_120mm_ specified thickness.  A problem with manufacture occurs intermittently where the panels warp or bow.  The reason for the bowing is unknown but transient heat flow issues seem to be a major contributing factor.  The bowing interferes with production and is costly as the bowed panels can not be sold.  This project was initiated to identify, and propose control methods for parameters that influence panel flatness.  No previous formal investigations have been undertaken to address this problem.  Although much of the research and finding are confidential this paper illustrates much of the methodoloy for the investigation and testing.  The investigation and results show that a temperature difference through and across a panel during manufacture can occur and may induce a panel to bow when returned to ambient room temperature.  The investigation has recommended several issues to be considered such as a review of the control system, maintenance to ensure possible deposits and corrosion is serpentines and piping systems are removed and systems be employed to prevent reoccuring deposition and corrosion.

Reactive Power Compensation at the Distribution Feeder
Ayyappan Muthuveerappan
School of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering
Western Power Corporation

This paper presents a comprehensive and cost benefit analysis of Reactive Power Compensation provided to the SWAI (South West Interconnected System), and proposes two methods for Reative Power Compensation using Capacitor Bank arrangement.  The first is based on capacitor bank arrangement at the Zone Substation with large MVAr Capacitor banks installed at the Zone Substation, and the second is based on providing reactive support to the network near the inductive load at the distribution feeder's using small MVAr capasitor banks mounted on the distribution poles.  Also a comparative study of the two cases is presented in order to choose the most technical and cost effective method of reactive power compensation.

An Economic Analysis of Removing Older Vehicles from the Perth Fleet
Su Ong
UWA Business School
Dept of Environment and Conservation (DEC)

Increasing the turnover of vehicles has been suggested under Perth's Air Quality Management Plan in order to reduce mobile-source emissions.  This paper examines the options available to encourage greater vehicle retirement in Perth.  The main focus of the paper is the incentive to scrap older vehicles through scrappage programs.  The likely success of  such a program is assessed by simulating it in Perth.  Using this methodology, the estimated participation rates in the program can be obtained to determine the likely effectiveness of such a program in Perth.

Measuring Mental Workload: Assessing the Face LAB4 Eye Tracking Device
Dion Parera
School of Psychology
Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO)

Understanding mental workload is a key point in human factors research.  One of the more recent developments in the measurement of mental workload is the remote eye tracking FaceLAB4 instument and software developed by 'Seeing Machines' (2004).  This project will assess the reliability and the validity of the FaceLAB4 device and software as a measure of mental workload.  The results of this study are expected to further knowledge on alternative methods of measuring mental workload as well as the relationship that several psychophysiological measures have with subjective measures of mental workload.  The accurate measurement of mental workload is advantageous to the DSTO in that it allows the organisation to better design computer interfaces to reduce the mental workload of submariners, thereby increasing their performance and combat effciency.

Progress Tracking on Industrial Construction Projects
Russell Porter
School of Mechanical Engineering
United Group Resources

Tracking the progress of construction projects is important for completing them on time and within budget.  This is because it allows the project manager to initiate corrective action when the actual performance deviates from the planned performance.  The more often progress is measured; the more timely will be this corrective action.  United Group Resources have sought to increase the efficiency of this process.  A review of project management practices at the company was undertaken in parallel with a search for industry best practices and review of project management theory. Technologies that facilitate efficient material tracking are outlined, along with their limitations.  Methods of using computer modelling and mobile computers to obtain accurate progress measurements are also explained.

Modified Asphalt Binder To Improve Travel Characteristics
Mohammad Yaqoob Siddiqui
School of Civil & Resource Engineering
Main Roads

When dense graded asphalt cools the ability to compact the mix decreases, resulting in high insitu air voids.  High in-situ air voids could mean an increase in the potential for asphalt deformation, a reduction in its fatigue life and an increase of oxidation of the bitumen.  This is the problem Main Roads WA is facing as the asphalt is ofen made in Perth or regional areas and carted for a long distance to sites, thus a drop in temperature of the asphalt mix is unavoidale.  An emerging new technology named Warm Mix Asphalt (WMA) may be able to address this problem. It introduces a wax product (Sasobit), Sasobit is a synthetic paraffin wax which reduces the viscosity of the binder at mixing and compaction temperatures.  In this project laboratory and field testing were conducted on both Sasobit modified and unmodified asphalt specimens compacted at varying temperatures.  The study has demonstrated that Sasobit modified asphalt has reduced air voids at lower compaction temperatures.  Other test were performed, including resilient modulus, flow and stability, beam fatigue and wheel tracking test to characterise the stiffness and deformation properties of asphalt specimens.  The results obtained for Sasobit modified Asphalt complied with relevant Main Roads WA specifications.

Discrete Element Modelling (DEM)
Meiyi Tan
School of Mathmatics and Statistics
Rio Tinto

Recent advancements in Discrete Element Modelling, has gained the attention from indistries ranging from oil and gas to the entertainment industry and it will possibly become one of the most important advancements to the mining industry.  This attracts an increase in ongoing research in the area, to study models behind DEM. improve simulations, and thus improve efficiency in these industries.

In this project, we will be investigating DEM, and evaluating a DEM software package, EDEM, by studying the mathmatical models used in DEM.  Due to the ongoing need to design an accurate belt conveyor, for efficient transfer of particles, this research will investigate the accuracy of a transfer configuration modelled by DEM.  This ananlysis was done by computing particle trajectories from conveyor belts, and the interations between particles and particles, and particles and the transfer chute.  Comparisons between simulations from EDEM and DEM software package, ChuteMaven, with the actual experimental facility done in University of Wollongong, will be done to determine the accuracy of EDEM.

Regular Expression Matching of XWraps Action Level Data
Vincentius Edwin Teguh
School of Computer Science Engineering
Defence Science Technology Organisation

This project aims to enable search of user activites on XWraps data.  The problem is that the raw XWraps data is of very low level so that it is difficult to obtain information about the user activities in the recordings.  We translate the raw data into XWraps action level data. A action level data can be described as a pattern of user actions.  Therefore, we use patterns of action level data to represent user activities.  We use regular expressions to represent the patterns.  We implement and adapt an existing regular expression search algorithum for text strings by WU and Manber to our XWraps action level data.

Comparison of STATCOMs and SVCs in Voltage Support at the Fringe of the Power System
Benjamin Wong
School of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering
Western Power Corporation

Eletrical transmission and distribution networks are currently stretched to the limit due to the ever increasing demand for electricity. As the distance from load demand from a large generation source is increased, the capasity, security and reliability of supply decreases.  This problem had been prevalent in distribution networks at remote locations at the fringe of the power system.

The use of shunt dynamic reactive power compensation devices such as STATCOMs and SVCs are emerging as cost effective alternative solutions to these problems.  The purpose of this study is to examine the pros and cons of using these devices in remote locations of the network.  This will be achieved by modelling and simulating these devices on an existing network model and comparing their performance.

Review Vibration Condition Monitoring Program across Iluka Western Region
Robin Punselie
School of Mechanical Engineering
Iluka Resources Limited

The aim of the project is to optimise the application of Condition Monitoring across the Iluka Western Region in the field of Vibration Analysis.  The project is to ensure that Vibration Condition Monitoring (VCM) adds value as a viable and cost-effective maintenance strategy, and that the program represents an optimum  return on investment of resources.  Evidence of current procedures, systems and standards as applied to condition monitoring of rotating equipment was formally collected.  These reviewed across theorganisation but also against practices elsewhere inindustry and those outlined in both ISO and Australian Standards.  This project is heavily focused on cultural factors and implications for cultural change and is still ongoing.

Gelcasting and thixotropic casting of industrial ceramics
Oscar Harrison
School of Mechanical Engineering
Rojan Advanced Ceramics

Ceramic compnents made from aluminium titanate are in high demand due to the materials desirable mechanical properties.  Many aluminium titanate components are currently manufactured by slip casting and isostatic pressing.  However, these manufacturing techniques place limits on the size and geometrical complexity that is possible.  Gelcasting and thixotropic casting are two novel ceramic forming processes capable of producing complex, solid aluminium titanate components which cannot be produced by current production methods.  The paper describes the development of both thixotropic and gelcasting process for alumimium titanate.

Measurement of Residual Stresses caused by Welding
Toby Prosin
School of Mechanical Engineering
Alcoa World Alumina

On an Alcoa alumina refinery site there are large numbers of welded carbon steel pressure vessels.  It is know that welding causes residual stress fields to remain in the structure.  Tensile stress in conjunction with caustic conditions and elevated temperature is known to cause stress corrosion cracking.  Alcoa uses precautionary post weld heat treatment (PWHT) following welding to mitigate the risk of SCC.  This precaution is very costly to Alcoa.  It is possible that some PWHT is not necessary, however a qualitative assessment of PWHT necessity is needed.  Since residual stressess are a major contributor to SCC, measurement of residual stresses would contribute to satisfying this criteria.  Analysis of know residual stress measurement techniques has been implemented on known non-destructive technologies such as X-ray Diffraction, Hole-drilling, magnetic, ultrsonic and Instrumented Indentation Methods.

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