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Prof Thiru Aravinthan

Topic: Civil Composites in Australia – Past, Present and Future

Presented by Thiru Aravinthan, Professor of Structural Engineering, Centre for Future Materials, University of Southern Queensland


The application of composites in civil infrastructure has been an emerging trend globally in the last decade. In Australia, the pioneering work was initiated at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) within the Centre for Future Materials (CFM) in late 1990s resulting in the installation of the first Australian fibre composite bridge. Since then, several infrastructure projects with innovative concepts and design using engineered composites as suitable solution and cost effective alternative to existing construction materials were implemented. This paper will discuss the past and recent applications of composite materials in civil infrastructure taking place around Australia. These projects include sustainable fibre composite bridge girders, pile rehabilitation and composite pile systems, railway sleepers, strengthening of existing structures, and other innovative applications of composites. Challenges and future opportunities will be also presented for the broad and safe use of  composites in civil infrastructure.

About the presenter

Professor Thiru Aravinthan is a Professor of Structural Engineering within the Centre for Future Materials at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ).  He is a Charted Professional Engineer and Fellow of Engineers Australia and a registered Professional Engineer at Oregon State, USA. His expertise includes fibre composites structures, prestressed concrete technology, structural rehabilitation and engineering education.  He is actively involved in national and international organisations including being the Member of Board of Directors, Composite Australia (Dec 2009 – 2013) and Council Member of International Institute for FRP in Construction (since 2010). He has over 25 years of engineering experience in the industry, research and academia and involved in several industry funded projects.