Advance Queensland recipient develops new AI-powered technology to improve the transport tunnel network

Brisbane will host the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games—and it is expected to bring a huge arrival of athletes and visitors from all over the world.

The Games are one of the world’s largest and most prominent sporting events and typically draws millions of spectators.  

Now is the time for Brisbane to build new infrastructure, ensure enough hotels are available to meet the demand and improve the transportation system network. A recent survey conducted by Infrastructure Australia predicts a massive $4.7 billion annual congestion cost for Brisbane by 2031. 

Dr Andy Nguyen is an Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship recipient and working on developing Artificial Intelligence powered (AI-powered) condition monitoring research that aims to reduce maintenance costs and unnecessary closures of tunnels by at least 10 million per annum, while ensuring safe and efficient transport tunnels.  

Advance Queensland’s Industry Research Fellowships support researchers in carrying out studies that benefit Queensland, and Dr Nguyen’s research is a great demonstration of this. With $360,000 in funding received over three years, Dr Nguyen’s research will deliver innovative tunnel condition monitoring technology to safeguard Queensland’s tunnel infrastructure.  

Can you provide a short overview of your research project? 

The research project aims to develop a novel AI-powered automated structural condition and health monitoring technology, that can advance the condition management and digital engineering of the transport tunnel network in Queensland. 

The use of AI can enable the rapid and accurate uncovering of the structural condition of the tunnels in real-time, providing critical information for rapid assessment and decision making. This can help to ensure greater public safety by identifying potential structural issues before they become a significant problem. 

Who are you partnering with and why?  

The key partner in this automated AI vision-based structural health monitoring technology research project is Transurban, as they are the sole operator of all tolled road tunnels in Brisbane. This partnership puts Transurban in a unique position to benefit from the development of this technology for at-the-edge condition assessment of their tunnel assets.  

The research work will enable a completely new way of digital management and will overcome the challenges of cloud-based solutions, such as being vulnerable to network uncertainties and cyber-attacks.  

The development of this novel technology has the potential to revolutionise the way in which the condition of transport tunnels is managed, ensuring greater public safety and enabling more efficient and effective maintenance and repair strategies. 

How will the funding support you on your research journey? 

Advance Queensland funding will significantly boost my research efforts and facilitate to work effectively with Transurban in co-location mode. 

It will help to ensure I have a thorough understanding of Transurban’s needs and assist with developing a condition monitoring technology that is suitable for their transport tunnel structures. 

The combination of funding from Advance Queensland and working in co-location mode with Transurban, will help to ensure the research is relevant, practical, and effective in addressing the specific needs and challenges facing the transport infrastructure sector in Queensland. 

How will your research benefit and assist Queenslanders? 

This new condition monitoring technology developed from this research, has the potential to make transport tunnels more efficient and reliable for Queenslanders, especially during events like the 2032 Brisbane Olympic and Paralympics. The new technology can help to avoid unnecessary tunnel closures, travel disruptions and detours, which can have a significant impact on people's daily lives.   

Furthermore, the research will help to ensure that the tunnel network is ready and will provide safe and efficient transport for Queenslanders for many years to come. 

What does it mean to you to be a recipient of the 2022 Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowships program?  

I am deeply honoured and feel privileged to be a recipient of the prestigious Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship. This program will ensure my AI and automated system research finds the best destinations in the Queensland industry, for research translations and the best chance of commercialisations.

Last updated 27 Mar, 2023
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