Calling on researchers for the future Queensland

Future proofing Queensland maritime structures against climate change is one step closer thanks to the work of 2020 Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellow, Professor Allan Manalo of University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba.  

Professor Manalo received a $300,000 fellowship to develop stronger, more durable jetties, boat ramps and other marine infrastructure. 

The issue is that steel-reinforced concrete used in marine infrastructure does not weather well in coastal areas, with corrosion leading to structure deterioration and service life reduction.  

Professor Manalo’s solution is using glass fibre reinforced polymer (GFRP) composite bars instead of steel bars to reinforce concrete. 

The plus for GFRP concrete is that it doesn’t corrode – it’s strong, lightweight and sustainable. Throughout the three years of his fellowship, Professor Manalo bought his research to life by installing his technology at sites around Queensland, as well as developing training, Australian standards and design guidelines for future construction.   

The results of his research will benefit Queensland for years to come.  

So far, his work has created 12 jobs, upskilled over 50 tradespeople, and saved $12 million per year for inspection and maintenance of boating and maritime infrastructure, due to steel corrosion.  

In collaboration with Sustainable Alliance and the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads, Professor Manalo has also secured Australian Government Cooperative Research Centre Projects funding of more than $1million to develop new and sustainable GFRP bars for concrete structures. 

AQ Industry Research Fellowships is currently open with applications closing on 31 August 2023.  PhD qualified researchers partnering with industry to complete original research that will have a positive impact on Queensland are encouraged to apply. 

A new Industry Research Projects program, supporting researchers and industry to translate research outcomes into commercialisation opportunities, will open for applications on 28 August 2023.  

This Advance Queensland program will provide grants of up to $1.5 million, with tiered funding available to support both SEQ and Regional applicants. 

The program will target high-quality research projects where outcomes will lead to new products, processes, or services.  

Read more about this great new program.

Last updated 21 Aug, 2023
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