Our Facilities

The School of Natural and Built Environments has a great range of facilities that are utilised by students, staff and researchers. Read on to find out more.

Adelaide Planetarium  

Come to UniSA’s Adelaide Planetarium at Mawson Lakes and learn all about the constellations, stars and planets from the comfort of your armchair.

2012 is the 40th anniversary of the Planetarium, so what better time to come and see the Southern Hemisphere night sky brilliantly recreated. An impressive 5,000 stars are projected onto our eight-metre diameter dome ceiling.

Water and Waste Water Engineering Laboratories

AFMG can test a wide range of product including flow metres, smart meters, pipes, pipe fittings, valves, emitters, drippers, timer taps, moisture sensors, drainage systems, EMC electrical equipment compliance, gross pollution traps, stormwater treatment, and other hydraulic components.

For information or contacts for the former Centre for Water Management and Reuse please refer to the Natural and Built Environments Research Centre website.

Concrete Laboratory Area

Our 260m2 concrete lab and associated areas, comprising of 5 various type concrete mixers, concrete coring, grinding and cutting equipment. A large 3m3 material drying oven and space to store around 50 pallets of various concrete related materials is capable of manufacturing and testing most small to medium scale research concrete material projects. 2 40m2 constant temperature and humidity rooms are used for the curing of these products and with 3 modern concrete testing equipment setups we can test almost anything that fits in this equipment. What cannot fit or is suited can be tested on our structural strong floor or larger universal testing machines.

The lab is NATA accredited for the curing and testing of many concrete products including cylinders, cubes, cores and shot-crete “round determinant panels”.

Experiential Learning Studio

This Studio is a new type of experiential learning environment containing the latest audio visual equipment.The Studio can provide students with the opportunity to engage in hands on learning
as demonstrated on the large wireless touch panel located at the front of the room. This room is broken up into various sections:

  • Teaching Station (located at the front of the class room)
  • Pod Stations located around the classroom - there are seven pods in the room. (Each pod allows students to display content from their pod laptop connection or pod desktop PC onto the pod AV screen.)

The touch panel at the front of the room will allow the teacher to:

  • display content from their laptop or desktop PC (which is located in the AV rack)
  • display and control content from a DVD/VCR combo player (which is located in the AV rack)
  • switch content from teaching station to multiple pods or a single pod to the projector or other pods.

The facility is open from 9-5 for teaching. After 5pm, access is via swipe card for staff (and for students upon request.)

The Experiential Learning Studio is an NBE dedicated space. Any request for Studio access from non NBE staff must be approved by the School. If you require access please send a request to Danielle Gericke.

Geomechanics and Pavement Laboratories

This facility consists of seven laboratories that include:

  • Constant temperature rooms, environmental chambers and Soil and aggregates preparation area
  • Compaction (Standard and Modified compaction), density testing, CBR testing, unconfined compressive strength testing and sieving
  • Oedometers with computerized data loggers for collapse and consolidation tests   
  • Standard computer controlled triaxial testing systems 
  • Computer controlled triaxial system for stress and strain path controlled testing with bender elements fitted to determine small strain stiffness and Poisson’s ratio for soils
  • Computer controlled resilient modulus testing facility for bound and unbound materials with on-sample axial and radial strain measurement
  • Soil classification tests, permeability tests
  • Expansive soil characterization including swell tests, core shrinkage test, dew point psychrometers, electrical conductivity tests for solute suction, filter paper tests for total and matric suction, bubbling columns and axis translation technique for SWCC determination
  • Computer controlled micro-step shear box system
  • Simple shear testing apparatus
  • Mobile hydraulic drill rig with ability to sample to 5M
  • Neutron moisture density gauge
  • Rock mechanics test equipment.

Digital Learning Laboratory

Our goal at Project LIVE is to transform traditional classroom activities into flexible, interactive and engaging experiential learning exercises using immersive digital visualisations – Learning through Immersive Virtual Environments. This is achieved using two innovative lab spaces: the Panorama Room and Visualisation Studio. The first is equipped with a multi-projector facility that enables the simultaneous display of 270-degree panoramic images and videos for the purpose of information integration and collaborative learning. The second is a VR-enabled computer studio equipped with both Oculus Rift and HTC Vive virtual reality headsets and touch controllers. These learning spaces are available for interactive workshops, showcases, student visits and tours, and have recently been recognised by an Australian Award for University Teaching for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning. So come and visit the award-winning Project LIVE and immerse yourself a journey through some amazing virtual worlds!


Structural Engineering Laboratories 

 This facility consists of two laboratories that include:

  • A 33m x 17m reaction-loading floor with a 10 ton gantry crane
  • High capacity load reactionary frames with a maximum height of 7m and spans up to 10m
  • MTS cyclic loading system with a range of hydraulic actuators from 100kN to 1000 kN
  • Manual hydraulic loading actuators ranging from 2kN to 1000kN
  • Dynamic and static computer controlled data acquisition for load, strain and deflection
  • Masonry wall racking loading systems for earthquake simulation
  • Masonry wall testing system for simulating foundation movement due to reactive soils
  • Universal testing machines in the range of 2kN to 3600kN
  • Extensive workshop to support the special needs of structures testing
  • A large range of frames and assemblies for reaction loading
  • Simulated wind load panel testing system
  • Ridge and knee joint testing apparatus
  • A range of force, deflection and strain measurement systems
  • Cyclonic impact test rig 
  • The lab is NATA accredited for testing Access Covers and Grates AS 3996


Areas of study and research

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