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22 November 2016

model houseThe University of South Australia is launching the Natural and Built Environments Research Centre (NBERC) to drive interdisciplinary research into key environmental and sustainability issues.

To be based in the Division of IT, Engineering and the Environment at the University’s Mawson Lakes campus, Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd says the Centre represents an even sharper focus on the environment and the relationships between, both built and natural landscapes, and the social and economic factors at play, as we plan for a climate-changed future.

“The NBERC will be conducting specialist and interdisciplinary research to support improved environmental and socio-economic sustainability across four major research strands in a stimulating, innovative and well-resourced environment,” Prof Lloyd says.

“A key aim of the Centre is resolving significant real world problems and challenges to ensure progressive and sustainable futures for industries, communities, ecosystems and environments, both nationally and internationally.”

Pro Vice Chancellor of UniSA’s Division of Information Technology, Engineering and the Environment, Professor Simon Beecham, says the NBERC will be providing research training, specialist interdisciplinary research and consulting outcomes across the four research strands of Natural and Built Environments Education, Environmental Stewardship, Smart and Healthy Communities and Water and Natural Resources.

“More than 50 full-time academic staff and 100 PhD students will be engaging in internationally recognised leading edge research into sustaining and enhancing our natural environments and the development of progressive built environments that support the well-being of communities all over the world,” Prof Beecham says.

“Our Centre’s academics and researchers have diverse research backgrounds and complementary expertise in Civil Engineering, Construction Management and Economics, Environmental Science, Geospatial Science, Project Management, Water Science and Water Engineering.

“NBERC researchers are already extensively collaborating with leading national and international research organisations and universities enhancing the scope, relevance, cutting edge capacity and performance of their work.

“We welcome research and partnering opportunities with industries, councils, governments and agencies, communities and other research organisations to help us address the important knowledge gaps and problems associated with our natural and built environments.”

The Natural and Built Environments Research Centre collaborates with the UniSA Future Industries Institute (FII), the Barbara Hardy Institute, the UniSA School of Engineering and School of Information Technology and Mathematical Sciences, where technologies, skills and expertise are complementary.

The NBERC also has two significant testing facilities that support the needs of industry, government agencies and the wider community. 

“With the assistance of $1.63 million of funding provided by the Federal Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, UniSA has created a world class facility for flow measurement and research - the Australian Flow Management Group (AFMG, formerly known as the Australian Irrigation and Hydraulics Testing Facility),” Prof Beecham says. 

“The Structural Materials Assemblies Group also delivers independent specialist testing and research on structures, concrete technology, construction materials and geotechnical services.” 

To formally recognise the establishment of the Natural and Built Environments Research Centre and it’s nationally important testing facilities, the Centre will be launched on Tuesday 22nd November.

Event details: Official opening, tour of the facilities and networking function

Date/Time: Tuesday 22 November at 4.00pm – 6.00pm

Location: The AFMG Facility University of South Australia Mawson Lakes Campus

Media contact: Katrina McLachlan mobile: 0414972537 email: katrina.mclachlan@unisa.edu.au

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