University of Queensland wins at global engineering awards

A civil engineering team from the University of Queensland has won the inaugural World Innovation in Bridge Engineering (WIBE) award for their hybrid fiberglass-concrete-steel bridge, in Guimarães Portugal.

The University of Queensland’s bridge design can reduce major urban bridgeworks projects from months or years to just three days, it’s set to save time, money, and inconvenience worldwide.

The bridge design used a double-skin tubular arch system, making it stronger, faster, and a third of the weight.

The team was led by University of Queensland’s associate professor Dilum Fernado. The design team included Brisbane-based company RocketC, global engineering consultancy Arup, and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

“Because it’s light, the bridge can be pre-fabricated and transported to site where it can be put up in about 72 hours. The means projects that previously caused up to six months of disruption can now be completed in just three days,” said Fernado.

“We are happy that our innovation has received such recognition, but this is only the first step. The next step is to see this technology being used worldwide.”

The Head of the School of Civil Engineering, professor Simon Washington said it was extremely rewarding to see the University’s research recognised internationally for their achievements.

“At UQ we foster a community that encourages and values innovation, and we’re lucky to have talented academics like Dilum and his team driving this culture forward,” said Washington.

The WIBE awards saw more than 200 designers from more than 50 countries with an innovative contribution into Bridge Engineering field, where the winner takes home USD $50,000 in prize money to fund their projects.