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    Net-zero energy home and green steel project triumphant at Sydney Engineering Awards

    Nathan Johnson

    A solar decathlon house project and a ‘green steel’ innovation that uses discarded automotive products for steel manufacturing are among the winners at the 2014 Sydney Engineering Excellence Awards (SEEA 2014).

    Thirteen category winners in total were selected from 49 finalists and were awarded at a gala dinner in Sydney on September 19.

    The top prize, the Bradfield Award, was given to the CSIRO with joint entrants Flinders University, Flinders Medical Centre and Griffith University for their Fibre Optic Manometry – A 21st Century approach to in-vivo diagnostics project.

    Two President Award Winners were also announced for this year’s edition, one of which went to Team UOW’s ‘Illawarra Flame’ Solar Decathlon Home by the University of Wollongong and TAFE NSW Illawarra Institute. The Illawarra Flame was designed by the students of the University of Wollongong and Illawarra TAFE and competed in a Solar Decathlon in China against other small scale residential building projects. The project also took out the Solar Decathlon ahead of 19 other entrants.

    Above: The Illawarra Flame Solar Decathlon Home.
    Below: Ariel view of the other contestants' projects. Images: University of Wollongong.

    Key features of the Illawarra House:

    • 9.4KW Photovoltaic (PV) system comprising two types of PV cell
    • A thermal mass wall constructed from 90% recycled content
    • R5.0 Insulation
    • Earthwool with 80% recycled content
    • Recycled Australian Hardwoods removed from demolished houses locally
    • E-Zero board for joinery items
    • Reconstituted recycled timber wall linings
    • Low embodied energy steel coatings
    • FSC certified Timber
    • Low VOC Paints
    • HDPE Pipe as a replacement for PVC 

    Another notable winning project was ‘Green Materials – Novel processes’  by the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research & Technology, UNSW, OneSteel and Brickworks Building Products. The project research has led to a viable option for greener steel manufacturing which transforms waste automotive glass and plastics into value-added materials

    The project challenges the concepts underlying green steelmaking to the reform of combined glass and plastic waste from old cars in a greener method to make iron steel alloys called ferrosilicon alloys. These are generally made using silica and coke in an expensive and greenhouse emissions-intensive method but the Green Materials – Novel processes project offers a greener alternative and also tackles the environmental problem of cars at the end of their life cycle.

    Other notable winners included the Robert Bird Group with joint entrants Arup, WSP and Kennovations for their engineering work on One Central Park.  They took out the Buildings and Structures category.

    Full list of winners:

    Industry and project winners

    • Control Systems and Communications: Fleet Allocation Recording System, by Sydney Trains with joint entrant Quintiq 
    • Software and Embedded Systems: Project Caramello, by LX Design House
    • Products, Manufacturing, Facilities and Processes: Innovative Development of Ozone Trailer for Disinfection of New Water Mains, by Sydney Water Corporation with joint entrant Oxyzone 
    • Environment and Heritage: Tomago Wetlands Restoration Project, by Water Research Laboratory, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UNSW Australia and joint entrants Parks and Wildlife Group, Office of Environment & Heritage and Conservation Action Group, NSW Department of Primary Industries
    • Welfare, Health and Safety: Fibre-optic manometry - A 21st Century approach to in-vivo diagnostics, by CSIRO with joint entrants Flinders University, Flinders Medical Centre and Griffith University
    • Innovations and Inventions: Fibre-optic manometry - A 21st Century approach to in-vivo diagnostics, by CSIRO with joint entrants Flinders University, Flinders Medical Centre & Griffith University
    • Research and Development: Green Materials - Novel processes to transform waste automotive glass and plastics into value-added materials, by Centre for Sustainable Materials Research & Technology, UNSW, with joint entrants OneSteel and Brickworks Building Products
    • Project Management: Waratah Train PPP Project, by Transport for NSW, Transport Projects
    • Infrastructure Projects: Matched Precast Vertically Post Tensioned Piers On The Hunter Expressway, by VSL Australia with joint entrant Thiess
    • Buildings and Structures: One Central Park, by Robert Bird Group with joint entrants Arup, WSP and Kennovations
    • Engineering Reports: Sydney Regional Aviation Capacity Study - Planning and Engineering Studies for Airport Site Selection, by WorleyParsons with joint entrant Airport Master Planning Consultants
    • Engineering for Regional Communities: Burrendong Dam Temperature Control Structure, by State Water Corporation with joint entrants AMOG Consulting and Geotechnical Engineering
    • Education and Training - Highly Commended: UNSW Masters of Engineering Science Developed for Leighton, by UNSW School of Civil & Environmental Engineering with joint entrant Leighton Holdings

    Individual award winners

    • Professional Engineer of the Year: Dr Robert Care AM FIEAust CPEng EngExec
    • Associate Engineer of the Year: Dennis Lockwood AM FIEAust CPEng EngExec
    •  Entrepreneur of the Year: Professor Gernot Heiser MIEAust
    • Young Professional Engineer of the Year: Alex Metelerkamp GradIEAust
    • Engineering Student of the Year: Dane Griffin StudIEAust

     

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