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UniSA leads $30m CRC

by Geraldine Hinter

Professor Ravi Naidu
UniSA has been awarded $30 million to head the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (CARE).

UniSA is a participant in three other CRCs that won funds in the grants announced late last year: the CRC for Advanced Automotive Technologies, the CRC for Polymers, and the CRC for an Internationally Competitive Pork Industry.

The CRC for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment will be the first centre of its kind to focus on risk assessment and environmental remediation. Led by Professor Ravi Naidu, the centre aims to develop a risk based approach to remediation leading to improved regulatory acceptance of cost-effective solutions to environmental contamination.

A significant feature of the research is a national program designed to solve challenging air, land and water contamination problems involving site owners, regulators, consultants and research providers. The data generated will be used for further development of the Australian National Environmental Protection Measure, according to Prof Naidu.

"We will develop monitoring tools for contaminant groups including heavy metals, petroleum hydrocarbons, industrial solvents, persistent organics such as pesticides, explosives and others such as asbestos," Prof Naidu said.

The CRC has international links with universities in USA, the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Hong Kong, China and New Zealand. It brings together partners including the Department of Defence, the Australian Institute of Petroleum, IPOH Pacific Ltd and Sensoron, as well as core international partner, HLM, and with support from the South Australian Environmental Protection Authority. The main universities include UniSA, the University of Queensland, University of Technology, Sydney, and Southern Cross University. The CRC will have nodes in Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

UniSA will lead the SA Node of the CRC for Advanced Automotive Technology, with Professor Ross Bensley from the Centre for Advanced Manufacturing Research as the main contact. The CRC will be managed by nodes in South Australia and Victoria. It will provide opportunities for the automotive industry to work with research providers in design, engineering and manufacturing to enhance the industry's international competitiveness by reducing concept to product cycle times, improving manufacturing flexibility and efficiency, and developing new material systems for weight reduction, increased safety and greater functionality. Core companies involved in the CRC include Holden, Mitsubishi, Shefenacher, Air International and Australian Arrow.

UniSA is a supporting partner in the CRC for Polymers, with Professor Hans Griesser from the Ian Wark Research Institute as the main contact. The CRC will conduct research to deliver the technically advanced polymeric materials and polymer engineering required to transform Australian industries such as manufacturing, biotechnology, agriculture, and mining and energy.

Professorial Research Fellow in Nutritional Physiology, Peter Howe, is the key contact for UniSA's involvement in the CRC for an Internationally Competitive Pork Industry. The CRC aims to reduce production costs for high quality pork through more reliable and consistent protein and energy supplies through innovative grain production and improved herd feeding efficiency.