Structural mechanics & sustainable materials research

The focus of this research program relates to the all-encompassing design, environmental impact and cost consideration associated with producing ‘sustainable structures and materials’.

Our vision is to create sustainable modern major infrastructure improving the lives of the community and future generations.

We work across different disciplines and closely with government and industry to develop integrated, realisable structural solutions.

About our research

Major infrastructures in Australia and around the world are enabling our communities and economies to function.

These buildings, bridges, roads and their foundations are susceptible to dynamic effects that needs to be monitored, especially if they have suffered some loss in structural integrity over time.

Considering the events of the last decade and the impact on structures exposed to extreme conditions, including blast and fire loading, it is now paramount to assess traditional analysis, design and construction methods.

Ultimately, developing novel experimental and numerical analysis methodologies to find ways to solve current real-world problems is paramount.

Our fire-testing facilities offer unique research and testing opportunities for applications in fire safety engineering.

Research focus

Our research focus aligns with the science and research priorities and associated practical research challenges of the Australian Research Council (ARC).

Research is conducted into the design and analysis of complex structures and the supporting foundations. Structural loads considered include dead, live, environmental and other loads such as foundation displacement, blasting and fire.

Our group leads the investigation into alternative aspects of designing and assessing structures using newly developed experimental and numerical dynamic analysis techniques, simulated blasting techniques and fire modelling.

We also undertake structural health monitoring to assess structures that are already in-service.

Structural mechanics is a strong stream in the civil, architectural and mechanical engineering programs taught by our research members.

Related units in our teaching efforts include:

  • Solid Mechanics
  • Engineering Materials and Construction
  • Introduction to Structural Engineering Design (Steel and Timber)
  • Geomechanics
  • Highway Engineering
  • Structural Analysis
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering Design 1
  • Structural Engineering Design 1 (Concrete)
  • Structural Engineering Design 2 (Composite design)
  • Urban Development and Transportation
  • Advanced Engineering Design
  • Engineering Applications

Research themes

Read about our research expertise in various areas.

Research facilities

Located at the Footscray Park Campus:

  • Large and small universal testing machines for the static and dynamic testing of elements.
  • Concrete mixing and testing facility.
  • Geomechanics laboratory.
  • Engineering materials laboratory.
  • Computer laboratory with latest software.

Located at the Werribee Campus, state-of-the-art fire test facilities for applications in fire safety engineering, include:

  • Large and small scale fire testing furnaces
  • Cone calorimeter
  • 3MW calorimeter and ISO room


Our researchers

Members of this emerging research area continue to publish their work in a broad range of scholarly journals and in proceedings of international learned conferences.

Our recent publications can be viewed using research staff links.

Research collaboration

The group's research is aligned with the research on the spread of smoke and fire in buildings, fire extinguishment and the way structures respond to fire. Our collaborative projects on fire in structures, and on aspects of sustainable buildings have been mutually beneficial.

The group’s research has collaborative links with:

  • Fire Research group
  • College of Sport, Health and Engineering
  • Engineered Packaging and Distribution.

Contact us

You can directly contact one of our research staff whose work is aligned with your enquiry or one of the following.

Professor Sam Fragomeni
Leader, Structural Mechanics & Materials Research Group
College of Sport, Health and Engineering
Phone: 03 9919 5212
Email: [email protected]

Dr Maurice Guerrieri
Deputy Leader, Structural Mechanics & Materials Research Group
Phone: 03 9919 8041
Email:  [email protected]