Research projects from The University of Western Australia that are developing strategies for Australia's defence and national security were today named as national finalists in the 21st Annual Australian Museum Eureka Prizes.
Winthrop Professor Hong Hao from UWA's School of Civil and Resource Engineering is an earthquake and blast-engineering expert. His project is the prediction of how buildings behave during bomb attacks.
"My work explains unexpected observations in impact tests of material properties, resulting in more reliable concrete and masonry material models for predicting building responses to blast loads," Professor Hao said.
Winthrop Professor Ba-Ngu Vo and his team hope their project will revolutionise surveillance and the monitoring of potential threats in Australia's vast air, sea and land space.
With Assistant Professor Ba-Tuong Vo and Professor Antonio Cantoni from UWA's School of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering, W/Professor Vo has developed a new family of algorithms for tracking multiple targets - a system which outperforms and is cheaper than previous methods.
The projects, in the running for a $10,000 prize, are in the category for ‘Outstanding Science in Defence or National Security' sponsored by the Defence Science and Technology Organisation.
The shortlist of scientific excellence recognises the year's most innovative and influential scientists in a contest dubbed the ‘Oscars of Australian science'.
The winners of the 2010 Eureka Prizes will be announced on 17 August in Sydney.
Winthrop Professor Ba-Ngu Vo, Research Assistant Professor Ba-Tuong Vo (+61 8) 6488 1767
Professor Antonio Cantoni (+61 8) 6488 7251
(UWA School of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering)
Janine MacDonald (UWA Public Affairs) (+61 8) 6488 5563 / (+61 4) 32 637 716