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R&D partnership with Monash bears fruit

Coates is preparing to launch the world’s lightest heavy-duty structural propping system

 

For the past three years, Coates engineers have been working with PhD students from Monash University's Civil Engineering Department to develop lightweight propping and shoring systems for the construction industry. The million-dollar R&D partnership is already yielding impressive results, with a world-first propping system due to be launched in Q4 this year.

Quadshore 150 is the first of three projects to be completed by the research partners. With a capacity of up to 150 tonnes, it will be the lightest heavy-duty structural propping system available anywhere in the world. The revolutionary design uses lightweight, high-strength structural elements and boltless connections, negating the need for consumables.

"It's been really good to see Quadshore 150's progression from concept to lab to destructive testing and now to finally seeing the product coming to market,” says Rafi Tchopourian, General Manager for Engineering Solutions at Coates.

“These research programs will ultimately benefit our customers by being able to provide lighter, yet stronger temporary works products. Lightweight steel means less labour, handling, storage, transport, installation and de-installation, saving both time and money and resulting in a lower carbon footprint."

The value of collaboration

 

Monash University’s Civil Engineering Department has been researching the concept of lightweight, high-strength structural systems for 12 years. According to Associate Professor Amin Heidarpour, Head of Structural Engineering at Monash, industry partnerships provide universities with a golden opportunity to transfer research to the real world.

“The cash contribution is something which we definitely need in order to conduct our research. But what is more important is the in-kind contribution of both parties. The time Coates engineers spend with my team at Monash ensures the research outcomes are well-transferred to the real world, while long-term partnerships mean we can tackle bigger research problems and make a bigger impact on society,” says Amin.

Quadshore 150 is a result of innovative research conducted by PhD student Esmaeil Pournamazian Najafabadi, who worked directly with Sudhir Raina, Engineering Product Manager at Coates, and Rex Turner, National Engineering Manager at Coates, to develop the patented system.

"The partnership is really important for Coates because it allows us to constantly look at R&D innovation of new products and services," says Rafi.

“By combining our industry expertise with Monash’s research capabilities, listening to our customers and the challenges they face, we’re developing real-world solutions for temporary works, which are vital to the success of any construction project."

Training tomorrow's engineers

 

"Monash's Faculty of Engineering is committed to industry-based learning in order to prepare future generations of engineers to imagine, design and build a better world," says Amin. 

"My PhD students can benefit from this industry-based research, not only by transferring and by seeing their research outcomes in the real world, but also by the fact that this research and this project helps them to get ready for their future career,” he says.

Coates engineers co-supervise the PhD students' research and provide valuable industry knowledge to help them develop the skills they need to enter the workforce.

"The engineering team at Coates are really helpful," says Esmaeil. "They’re bringing a lot of experience and industry knowledge to the table and that’s game-changing. With their help, we've developed a propping system that is different, in terms of capacity, weight and even assembly. Everything is better than what we already have in the practice all over the world."

Further R&D investment 

 

Following the success of the partnership with Monash, Coates will continue to invest in partnerships with leading universities across the country. 

“The education sector is our biggest export market for a reason; it possesses some of the world’s best and brightest minds,” says Rafi. "There is incredible potential for our construction industry to lead the world in innovation, with the Quadshore 150 solution demonstrating what our country is capable of."

Coates Engineering Solution's Water team, led by Design Manager Yang Liu, has partnered with the University of Technology (UTS) to investigate ways to support and improve construction water treatment processes. 

Yang says: “We're working with UTS to improve the efficiency of the existing water treatment fleet so we can increase the hydraulic capacity of our equipment, which means less equipment will be required onsite, less space occupied and more room for the client to use for other jobs.

"We're also working on water treatment process innovations for the existing contaminants required from the EPA, as well as the future requirement for the contaminants, to be treated before the site water can be disposed offsite.”

For more information about our R&D partnerships, contact Coates Engineering Solutions on (02) 8796 5000 or email engineeringsolutions@coates.com.au 

 

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