Natural disasters like floods have become more frequent due to the increase of extreme climatic events. It is very challenging to understand the hydrological impacts of urban developments in ungauged watersheds. The studied floodplains are in the northern coastline of Sao Paulo, Brazil, comprising limited and non-representative spatially and temporally data. Thus, alternative methods and modelling techniques, such as the multicriteria decision analysis, were used to determine the likelihood of flood susceptibility in the studied plains. The methodology was successful and might be used in other areas, especially where data is scarce and complex physical constraints are involved.
This thesis analyses how contemporary feminist and women’s-based campaigns have used social media platforms to challenge and resist dominant gendered discourses of women in the Australian mainstream media. Informed by post-structural feminist theories of discourse and power within a wider media studies approach, this thesis uses qualitative interviews and three separate case studies to analyse and contrast the assorted methods used by each case study to resist gendered discourses. It then contends that feminist and women’s-based campaigns can use social media to effect change, but that groups also need to be aware of issues related to intersectionality, and understandings of change within and outside of structural organisations.
Mandy Salomon's thesis, entitled Expressing Self in a virtual world: Digital engagement for
people with moderate to severe dementia, explores the lives of people with dementia to learn
how interactive digital technologies might assist them. A group of aged care residents helped
to design and evaluate a virtual world that was meaningful to them. When using the
prototype, they experienced high levels of engagement. An outcome of the research is a
design methodology that opens up new ways to improve the wellbeing of this significant user
Internal erosion is believed to be the main reason of approximately 50 per cent of embankment dam failures. Several studies have already been conducted on different aspects of internal erosion. However, only a few attempts, with considerable discrepancies in results, have been carried out to investigate the post-erosion behaviour. In fact, variation of soil strength and stiffness due to progressive internal erosion is not well understood. This research includes investigation of mechanical behaviour of an internally unstable cohesionless soil during internal erosion and post-erosion response under monotonic and cyclic loadings using a newly developed erosion-triaxial apparatus and 3-dimensional X-ray tomography.
Phononic crystals are novel artificial periodical materials which exhibit phononic bandgaps preventing the propagation of acoustic or elastic waves in a particular frequency range. Zhaoxuan Zhang investigates the topology optimization of two-dimensional solid phononic crystals for maximizing specified bandgaps with different lattices and symmetries based on the bi-directional evolutionary structural optimization method. The research exhibits many novel patterns with large band gaps for different wave modes and systematically discusses the influences of lattice type and symmetry on phononic bandgap size. The efficiency and ability in opening wide bandgaps of the proposed gradient-based BESO method has also been proved.
Dynamic Traffic Assignment formulations are mathematical frameworks for optimal transport system planning, assessing, and strategic traffic management. In this thesis several novel Dynamic Traffic Assignment frameworks are proposed. These models can offer following benefits to the society:
1. The proposed models can help us to reduce traffic congestion.
2. They can enable us to manage traffic strategically which would reduce emission and fuel consumption.
3. The proposed Bus Rapid Transit with Transit Signal Priority can help us to design and analyse public transport system which would eventually reduce passenger travel-time.
Understanding changes in the shoreline is important information used to support the planning of coastal mitigation, particularly under the influence of anthropogenic climate change. It is shown that Lakes Entrance, a township located at the northern end of Ninety Mile Beach in south-eastern Australia, is situated in a region that may experience noticeable future changes in longshore winds, waves and currents, which could alter the supply of sediments to the shoreline. Global Climate Model simulations are downscaled with a basic empirical equation and a comprehensive coastal-area numerical model to investigate the longshore transport climate of a high greenhouse gas future.
The purpose of this research was to identify local microbes from Sarawak soil capable of degrading oil palm waste that has become an environmental hazard, through composting. The compost produced can be implemented back into the oil palm plantation that in return, reduces usage of costly chemical fertiliser. Furthermore, chemical fertilizer used to cultivate these oil palms could be an environmental impact and may pollute the environment. The results from this research has shown that the local microbes found could potentially be used in composting oil palm waste into compost as an alternative fertilizer for use in oil palm cultivation.
Data-driven services delivered while the consumer waits are intrinsically sensitive to service delays impacting consumer experience. This can transfer to the financial bottom line when commercial interests are involved, such as with Internet web search and e-commerce. This thesis grows the body of knowledge regarding Incast congestion, a source of significant variable delay in delivering such services that rely on distributed computation. By developing free tools and using them to analyse the Incast phenomenon, a novel mitigation algorithm was developed which can improve service delivery times for Incast affected transactions, sometimes by more than an order of magnitude.
The cement and concrete industry, producing the most common material on the planet, is constantly seeking alternatives and improvements to the standard mix of general purpose cement, aggregates and water. In this study, the first of its kind, two alternatives (a blended cement and a non-cement formulation known as geopolymer) are compared directly with a standard mix using innovative analytical techniques. The results show that the alternatives have distinct advantages but the author advocates for more microstructural investigation to be conducted in order to prove them conclusively, particularly long term surface changes as a key indicator of service life.