Runway researcher named in top 100 innovators - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

Accessibility links

USC News

Runway researcher named in top 100 innovators

12 Dec 2016

A University of the Sunshine Coast academic has been named among Australia’s top 100 most innovative engineers for his cutting-edge research into improving airport pavement technology.

Peak industry body Engineers Australia recently featured the top 100 list in its magazine ‘create’, and honoured USC Senior Lecturer in Civil Engineering Dr Greg White for his 15-year campaign to modernise airport pavement.

The former Air Force engineer said Australian airport engineering had stagnated in the 1990s, and he has since established a comprehensive program of changes to bring the field up to date, including developing advanced testing methods and runway pavement materials.

Dr White said many airports were still using construction and testing methods created 40 years ago, despite challenges such as changes in materials and the introduction of larger, more demanding aircraft.

“There’s no collective owner of Australian airports, so while planes have become more damaging and the materials have arguably become poorer, nobody has updated the technology,” Dr White said.

“My aim has been to address those issues by providing fundamental and applied research that can improve practice on the ground.

“One of the most important changes is to implement tests that are more indicative of the performance of new materials being used. Right now, there’s a significant risk that airport runways based on traditional technology won’t work perform under modern aeroplane loads.”

Several of Dr White’s proposals could set a new standard for airports internationally, with his new pavement strength rating system to be considered by the International Civil Aviation Organization in its next review.

Dr White said he was honoured that the engineering industry’s peak body had considered him to be one of the country’s top 100 innovative engineers.

 “I think the innovative part of what we are doing is recognising that there was a need for this program, and being proactive in making some changes,” he said.

“Hopefully we’re making our little bit of the industry better by working with initiatives that might otherwise stay sitting on a shelf.”

— Gen Kennedy

Dr Greg White.

Related programs

Related articles

Project to benefit reef water quality and grazing
2 Jun

Research by a USC PhD graduate that used the latest drone-based remote sensing techniques to investigate sediment sources to the Great Barrier Reef is the catalyst for a joint project by the University and CSIRO.

USC leads Australian study into exercise during pandemic
7 May

Health science experts from USC have been chosen to lead the Australian arm of a study into how physical activity levels have been affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

USC leads research on pandemic panic buying
21 Apr

USC psychology lecturers have launched a national research project investigating the behaviours that have led people to panic buy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Contact the USC media team

Name Position Email Phone
Terry Walsh Manager, Media and Messaging +61 7 5430 1160
Janelle Kirkland Media Relations Coordinator +61 7 5459 4553
Clare McKay Media Relations Officer (Regional) +61 7 5456 5669

Search results for

Recent news