Research leader

Prof Sujeeva Setunge Research Leader

End User representatives

Leesa Carson
Leesa Carson End-Users
Duncan McLuckie End-Users
Myles Fairbairn
Myles Fairbairn End-Users
Wije Ariyaratne End-Users
Elliott Simmons
Elliott Simmons End-Users
Greg Howard
Greg Howard End-Users
Greg Buckley End-Users
Yew-Chin Koay End-Users

Research team

Weena Lokuge Research Team
Chun Qing Li Research Team
Darryn McEvoy Research Team
Kevin Zhang Research Team
Hessam Mohseni
Hessam Mohseni Research Team
Priyan Mendis Research Team
Prof Karu Karunasena Research Team
Dilanthi Amaratunga Research Team

Student researchers

Amila Dissanayake Student Reseachers
Farook Kalendher Student Reseachers
Maryam Nasim Student Reseachers
Ismail M I Qeshta Student Reseachers
Akvan Gajanayake Student Reseachers
Zeinab Yazdanfar Student Reseachers

Road networks and critical road structures such as bridges, culverts and floodways have a vital role before, during and after extreme events to reduce the vulnerability of the community.

A major gap in the current research is the lack of assessment techniques and tools to reduce the vulnerability of road structures to enhance both community and structural resilience. This project is developing tools and techniques to enhance the resilience of road infrastructure to hazards such as floods, bushfires, earthquakes and climate change-related weather events.

The study is undertaking research to:

  • Advance the understanding of the factors required for quantifying the impact of hazards on road structures.
  • Understand failure mechanisms under different hazards and vulnerable structural forms, with structures grouped according to vulnerability.

Case studies have been completed and numerical analyses have been conducted to understand the vulnerability of roads to different hazards.

Flood, bushfire and earthquake have been investigated, with two case studies on bridges, and one on floodway failure. The project has also begun the development of the methodology for vulnerability modelling of bridges and floodways. A field study was undertaken to examine the community impact due to failure of road structures during the 2011 and 2013 floods in the Lockyer Valley in Queensland.

A number of workshops were also held to identify case study data and refine the methodology for vulnerability modelling.

Australian design standards for bridges and floodways have been examined and a comparative study of international standards undertaken, along with an analysis of design standards and applied loads on road structures under extreme events.

The next stage of the study will expand the vulnerability modelling and develop a GIS tool which can be used to demonstrate the benefits of the approaches developed.

Year Type Citation
2017 Report Setunge, S. et al. Enhancing the resilience of critical road infrastructure: annual project report 2016-17. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2017).
2016 Journal Article Lokuge, W., Gamage, N. & Setunge, S. Fault tree analysis method for deterioration of timber bridges using an Australian case study. Built Environment Project and Asset Management 6, (2016).
2016 Report Setunge, S. et al. Enhancing resilience of critical road infrastructure: bridges, culverts and flood‐ways under natural hazards: annual project report 2015-2016. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2016).
2015 Conference Paper Rumsewicz, M. Research proceedings from the 2015 Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC & AFAC conference. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC & AFAC annual conference 2015 (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2015).
2015 Journal Article Wahalathantri, B., Lokuge, W., Karunasena, W. & Setunge, S. Vulnerability of Floodways under Extreme Flood Events. Natural Hazards Review 17, (2015).
2015 Presentation Setunge, S. & Mohseni, H. Enhancing resilience of critical road infrastructure: bridges, culverts and floodways under natural hazards . (2015).
2015 Report Setunge, S. Enhancing Resilience of Critical Road Infrastructure Annual Report 2014. (2015).
2015 Report Setunge, S. et al. Enhancing resilience of critical road infrastructure: bridges, culverts and floodways under natural hazards: Annual project report 2014-2015. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2015).
2014 Journal Article Withanaarachchi, J. & Setunge, S. Decision making on transport network planning and the impact on community, economy and the environment. Procedia Economics and Finance 18, 882-891 (2014).
Enhancing resilience of critical road infrastructure: Bridges, culverts and flood-ways under natural hazards
25 Aug 2014

Road networks and critical road structures such as bridges, culverts and flood ways have a vital role before, during and after extreme events to reduce the vulnerability of the community being served. 

Key Topics
Capturing the Impact of the Failure of Critical Road Structures on the Community
18 Aug 2015

How does the performance of critical road structures such as bridges, culverts and floodways affect the community they serve; before, during and after the occurrence of a natural disaster?

Failure Mechanism of a Typical Girder Bridge in Australia due to Seismic Loads
18 Aug 2015

There is a significant need to perform adequate assessment of the vulnerability of bridges and bridge networks prior to future seismic events in Australia. This study aims to identify the failure mechanism of a typical girder bridge in Australia due to a seismic event and develop an earthquake management methodology based on a probabilistic based approach.

Weena Lokuge Conference Poster 2016
12 Aug 2016

It is important to assess the vulnerability of bridges in an extreme flood event as these critical infrastructures contribute to the resilience of the community during and in the recovery stage of the event.

Evaluating the performance of flood loadings on structural performance of a floodway
30 Jun 2017

It is important to investigate the vulnerability of floodways in an extreme flood event as these critical infrastructures contribute to the resilience of the rural community that they serve during and in the recovery stage of the event. This study aims to analyse the behaviour of floodways under flood loadings using a finite element modelling approach.

Collapse risk assessment of strengthened concrete bridge pier under flood loads
30 Jun 2017

A  fluid structure interaction using particle finite element method for the full scale reinforced concrete bridge is built to simulate the deformations of bridge piers under flood loads. The critical pier will then be tested using 6-degree of freedom system, from which the finite element model of bridge model will be calibrated. Fragillity assessment of bridge pier before and after strengthening will be performed to study the effectiveness of strengthening for enhancing the resilience of bridges under flood loads.