Lismore campus facilities and resources
The School of Environment, Science and Engineering has the following teaching and research facilities and resources at the Lismore campus. Students undertaking studies in marine science also access facilities at the School's National Marine Science Centre in Coffs Harbour.
State-of-the-art research laboratories installed in the new engineering and science precinct at the Lismore campus provide an environment conducive to support the high-impact experimental and numerical-based research engineering is undertaking.
There are four laboratories that are used for research and teaching activities. They cover a range of sub-disciplines including: materials conditioning and testing, concrete and structures testing, fluids/hydraulics testing, and mechanics and physics. Students have access to computers with specialist software, and spaces where they can undertake their own personal study and group-work projects.
Structures Laboratory contains an extensive suite of destructive and non-destructive concrete technology test equipment. This laboratory also features a 10-tonne self-reacting frame which applies load through two 250kN servo-controlled actuators to specimens of up to 8m length. There is also a workshop located in this laboratory.
Advanced Materials Laboratory houses a number of projects. Structural Health Monitoring with Smart Materials uses piezoelectric materials (which generate a voltage when bent, twisted or pressed) as a non-destructive way to evaluate strength and damage to civil structures. The Laboratory also contains two universal testing machines (capacities 250kN and 5MN) as well as a climate-controlled room which can be used to condition samples at chosen temperatures and humidities.
Water Dynamics Laboratory houses the Advanced Particle Analysis Facility - this suite of instruments is used to characterise environmental particles in terms of their size and surface area. There is also a 10-metre tilting open channel water flume, which is used to demonstrate principles of fluid dynamics to students and for research projects. Additionally, there is a suite of equipment for testing the mechanical properties of soil.
Engineering Futures Laboratory houses two benchtop universal test machines (capacities 10kN and 50kN) which test the mechanical properties of different materials (such as bamboo samples, which were found to be as strong as steel!). There is a 3D printer which is used to make mechanical parts and conceptual models. Additionally, there is a suite of LEGO Mindstorms robots. These are used in an undergraduate teaching module, as well as a Robocup event, which takes place several times a year, and invites local school pupils to come and build robots.
Environmental Analysis Lab (EAL)
School of Environment, Science and Engineering staff and students enjoy the use of a wide range of services offered by the Environmental Analysis Laboratory (EAL). The EAL operates through the Research@SCU to provide a full range of analytical services for professional consultancy projects throughout Australia, and support for commercial analysis and research by academic staff and postgraduate students. It is accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) and is also a member of the Australian Soil and Plant Analysis Council (ASPAC). Full confidentiality and security are provided for all contract analytical work. More about the Environmental Analysis Laboratory.
Scanning Electron Microscopy Unit
The School offers a range of fee-based services to graduate students and commercial clients. One-on-one introductory courses are also available in Scanning Electron Microscopy and X-ray Analysis. The School's Leo 440 Stereoscan is used for general microscopy, SE/BSE imaging and X-ray analysis and is capable of producing very high magnification images. More about the Scanning Electron Microscopy Unit.
All students have access to science laboratories which are fully equipped with advanced analytical equipment. The School has four teaching laboratories for biology, chemistry, geology and aquaculture. There is a herbarium and museum located within the biology laboratory and the aquaculture laboratory has a special algal culture room.
A large collection of general sampling and field equipment is available including several boats and 4WD vehicles, fish and animal sampling equipment, sediment samplers, diving equipment and an underwater video recorder, geotechnical and geochemical data collection equipment, and a portable weather station and data loggers.