History of Faculty Centres

The Warren Centre

The Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering and Innovation was established by industry as an independent think-tank within the University of Sydney's Faculty of Engineering in 1983 to 'foster engineering excellence around Australia to create wealth'.

The Warren Centre achieves this by:

  • Stimulating new technology
  • Encouraging engineering innovation
  • Providing independent advice to government and industry.

Named in honour of Professor William Henry Warren, the first lecturer in engineering at the University of Sydney, the Warren Centre has been networking innovation in Australia for 30 years.

It uses its robust collaborative process together with its extensive networks in industry, government and academia to find solutions and answer questions in an increasingly complex economic, technical and social environment.

The Centre is a self-funding, not-for-profit limited company driven by volunteers and an extensive network of supporters. The Warren Centre operates through a high level of collaborative engagement with industry, allowing it to draw on a broad depth of industry experience and knowledge to develop innovative solutions to complex issues.

These activities are guided by a voluntary Board of Directors, including the Dean of the Faculty Engineering and Information Technologies at the University, and supported by a team of executive staff.

The Warren Centre hosts projects that create advantage for Australia and that involve multiple stakeholders from industry, government and academia. It is currently working on the following major projects:

To read about a selection of The Warren Centre's previous successes, you can browse through its past projects archive.

View full list of staff members and contact details

Australian Centre for Innovation and International Competitiveness (ACIIC)

ACIIC was established as a non-profit company in April 1992 and has the status of a department of the Faculty of Engineering.
It is dedicated to building bridges between Australia's intellectual capability and the world of business and government.

Its mission is to:

  • work closely with Australian industry to build international competitiveness;
  • support economic and social development using the leverage of technological innovation;
  • integrate innovation to capture the benefits of the national investment in science and technology; and
  • assist the engineering community to understand the forces which are reshaping the requirements of engineering employment and engineering education.

ACIIC delivers a number of services to the Faculty.
These include: teaching undergraduate and postgraduate courses in engineering management, innovation and environmental engineering and public policy; supervision of undergraduate final year theses and PhD students; and assistance with strategic planning, marketing, the development of new teaching initiatives, and linkages with government and industry.

ACIIC is also engaged in grant and contract-supported research on issues of science, technology, engineering and innovation planning and management.

Recent projects include:

  • development of appropriate models for innovation and competitiveness in the knowledge economy;
  • models of social and organisational innovation appropriate to the learning organisation; application of foresight techniques to strategic planning and priority-setting;
  • strategic planning for public sector organisations such as universities, schools, local governments and public libraries in the context of the information economy and technologies;
  • evaluation of research funding programs, university industry linkages, and the distribution of basic research capability across Australian universities; and
  • application of new learning theories and technologies in schools and adult education and in involving industry.

ACIIC provides a non-engineering capability to the Faculty which will assist it to pursue relevant objectives of the strategic plan. Its contribution will be assessed against the quality of the student intake, the visibility and image of the Faculty, the quality and impact of non-engineering education and the strength of and revenue raised for research.

Australian Graduate School of Engineering Innovation (AGSEI)

AGSEI is a national Advanced Engineering Centre promoting an engineering culture which brings together technology, management and marketing, with an overall focus on wealth creation and the introduction of a more effective process of engineering innovation to Australian industry.

AGSEI has been formed jointly by the Engineering Faculties of the University of Sydney and the University of Technology, Sydney, and is located separately from both of them.

Its objectives are:

  • to ensure that today's engineers, as well as those of tomorrow, are better equipped to take leadership roles in assuring the success of industrial enterprises;
  • to educate engineers and others to think and contribute across disciplines in a corporate environment;
  • to demonstrate the central role of innovation in achieving competitive advantage;
  • to provide industry with convenient access to national and international best practice in engineering management and the application of technology;
  • to enhance the capability to commercialise new technology and the results of research and development;
  • to foster the creation of new industry through technology transfer and the introduction of appropriate management systems;
  • to raise understanding in the professions and society of the role of industry, technology and engineering in the creation of national wealth; and
  • to educate engineers to understand and contribute to enterprise management, and to educate executive managements to understand and utilise their engineering capability more effectively.

Initially programs are being structured for engineers and other professionals who have been in industry for two to three years after completing their bachelor's degree. Later programs will be developed for undergraduate courses.

The programs
AGSEI offers an array of courses centring on:

  • Engineering Management
  • Engineering Innovation
  • Industrial Systems Engineering

The programs cover topics in: quality innovation technology systems engineering information technology and management computer-aided engineering and logistic support human resources and change management professional and business ethics design and documentation manufacturing government economics marketing finance law.

The approach taken is distinctly different from that of an MBA.
The MBA programs teach generic management, regardless of what is being managed.

AGSEI builds specifically on the capability of engineers, and is wholly about organisation and application of engineering effort to innovation and business performancetotal engineering, not total management.

The basic program element is the module, typically offered over one week and involving intensive material presentation plus workshop and project sessions.

Modules may be aggregated, by those who wish to do so, to lead to formal awards at several levels such as graduate certificate or master's degree.

Modules will have the following characteristics: All modules will be available in stand-alone form, designed expressly to meet the needs of engineers and engineering enterprises.

All programs require the course content to be trialed in industry, with advice from AGSEI staff, and (where possible) the results to be reported and discussed in workshop sessions.

Heavy use is made of industry-based project work. Wherever possible, modules involve group interaction, normally multi-disciplinary. AGSEI acts not only as a teaching and advisory resource but as a framework in which participants (engineers and other professionals who deal with engineers) learn from each other and from inter-organisation contacts.

More detailed information may be obtained from the AGSEI, telephone: +61 2 9209 4111.

Chemical Engineering Foundation

The Chemical Engineering Foundation within the University of Sydney was established in 1981 with the following objectives:

  • to foster good communications between industry and commerce and the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering; to advise on courses of instruction in Chemical Engineering;
  • to encourage students of high calibre to work in the School;
  • to assist graduates in Chemical Engineering to make appropriate contributions to industry; and
  • to facilitate and develop research in Chemical Engineering with particular reference to industry oriented projects.

The Chemical Engineering Foundation provides an opportunity for executives in Australian industry to assess and discuss what is taught in the undergraduate course in chemical engineering.

Activities include financial support to the undergraduate program and to research by both postgraduates and staff. Continuing education courses for practising engineers are regularly arranged, publication of updates on the School's research activities is undertaken twice yearly, and emphasis is placed on expanding industry-university collaboration.

Australian Centre of Advanced Risk and Reliability Engineering

The Australian Centre of Advanced Risk and Reliability Engineering Ltd (ACARRE) is a joint venture of the University and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO).

It is a company limited by guarantee, and has the objective of promoting appropriate application of risk and reliability engineering and management principles in Australia and the near region.

It operates in three fields: education, through undergraduate, postgraduate and external courses; research; and industry and government consultancy throughout Australia ranging from the chemical industry and oil refining to transport, storage and distribution. In undertaking these activities, ACARRE draws on specialist skills from the University, ANSTO and elsewhere.

The Executive Director is the ANSTO Professor of Risk Engineering.

Electrical Engineering Foundation

The mission of the Electrical and Information Engineering Foundation is to build a successful partnership between Sydney University Electrical and Information Engineering, industry and the profession which facilitates, in Australia, the achievement of world-class performance through education, research and development.

The Foundation is managed by a Board made up of representatives from industry, University staff, students and graduates.

The Foundation pursues its mission through activities in the following areas: Alumni Relations Business Development Conference Management Continuing Education Departmental Development Information Services Membership Development Quality Management Student Development

The current President of the Foundation is Mr Allan Gillespie, Chief Executive Officer of AUSTA Electric. The Director is Professor Trevor Cole. The Foundation's Office is located in Room 606 of the Electrical and Information Engineering Building.

The Civil and Mining Engineering Foundation

The objectives of the Foundation are to assist the University of Sydney on matters associated with education and research in civil and mining engineering. By securing resources the Foundation enables the School to be the leading provider of civil engineering education and research in Australia.

In particular the Foundation aims to identify the needs and to provide the resources to:

  • assist the School to achieve and maintain pre-eminence in selected disciplines in civil and mining engineering;
  • establish the School as the leader in the provision of postgraduate and continuing education;
  • enhance cooperation between industry and the School in education, research and technical services; and
  • facilitate communication at all levels between the civil and mining engineering community and the School.

The Foundation actively fosters collaboration between the school, the engineering profession and the industry it serves.

This is achieved by:

  • promoting engineering consultation, research, training, lectures, short courses and technical reporting; providing direction to undergraduate and postgraduate education programs;
  • sponsoring research projects in the School and encouraging research links with industry;
  • forming working parties of top engineers from government, consulting practices, the civil and mining industry and the University to study topical issues arising in the engineering profession; and
  • reporting the important results of all these activities to members and the public through reports and engineering publications.

The Foundation is supported by annual subscriptions from its benefactors, governors, members and personal members, functions and by special donors.

The annual subscriptions, as determined by the Foundation Council are: $5000 for Governor level and $1000 for Member.

Details of other grades of membership are obtainable from the Foundation.
Tel: +61 2 93512127.

Management of the Foundation is vested in a Council of not less than five representatives of Governor and Member organisations and up to five representatives of Members appointed by the Senate.
Ex-Officio members of the Council include the Chancellor, Deputy Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, the Professor in the School of Civil and Mining Engineering, the Head of the School, the Presidents of the Civil Engineering Graduates' Association, the Directors of the School's Centres, and representatives of the Students.

Centre for Geotechnical Research

The Centre was set up within the University of Sydney in August 1987 with the primary aim of promoting industry-university cooperation in furthering knowledge in the theory and application of geotechnics and geomechanics.

It comprises staff and laboratories from the following departments, schools and groups: Civil and Mining Engineering, Geology and Geophysics, Geography, Soil Science, Ocean Sciences, Ocean Sciences Institute and the Coastal Studies Unit.

The objectives of the Centre are:

  • to serve as a focus for research in geotechnics and geomechanics within the University of Sydney;
  • to undertake specialised research, investigation, consulting, and testing work for industry and government organisations;
  • to foster inter-disciplinary research and teaching and geotechnics and geomechanics; to develop techniques and equipment for geotechnical testing; and
  • to disseminate technical information on geotechnics and geomechanics to industry.

Centre for Advanced Structural Engineering

The Centre for Advanced Structural Engineering was established within the University of Sydney to promote the advancement of structural engineering within and beyond the University.

The Centre is housed within, and involves University staff and facilities of, the School of Civil and Mining Engineering.

The Centre provides a focus for researchers, industry, government and practising structural engineers for research and the teaching of contemporary structural technology.

The Centre undertakes specialised research, investigation, consulting and testing work for government, consulting engineering, and industry, and disseminates technical information on structural engineering to the profession and industry.

Mechanical Engineering Foundation

The Mechanical Engineering Foundation was established in November 1988 to assist the Senate of the University of Sydney and the Vice-Chancellor on matters associated with education, study and research in mechanical engineering within the University of Sydney and, without restricting the generality of the foregoing,
in particular to:

  • foster good communications between industry and commerce and the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering;
  • assist in devising courses of instruction in mechanical engineering; encourage students of high calibre to join the Department;
  • assist graduates in mechanical engineering to make appropriate contributions to industry; and
  • facilitate and develop research in mechanical engineering with particular reference to industry oriented projects.

Centre for Advanced Materials Technology

The Centre was established within the University of Sydney in 1989 and is located in the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering with the main objective of promoting industry-University collaborative research on the design, engineering, development and manufacturing technology of advanced materials.

The Centre also undertakes specialised research and development projects, consulting and testing activities for industry and government organisations in advanced materials.

It comprises staff and research facilities in the Departments of Mechanical Engineering, Civil and Mining Engineering, Aeronautical Engineering, Applied Physics, Operative Dentistry and the Electron Microscope Unit.

Cooperative Research Centre in Aerospace Structures

In 1992 the Cooperative Research Centre in Aerospace Structures started on its program of research in composite aircraft structures.

This is aimed at providing a research base for manufacturing in Australia. Cooperating in the Centre are the University of Sydney, Monash University, the University of New South Wales, the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Aeronautical Research Laboratories, Hawker de Havilland and Aerospace Technologies of Australia.

When at full operation it is expected that nearly 30 researchers will be active on the Centre's projects.