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Engineer wins two awards for railway sleeper sustainability

Manufacturing News

University of Southern Queensland graduate Thomas Murphy  has won two national awards for his honours thesis on railway sleeper design. 

Civil engineer Murphy (pictured) will accept the Undergraduate Thesis Award at the Conference on Railway Excellence at Melbourne this month, which follows an award last October in the Futures Challenge by the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia.

“When I started looking into what I could do my Honours thesis project on, I saw it as an opportunity to explore something I had a keen interest in – and railway engineering was related to my program,” said Murphy, whose project focussed on the sustainability of Australia’s railway sleepers.

“I conducted a detailed review and analysis of current rail track structures before investigating how emerging sleeper technologies could impact track behaviour in Australia and the best way to employ them,” he added 

“I looked at the effectiveness of interspersing sleepers of different materials together, that is a timber sleeper next to a concrete sleeper, or one concrete sleeper for every two to four timber sleepers. 

“Based on my results I was able to make a recommendation for the interspersing ratio, which in turn can ultimately help to improve the sustainability and durability of our railways.”

Picture: supplied


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