The Australia-Indonesia Centre are its supporters are funding collaborative research in energy, health, infrastructure, urban water, and food and agriculture. Here are some highlights.
Assessing ageing bridges just got safer and easier, thanks to a high-tech radar device that fits inside a suitcase.
Developed by Dr Lihai Zhang of The University of Melbourne as part of a collaborative research project supported by The Australia-Indonesia Centre, the IBIS-S radar technology can scan a bridge in 15 minutes from a kilometre away with an accuracy of 0.01mm, quickly assessing its condition and stability.
Access to affordable, reliable energy transforms communities. For most Australian and Indonesian families and businesses, that energy still comes from national grids—the networks of power lines that connect users to power suppliers.
But about 67 million Indonesians—almost a third of the country’s population—are not on the grid. They either rely on expensive, non renewable sources of power—often diesel—or they have no access to power at all. That poses a critical challenge for sustainable development of Indonesia—a nation of islands. To meet the Government’s goal of 90 per cent electricity coverage by 2020 the country’s electricity generation must grow by nine per cent per year.
From 2016 a specially-equipped standard railcar will be rocking and rolling along the tracks of East Java. It will have carefully positioned sensors to detect its movement during normal operation, including its displacement and vibration.
The railcar instrumentation has been designed by Monash University’s Institute of Rail Technology to provide data on the condition of the track. This will allow engineers to accurately estimate safe loads and running speeds.
The Australian and Indonesian governments have recognised railways, roads, and ports as important areas for investment over the next 20 years.
The Australia-Indonesia Centre has developed a suite of projects that will help the country create the resilient infrastructure it needs to grow.
Port cities can be lively, vibrant hives of activity—the hub of a nation’s economic health—if they’re planned well.
Indonesia’s busiest port, Tanjung Priok, has roughly two and a half times the container traffic as the Port of Melbourne. But it also has a reputation as one of the least efficient ports in Asia. Indonesian President Joko Widodo has recognised the need to transform the nation’s ports and plans to develop 24 new ports by 2019. One recently established, state-of-theart port is Teluk Lamong in Surabaya.
Indonesia is undergoing massive economic growth. That’s going to place huge requirements on the nation’s infrastructure, including ports and transport. And a changing climate increases the risk of environmental disasters. Take ports for example: maritime trade is vital to the island nations of Indonesia and Australia— to maintain connections between cities within and without. But ports need to work with the environment they’re built into, and both countries need to improve efficiency and accessibility for goods and passengers to move between land and sea.
Credit for banner image: Max Richter.
A team from Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) and the Australian National University (ANU) are planning to use thousands of sensors to monitor heat, noise, human activity and power usage in commercial buildings in Yogyakarta. This data will help them design a real-time monitoring system that saves energy and can be used in commercial buildings across Indonesia.
Energy demand in Indonesia has grown by 150 per cent over the last 30 years. Electricity supply is struggling to keep up—blackouts are common in hospitals, hotels, offices, shopping centres and university laboratories.
Heart attacks, cancers, mental disorders, diabetes, and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are on the rise in Indonesia and Australia. In 2007 they caused 60 per cent of Indonesian deaths; by 2014 this had risen to more than 70 per cent.
NCDs also account for over 90 per cent of Australian deaths. More than half the country’s adults are considered overweight or obese and a 2014 study found Australia’s obesity rate was rising faster than anywhere else in the world.
How can cities grow and thrive in an era of climate change? This is a challenge faced by both Australia and Indonesia. With ever-increasing population shifts towards urban environments, it is crucial to make cities sustainable.
Australian cities are adopting water sensitive approaches. Melbourne Water, for example, has created over 10,000 raingardens. But progress is slow, in part because of the existing massive traditional water infrastructure.