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- Professor Arun Kumar
- Discipline *
- Civil Engineering
- +61 411 040 481
- View location details (QUT staff and student access only)
Phd in Civil Engineering (Purdue University), Master of Science in Civil Engineering (Purdue University)
- Professional memberships
- Institution of Engineers, Australia; recognized by ASCE, USA (1985-2007)
- Institute of Municipal Engineering, Australia (1991-1998)
Civil Infrastructure asset management, Raod maintenance, Road Asset Management, construction materials for asset managementt, sustainable asset management
Broad area of research: Infrastructure
Within the broad field of railway and structural engineering, Professor Kumar and his research team have defined three main research areas
- Appraisal of civil infrastructure under risk
- Strengthening institutes to build capacity
- Road and pavement – construction and management
Appraisal of Civil Infrastructure Under Risk
The gap between the future capital needs and available funding resources in the sector has been widening. These problems are further exacerbated by the lack of federal funding for infrastructure renewal, replacement and customer expectations of a higher service level at a lower tariff. Faced with demands for increased accountability, cost containment and improved security, infrastructure management has become a high-priority task for civil infrastructure internationally. In addition, current social, physical, financial (competitive), and institutional factors require a new stewardship approach to managing utilities more effectively and efficiently.
Professor Kumar’s research assists companies to analyse the risk involved and works with different companies in meeting these challenges. He has been successful in forging collaborative partnerships with several national and international stakeholders. His research work involves development of analytical tools, techniques and guidance documents for clients in the areas of sustainable asset management.
His research principally addresses challenges in Asset Management and Decision Support Systems. His main research areas include
- Identify the challenges faced by civil infrastructure in implementing a strategic asset management program
- Development of utility-friendly, step-by-step strategic asset management implementation program to suit the needs of a diverse range of civil infrastructures
- Forecast and proactively plan for risk of asset failures, and its adverse effects on the environment
- Increase accuracy in predicting economic life of assets with the objective of improving long term capital planning by proactively allocating funds when most needed
- Help utilities extend current Capital Improvement Plan projections
- Help forge strong partnerships with agencies involved in asset management.
Strenghtening Institutes to Build Capacity
In a globalising world, the ability of institutes to generate sustainable and equitable development is becoming increasingly dependent on their capacity to anticipate and adapt to rapid changes in their policy, market, institutional, physical and social environment. This capacity is reflected in their collective ability to deal with complexity and quickly access, generate and effectively use new knowledge for innovation through interactive learning.
Professor Kumar’s research concentrates on introducing, using and institutionalising new collective approaches to innovation by people and institutions who have mostly been trained and operate in conventional technology generation and transfer ways of addressing problems.
His main research areas include
- Development of new innovation approaches to build the needed capacities (knowledge, skills and mindsets) both in mid-career professionals and in students
- Create environment for new ways of learning as well as for the application of what is learnt as required
- Contribute to institutional change across a broad range of stakeholders, such as educational institutes, research organisations, industries etc.
Road Pavement – Construction and Management
Professor Kumar has been helping find new ways to improve roads and highways throughout the world since his early research career. His research involves utilising optimisation techniques to set priorities for pavement management programs. His research expertise encompassed the areas of highway construction (soils, asphalts, paving design and technology); deterioration (the causes include weather, time and traffic including density, truck loads, speeds, even tire pressures and tire design); assessing the state of our roads and highways, and highway repair technologies.
His main research areas include
- Studies on the theoretical pavement structure design methods
- Studies on road and pavement technologies that improve the environment.
Professor Kumar has received AS$375,000 in research funding since 2000.
Selected List of Awarded Grants
- 2007 – 2009: Asset management of road surfacing. This research was sponsored by CIEAM and involved development of Risk Based Decision Support modelling for managing skid resistance ($225,000)
- 2007 – 2009: Integrated Information Model for Community Infrastructure and Asset Management. This research was sponsored by CIEAM and involved development of Integrated Information Model for Community Infrastructure and Asset Management ($160,000)
- 2004 – 2006: Maintenance Cost Prediction for Roads. This research was sponsored by CRC for Construction Innovation and involved development of cost models predicting maintenance costs ($208,260). Further information is available from the CRC for Construction Innovation website
- 2002 – 2006: Investment Decision Framework for Infrastructure Asset management. This research was sponsored by CRC for Construction Innovation and involved development of cost models predicting maintenance costs ($480,750). Further information is available from the CRC for Construction Innovation website
- 2004 – 2005: Vehicle Overloading and Road Damage. This research was sponsored by world bank in Anhui Province, PR China to access the vehicle overloading and road damages in the province ($70,000)
- 2004 – 2006: Delivering a Re-Life Project. This research was sponsored by CRC for Construction innovation to assess re-life of a project ($80,000). Further information is available from the CRC for Construction Innovation website
- 2003 – 2004: Decision Support Tool for the use of Fibre Reinforced Polymer Composites in Rehabilitation of Concrete Structures. This research was sponsored by CRC for Construction Innovation and co-investigated by Dr Sujeeva Setunge (PI) to develop Decision Support Tool for the use of Fibre Reinforced Polymer composites in rehabilitation of concrete structures ($167,480). Futher information is available from the CRC for Construction Innovation website
- 2003 – 2004: Noise Management in Urban Environment. This research was sponsored by CRC for Construction Innovation and co-investigated by Dr Saman De Silva (PI) to identify different means for noise management in urban environment ($222,930). Further information is available from the CRC for Construction Innovation website
- 2000 – 2002: Pavement Performance Prediction Modeling for Local Roads. This research was supported by City of Whitehorse and done in collaboration with Qindong Li (from RMIT University) to develop models for predicting pavement performance of local roads ($20,000)
- 2000 – 2002: The Modeling of Road Pavement Transverse Profile for Improved Pavement Characterization Leading to Better Road Management Practice. This research was supported by Australian Road Research Board and was carried out in collaboration with Chris Konditsiotis (ARRB Melbourne) to improve the road management practices by modelling pavement characterization ($100,000)
- 1999 – 2001: Maintenance and Pavement Management Systems. This research was sponsored by the World bank, Shaanxi Highway Bureau, Peoples Republic of China to improve Maintenance and Pavement Management Systems ($210,000)
- 1999 – 2000: Specifications for Court Surfacing. This research was sponsored by National Tennis Australia to develop specifications for tennis court surfaces ($10,000)
- 1999: Project Management Training for Hebei Highway Engineers. The Project Management Training Program was organised for ADB, China to train Hebei Highway Engineers ($10,000)
- 1999: Road Performance Measurement and Reporting of Road Construction Authority of Victoria. This research was sponsored by Auditor General, Victoria and carried out in collaboration with Associate Professor Dennis Green (RMIT University) to develop road performance measurements and a road construction report to the Construction Authority of Victoria ($60,000)
- 1998 – 2003: Pavement Modelling and Materials Characterisation. This research was sponsored by the Australian Road Research Board and carried out in collaboration with Allan Alderson (ARRB Melbourne) to characterise materials and develop pavement models ($60,000)
- 1997: Research and Testing the Properties and Long Term Performance of Road Construction Materials. This research was sponsored by RMIT to research and test the properties and long term performance of road construction materials ($120,000)
- 1996 – 1998: Road Construction Quality / Performance Tradeoffs for Flexible Road Pavements. This research was supported by the Roads Construction Authority and carried out in collaboration with Richard Yeo (RCA Victoria) to evaluate road construction quality and performance tradeoffs for flexible road pavements ($80,000)
- 1995 – 2001: Improved Performance Based Material Specifications and Performance Prediction Models for Granular Pavements. This research was supported by the Australian Road Research Board and carried out in collaboration With Binh Voung (ARRB Melbourne) to improved the performance of granular pavements based on material specifications by developing prediction models ($200,000)
- 1995 – 1997: Analysis of Pedestrian, Bicycle and Loss of Control Casualties in Local Government Municipalities in Victoria. This research was supported by the Roads Construction Authority and carried out in collaboration with Zuhair Ali (RMIT University) to analyse pedestrian, bicycle and loss of control casualties in local government municipalities in Victoria ($20,000)
- 1995: National Short Course on Flexible Pavements. A national short course on flexible pavements was organised in collaboration with the University of California, Berkley, RMIT University and other Industry Partners and delivered in Australia ($110,000)
- 1994: Design and construction of Highway Embankments on Soft Soils. This research was supported by IDP, World Bank, Ministry of Communications, PR China to research the design and construction of highway embankments on soft soils ($120,000)
- 1994 – 1997: Rutting in Asphalt Mixes. This research was supported by the Australian Road Research Board and carried out in collaboration with Alan Alderson (ARRB Melbourne) to evaluate rutting in asphalt mixes ($50,000)
- 1994 – 1996: Development of Design Procedure for Open Graded Asphalt Course Mixes. This research was supported by the Australian Asphalt Pavement Association and carried out in collaboration with Isabelle Skvarka (RMIT University) to develop design procedures for open graded asphalt course mixes ($10,000)
- 1994 – 1996: Low Noise Concrete Road Surfaces. This research was supported by the Road Construction Authority and carried out in collaboration with Margaret Monazewski (RMIT University) to develop low noise concrete road surfaces ($60,000)
- 1993 – 1994: Pavement Rehabilitation and Modern Maintenance Management System. This research was supported by World Bank, Ministry of Transport, India to develop pavement rehabilitation and a modern maintenance management system ($187,000)
- 1993 – 1994: Road Safety Audits. This audit was supported by the Federal Office of Road Safety to evaluate safety on the roads ($20,000)
- 1993: Highway Network Evaluation and Highway Project Post Evaluation. This research was supported by the World Bank, Ministry of Communications, PR China to evaluate highway networks ($120,000)
- 1993: Quality Grant to Identify Teaching Aids that Enhanced Learning. This research was supported by RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia to identify teaching aids that enhance learning ($10,000)
- 1992: Highway Project Design and Construction. This research was supported by the World Bank, Ministry of Communications, PR China to evaluate highway project design and construction. The research had a commercial focus, and was supported by RMIT ($120,000).
Awards and recognitions
- December 2005: Innovation Team Award Business Portfolio Research Innovation Awards. Professor Arun Kumar (with Dr. Noppadol Piyatrapoomi) for “Investment Decision Framework for Infrastructure Asset Management”
- 2005: Engineering Excellence Awards. High Commendation Award for “Road Asset Management Investment” at the 2005 Engineering Excellence Awards under the Research Development & Innovation category, Queensland Division Institution of Engineers, Australia. (Professor Arun Kumar, Project Leader): “This project team recognised the need to better understand the ability of Queensland’s $25 billion road network to serve the state into the future and ensure our roads provide service, particularly to the heavy transport industry.” “The judges were impressed that industry leadership by Queensland Government in a national research team led by RMIT had produced a system applicable to road infrastructure cost savings throughout Australia and the world.”
- 2004/05: Divisional Excellence Award by the Queensland Government Department of Main Roads. Innovative Research into Applications of Stochastic Properties of Asset Data.
- 1988: Innovation Award and Commendation Award. For the development of a method to determine moisture content of soils using a microwave oven (jointly with David Dawes), Road Construction Authority of Victoria, Australia
- 1967-1968: Director’s Merit List Award. Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi,
- 1967-1968: India Merit Scholarship Award Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, India.
- 2007: Consultant, Japan International Cooperation Agency, JapanStudy on the Project Management Unit (PMU) mechanism under Ministry of Transport in Vietnam. Reviewed Anti-corruption strategies
- 2007 – Present: Applied Research with Department of Main Roads Queensland, John Holland, local Government
- 2000 – Present: Consultant, The World Bank, South East Asia Group, Washington DC
- 2000 – Present: Worked in various countries, including China, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, India on staff of the Bank as Transport Advisor, Institutional Strengthening specialist, Road Maintenance specialist, and Road Safety
- 1989 – 1990: State Manager, Transport, Consulting firm Sinclair Knight Mertz
- 1982 – 1989: Senior Engineer, VicRoads, on road construction, asset management, planning, traffic and operations.
Teaching areasProfessor Kumar teaches the following courses
- Masters in Project Management
- Construction Materials.
Teaching leadershipProfessor Kumar has been an invited speaker over 20 times over the last 10 years at various international forums and universities in Australia, China, Japan, USA, India, Malaysia, New Zealand and Indonesia. He has spoken on a varitety of topics including
- Road infrastructure management
- risk modelling
- human resource management.
Academic leadershipIn addition to the significant academic and administrative responsibilities, Professor Kumar chaired or has been a member of many teaching related committees and bodies including
- Sept 2004 – Dec 2005: Member Business Portfolio Executive; Member, University Research Domain CommitteeMember, University Research and Graduate Studies Committee; Member, Business Board Chair, Portfolio Higher Degrees Sub Committee
- Sep 2004 – Dec 2004: Chair, Portfolio Human Research Ethics Sub Committee; Member, University Human Research Ethics Sub Committee
- 2002: University Executive (alternate to the Dean); Member University Research and Graduate Studies Committee
- 2000 – 2002: Member Pro Vice Chancellors Research Committee; Chair, Engineering Research Centres Chair Committee, Faculty of Engineering
- 2000 – Present: Member, Faculty of Engineering Executive Committee
- 1997 – 2000: Member, University Heads of Departments Executive (representing Faculty of Engineering)
- 1992 – Present: Member, Faculty of Engineering Board
- 1992 – 2000: Member Deans Management Committee; Member, Department Program Advisory Committee (Chaired by industry executive)
- 1994 – 1997: Chair, Committee on Training Needs for Heads of Departments University wide, Heads of Department Board; Member, China Reference Group (University wide)
- 1994 – 1995: Member, Development of the University
- 1996 – 2001: Strategic Plan – Capital Facilities
- 1992 – 1995: Engineering representatives on University Professional Doctorate.
Within the broad field of railway and structural engineering Professor Arun Kumar and his research team have strong collaborations with
- Local GovernmentQueensland Railways
- Australian Road and Transport Research
- Brisbane City Council
- Queensland Department of Main Roads
- CRC for Construction Innovations
- ARRB Group.
- 1993-2001: Australian Institute of Project Management
- 2000 – Present: Road Engineering Association of Asia and Australia, Japan
- 1984 – 2002: Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists, USA
- 1982 – Present: Indian Roads Congress.
- Cooperative Research Centre: Construction Innovation (Established 2001)
- 2001-2004: Member, Research Committee
- Institution of Engineers, Australia
- 2002: Board of Engineering,
- 1998 – Present: Civil Infrastructure Branch
- 1995: Task Force: Interface with Profession, National Review of Engineering Education
- 1992-1995: Board member, Society of Engineering Management, Australia
- 1989-1993: Elected Member, Victoria Division Committee
- 1989-1993: Board of Engineering
- 1989-1993: Board of Education
- 1989-1993: Management Branch Committee
- 1989-1990: Chairman, Management Branch
- 1985-1990: Engineering Education Committee
- Institute of Municipal Engineers, Victoria
- 1990-1995: Victoria Division Committee
- 1991-1994: Roads and Traffic sub committee
- 1991-1994: Traffic and Road Safety Panel of Victoria
- 1991-1994: LGEA Representative, Advisory Group, Road hump Investigation for Buses
- Road Construction Authority of Victoria
- 1988-1989: Working Group, Tourist Signing Practice
- 1988-1989: Working Group, Protection of Overhead Facilities on Roads
- 1988-1989: Working Group, Variable Message Signs
- 1988-1989: Working Group, Road Condition Surveys
- 1988-1989: Freeway Management Group
- Australian Road Research Board
- 1987-1988: Invited Member, Bituminous Committee.
Indian Roads Congress
- 1985-1988: Corresponding member, Bituminous Pavements Committee
- 1978-1982: Bituminous Pavements Committee
- 1978-1982: Technical Committee, Application of Research and Follow-up
- 1978-1982: Working Group, Manual of Maintenance for Bituminous Surfacing
- 1978-1982: Working Group, Cationic Emulsion in Bituminous Construction
- 1978-1982: Working Group, Specifications for Wet Mix Macadam.
For publications by this staff member, visit QUT ePrints, the University's research repository.