Research program expands with new projects | Natural Hazards Research Australia

Research program expands with new projects

Photo: Friedo Ligthart

New projects are continuously being developed for Natural Hazards Research Australia’s research program, with two more projects beginning active research and a further 10 projects approved for further development.

Quantifying major bushfire consequences is a project commissioned by Powerlink Queensland that has commenced recently, led by Dr Kate Parkins at the University of Melbourne. This research will determine categories of consequence for fires modelled to start at points relating to Powerlink assets using the methodology developed from the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC’s Project IGNIS for Energy Networks Australia. This will lead to an identification of priority areas within the Powerlink network for future mitigation investments and activities. The outcomes of this project will lead to a deeper understanding of the costs associated with major bushfires linked to the electricity network operated by Powerlink, to inform investment business cases for future mitigation activities.

The other project that has commenced active work is the Detecting fire plumes with mobile radar project. A collaborative project involving multiple fire agencies and research teams including the Bureau of Meteorology, Monash University, Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions WA, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services WA, CFA, NSW Rural Fire Service and the Department of Environment and Water SA, this research will test the capability of using mobile radar to detect fire plumes during tests on prescribed burns. Such tests aim to better forecast in the zero to three hour window wind shifts, fire brand transport, spotting and pyrocumulonimbus development. This project builds on previous tests conducted during autumn 2022. Bringing organisations together from across the country, the experiments will strengthen researcher and practitioner networks through cross-agency and cross-jurisdictional collaboration, with funding and in kind support from each organisation involved.


At the December 2022 Board meeting, the Board approved funding for the next round of research projects based off the October 2022 project concept submissions from the Centre’s end-user network. This process ensures that the Centre funds research that will strengthen natural hazard resilience and disaster risk reduction across Australia.

These projects are at different stages of development and finalisation, with an open expression of interest to be released for some of these projects in the coming weeks.

To submit a project concept for considering in the April 2023 funding period, read the conditions and submit here by 8 March.