ASI Steel Design Awards - An absolute blast


At this year’s prestigious NSW/ACT ASI steel design awards, Woolacotts consulting engineers were awarded the silver prize for the impressive Qantas blast fence project.  This fence was manufactured by NEPEAN Engineering & Innovation, a division of NEPEAN™.  NEPEAN is Australia’s leading privately owned engineering, mining services and industrial manufacturing organisation.

The ASI steel design awards are designed to highlight the high standard of design and execution achievable with steel as the prime building material.  The silver award is given to projects of distinction based on originality, innovation, quality of service, client satisfaction, benefit to the community and value to the profession.

The blast fence was designed to protect people and property from the impacts generated by jet engine blasts during post-maintenance testing.  Air flow was modelled by the University of Wollongong using specialist software, allowing the fences to be optimised to satisfy the design criteria.  The fences are rail mounted and run in a full circle to allow the fence to be positioned behind the aircraft to suit the prevailing wind direction.  Another challenge in the design process was that the fence had to accommodate the massive A380 aircraft throwing out large levels of thrust.  

Woolacotts and NEPEAN Engineering & Innovation were responsible for the successful design, fabrication and timely construction of the large scale, highly specialised project.  The program was carefully managed and coordinated to allow continued operation of the jet base.