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Emeritus Professor Archie Johnston

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Emeritus Professor, Faculty of Engineering & Information Technology
BSc (Civil Eng) (Hons) (Heriot-Watt), PhD (Heriot-Watt)


Lowe, D.B. & Johnston, A.J. 2008, 'Engineering Admissions Criteria: Focusing on Ultimate Professional Success', Work Integrated Learning (WIL): Transforming Futures - Practice...Pedagogy...Partnerships. WACE Asia Pacific Conference 2008: E-Proceedings, WACE Asia Pacific Conference, ACEN, Manly, Australia, pp. 343-349.
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The majority of Australian Universities use performance in the higher school examinations as the primary basis of admission into undergraduate programs for current school leavers. In 2005 an analysis of academic performance in the UTS undergraduate Engineering program showed a relatively low correlation with Higher School Certificate (HSC) results, particularly for students outside the top performance bands. This led to a rethinking of the admissions processes, and the introduction of a broader admission scheme. This scheme incorporated the results of an admission questionnaire which was designed with substantial input from industry, and which aimed to provide an indication of both likely academic success within the degree program as well as (and possibly more importantly) the likely success as a graduate Engineer. The key criteria related to affinity with, and motivations for, an Engineering career and addressed both the attitude and aptitude of students in terms of emotional intelligence characteristics. In this paper we describe the design and introduction of this scheme, and how input from industry was used to construct a questionnaire. We provide an analysis of early outcomes from the process in terms of student performance, and the extent to which course performance correlates to questionnaire results. We also include recommendations on how these schemes may be used to improve the retention and success of Engineering students and how to better match the aptitudes of engineering graduates with the needs and aspirations of Industry and Business.

Journal articles

Thi, T.N.P., Huu, H.N., Guo, W., Ho, P.D.D., Mainali, B., Johnston, A. & Listowski, A. 2011, 'Responses of community to the possible use of recycled water for washing machines: A case study in Sydney, Australia', RESOURCES CONSERVATION AND RECYCLING, vol. 55, no. 5, pp. 535-540.
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Mainali, B., Ngo, H.H., Guo, W.S., Pham, T.T.N., Wang, X.C. & Johnston, A. 2011, 'SWOT analysis to assist identification of the critical factors for the successful implementation of water reuse schemes', Desalination and Water Treatment, vol. 32, no. 1-3, pp. 297-306.
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The reuse of urban wastewater has been recognised as an important alternative source of water and is a key aspect of sustainable water policy. As it is a promising innovation, a number of direct and indirect water reuse projects have been instigated and proposed, both nationally and internationally. However there is some uncertainty regarding the effectiveness and impact of these water reuse schemes (WRS). This study investigates the applicability of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) as an analysis tool for formulating the critical factors in terms of the implementation of water reuse schemes. Basically, this work adopts an existing multiple case study design method and makes use of SWOT to analyse all critical factors for each selected water reuse scheme. The strengths and weaknesses of successful and unsuccessful WRS are analysed followed by an assessment of the corresponding external opportunities and threats. On this basis, the critical factors considered for the successful implementation of the WRS are identified. A qualitative investigation using SWOT analysis has therefore been successfully implemented. © 2011 Desalination Publications. All rights reserved.
Mainali, B., Ngo, H.H., Guo, W., Pham, T.T.N. & Johnston, A. 2011, 'Feasibility assessment of recycled water use for washing machines in Australia through SWOT analysis', Resources, Conservation and Recycling, vol. 56, no. 1, pp. 87-91.
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Sustainable urban water consumption has become a critical issue in Australia due to increasing urbanization, the country's dry climate and its increasingly variable rainfall. Water recycling is considered vital to alleviate the demand on limited water supplies. The demands on water utilities to develop water recycling capacity and supplies are therefore expected to intensify in Australia. Dual reticulation systems have already been introduced in many cities in Australia and this is likely to expand to many other cities in the future. Developed and proposed dual reticulation schemes in Australia demand the substantial replacement of tap water with recycled water to ensure system optimisation and the sustainability of water supplies. This study successfully applies Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis as a research tool to assess the feasibility of use of recycled water in washing machine applications. Through the identification of the reuse schemes' strengths (elements to leverage and build on) and weaknesses (areas to seek assistance and support) in addition to community opportunities (areas to leverage for program advantages) and threats (elements that could hinder the scheme), the positive aspects for the use of recycled water in washing machines is observed. Further study to address the specific concerns of the general public and the development of guidelines for this new end use is however essential to guide the implementation of recycled water schemes. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.
Nguyen, T.T., Ngo, H.H., Guo, W., Johnston, A. & Listowski, A. 2010, 'Effects of sponge size and type on the performance of an up-flow sponge bioreactor in primary treated sewage effluent treatment', Bioresource Technology, vol. 101, no. 5, pp. 1416-1420.
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The effects of polyurethane sponge size and type on the performance of an up-flow sponge bioreactor were studied using different sponge cube sizes (1 1 1 cm, 2 2 2 cm and 3 3 3 cm) and types of sponge (S28-30/45R, S28-30/60R, S28-30/80R and S28-30/90R). The reactors were operated under anaerobic conditions in an early stage and an aerobic condition in a latter stage. The results indicate that there was no significant difference in the organic and nutrient removal rates between sponge types. The medium size sponge (2 2 2 cm) had the best performance in terms of both biomass growth and pollutants removal. Under anaerobic condition, the COD, TN and TP removal efficiencies were up to 70%, 45% and 55%, respectively, and significantly improved under aerobic conditions (e.g. >90% TOC, 95% COD, 65% TN and 90% TP). The external biomass grew faster under anaerobic conditions while internal biomass was dominant under aerobic condition. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd.
Shon, H.K., Vigneswaran, S., Ngo, H.H., Johnston, A., Kim, I.S. & Cho, J. 2006, 'Performance of flocculation and adsorption pretreatments to ultrafiltration of biologically treated sewage effluent: The effect of seasonal variations', Separation Science and Technology, vol. 41, no. 16, pp. 3585-3596.
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The effect of seasonal variations on ultrafiltration (UF) following pretreatment was investigated in terms of organic removal, removal of fraction, and molecular weight (MW) distribution. The MW range of effluent organic matter (EfOM) in biologically treated sewage effluent during winter (BTSE-W) consisted of large MW. However, the MW ranged from 3000 to 200 daltons in biologically treated sewage effluent in the summer (BTSE-S). During filtration experiments of BTSE-S, the UF NTR 7410 filter showed rapid flux decline with time without pretreatment. FeCl3 flocculation removed the hydrophobic (HP) and hydrophilic (HL) fractions with different trends. In winter the HP fraction was removed up to 68.5%, whereas during the summer season, the HL fraction was removed by up to 59.8%. Flocculation removed large MW organics together with small MW, while PAC removed the majority of small MW organics. The flux decline with adsorption was also more severe than that with flocculation. Considering MW distribution, when large MW was removed by flocculation, the flux decline was minimized, whereas PAC adsorption which removed small MW still decreased the permeate flux.
Fang, F. & Johnston, A.J. 2001, 'Oil containment by boom in waves and wind. I: Numerical model', Journal of Waterway, Port, Coastal and Ocean Engineering, vol. 127, no. 4, pp. 222-227.
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The effectiveness of a boom is associated with the hydrodynamics in the vicinity of the oil slick that it is attempting to contain, especially under open-sea conditions. A comprehensive investigation of oil containment is provided under various current, wave, and wind conditions. In this paper, a local two-phase nonlinear hydrodynamic numerical model is developed to simulate oil containment by a fixed boom under open-sea conditions. The shape of an oil slick is a function of time, and unstable waves may develop along the oil-water interfacial boundary. This paper describes a simulation of the behavior of the oil slick and deals with important interfacial boundary conditions. A nonhydrostatic pressure is introduced to accommodate the complicated local flow near the oil slick and a successive overrelaxation method is used to solve the pressure equation. A comparison is made of the oil slick shape with and without the hydrostatic pressure assumption. Some simple simulations of free-surface elevations under a number of wave conditions are performed to verify the numerical model. The computed results are in general agreement with those obtained from previous experiments.
Fang, F. & Johnston, A.J. 2001, 'Oil containment by boom in waves and wind. III: Containment failure', Journal of Waterway, Port, Coastal and Ocean Engineering, vol. 127, no. 4, pp. 234-239.
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The numerical simulation of interfacial waves and waves on the free surface of an oil slick under combined current and wave conditions is presented in a companion paper. The present paper focuses on the application of a numerical model developed by Fang and Johnston that numerically predicts the relationship between oil containment failure velocity and wave/wind parameters. Comparative laboratory experiments have been undertaken in a 24-m-long, 0.4-m-wide, 0.4-m-deep wave flume. Detailed comparisons and discussions of the computed and experimental results are provided. The effects of oil viscosity and density on oil containment failure velocity receive particular attention, and the influences of other parameters such as oil volume and boom draft are also quantified. It is concluded that the developed numerical model provides an economic, convenient, and effective method of predicting oil containment failure under various sea conditions.
Fang, F. & Johnston, A.J. 2001, 'Oil containment by boom in waves and wind. II: Waves', Journal of Waterway, Port, Coastal and Ocean Engineering, vol. 127, no. 4, pp. 228-233.
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In the first of these companion papers, a two-phase numerical model was described and tested for some simple cases under wave conditions. This paper applies that numerical model to simulate the interfacial waves and oil free-surface waves under a number of key hydrodynamic conditions. The characteristics of oil-water interfacial waves and free-surface waves are discussed. Effects of currents and waves on the interfacial waves (interfacial elevation, oil-water relative velocity, and interfacial velocity components) are investigated. The variation of the oil thickness under current and wave conditions is also discussed. The computational results indicate that an increase in the incoming wave height and period may (1) cause instability of the oil-water interfacial waves near the front of the oil slick and this may promote entrainment failure: (2) increase the interfacial waves and free-surface waves at the boom: (3) lower the trough of the oil-water interface at the boom and thus promote drainage failure if the oil thickness exceeds the boom draft; and (4) decrease the freeboard of the boom and thus encourage oversplashing failure.