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  • (2020) O'Neill, Daniel
    This thesis examines the impacts of Electric Vehicles (EVs) and Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology on residential microgrid environments. EVs are rapidly growing technology which play a major role in lowering Greenhouse-gas emissions in the transport sector. Additionally, EVs can also reduce emissions in the energy sector while also improving grid stability. This can be implemented by V2G technology supporting variable renewable generation (as additional storage) and by providing ancillary services. While some studies have presented specific instances of V2G implementation, long-term operation of the technology is still not well researched. Past research indicated financial barriers and availability as concerns which deter the implementation of V2G. Recent advancements in battery technology present new opportunities to make the technology viable. Using current and predicted EV technology trends, new EV load and V2G availability profiles were developed and used to evaluate the long-term operation and benefits of EVs and V2G in a residential microgrid environment. Simulation results indicate that the operation of V2G in a microgrid environment improves the economic operation of the system and reduces the levelized cost of energy by up to 5.7%. These results suggest the latest advancements in EV technology have improved the economic viability of V2G as well as its potential for further improving grid efficiency by providing energy services like peak demand shaving and additional storage capacity.

  • (2022) Eusuf, Muhammad Saadmann R Sabeek
    The year 2020 started with more than 100 fires burning across Australia. Bushfire is a phenomenon that cannot be mitigated completely by human intervention; however, better management practices can help counter the increasing severity of fires. Hazard Reduction (HR) burning has become one of the resolute applications in the management of fire-prone ecosystems worldwide, where certain vegetation is deliberately burned under controlled circumstances to thin the fuel to reduce the severity of the bushfires. As the climate changes drastically, the severity of fires is predicted to increase in the coming years. Therefore, it becomes increasingly important to investigate automatic approaches to prevent, reduce and monitor the cause and movement of bushfires. Methods of assessing FL levels in Australia are commonly based on visual assessment guidelines, such as those described in the Overall Fuel Hazard Assessment Guide (OFHAG). The overall aim of this research is to investigate the use of LiDAR to estimate the volume of fuel load to assist in the planning of HR burning, an approach that could quantify the accumulation of elevated and near-surface FL with less time and cost. This research focuses on an innovative approach based on a voxel representation. A voxel is a volumetric pixel, a quantum unit of volume, and a numeric value of x, y and z to signify a value on a regular grid in a three-dimensional space. Voxels are beneficial for processing large pointcloud data and, specifically, computing volumes. Pointcloud data provides valuable three-dimensional information by capturing forest structural characteristics. The output of this research is to create a digitised map of the accumulation of fuel (vegetation) points at elevated fuel and near-surface fuel stratum based on the point density of the pointcloud dataset for Vermont Place Park, Newcastle, Australia. The output of this information is relayed through a digital map of fuel accumulation at elevated and near-surface fuel stratum. The result of this research provides a rough idea of where the highest amount of fuel is accumulated to assist in planning of an HR burn. This will help the fire practitioners/land managers determine at which location in the forest profile should be prioritised for HR burning. There is a short window to conduct HR burning that is why it is prevalent that a tool that can provide information on fuel at a fast pace could help the fire practitioner/land managers.

  • (2022) Nyholm, Melissa
    The Uluru Statement from the Heart was unanimously endorsed by 250 First Nations delegates in May 2017, culminating a year’s consultation with First Nations people around Australia (Referendum Council 2017a). The Statement calls for a First Nations Voice to Parliament, a Makarrata Commission to supervise agreement-making between governments and First Nations people and truth-telling about First Nations history. These calls for Voice, Treaty and Truth were not only made to the Australian government; the statement also seeks a response from the Australian people (Referendum Council 2017b). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content was mandated in Australia’s inaugural national curriculum, announced in 2008. The national curriculum resulted from increasing global economic pressures and growing federal education influence. This thesis assesses Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander curriculum content in the context of more recent developments in Indigenous-settler relations through the Uluru Statement: how can school curriculum contribute to self-determination, sovereignty and truth-telling? The research involved two complementary parts: analysis of selected Australian curriculum policies and conversations with First Nations educators. Poststructural analysis of the Australian goals of schooling and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cross-curriculum framework considered how curriculum policies reflect and construct Indigenous-settler relations. The second component privileged the voices of six senior First Nations educators at the forefront of integrating Indigenous knowledge and culture in school and/or tertiary curriculum and research in Indigenous Studies and other disciplines. Thematic analysis synthesises the experience and advice of these First Nations educators to provide guidance for truth-telling, self-determination and sovereignty within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander curriculum. The research clearly points to a need for change in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander curriculum development. Recommendations to support truth-telling and contribute to First Nations self-determination and sovereignty through curriculum are provided for curriculum writers and policy makers. Curriculum that tells truths about Australia’s colonised history and supports First Nations self-determination and sovereignty assists all Australian students to understand the complexities of history as well as understand and appreciate the diversity, resilience and knowledges of First Nations Peoples.

  • (2023) Smith, Matt
    Australia’s arid zone small mammals are primarily governed by rainfall. With extreme rainfall events often being separate by prolonged periods of drought, long term data sets (> 10 years) are generally required to study small mammal ecology. In this thesis, I leverage two long term data sets collected in arid New South Wales and South Australia to investigate drivers of small mammal population dynamics at both the local and regional scale. At the local scale, I investigate the relationship between Landsat Fractional Cover (FC) measurements to assess their potential to identify small mammal habitat. By associating FC measurements with 12 years of small mammal surveying, I find evidence Landsat FC measurements are closely related to the population dynamics of rodent species Leggadina forresti and Mus musculus but not marsupial species Sminthopsis macroura and Sminthopsis crassicaudata. This suggests that Landsat FC measurements could capture suitable habitat for small mammal species with boom-and-bust population dynamics in arid rangelands. On a regional scale, I investigate Mus musculus population synchrony throughout a roughly 25 000km2 region of the Strzelecki desert and Barrier Range. By assessing the correlation between sub-population dynamics and regional rainfall, I identify groups of synchronous sub-populations that are not spatially autocorrelated or driven by regional rainfall variability. Analysis of the synchronous groups subsequently reveals that variable predator assemblages drive regional asynchrony, suggesting that while M. musculus may be more persistent where dingoes occur, they reach greater abundances where they do not. The results from these chapters highlight how various management actions impact several arid zone small mammal populations, while also identifying key areas for future research that will assist conservation land managers in identifying and mitigating threats to vulnerable species.