Media Release

Newsroom Releases 2017 September JCU Cyclone Testing Station celebrates 40 years of keeping Australians safe

Wed, 13 Sep 2017
JCU Cyclone Testing Station celebrates 40 years of keeping Australians safe
Dr David Henderson, Director CTS, and Dr Geoff Boughton, Adjunct Assoc Professor outside the new wind driven rain simulator.

For 40 years, the Cyclone Testing Station (CTS) at James Cook University has been protecting the homes and lives of people in northern Australia and beyond.

Since its founding in 1977, the CTS has saved lives and homes by changing the way we build and modify our houses, thanks to the Station’s dedicated research into building structures and materials.

Over the past 40 years, research conducted by the CTS has played a defining role in setting building standards and ensuring a better understanding of the impact that cyclones have on our communities.

“The CTS has been involved in the development of Australian building codes and standards over the past 40 years,” said Dr David Henderson, director of the CTS. “If you live in one of Australia’s cyclone areas, you’re likely to find some of our research built or retrofitted into your house.”

With a strong foundation in engineering, the CTS also embraces a cross-disciplined approach to explore ways to improve cyclone resilience.

“We also work to educate the community about cyclones and the importance of being cyclone-ready,” Dr Henderson said. “We’re combining engineering with the behavioural sciences expertise of JCU’s psychology department to continue our work building cyclone-resilient communities now and into the future.”

As a part of their 40th anniversary celebration, the CTS has unveiled a new Wind Driven Rain Simulator (WDRS), the first of its kind in Australia, that will enable the team to research ways to reduce water damage and to develop testing methods for product ratings.

“If we can determine cost effective measures for mitigating water entry for existing construction and enhancing industry standards that includes testing for future building systems, we are confident many in the community will benefit,” Dr Henderson said.

Founded in 1977, the CTS was established in response to the destruction caused by Cyclone Althea in Townsville in 1971 and Cyclone Tracy in Darwin in 1974. It is now a world leader in wind engineering and publishes research to improve the safety and resilience of tropical communities to cyclones and extreme wind events.

The CTS provides product testing and technical advice to governments, manufacturers, building industry professionals, insurers and property owners, as well as delivering world-class academic research.

Contacts

Dr David Henderson

Director, Cyclone Testing Station

(07) 478 14340