Innovative Materials Testing. Sydney University MTS High Capacity Universal Testing Machine


The School of Civil Engineering athThe University of Sydney has taken a monumental leap forward with the launch of their new, state-of-the-art high-capacity testing machine, the MTS 20 Meganewton testing machine. This cutting-edge equipment, proudly delivered and installed by the John Morris Group, stands as the largest facility of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. It promises to be a game-changer in the realm of infrastructure development and materials testing.

Challenges in the Built Environment

In today's rapidly evolving world, the challenge of achieving NetZero emissions is pressing. Structural engineers are at the forefront of this endeavor, tasked with reshaping the built environment to be more sustainable. To meet these demands, the need for developing higher-strength and more efficient materials is paramount. Professor Brian Uy, Head of the School of Civil Engineering, emphasizes the crucial role of engineers in the mission to attain NetZero and underscores the importance of innovation in materials to achieve these goals.

The Role of the New Testing Facility

The MTS 20 Meganewton testing machine plays a vital role in addressing the challenges posed by the built environment. It is designed to test a diverse range of innovative materials crucial for infrastructure development, including high-performance concrete, steel, composite construction members, and carbon-fiber reinforced polymers. This comprehensive testing capability ensures that materials used in critical construction projects meet rigorous standards of performance and reliability.

The Collaboration with John Morris Group

The realization of this ambitious project wouldn't have been possible without the dedicated efforts of the John Morris Group, working alongside engineers from MTS. Over a span of three years, they meticulously designed, developed, delivered, and installed the system. This extensive collaboration involved not only the installation of the testing machine but also significant modifications to the building to accommodate its massive size, the creation of a specialized crane for lifting the system, and coordinating specialized international sea freight shipping. Their unwavering commitment and technical expertise were integral in bringing this groundbreaking facility to life.

Contributions to Australian and International Standards

The facility's significance extends beyond material testing. It serves as a cornerstone for experimental research aimed at developing Australian and International Standards. By nurturing innovative solutions in construction and infrastructure, the facility fosters a culture of excellence and forward-thinking in the industry. Collaborative efforts with other universities and industry partners ensure that the facility remains at the forefront of shaping the future of construction materials and practices, not just within Australia but on an international scale.


In conclusion, the MTS 20 Meganewton testing machine at the School of Civil Engineering, delivered and installed with great dedication by the John Morris Group, stands as a symbol of progress in the quest for a sustainable and efficient built environment. Its capacity to test a wide range of materials crucial for infrastructure development, combined with its pivotal role in the development of standards, underscores its importance in the field. The collaborative efforts with academia and industry partners emphasize a commitment to global advancements in construction and infrastructure. This initiative marks a significant step forward in the journey toward a NetZero future and a more sustainable world.


November 24, 2023

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