Research facilities

We've partnered with government, industry and donors to invest in major research infrastructure, facilities and technologies at UQ's Gatton campus.

Our facilities

Centre for Animal Welfare and Ethics

The Centre for Animal Welfare and Ethics (CAWE) develops innovative practices, guidelines and management strategies to protect animals, enhance their health and ensure their welfare.

Its mission is to improve animal welfare and the ethical issues concerned with animal welfare, through research, education and collaboration, all of which recognises the cultural diversity of human-animal interaction.

Animal welfare improvements have led to advances in conservation management, companion animal health and the livestock industry.

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Centre for Spray Technology Application Research and Training

The wind tunnel at UQ's Gatton campus:

  • is one of a handful globally to handle active ingredient pesticides
  • is the only active wind tunnel in the world to handle active ingredient pesticide sprays for simulated aerial application scenarios
  • is used to conduct studies for clients Australia and globally (particularly the US)
  • used to measure droplet size for diverse spray types from:
    • agriculture to vector control
    • mining applications and waste water treatment
  • uses three laser measurement systems (a Phase Doppler, Sympatec laser diffraction and Oxford Laser imaging system), which in Australia are unique to UQ
  • uses a different working section to also measure the drift potential of sprays to show the effects of changing nozzle, adjuvant or application conditions.

UQ's Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology researchers work closely with regulatory authorities and applicators/registrants to help optimise spray application to protect crops and human health while also protecting the environment. It is also a regular feature of our training courses for government and industry.

The advantage of wind tunnels over field studies is that we can control the variables closely and contain the spray while sampling.

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Crop Research Unit

The Crop Research Unit is based at UQ's Gatton campus and available to UQ research and teaching staff and external clients.

It is located on 40 hectares of research farmland divided into small and large plots for growing annual and perennial crops.

The unit's research includes:

  • sunflower agronomy and breeding trials
  • vegetable seed variety trials
  • chemical efficacy trials
  • water efficiency in maize production
  • sorghum agronomy and variety trials
  • perennial tree-crop (Pongamia) biofuel and carbon-offset planting.

It's also available to external research clients such as seed and chemical companies. The CSIRO is among our current clients.

We also use the unit for research and to teach undergraduate and postgraduate students in horticulture and agriculture.

      Its facilities and equipment include:

      • office and workrooms
      • cool room and packing shed
      • machinery sheds and workshops
      • dual rain-out shelter facility
      • plant-growing greenhouse tunnels
      • full range of horticultural and agricultural farm equipment.
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      Gatton Farms

      UQ's Gatton Farms is spread across two locations and covers 1064 hectares:

      • the main area of activities is on the Gatton campus
      • Darbalara farm covers 184 hectares and is located 10 kilometres from the main campus
      • Darbalara farm is home to the School of Veterinary Science Droughtmaster herd.

      The farms include:

      • a dairy
      • poultry unit
      • sheep and goat herd
      • horticultural fields
      • plant nursery
      • post-harvest facilities
      • research laboratories and greenhouses.
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      Gatton Solar Research Facility

      Built by the Global Change Institute, the Gatton Solar Research Facility is helping to shape a brighter future for Australia’s renewable energy capability. It is the largest solar research facility in the Southern Hemisphere.

      The 3.275-megawatt research station is a pilot plant for new and existing large-scale Australian solar projects to look at ways to better integrate solar with conventional electricity grids.

      The project is a collaboration between UQ Solar, US photovoltaic manufacturer First Solar and AGL. It is expected to advance solar generation technologies that will strengthen the industry’s position in Australia’s energy mix.

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      Geothermal Centre

      UQ's Geothermal Centre developed the innovative cooling tower technology to reduce water consumption and the cost of generating electricity in regional Australia.

      Remote Australian communities need cost-effective small-scale power generation options.

      Small-scale thermal power plants (1-10MW) using renewable sources (geothermal, biomass and solar thermal) could meet this need, and these technologies require cooling towers that work efficiently at small scale without consuming excessive amounts of water.

      The Centre has developed a polymer-steel cooling tower with a flexible design allowing operation across the range of dry, wet, and hybrid cooling modes.

      The geothermal cooling tower:

      • has modular construction that is easily deployable to remote sites
      • is significantly cheaper than concrete cooling towers at small scales
      • is a demonstration unit built at the UQ Gatton campus that is large enough to contribute to the efficient supply of power for up to 1000 people.
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      Native Wildlife Facility

      The Native Wildlife Facility was established in 2008 to support teaching and research in Australian native wildlife.

      Students enrolled in Wildlife Science courses undertake practical classes in the facility and are required to volunteer time there as part of their degree.

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      Plant Nursery Unit

      The Plant Nursery Unit is managed by the School of Agriculture and Food Sustainability and is located within a secure compound with a range of potted plant growing facilities.

      It used for:

      • container grown plant teaching and research
      • horticulture and urban horticulture teaching and research
      • plant nursery skills training
      • potted plant research and development
      • engagement activities and community service.
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      Poultry Science Unit

      The School of Agriculture and Food Sustainability's Poultry Science Unit plays a key role in:

      • supporting teaching and research activities
      • allowing undergraduate and postgraduate students to gain hands-on experience working with poultry.

      Research is largely funded by government and industry with an emphasis on:

      • nutrition
      • gastrointestinal physiology and health
      • feed ingredient quality
      • and biomanufacturing of feed additives.
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      School of Agriculture and Food Sustainability research

      The School of Agriculture and Food Sustainability's world-leading researchers are committed to finding solutions to global issues related to diminishing natural resources, climate change and feeding a growing population.

      Research undertaken by the School's 150 scientists encompasses disciplines to design agricultural systems integrating plant, animal, soil and food sciences with social, environmental and economic variables.

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      School of Veterinary Science research

      The School of Veterinary Science has a broad range of research interests, encompassing nearly all disciplines of veterinary science and including basic, applied and translational research.

      Specific research strengths of the School include the areas of infectious diseases, animal welfare, livestock, wildlife, equine and companion animals.

      The School offers an outstanding range of facilities to conduct laboratory-based, animal-based, clinical and field research.

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      Queensland Animal Science Precinct

      The Queensland Animal Science Precinct (QASP) accommodates training, teaching, validation and commercialisation of animal research, focusing on the research and development requirements of state, national and international animal industries.

      Researchers undertake a diverse range of animal research at the complex including:

      • nutrition
      • health and disease management
      • vaccine development
      • behavioural and welfare studies
      • biosecurity investigational work
      • reproduction and food safety.
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