School of Civil Engineering

Mentor: SangHyung Ahn & Jiwon Kim

Project Team: Daniel Akers, Thomas Grohovaz, Nathan Wilson, Joseph Moroney

Project Brief

Since the inception of the aeroplane in 1903 by the Wright brothers, the way people travel and move goods has been completely revolutionised. In the 100+ years that followed, aeroplanes and airports have been firmly cemented as a core part of global trade networks and as the best option for long distance travel.

Airports can often be extremely busy at peak hours and due to this can be chaotic and hard to navigate for inexperienced travellers. As an airport has many different processes that are all active at once (from drop off/pick up to baggage retrieval etc) it can be a hard system to model (and therefore optimise).

This project aims to provide students with the knowledge and skills required to model and optimise complex systems (such as a factory or an airport). The topics covered by the project sessions (so far) have included a comprehensive introduction to the use of the modelling software Anylogic, as well as an in depth explanation of statistics and their uses in modelling (such as Poission Distribution). 

Project Report

The project required students to model the movement of people throughout the Brisbane Airport domestic terminal (from drop-off to baggage drop to security etc.).

Comprehensive data collection was conducted over the space of the semester, allowing for the flows of people at varying points in the airport to be determined. This data was collected by the students twice weekly through counting, observing and surveying passengers at different points in their movement through the airport.

To be able to effectively utilise this collected data, the students were introduced to computerised modelling and gained a better understanding of how to model complex systems through the program AnyLogic. This understanding was developed through the construction of various different complex models, such as a factory floor (parts arriving, assembly, shipping etc) or an intersection (cars from 3 different directions, busses/bus stops, carparks etc). 

The students were also given an in depth explanation of the use and importance of statistics in modelling, including methods for accurate synthesis of unique statistical models (in cases of data that does not conform to known statistical models). The synthesis of these unique models was quite complex and required usage of both Microsoft Excel and a solid understanding of integration. 

In Semester 2, by applying the skills developed during Semester 1 (modelling and use of statistics) to the obtained data, the project team will develop and optimise a large scale model of the movements of passengers through the Brisbane Airport.