Melbourne’s Swinburne University of Technology has teamed with Boeing to establish a research centre dedicated to the development of new aerospace manufacturing technologies, in conjunction with third-party Australian manufacturers.
The Australian Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, which will be part of Swinburne’s own A$130 million Advanced Technology Centre, currently under construction, will initially focus on titanium, aluminium and magnesium machining technologies.
Professor John Benyon, Swinburne’s dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Industrial Sciences, says that the project is based on a very successful model in the UK which also involves Boeing.
“We are now in the process of gearing up into action here, which means recruiting other companies to join us as members, and to move beyond the initial couple of projects,” Beynon says. “The nature of the centre is supply chain research whereby technology for the research is sselected by the companies in the supply chain; the idea being that once the technology has been developed, people in the supply chain are ready to use it and the implementation is therefore that much quicker.”
The centre will be mainly funded by membership fees, but Swinburne University is also investing in the project.
“The first key investment is to recruit a professor of advanced manufacturing,” says Professor Benyon.
“But we will then grow the centre organically, using current university space while we wait for the new Advanced Technology Centre to ready to accommodate us towards the end of next year. We will be hiring two research engineers early on, but we will also be taking on PHd students next year. We don’t have a target for the size, the idea is to serve a purpose and we will grow according to that need and in support of industry.”
Companies expected to particpate via membership are typically those that supply tooling and components to Boeing.