Swinburne University of Technology launched an aerospace research center to help develop lighter planes, cheaper spacecraft and flying taxis, after receiving $ 12 million in support from the Victorian government.
Known as the Aerostructures Innovation Research Hub (AIR Hub), it will focus on the research, design and manufacture of air mobility materials and processes for applications ranging from airplanes and drones to ‘flying cars’ and space rockets, with work carried out in various countries and international facilities.
Air Hub will be headed by Director Dr Adriano Di Pietro, Defense and Space Engineer.
“By working closely with the aerospace industry, AIR Hub will create innovative materials and manufacturing processes for passenger aircraft, air cargo as well as the space industry,” said Vice-Chancellor and President of Swinburne , Professor Pascale Quester.
“It will also accelerate clean-energy vertical take-off and landing electric aerial vehicles – or eVTOL – better known as ‘flying cars’ or electric helicopters.
“AIR Hub will drive the economy, jobs and technological innovation for 30 years for Australia and Victoria, by designing and manufacturing lighter, stronger and more competitive aerospace structures to power Victoria’s aerospace industry.” as a world leader, ”she said.
The University of Melbourne will lead the initiative, which brings together local and international researchers, manufacturers and international aerospace companies. Australia’s first hub was established with the support of $ 12 million from the Victorian Government’s State Investment Fund for Higher Education.
Swinburne touted the use of artificial intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality, machine learning and collaborative robots in the development of manufacturing processes and composite materials in AIR Hub facilities.
Work will take place at multiple facilities, including the Swinburne-CSIRO Industry 4.0 test lab for composite additive manufacturing and the Australian ANSTO syncrotron, both located in the Australian Manufacturing and Materials compound in Clayton.
Research and development will also take place at the manufacturing sites of key industry partners such as Boeing, Quickstep, CableX, Furnace Engineering, Shoal and Marand Precision Engineering, as well as research partners CSIRO, Monash University and the German University of Stuttgart and ARENA2036.
“The new AIR hub will put Victoria on the world stage with its cutting-edge research and the truly valuable partnership between academia, industry and government,” said Victorian Minister of Higher Education Gayle Tierney.
The AIR hub will also work closely with Swinburne’s Victorian Hydrogen Hub on hydrogen storage capacity on eVTOL aircraft and air vehicles, said Swinburne AIR hub director Dr Adriano Di Pietro.
“AIR Hub will bring together researchers and industry to collaborate on real world issues,” said Dr Di Pietro.
“By using the latest technologies in digitization, automation and advanced materials, we will strengthen the position of our industrial partners in the global aerospace industry and accelerate the development of innovative technologies. This contribution to air mobility is vital to Australia’s future, connecting our people and communities. “
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