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Web Exclusive | November 2016

Future fibres hub in Australia

Australian government is supporting University-Industry collaborative hub to develop value-added future fibres.

Australian government’s research council has supported the creation of Aus$13.2 million hub with the support from Deakin University and industry partners. The center is part of the Institute of Frontier Materials at Deakin University in Geelong, Australia. The hub will enable Australia to be a leader in fibre research and development and will also support Geelong to be a hub for future advanced fibre manufacturing.

Apart from Deakin, Swinburne University of Technology and leading industry partners are involved in this effort. The hub will be led by Professor Xungai Wang, Director of the Institute of Frontiers Materials at Deakin. Within a span of less than 20 years, Deakin has emerged as an international player in high performance fibres research and development. This scribe has witnessed its growth from its nascent stage when Dr. Wang moved to Deakin from the University of New South Wales around the turn of this millennium. This scribe visited the then just commenced fibres research program at Deakin University in Geelong in 2001, while participating in the 81st World Conference of the UK-based Textile Institute, which was held in Melbourne.

The hub will focus on priority areas such as nanofibres and short polymer fibres, cheap and light carbon composites and high performance fibres for biomedical applications. According to Deakin’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jane den Hollander, the hub’s fibre development effort will focus human tissue engineering, safer clothing for sport activities and lightweight carbon composites for automotive application.

By: Seshadri Ramkumar, Texas Tech University, USA.

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