ECU engineering hubs to boost resources research

Professor Daryoush Habibi, Minister Bill Johnston, vice chancellor Steve Chapman and South32 operations manager Aaron Nash unveil the new facilities.

Edith Cowan University (ECU) has unveiled its $10 million engineering facilities, designed to drive innovative research and strengthen Western Australia’s mining, manufacturing, green energy and technology industries.

The facilities will deliver an enhanced focus on industry collaborations and discoveries, while offering real-world experience for the next generation of engineers.

ECU vice-chancellor professor Steve Chapman said the laboratories would provide exceptional new opportunities for industry partnerships.

“Our facilities are aligned with both industry and the WA state government’s commitment to boosting local manufacturing and securing Western Australia’s sustainable energy future,” Chapman said.

The three laboratories include an advanced manufacturing hub, renewable energy lab, and a sustainable energy and resources lab. The manufacturing hub will enable rapid prototyping and production of critical components in the manufacturing industry, lifting local skills and capacity.

It will also include WA’s only GE Concept Laser metal 3D printing system in partnership with global mining company South32.

South32 Worsley Alumina vice president operations Erwin Schaufler said his company’s partnership with ECU would position Western Australia as a leader in emerging advanced manufacturing technologies.

“South32 is pleased to support Edith Cowan University by donating a 3D printer from our Worsley Alumina operation for use in ECU’s new Advanced Manufacturing Hub,” Schaufler said.

“The printer will be used to conduct research into advanced manufacturing techniques, including production of sustainable, high-quality metal components that wouldn’t be possible via traditional manufacturing techniques. These components will have practical uses in a low carbon future.

“The research being undertaken at Edith Cowan University, supported by South32, will help Australian industry to be at the forefront of change.”

Chapman said the laboratories reinforced ECU’s commitment to engaging with industry to provide remarkable outcomes for them, but also delivering real-world experience and connections for its students.

“Combined with ECU’s world-class research and industry-focussed expertise, these new laboratories aim to offer creative answers to our world’s most challenging and pressing questions,” Chapman said.

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