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UOW helping drive NSW defence

New NSW Defence Innovation Network announced

The University of Wollongong (UOW) will be at the forefront of defence-related research and development activity in NSW as a founding member of a new Defence Innovation Network (DIN) announced today (Friday 3 November 2017).

The new network, announced by NSW Minister for Trade and Industry, the Hon. Niall Blair MLC, will bring together leading scientists and engineers from seven NSW public universities to focus on areas crucial to Australia’s defence needs.

UOW stands alongside fellow founding universities: the University of Newcastle, UNSW Sydney, University of Technology Sydney, University of Sydney, Macquarie University and Western Sydney University.

The network will be funded by a $1.25 million investment by the NSW Government, combined with each founding institution demonstrating its commitment by investing $60,000 and funding two PhD scholarships for defence-related research projects. This investment will allow the new network to quickly identify and initiate valuable research focused on Defence priority areas.

In announcing the network, Minister Blair said the network will build on NSW’s extensive defence industry capability and bring to life the next generation of Australian defence technology.

“This Network will act as a broker – one where it can hear the problems facing industry and find the right people in our universities to solve them,” Mr Blair said.

“It’s set to tackle challenges in fields such as autonomous and unmanned systems, signal processing, weapons and communications.

“This initiative is a bold statement to Australian and international defence firms that NSW has the necessary expertise and is a good place to invest.”

NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer Mary O’Kane said the Defence Innovation Network demonstrates the capacity of our universities to be big problem solvers.

“This will provide an opportunity to tackle important and complex issues,” Professor O’Kane said.

“The Network will also complement two other research networks already established by the Government.”

UOW Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation) Professor Judy Raper said UOW was proud to take its place as one of the new DIN’s founding members.

“The University of Wollongong has extensive experience working on defence technology research, particularly through its Defence Materials Technology Centre.

“We also have a strong culture of research collaboration across disciplines and with other institutions, corporate partners and government so we are looking forward to contributing our research strengths to this collaborative network,” Professor Raper said.

UOW’s Defence Materials Technology Centre has made significant research and development contributions to major defence projects, particularly in the fields of welding, robotics, automation and materials. Projects include the Bushmaster and Hawkei armoured vehicles built by Thales Australia for the Australian Defence Force, maritime welding and fabrication for the Collins Class submarines and the Air Warfare Destroyers currently under construction.

UOW’s health researchers also worked with the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) to develop Physical Employment Standards for the Australian Defence Force.


Photo: Copyright Department of Defence, Commonwealth of Australia.