Apprentice and trainee commencements continue to climb

Apprentice and trainee commencements have continued their climb from Covid-affected lows and are now running at their highest level in eight years. The latest data from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) shows apprentice and trainee commencements grew nationally to 47,785 or 114 per cent in the June quarter 2021 compared with the…

Albo’s election pitch puts manufacturing at the centre

By Denham Sadler Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has made his case for government in a wide-ranging speech with a focus on sovereign capability and manufacturing. Albanese kicked off the election year with an address to the National Press Club, where he made his case for why Labor should take government from the Coalition. The Opposition…

DroneShield upgrades AI engine

Drone detection and countermeasure company DroneShield has announced the upgrading of the Artificial Intelligence (AI) engine that supports its RF drone and autonomous systems detection devices. The Australian/US company announced the enhancement of their RfPatrol, RfOne and DroneSentry-X drone detection and tracking platforms with the release of updated firmware for the devices. DroneShield capabilities are…

Hypersonic weapons research speeds up

The federal government has stepped up the pace of hypersonic weapons research with the opening of Defence’s Australian Hypersonics Research Precinct at Eagle Farm in Brisbane. Defence minister Peter Dutton launched the $14 million Precinct which provides a location for defence, industry, universities and international partners to advance the understanding and use of hypersonic technology…

Research shows usefulness of new class of materials in beating the heat

University of NSW and ANSTO scientists have characterised the structure of new materials, publishing work that could lead to advanced fire-retardant products. A statement from ANSTO describes work understanding “a family of two-dimensional transition metal carbides, carbonites and nitrides” known as MXenes. According to the American Ceramic Society, MXenes were discovered in 2011 by two…

How the west (lost) the chance to process valuable metals

Comment by Peter Roberts The graph tells you all you need to know about Australia’s – and the west’s – failure to secure the crucial processing stages of producing strategic and clean energy materials. Australia’s penchant for sending raw materials overseas unprocessed is well known from our focus on iron ore exports, and is obvious…