Manufacturing news briefs — stories you might have missed

CSIRO appoints new Energy Director

Dr Dietmar Tourbier has been appointed Director of Energy at CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, following a competitive international recruitment search. Dr Peter Mayfield, CSIRO’s Executive Director for Environment, Energy and Resources, said Tourbier’s appointment comes at a critical juncture for Australia and CSIRO in particular. “Dr Tourbier’s deep industry knowledge and strong networks will help ensure CSIRO’s technological innovations can be expediently deployed to help drive emission reductions across a range of sectors at scale,” said Mayfield. Tourbier worked at General Electric (GE) for over 20 years leading research teams as part of their Global Research organisation, before relocating to Australia. He led up to 200 researchers and held leadership roles at GE’s solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) division in California, the global power electronics technology research group and GE’s European research division. More recently, during his tenure as Director of the Australian Solar Thermal Research Institute (ASTRI), he brought together a team of research organisations and successfully engaged industry partners to incorporate technologies developed under ASTRI.

BMPRO launches new range of off-grid systems

RV power management company BMPRO has announced the launch of a new range of high-powered off-grid systems over the next 12 months, including battery management and charging solutions. According to the company, their systems come with higher amp charging solutions, allowing customers to go off-grid further and for longer while bringing their home comforts with them. The company launched the first product in the range, the Off-Grid50, using the new ProBoost battery charger. “BMPRO’s new range of high-powered off-grid systems reflects our commitment to providing reliable and efficient off-grid power solutions,” said Louise Bayliss, BMPRO CEO. “Our customers can trust that BMPRO’s products are designed, engineered, and made to the highest standards, and our customer support team is always available to assist them on their off-grid adventures.”

UNSW researchers develop “jellybean” quantum computer approach in silicon

Engineers from UNSW Sydney have developed what they say it an important step towards “solving a long-standing problem about giving their qubits more breathing space”. Jellybean quantum dots – elongated areas between qubit pairs that create more space for wiring without interrupting the way the paired qubits interact with each other — had been shown in different material systems such as gallium arsenide, but never in silicon, said lead author on the paper in Advanced Materials, Associate Professor Arne Laucht. “…[B]ecause the qubits need to be so close together to share information with one another, placing wires between each pair was always going to be a challenge,” said Laucht. The work opens the way for qubits to be spaced apart to ensure that the wires necessary to connect and control the qubits can be fit in between, according to the university. The next step involves “inserting working qubits at each end of the jellybean quantum dot and make them talk to another.”

Quantum Brilliance announces software reseller agreement, new Singapore office

Diamond-based quantum computer and software company Quantum Brilliance announced its first quantum software reseller agreement through PTC, a Singapore-based provider of enterprise data management solutions and services to Asia. The agreement enables PTC customers to explore hybrid classical-quantum computing for enterprise AI applications, according to a statement from QB on Thursday, and coincides with it opening an office in Singapore, where the company also plans to develop a Quantum Software Centre of Excellence. The company’s Qristal software “enables R&D teams to explore integrating quantum systems in real-world applications and develop and test novel quantum algorithms specifically designed for quantum accelerators rather than quantum mainframes,” it said.

University of Newcastle joins hydrogen partnership

The University of Newcastle has joined more than a dozen international signatories on a new Global Partnership for Hydrogen Innovation. An official signing took place on Wednesday May 10 at the World Hydrogen Summit in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The partnership sees universities, innovation hubs and international ports from Australia, Brazil, Chile, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands commit to working together to accelerate innovation for green hydrogen. “Shifts in energy production practices and the impacts of climate change are creating an unprecedented need for countries to rapidly transition to renewable energy,” said Professor Zee Upton, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation at the University of Newcastle. “Australia is one of many nations turning to hydrogen as part of a new energy mix, and we’re collaborating with industry and government partners worldwide to drive opportunities that will make a positive difference to our regions and our world.”

XTEK achieves delivery milestone in unmanned aerial systems order

Defence supplier XTEK told investors on Monday that its Technology Division has achieved a major project milestone in performance of the $26.9m Defence SUAS order, announced on December 1, with shipment and revenue recognition of $7.4m of contract deliverables. Scott Basham, XTEK’s Group CEO, said: “XTEK is very pleased to be able to continue to support Defence with the provision of world-leading SUAS technology. With other key project milestones due to be achieved before the end of FY23, this is an exciting time for XTEK’s Technology Division XTEK as it continues to further develop its SUAS sustainment capability.”

Joanne Moss to retire as chair of LBT

Medical technology company LBT Innovations, an ASX-listed specialist in microbiology automation using artificial intelligence, has announced that Joanne Moss will retire as Chair from the LBT Board over coming months. Citing Moss’s increased professional work commitments, LBT said it was committed to an orderly transition, with a recruitment process commencing for a new chair. Moss said:
“As part of the transition process, I remain committed to ensuring an orderly handover and look forward to working with the
Board to appoint a high-quality replacement Chair.”

Halo Food Co to have its operations reviewed

Australia and New Zealand manufacturer of health and dairy wellness products, Halo Food Co has announced it has appointed Modus Partners to conduct a full review of the divisions and operations of the company. The company, which manufacturers under its own brand and under contract to others, had previously conducted its own internal review. Modus is now seeking expressions of interest from outside parties for the purchase of the whole of the company or of individual business units. Halo said in a statement: “The board has formed an opinion that the value of the underlying business units may be worth substantially more than the implied values based on the current listed market value of the company.” Modus will also consider other merger and acquisition and partnership options. Halo has four units – Halo Manufacturing, Brands Division, New Zealand Dairy and The Healthy Mummy brand.

Record numbers show up to supplier forums: Defence

Australian businesses have been turning up in record numbers to the Office of Defence Industry (ODIS) forums, according to Defence Australia. Over 360 people took part in the Perth and Melbourne ODIS Forums, designed to help small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) connect with prime contractors and fefence industry personnel to find out how they can equip or sustain the ADF. Francesca Rush, First Assistant Secretary Australian Industry Capability and Chief Counsel Commercial for the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group, said, “The next two forums in Hobart and Brisbane will have an expert panel of speakers and a range of activities, designed to inform businesses on overcoming challenges and understanding the opportunities in growing their Defence footprint.” The next series of forums will be hosted in Hobart on May 16 and Brisbane on May 24. For further information and to secure a seat, register for Hobart or Brisbane.

Legrand opens new innovations showroom

Electrical manufacturer Legrand Australia has unveiled its new showroom located at the Legrand Head Office in Prestons, Sydney via an intimate opening ceremony earlier this week. The showroom features a wide range of the group’s lighting and electrical offerings, including the latest LED lighting fixtures, home automation systems and other cutting-edge technologies, giving customers the opportunity to explore a variety of products first-hand, according to a statements. Designed to showcase a range of smart solutions in varying real-life scenarios, the showroom features four spaces that allow customers to touch, feel and interact with working electrical solutions in a kitchen, office, hotel, and hospital room environment. Legrand Australia designs, manufactures and distributes over 15,000 items under five brands: HPM, Legrand, BTicino, Cablofil and CP Electronics.

Picture: Credit Tony Melov/UNSW

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