New space institute launched at Swinburne University


Swinburne University has launched its new Space Technology and Industry Institute, headed by astronomer Professor Alan Duffy.

The university said in a statement on Friday that the new institute would link its “capabilities in astrophysics, aerospace, aviation, advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence and education” to address challenges “at the edge of human understanding and imagination.”

Duffy described the centre as having an important role in developing Australia’s space industry and training its future professionals.

“Space research, technology and education is, like the universe itself, incredibly complex and interdependent. It requires close collaboration, targeted investment and new ways of working to succeed,” said Duffy.

“Australia has the potential to be a global leader in space research and technology, as well as teaching the brightest minds. But to do it, we need all our rockets at full throttle.”

Swinburne’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research and Enterprise Professor Bronwyn Fox said that the institute would benefit industry partners through the university’s cutting-edge materials and manufacturing knowhow.

“We’re opening up a world of possibilities to expand our stellar capabilities and the new institute will make the most of our globally recognised expertise in digitalisation and materials engineering,” said Fox.

“We are in the midst of a space revolution, and Australia has a unique opportunity to emerge as a major player in the global space market.”

Current projects include:

  • developing new materials that are lighter, stronger, and offer self-healing properties or radiation protection to support the next generation of satellites
  • work on a cutting-edge technique called ‘super-resolution’ that uses artificial intelligence to improve satellite images that can help farms and mines see their holdings better
  • supporting a nationwide collaboration to access the resources of the Moon using new engineering processes for use as a base for resupplying and refuelling the exploration of our solar system.

Picture: Professor Pascale Quester, Professor Alan Duffy and Professor Bronwyn Fox launching the new Space Technology and Industry Institute (Swinburne University)

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