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USQ space manufacturing hub shortlisted for expansion

Manufacturing News

The University of Southern Queensland’s space manufacturing hub has been shortlisted to receive a share of the federal government’s $242 million Trailblazer Universities Program.

The four-year Trailblazer Program will help universities to fast-track commercialisation of research with industry partners across the six National Manufacturing Priorities (NMP).

The University of Southern Queensland’s Innovative Launch, Automation, Novel Materials, Communications and Hypersonics (iLAuNCH) Hub is a bid at the forefront of national priority and will help the country keep step with an emerging manufacturing sector.

The iLAuNCH Hub proposal, supported by the Australian National University (ANU), University of South Australia (UniSA) and more than 15 industry partners, will improve Australia’s skills in the space sector, providing new jobs and boosting the economy.

USQ executive director of the Institute for Advanced Engineering and Space Sciences and project Lead Professor Peter Schubel (pictured) said Australia had seen considerable progress in launch providers and facilities over the past few years.

Professor Schubel said: “iLAuNCH will support manufacturing companies to accelerate, build a complementary supply chain and overcome commercialisation challenges.

“The success of this market is essential for a thriving sovereign space industry, as without the ability to launch, Australia is left to rely on other countries to place products into space.”

Director of the ANU Institute for Space Professor Anna Moore said while universities had valuable space research specialties, it was imperative to partner with industry to build the next generation of space researchers and professionals.

UniSA Industry Associate Professor Colin Hall said their role in the project was to develop technology in small satellites using 3D printing, advanced coatings and complex optical surfaces to create optical components for high powered lasers.

Associate Professor Hall said: “Together with our partners, we hope to improve Australia’s skills in the space sector and provide new and exciting career paths for upcoming space scientists.”

The University of Southern Queensland has end-to-end rocket manufacturing capability from design to fuel manufacture, structural manufacture, test and launch capabilities.

USQ’s Institute for Advanced Engineering and Space Sciences operates the Helidon Static Rocket Test Site and Mount Kent Observatory.

Picture: Professor Peter Schubel

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