From cars that know when they need a mechanic and where to find one, to improving transport links between affordable housing and employment centres—Professor Dimitrios Georgakopoulos of Swinburne University of Technology wants to harness the mass of information generated by the internet of things (IoT).
This network consists of every connected device or ‘thing’ (including people) connected to the internet and each other.
Dimitrios has developed ways to gather and distil high-value information from this data.
Wooden furniture companies in Indonesia have doubled their income after taking part in training courses to boost production efficiency and improve overseas opportunities.
Furniture—predominantly made from teak or mahogany—is one of Indonesia’s big exports. But even in the region of Jepara, known in particular for its carved furniture, the manufacturing industry has been marked by poor production efficiency, resulting in less recovered timber and lower overall quality of furniture products.
It’s very hard to set up a jet engine in a wind tunnel and get accurate measurements inside it while it’s rotating 7,000 times a minute.
So while other members of the University of Melbourne’s mechanical engineering department use wind tunnels to measure turbulence on the surface of airplanes, Professor Richard Sandberg has developed a computer program to make the same measurements inside an engine.
His work also applies to the turbines used to generate power from gas, wind and wave.
From keeping Australian troops safe from explosions, to ensuring military vehicles can maintain flexibility on damaged roads, the Armour Applications Program of the Defence Materials Technology Centre has pioneered high-performance materials.
Manufacturers are looking for ways to make their factories more sustainable, but before whacking a solar panel on the roof, they’ve got to plan carefully.
University of New South Wales researcher Assoc Prof Sami Kara says production lines need a steady supply of electricity, and if the sun goes behind a cloud, businesses get hit with penalty rates for suddenly drawing more energy from the grid.
LED lighting is sweeping the world. It’s energy efficient, long lasting, and could save users billions of dollars worldwide and dramatically reduce carbon emissions. But it’s still a young technology. Much more efficient lights are on the way.
CSIRO researchers are applying nanotechnology to drug delivery, medical body imaging, nerve repair, smart textiles and clothing, medical devices, plastic solar cells (see From plastic money to plastic electricity) and much more.
“Nanotechnology is not an industry—it is an enabling technology,” says Clive Davenport, leader of CSIRO’s Future Manufacturing Flagship.