The Aerostructures Innovation Research Hub (AIR Hub) at Swinburne University of Technology in Victoria, Australia and the National Institute for Aerospace Research (NIAR) at Wichita State University in Kansas, USA have signed a wide-ranging partnership agreement to boost local and international capabilities.
The partnership will initially focus on digitisation of aerospace composite design and production, developing advanced manufacturing technologies and testing methods and creating specialised simulation capabilities.
AIR Hub Director Dr Adriano Di Pietro said the agreement would allow for greater global innovation and industry advances. “Working together at the cutting edge of digitalisation, intelligent manufacturing processes and advanced composite materials, this partnership will help us create innovative solutions to pressing real-world challenges,” Pietro said. “We are delighted to be working with our colleagues at NIAR to achieve our mission of developing the next generation of aerostructures for advanced mobility in Victoria and around the world.”
NIAR senior research scientist Dr Waruna Seneviratne leads a team of experienced engineers and student technicians in NIAR’s Advanced Technologies Lab for Aerospace Systems (ATLAS), which is focused on developing emerging technologies in advanced manufacturing and machine learning for wider industry use. “The partnership with AIR Hub will allow both organisations to take advantage of each other’s strengths to increase the value of both university research organisations to industry,” said Seneviratne.
The partnership encompasses both the technical capabilities and human capital required to power the aviation and aerospace industry into the future. This includes the exchange of research staff to promote closer collaboration and sharing of experiences, as well as facilitating collaborative arrangements between Australian and US industry partners in aerostructures and composite materials testing and research. The collaboration will also enable technological advances to assist AIR Hub and NIAR to develop a comprehensive Model Based Engineering concept.
AIR Hub is an industry and research collaboration driving innovation in aerostructures, focusing on civil, cargo and aeromedical airliners, urban electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) air vehicles, and advanced composite materials for the space and satellite industries. This includes a focus on commercialising new technologies through an aerospace accelerator & incubator platform, called AIR Pass. AIR Hub is also working closely with the Victorian Hydrogen Hub (VH2) to research and develop capacity for hydrogen storage on aircraft and eVTOL vehicles.
NIAR was established at Wichita State University in 1985 in an effort to increase research and development capabilities, focused on the needs of the Air Capital of the World. NIAR is known globally for expertise in the most critical areas of aerospace R&D including composites and advanced materials, digital twin and advanced manufacturing technologies such as automated and additive manufacturing. They provide research, design, testing, certification and training to the aviation manufacturing industries and government agencies including the US Department of Defense.