Swinburne University of Technology has opened a new Space Technology and Industry Institute which will bring together world-class capabilities in astrophysics, aerospace, aviation, advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence and education.
The new institute is designed to inspire education, research and innovation in a sector that is projected to be worth $1 trillion globally by 2040. It will be led by pre-eminent astronomer and science communicator Professor Alan Duffy who was recently named Academic of the Year at the Australian Space Awards.
Professor Duffy said the institute is an important step forward in the ongoing growth and development of the Australian space industry, for both research and educating the next wave of space 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. 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,” he said.
An interplanetary refuelling station on the Moon and vastly improved satellite imaging technology are just two of the projects being worked on by the new Space Technology and Industry Institute.
Swinburne’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research and Enterprise, Professor Bronwyn Fox, said the Space Technology and Industry Institute would provide industry partners with a platform for building lighter, stronger and cheaper materials with faster production enabled by cutting edge additive manufacturing processes.
“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,” Professor Fox said.