Monash home to $5m construction industry research hub

Monash research hub construction

Monash University has been awarded $5 million by the Australian Research Council to advance the development of construction materials through the creation of an Industrial Transformation Research Hub to be based at the University’s Clayton campus.

The hub will draw on the expertise of 38 scientists and researchers from Monash and 28 partner institutions including CSIRO, Australian universities and industry, international research centres and universities including the National University of Singapore, Northwestern University (USA), and Princeton  (USA).

The research hub will develop novel construction materials including binders, cement additives, high performance concrete materials, concrete structural systems, polymer composites, and pavement materials.

Monash University Vice-Provost (Research) Professor Pauline Nestor says the funding will create a world of opportunity for Monash and our partner institutions.

“Today’s generous funding announcement will provide a centralised platform to transform the construction materials industry into an advanced manufacturing sector that will deliver sustainable and resilient infrastructure assets,” Professor Nestor said.

“In addition to delivering tangible solutions to some of the challenges faced by the construction industry, the collaborative hub will also create a cutting-edge knowledge platform for training researchers and practitioners in engineering and materials science.”

Hub Director, Associate Professor Wenhui Duan said the hub would drive advances in nanotechnology, cement chemistry, concrete technology and develop extreme engineering solutions, with the support from the next generation construction technology like 3D printing.

“This Hub will bring together a world-class team from Monash, the University of Melbourne, the University of Queensland, the University of Western Australia, RMIT, Deakin University, the University of Technology Sydney, and the Western Sydney University,” Associate Professor Duan said.

“The location of the Australian Synchrotron near the Clayton campus of Monash University will provide ready access to state-of-the-art beamlines. The team will also have ready access to the Monash Centre for Electron Microscopy, a central university research facility  for  research  in  electron microscopy.”

The Australian construction materials industry is vital to the nation’s future economic prosperity, operating cement, concrete, aggregates, polymer composites and chemicals manufacturing and distribution facilities, contributing nearly $12 billion to GDP and directly employs 18,000 Australians  and  indirectly,  more  than 85,000 people.

Minister for Education and Training, Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham, this morning announced the Industrial Transformation Research Funding and new research grants under four ARC funding schemes.