Monash researchers set to revolutionise Australia’s construction sector with hub launch

The Nanocomm Hub is jointly funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC) and partners from Australian industry who came together to celebrate the launch today.

Monash University was recently awarded $5 million by the ARC to lead a multidisciplinary team in the advancement of Australian construction materials.

Nanocomm Hub Director Professor Wenhui Duan said the collaboration between his world-leading team of researchers situated across 13 Australian and three international Universities is moving ahead quickly and will deliver ground-breaking innovations that will transform the future of construction in Australia.

“We are happy to be launching the Nanocomm Hub. This is only the start of our journey to truly transform the way construction materials are manufactured in Australia. Through our work and our close connections to industry we are ensuring future advancement of the sector," Professor Duan said.

These researchers and their industry partners from Australia, China, Singapore, and the USA have been collaborating on affiliated projects for over a year. Thirty-eight Nanocomm Hub projects have commenced and so far, chief investigators have reported in over 10 publications with research teams filing at least one provisional patent, with more in development.

Professor Duan is pleased with the Hub’s progress.

“We are at an exciting time in the field of nano-science and nano-engineering. The Nanocomm Hub researchers and partners will be able to use this ground-breaking technology to transform the way we live," Professor Duan said.

Involved in the proceedings was Federal Liberal Senator for Victoria Scott Ryan, the Special Minister of State and Minister Assisting the PM for Cabinet. Monash University Senior Vice-Provost and Vice-Provost (Research) Professor Pauline Nestor were also involved in the formalities.

Early research success by Chief Investigators:

A team led by Dr Amin Heidarpour in collaboration with Victoria-based Bao Engineering Pty Ltd successfully developed an innovative permanent steel formwork for concrete stairs. Their innovation produces a lighter stair constructed with less materials, is stronger and can be fabricated quicker saving significant labour and material costs.

Contact: Dr Heidarpour +61 9902 4435

Professor Huanting Wang along with Research Fellow Ms Hanaa Hegab: have developed a membrane product that filters waste water for acid recovery from mining operations. Western Australia-based project partner One Atom 12 is working towards the commercialisation of the membranes.  

Contact: Professor Huanting Wang +61 3 9905 3449

Mark Muzzin (Managing Director, One Atom 12) +61 412 767 758

Dr Chao Chen in partnership with the Australian Road Research Board, has developed a robot that crawls along sampling pavement with state-of-the art laser and ultrasonic sensors. The Robotic Transverse Profiler (RTP) takes frequent snapshots of pavement as it is applied with simulated heavy traffic to see how it deteriorates over time determining which pavement materials will ensure good, reliable roads.

Contact: Dr Chao Chen +61 413 663 114