The future of manufacturing in Australia is smart, agile and green
In the latest issue of The Conversation, Professor Veena Sahajwalla writes that Australian industries "are beginning to recognise the cost-effectiveness of reusing materials, and the importance of high value-add, small, agile and localised processing facilities."
Last year, I wrote about the ability of engineers to build Australia into the future by fostering invention and innovation. I still believe it will be engineers who can deliver previously unimaginable solutions, like green manufacturing, which is an area that will transform the manufacturing industry.
Australian industries need the flexibility, insight and foresight that comes from thinking creatively, asking critical questions, forming and testing hypotheses and reasoning quantitatively. They also need access to the research and technologies that will add value to manufactured products.
At the Sustainable Materials Research and Technology Centre (SMART) at UNSW, we are working on green manufacturing in collaboration with industry, using waste and end‐of‐life products as raw materials.
We are rethinking the way we have traditionally done manufacturing and looking at creating new resources from waste. But it is fundamental and applied research that have created the foundations of where we are today.