Research hub for steel manufacturing launched

A research hub bringing together scientists and engineers
from Australia’s steel manufacturers and research institutions launched in
Canberra yesterday.

Launched by Minister
for Industry Ian Macfarlane, the Australian Research Council (ARC) Research Hub for
Australian Steel Manufacturing is based at the University of Wollongong (UOW).

It will embark on research and development programs and best-practice pathways for
bringing new ideas to market.

The steel industry employs around 90,000 people and adds
more than $8.7 billion value to the economy. The hub will be supported by cash
and in-kind industry and university investment of more than $17 million and ARC
funding of $5 million over five years.

Supporting partners in the research hub include Arrium,
Bisalloy Steels, Cox Architecture, Australian Steel Institute, Lysaght,
University of Queensland, University of NSW, University of Newcastle, Swinburne
University of Technology and RMIT.

Steel Research Hub Director Oscar Gregory said the steel
industry has had to face extremely challenging conditions since the global
financial crisis.

“Now that the industry is seeing some improvement, it is
timely that the Steel Research Hub brings together the combined skills and
expertise of university and Industry researchers to transform the Australian
industry into a position of sustainability and global competitiveness,” he
said.

UOW Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Judy Raper
said UOW’s strong historic links with the steel industry put it in a prime
position to drive the national industry.

“…in a sense the Research Hub is extending and refining
something we at UOW have been doing for the past 60 years,” she said.