Victoria’s universities are host to some of the country’s best research minds with the potential to propel Australia’s Defence interests. As industry and the government look to collaborate with academia to achieve optimal solutions to the country’s defence and security challenges, universities provide the perfect setting to foster long-standing relationships within the defence network.
At the forefront of this activity is Swinburne University of Technology, where research into dynamic behavior of materials and structures is evidence of Victoria’s defence capability at the university level.
Professor Guoxing Lu, a past recipient of a grant from the Defence Science Institute (DSI), has been spearheading Swinburne’s defence research since 1995. With research interests in the field of impact engineering, solid mechanics, novel structures and materials and impact and blasting loading, Professor Lu’s expertise has seen the university’s defence involvement grow from strength to strength.
He is credited with establishing Swinburne University’s Impact Engineering Laboratory, where research is carried out on the behaviour of innovative materials and structures under dynamic/impact loadings.
The laboratory offers specialist support for research on dynamic material testing, structural and product drop tests, ballistic projectile penetration tests, and computational simulations of dynamic processes, among other disciplines.
The facilities on site include a very high speed (VHS) Instron machine, drop tower with a height of three metres, a variety of split Hopkinson pressure bars, gas guns and high-speed cameras. The lab is also home or has access to modern computational facilities, including Swinburne’s impressive High Performance Supercomputer, Ozstar.
In a bid to make the state-of-the-art facilities at the lab available to anyone with an interest in the field, its doors are always open not only to researchers at Swinburne, but to researchers from other universities, research organisations and industries as well.
“With the cutting edge facilities and sound fundamental knowledge of impact engineering, Swinburne Impact Engineering Laboratory has been able to make significant contributions to Australian industries spanning from automotive, aerospace, marine and rail, to manufacturing and, of course, defence. The Laboratory is becoming a national asset and is internationally recognised. I am extremely proud of this and we look forward to working closely with all the partners,” says Professor Lu.
Thanks to the efforts of Professor Lu, research at the laboratory is exploring new paradigms for material and structural behaviour, paving the way for invaluable contributions to the defence sector from the state of Victoria.
Professor Guoxing Lu's is one of many successful stories of research progression to come out of DSI, demonstrating how research outcomes are transferable and of value across multiple sectors not just defence. DSI encourages researchers to make contact and leverage the many grant and support options available to advance their research.