The University of Melbourne has been awarded $4 million to establish The Australian Research Council (ARC) Training Centre for Advanced Manufacturing of Prefabricated Housing.

The university announced the project will “advance and transform the building industry in Australia”.
The ARC Training Centre for Advanced Manufacturing of Prefabricated Housing to be led by Professor Priyan Mendis and Dr Tuan Ngo from the Department of Infrastructure Engineering, is funded for four years and includes support for six post-doctoral fellow positions and 14 PhDs.

Professor Mendis said the Centre aims to unlock the potential growth of Australia’s prefabricated building industry by creating a co-operative training system between industry and universities. 

“The Centre will enable the next generation of engineers and architects to apply advanced manufacturing ideas to prefabricated modular buildings,” he said.

“This emerging highly trained workforce driven by the needs of the customer will identify innovations in the use of advanced materials, design for manufacturing and assembly.”

Professor Mark Hargreaves, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Partnerships and External Relations) said the University of Melbourne is proud to lead the delivery of innovation and excellence through the ARC.

"The Centre will secure the Australian industry’s competitive advantage leading to local employment growth and increased exports of prefabricated products and services,” he said.

“Through this program, we will train emerging industry professionals, enable industry, with world-leading research capability, to develop and apply new materials, processes and technologies that will create products, processes and business models,” Professor Hargreaves said. 

Ideas from this project will enable the prefabricated building industry to produce innovative and customer specific building products required in future markets.

The ARC Training Centre for Advanced Manufacturing of Prefabricated Housing is a highly collaborative venture involving four Universities (The University of Melbourne, The University of Sydney, Curtin University of Technology and Monash University) and nine Partner Organisations (mostly companies).

Pictured above: Eco Balanced 1 by Ecoliv. Image: Warren Reed @ Coast Magazine