Deakin University and Chinese steel giant, Wuhan Iron and Steel (Group) Corporation (WISCO), have launched a new venture that is set to have a major impact on the future of the global car manufacturing industry.
The organisations have established the joint Centre for Automotive Steel Research and Innovation (CASRI). The new research centre will be based at Deakin University’s Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus and focus on the advanced steels and metal forming processes needed to secure the future of car manufacturing.
Director of Deakin’s Institute for Technology Research and Innovation and metal processing expert, Alfred Deakin Professor Peter Hodgson, said the Centre would draw on the strengths of both organisations.
“The Centre will bring together the technical development know-how of WISCO with the Australian research expertise at ITRI to advance steel manufacturing processes for the car industry," he said.
“The future of the car industry lies in taking manufacturing to a new level where stronger and lighter steels are used to produce cheaper vehicles with low environmental emissions. We believe we can go a long way to making this a reality through the work of CASRI.”
The Centre’s research will focus on:
- fundamental metallurgical research that will develop ultrastrong steels of high formability
- developing advanced metal forming processes to enhance the competitiveness of automotive industries by maintaining high quality at low manufacturing cost
- training research scientists, engineers and managers of high calibre who will become the leaders of Australian and Chinese automotive industry
Deakin’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Lee Astheimer said the launch of the Centre was an exciting step for Australian research.
“Deakin University is a world leader in material research, having achieved the highest rating band of five in the recent National Excellence in Research for Australia evaluation, and WISCO is the third largest steel making company in China and the seventh in the world,” Professor Astheimer said.
“The strategic partnership formed between these two materials research and processing leaders is acknowledgement of the importance of the relationship between our two countries and a further demonstration of the growing recognition of Geelong, Victoria and Australia as a ‘knowledge economy’.”
“WISCO is one of the most important auto material (steel) suppliers in China and we understand the importance of undertaking both fundamental and applied research to maintain our leadership in the industry,” said Professor Lianchun Fu, the Chief Engineer of WISCO.
“The collaboration between Deakin and WISCO in automotive materials will certainly underpin WISCO’s position.”