Very light, very strong new metals and emerging manufacturing processes are set to usher in a new era of aerospace technology.Deep within the labyrinth of Monash University’s Clayton campus in Melbourne is a metallurgy laboratory so significant in what it is doing that it has attracted some of the biggest companies in the global aerospace industry from the other side of the world. They are keeping close to the technology that could make this laboratory the genesis of the next generation of aerospace manufacturing. They are also keeping close to a scientist in whose hands their futures may well sit. When Professor Xinhua Wu, recognised internationally as a leader in advanced light metals research, agreed to head the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Design in Light Metals, her research moved with her from the UK to Melbourne. Such is the importance placed on her work that the giants of European aerospace – Bombardier, Airbus, European Space Agency and SAFRAN-Microturbo – followed.
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