UOW advanced manufacturing technology and industrial robot specialist Dr Zengxi Pan with robotic welder

Defence Industry Showcase highlights regional defence manufacturing capabilities

Defence Industry Showcase highlights regional defence manufacturing capabilities

Industry stakeholders to celebrate local industry and promote innovation in the Illawarra-Shoalhaven

The University of Wollongong (UOW) will host a defence industry showcase at its Shoalhaven campus on Wednesday 24 August 2022, bringing key defence and industry players together to celebrate local industry, promote innovation and support the expansion of regional defence supply chains.

UOW has a strong presence in defence-related research and training and maritime security and a proud history of providing cutting-edge and innovative defence technology and services to Australia’s defence industries. The University has also formed successful partnerships with the NSW Government and industry to promote innovation and create opportunities in the Illawarra-Shoalhaven region.

The University applies its expertise to defence projects in areas such as materials engineering, IT for defence-related cybersecurity projects, implementing automation skills to manufacture high-value, low-volume components for aerospace uses among several other projects, and in training a highly skilled workforce.

UOW Defence Strategy Leader Dr Paul Di Pietro said UOW is committed to developing life-ready graduates who are regionally-connected to community, resilient and ready for work.

“The event will showcase the region’s capabilities, both in industry and in research, and how we can collectively grow our supply-chain participation in defence contracts,” Dr Di Pietro said. 

“Part of the challenge for the Shoalhaven and the Illawarra is to provide active support to enable the region to be the most attractive for large defence projects to proceed here.

“Wollongong has its roots in steel and mining, so we have a lot of expertise in the areas of welding, automation and materials.  UOW has a proud history of working with defence and over the past decade, we have contributed to the development and manufacture of the Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle by providing the welding smarts for the Bushmaster vehicle. The technology automates the robotic welding of the frame of the Bushmaster vehicle to protect troops.

“This intellectual property has also been used to weld the more complex Hawkei light four-wheel drive protected mobility vehicle. While the Bushmaster is like a box, the Hawkei has a wire-frame structure, which is complicated to weld manually. The software developed simplifies the programming of the robot that does the welding and is being used to manufacture these vehicles in Victoria.

“Industry is changing and moving to a digital age reliant on automation, cloud computing and the Internet of Things.  Industry 4.0 is rapidly transforming how businesses operate and has the potential to provide a major boost to Australia’s economic competitiveness. 

“The University of Wollongong recognises the rapidly changing environment our students will face when they graduate, so we need to support that level of agility to remain relevant to the communities we serve.”

Visitors will get the opportunity to tour UOW’s Industry Hub 4.0, a collaborative environment for students, industry and entrepreneurs, and experience its cutting-edge technologies.

Event details

Event: The Illawarra-Shoalhaven Defence Industry Showcase

Date and time: 10:30 am – 2:30 pm - Wednesday August 24th 2022

Venue: Campus Service Building (301)

UOW Shoalhaven Campus

George Evans Rd, West Nowra NSW 2541


Photo: UOW advanced manufacturing technology and industrial robot researchers Dr Zengxi Pan with robotic welder