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New facilities put ECU at the forefront of nanomechanical research in Australia

Monday, 22 September 2008

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Edith Cowan University's (ECU) School of Engineering is gearing up for the first intake of Mechanical Engineering students next year with the installation of a high-tech new nanoindenter at the state-of-the-art Materials Research Laboratory.

The machine is capable of investigating the mechanical properties of materials at a scale that is thousands of times smaller than a human hair.

High-tech devices are becoming smaller and more sophisticated, which requires the ability to probe the nanoscale properties of materials. This enables the design and development of a new generation of engineering materials that are lighter, stronger and tougher than conventional materials.

The machine will be fully installed in October 2008, moving ECU to the forefront of nanomechanical research in Australia. Head of the School of Engineering, Associate Professor Daryoush Habibi says the installation of the world-class nanoindenter is crucial infrastructure for research support in the new Mechanical Engineering program.

"New research projects will be initiated with a high potential of attracting funding from the Australian Research Council and industry bodies," he said.

"The newly established Materials Research Laboratory will attract new research staff and postgraduate students to ECU."

ECU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Kerry Cox says that the School of Engineering's new facility will bring exciting new research opportunities to ECU.

"The new facilities will further develop mechanical engineering as an area of research strength at ECU," he said.

ECU has expanded the Engineering program and now offers the full suite of courses with the introduction of Electrical Power, Mechanical and Civil Engineering commencing in semester one, 2009.

The School of Engineering's state-of-the-art equipment and facilities include a PLC instrumentation and control lab equipped with industry grade Siemens control equipment and a manufacturing workshop with CNC and advanced manufacturing equipment.

For more information about nanomechanical research facilities at ECU, contact Dr Zonghan Xie, Senior Lecturer in Materials Science and Engineering on z.xie@ecu.edu.au.

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Media contact:

Corporate Communications
(08) 6304 2131
0402 016 344
pr@ecu.edu.au
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