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New Horizons

The New Horizons initiative is a platform for excellence in future manufacturing research and teaching. Scheduled to open in 2013, New Horizons aims to transform manufacturing in areas such as biomedicine, transport, aerospace and mineral processing.

Overview

New Horizons will co-locate and integrate around 400 staff from Monash and CSIRO, supported by platforms for global research and teaching collaboration through state-of-the art ICT and will facilitate greater linkages with business and the community.

Its primary focus is to bring together world-class researchers to tackle some of the grand challenges in the areas of research, such as new sustainable means of generating energy, bringing the design and synthesis skills of engineers into the realm of biology and medicine, and developing new materials with much reduced friction at their surfaces. All of these problems require a range of research skills that are broader than found in individual disciplines. New Horizons will house academics, research fellows and PhD students with the range and number to generate the critical mass needed to make progress on such problems. Every aspect of the design of the building enables interaction by assembling such teams in proximity.

Capabilities

Future Manufacturing: including a range of important materials synthesis, processing and proof-of-concept facilities that will be easily accessible to researchers across disparate locations and scientific disciplines. Key linkages will emerge from close proximity to the Monash Centre for Electron Microscopy, the Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication, Green Chemical Futures and the Australian Synchrotron.

Modelling and Simulation: Multi-scale modelling and design of materials from the scale of atom to production system level will have a crucial impact on the future of product design and manufacturing with relevance to chemical, mechanical, and aerospace engineering, medicine, mineral exploration and other vital areas of Australian industry.

Biological Engineering: The interface between engineering and the physical and biological sciences provide creative ideas that need to be captured and built upon. Micro-nano scale technology is allowing innovations such as the manufacture of nanoparticles for drug delivery into cells, miniaturized implantable microsensors for medical diagnosis and microengineered robots for on-board tissue repairs.

Renewable Energy: The Centre will provide a range of sophisticated processing techniques for producing the next generation of photovoltaic and solar hydrogen technologies in Australia including dye-sensitive solar cells fabricated by high throughput processes and equipment able to characterise the properties of such cells at the molecular level.

Enhanced excellence and quality in teaching, learning and& research

New Horizons visualisation capabilities will be the most advanced of their type. State-of-the-art platforms will support interactive spaces for virtual engagement of small and large groups and for real-time, interactive teaching and experimentation across international boundaries allowing remote access. The New Horizons Centre will contain: a suite of 8 interactive spaces for one-on-one supervision and for small and large group engagement; and additional facilities for the sharing of design tools and international curricula in real time; telepresence for remote operation of infrastructure; and customised extranets for privileged access by key collaborators.

Equipment

A wide range of state-of-the-art equipment will support the highest quality research, research training and collaboration in science, engineering and technology. The equipment will permit the characterization of materials at the nanometre level and below to inform advanced experimental research, modelling and simulation.

This highly specialised equipment includes:

  • Test rigs for mixers and cyclones,
  • Classifiers,
  • A low energy electron microscope and molecular beam epitaxy facility,
  • A high brightness rotating anode X-ray generator and triple axis diffractometer,
  • A neutral helium atom microscope,
  • A Bose-Einstein condensate facility,
  • A CT scanner,
  • EPR spectrometers,
  • An ultra-cold atom laboratory,
  • Two ultra-high vacuum scanning probe microscopy systems,
  • A growth chamber,
  • A transient adsorption spectroscope,
  • A laser micropatterning facility and
  • A dark/near field microscope for singular molecule spectroscopy.
The New Horizons Centre at Monash University was funded by the Australian Government through the Education Investment Fund.