$70 million Cooperative Research Centre funding awarded to SoMAC CRC for 10 year program 

The Sovereign Manufacturing Automation for Composites CRC (SoMAC CRC) has brought together 36 partners in a $260 million program under Australia’s Cooperative Research Centres program.

Australia is entering a decade of transformation with the arrival of intelligent manufacturing automation and emergence of new high-value industries. SoMAC CRC will address these opportunities and strengthen current industry with digital-export-ready, cost-competitive, high-quality platform capability.

SoMAC CRC’s vision is to transform Australia’s established composite technologies capability into Sovereign leadership, creating a world-class, highly automated, digitally-enabled, network of designers, manufacturers and service providers.

Recognising the critical role of engineering excellence, intelligent automation and advanced technology implementation in accessing an international industry valued at $100 billion, SoMAC will underpin a next generation of manufacturing industry supporting a forward-looking Australia, including:

  • Hydrogen economy
  • EV cars and buses
  • Space and low-earth-orbit vehicles
  • Onshore and offshore infrastructure
  • Aircraft and future defence industry
  • Future defence industry
  • Consumer goods including sporting and solar
  • Recycling industry

Our Partners

SoMAC brings together participating organisations across the composites supply chain, focused on a diverse range of markets, with representation in QLD, NSW, ACT, VIC, SA and WA. We thank our partners for their commitment to advancing the composites industry and its broader impact on the Australian economy.

Industry Partners

Academic Partners

SoMAC CRC Foundation Leadership

Dr Abby Bloom

Chair (designate)


Dr Andrew Beehag

CEO (interim)


Prof. Ganga Prusty

Bid Leader & Research Director (designate)


Iain
Walker

Engagement, Commercialisation and Technology Transfer (designate)


Michael Sharpe

Industry and Government Liaison (designate)


SoMAC CRC’s mission


SoMAC’s mission is to enable composites R&D to meet Australia’s national self-sufficiency priorities, servicing the rising demand for just-in-time localised composites innovations, automation and digitization. The incubation formula for The SoMAC CRC draws on international best practice, to maximise value added benefits to Australia’s diverse supply chains. Demand for the benefits of composites technologies is ramping up across a broad range of cross-sector industry applications.

From AMAC to SoMAC CRC

SoMAC CRC will build on the successful industry-led track-record established at the ARC Training Centre for Automated Manufacture of Advanced Composites (AMAC), incorporating advanced manufacturing facilities for composites robotics. Headquartered at UNSW, AMAC has successfully seeded multiple R&D collaborations, created new intellectual property and up-skilled the next generation of technologists.

Research Programs

High Performance Composites Materials (RP1)

High Performance Composites Materials (RP1) Composites are engineered for superior properties and a wide range of applications. RP1 will focus on lowered costs of materials and the enhanced requirements of automation. Leveraging established facilities including Carbon Nexus and its development of low-cost carbon fibre, RP1 will extend composites into more applications through developing performance and affordability. Priority areas include:

  • Low-cost materials for automation
  • Composites for marine infrastructure
  • Recycling and the circular economy
  • Robust materials for hydrogen and EV applications

Prof. Russell Varley

Leader - Research Program 1
Director Carbon Nexus, Deakin University


Prof. Luke Henderson

Deputy Leader, RP1
Professor of Materials Chemistry, Deakin University


Manufacturing Processes (RP2)

Intelligent automation incorporating machine learning and artificial intelligence, and further advances in digital manufacturing, are set to transform small- and large-scale manufacturing. RP2 will enhance Australian industry through a focus on Industry 4.0 development, multi-material manufacture and development of circular economy manufacturing processes. Priority areas include:

  • Machine learning and artificial intelligence manufacturing
  • Hybrid metal and composite components
  • Incorporation of recycled materials
  • High-rate automated manufacture
  • Large-scale automated manufacture
  • In-field manufacture and sensor integration

A/Prof. Garth Pearce

Leader- Research Program 2
Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering, UNSW Sydney


Prof. Paul Hazell

Deputy Leader, RP2
Impact Dynamics, UNSW Canberra


Simulation and Performance Prediction (RP3)

The next generation of manufacturing and design will be underpinned by a robust understanding of physical processes, lifetime prediction and the development of “digital twins” – digital replicas of manufacturing processes and products. RP3 will integrate these alongside developing a comprehensive view of the circular economy for multiple material waste streams. Priority areas include:

  • Multiphysics simulation of extreme environments
  • Advanced characterisation of processing and in-service failure
  • Lifetime estimation through combined inspection and embedded sensors
  • Digital twin of automated, machine learning and artificial intelligence systems
  • Recycling and second life best practice

Prof. Anna Paradowska

Leader– Research Program 3
Professor, Advanced Structure Materials, University of Sydney


Prof. Lin
Ye

Deputy Leader, RP3
Centre for Advanced Materials Technology, University of Sydney


Design and Integration (RP4)

Fundamental shifts in the design process are expected with the shift towards intelligent manufacturing. RP4 will address these issues and the development of the digital value chain. The program will also facilitate industry in the demonstration of new technologies and engineering expertise, to validate and showcase the next generation of composites technology. Priority areas include:

  • Design tools for artificial intelligence and machine learning manufacturing
  • Standards development for hydrogen storage and other high-value applications
  • Full-scale demonstration of standard and instrumented components
  • Field demonstration of installations and repairs

Dr Mohamed Elchalakani

Leader - Research Program 4
Director, Structural Health Laboratory, University of Western Australia


Dr Michael Heitzmann

Deputy Leader, RP4
Co-Director. Centre for Advanced Materials Processing and Manufacturing, University of Queensland


Education and Training Program

SoMAC CRC is committed to the qualification and training of engineers and composites professionals for the next level of industry.
Our commitment begins with the training of 100 higher degree research (HDR) candidates through the life of the CRC. Our focus is skilling new engineers and retraining existing engineers for the future industry. We have a specific focus on ensuring STEM careers in Australia are inclusive and rewarding.
It extends with the development of engineering and trade courses with a high level of development coordination. In conjunction with university partners and Composites Australia, the composites industry association, SoMAC will overhaul the industry’s approach to education and ensure new technology within the industry is matched by comprehensive capability within its workforce.

Prof. Adrian Mouritz

Education and Training Manager
Dean of Engineering, RMIT