The University was recently awarded $4 million to establish The Australian Research Council (ARC) Training Centre for Advanced Manufacturing of Prefabricated Housing.

It is hoped that the funding will advance and transform the building and supply industry in Australia.

The Centre is to be led by Professor Priyan Mendis and Dr Tuan Ngo from the University’s Department of Infrastructure Engineering.

The funding covers the Centre’s first four years and includes financial support for six post-doctoral fellow positions and 14 PhDs.

Professor Mendis said the Centre aims to unlock the potential growth of Australia’s prefabricated building industry by creating a co-operative training system between industry and universities.

“This emerging, highly trained workforce – driven by the needs of the customer – will identify innovations in the use of advanced materials, design for manufacturing and assembly,” he said.

Professor Mark Hargreaves, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Research Partnerships and External Relations, said the University of Melbourne is proud to lead the delivery of innovation and excellence through the ARC.

“The Centre will secure the Australian industry’s competitive advantage leading to local employment growth and increased exports of prefabricated products and services,” he said.

Ideas from this project will enable the prefabricated building industry to produce innovative and customer-specific building products for future markets.

The Centre is a highly collaborative venture involving four Universities including The University of Melbourne, The University of Sydney, Curtin University of Technology and Monash University and nine partnering organisations.

More information on the Training Centre is available on the Australian Research Council website.