On a day when heavy thunderstorms were predicted to cause flash flooding (1st December 2017), 50 fibre researchers from the Institute for Frontier Materials, along with representatives from CSIRO and industry, gathered at The Pier in Geelong to share ideas on the direction of fibre research at Deakin.

Hub Director Xungai Wang presenting history of fibre research at Deakin

With a great view of any storms that might head across the waterfront, Hub Director, and newly appointed Pro Vice-Chancellor of Future Fibres at Deakin, Xungai Wang started the afternoon with a presentation on the background of fibre research at Deakin, and the potential to align research to the Australian Government’s Science and Research Priorities. This was followed by the first break-out session, focussed on defining what “Future Fibres” means – how can we best define the phrase to capture what we do? In response, one participant took us on a trip to Mars – detailing how we will put on our fibre spacesuit, fly in our carbon fibre rocket and arrive on Mars to live in our fibre structure using fibres to aid in the growing of food and purification of water. The point was how integral fibres are to these future endeavours.

The second break-out session looked to the future and what the next big thing in fibre research will be. Many good ideas were shared and discussed and will form the basis of a Strategy Plan to guide the development of fibre research at Deakin over the coming years.

The formal part of the day was followed by networking drinks and dinner, a chance for researchers to further discuss ideas, and to celebrate the end of a successful year.