The ARC Future Fibres Hub was proud to host the inaugural Future Fibres Symposium on 27-28th February 2017, at the Waurn Ponds campus of Deakin University. We were extremely pleased to welcome four of our international Partner Investigators for the Symposium, along with our industry partners.

Professor Mike Xie introducing evolutionary structural optimization
Professor Mike Xie (RMIT)

Day one saw some excellent presentations from international and guest speakers to a large audience of researchers, students and industry representatives. Guest speaker Professor Mike Xie from RMIT opened the Symposium with a fascinating introduction to the use of evolutionary structural optimization to design high performance, lightweight buildings and vehicles. The afternoon continued with talks from Associate Professor Jeffrey Wiggins (University of Southern Mississippi) on new generation polymers for advanced composite materials and Professor Gregory Rutledge (MIT), who gave the audience an insight into the work he is doing into electrospun nanofibre membranes for clean water and air. The final session introduced us to the research landscape in Switzerland with Dr Rudolf Hufenus (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology) and Professor Uwe Pieles (University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland) presenting a range of projects they have worked on including synthetic turf, liquid-filled carbon fibres and silver-doped fabrics. Day one concluded with Hub participants enjoying a wonderful dinner at Le Parisien restaurant on the Geelong waterfront, giving us the opportunity for informal discussions with our international guests, and local partner organisations while enjoying great French food and a lovely view across the bay.

Day two of the Symposium was a closed session for Hub members. Our researchers presented their projects, outlining the objectives, progress to date and future work plans. The audience asked some great questions and contributed many useful suggestions. It was also encouraging to see many cross-disciplinary discussions happening over the morning tea and lunch breaks. The day concluded with laboratory tours for our international guests, informal discussions, and the Hub Advisory Committee meeting. All up, the Symposium was a great success: it not only progressed our scientific program, but also built relationships within the Hub and fostered a feeling of collegiality. We look forward to returning in 2018!