UNSW's Life Cycle Engineering group has established a new collaboration with German researchers to focus on making multinational manufacturing processes and resource consumption more sustainable.
The Joint German-Australian Research Group in Sustainable Manufacturing and Life Cycle Management combines the life cycle engineering capabilities of UNSW and Technische UniversitÃ¤t Braunschweig, Germany, and has been established with the funding support of Germany's Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
The new venture will enable joint research projects and is also the first step towards establishing a group capable of advising multinational manufacturers on how to reduce their resource consumption and environmental footprint, and optimise efficiency in different parts of their operations worldwide.
Speaking at the launch of the new venture, which was attended by German Consul-General Hans-GÃ¼nter Gnodtke, Dean of Engineering Professor Graham Davies said it was a significant new direction for research.
"There could not be anything much more important than Life Cycle Engineering on the agenda of companies worldwide at this point in time," he said.
Director of the UNSW Life Cycle Engineering Research Group, Associate Professor Sami Kara, said the new group's focus was making manufacturing more sustainable by adapting to local circumstances.
"What we are building is a global centre with resources decentralised around the world," he said.
Associate Professor Christoph Herrmann, head of the Product- and Life-Cycle Management Research Group at TU Braunschweig, said the venture aimed to tackle environmental challenges using the "glocalise" concept - operating on both the global and local levels.
Professor Thomas Spengler, Professor of Production and Logistics Management and Vice President Research and Graduates at TU Braunschweig, said the collaboration provided opportunities for young researchers.
Two PhD researchers, Tobias Luger and Sebastian Thiede, from TU Braunschweig, are sharing their time between Sydney and Braunschweig under the collaboration and will travel to manufacturing sites around the world as part of their research.
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