Manufacturing Innovation

Manufacturing Innovation

About this Challenge

Geoff Spinks

As Australia, and the world, moves away from carbon-heavy economics, we must find clean and innovative solutions.

Headed up by Professor Geoffrey Spinks (pictured right), the Manufacturing Innovation challenge aims to reposition the Illawarra as a place of intense creativity and experimentation. It focuses on the key question: what things should we make in Australia and how should we make them? It brings together experts from the fields of engineering, design, economics and social sciences to explore new technologies and industries. It examines the social and cultural impacts of the changing technologies on individuals and communities. 

Active Projects

Geoff and the Global Challenges team are currently working with Researchers and Stakeholders on the following projects to support regional manufacturing innovation. 

New generation sunscreens optimised for Australian extreme exposure conditions New generation sunscreens optimised for Australian extreme exposure conditions

This project looks at advanced fabrication and commercialisation of new generation cost-effective sunscreens to develop improved, scientific testing methods for evaluation of safe UV radiation exposure.

Material Science, Slow Textiles, and Ecological Futures Material Science, Slow Textiles, and Ecological Future

The aim of this project is to produce artworks that incorporate energy-­efficient elements and slow textile methods to communicate the need to adopt effective sustainable energy strategies in gallery and museum contexts.

Smart Shoes: Motivating Elders to Walk Longer and SaferSmart Shoes: Motivating Elders to Walk Longer and Safer

This pilot study aims to develop a smart shoe, which continuously monitors the walking ability of elderly people.

Smart GarmentsSmart Garments

The aim of this project is to develop a proof of concept demonstrator for the use of an Embedded Wireless Communication System for Smart Garments.

GC Hydrogel CondomProject Geldom

This project aims to identify the right formulations to build a condom that is strong and flexible, provides superior protection, and offers the potential for improved feel and sensation.

Heavy-Duty Vehicle 2An Innovative Ergonomic Conceptual Design of Heavy Duty Vehicle Driver Seat

This project aims to create a safer, more pleasant working environment for a heavy-duty vehicle driver by developing an ergonomic seat that will mitigate the risk of injury and pain.

Smart Sodium Storage System IconThe Smart Sodium Storage System for Renewable Energy Storage

A cutting-edge, end-to-end project with a novel battery chemistry to increase energy storage efficiency and reduced system cost, with real-world applications.

Southern Manufacturing Innovation GroupSouthern Manufacturer Alliance

 A series of ongoing networking events established to provide a forum for manufacturers in the region to connect with researchers at the University.

Innovation Works! Innovation Works Thumbnail

 Innovation Works! is an exciting new opportunity from Global Challenges and AIIM to provide space, equipment, training and assistance for students to develop prototypes of new products.  

3D Printed Surfboard Fins3D Printed Surfboard Fins

This project is exploring the potential for printing and customising surfboard fins using 3D printing technology and examining how this impacts on a surfer's perception of a wave. 

Additive ManufacturingRe-energising the Illawarra through Additive Manufacturing 

This project explores how the Illawarra could offset industrial decline through additive manufacturing and become a hub for this emerging technology.

Analysing Paint with Terahertz spectroscopyPaint analysis using Terahertz spectroscopy

This project traverses layers of paint using Terahertz radiation to reveal what lies beneath.


Flutes23D Modelling and Printing of Custom-Designed Flutes

This project will explore the potential for 3D printing to change the music industry by creating custom-designed flutes that can be played in a variety of microtonal scales.

Robotic Fabrication in Architecture and ArtsRobotic Fabrication in Architecture and Arts

This project will use robotic three dimensional routing to produce a sculpture designed to encourage dialogue around agricultural land use and its impact on fragile coastal areas.

NanBioMagentic Robot 180 by 160NanoBioMagnetic Robot: A Promising Solution to Global Health Challenges

This project looks at the application of Nano magnetic particles in biomedical systems or processes and will examine the relevant laws in Australia and their relationship to new health technologies.

Photonics enabled dosimeters 180 by 160Photonics Enabled Micro-dosimeters with Nano-particle Scintillators

This project will investigate novel photonic radiation detection methods and develop optical micro-dosimeters using the latest developments in photonics and nanotechnology. 

Smart Transportation Systems 180 by 160An Innovative Design for Smart Transportation Systems

This project looks at whether smart transportation systems can work without the need for infrastructure and Global Positioning Systems and whether there is an alternative design concept that is simpler and more cost-efficient. 

Lymph SleeveLymph Sleeve

An innovative new device to relieve the symptoms of breast cancer-related lymphoedema is under development.

Transforming Lives
and Regions

GCP TLR Banner Image

Living Well, Longer


Manufacturing Innovation


Sustaining Coastal and Marine Zones

Sustaining Coastal and Marine Zones