Manufacturing Innovation

Node Leaders

Priyan Mendis

Node Leader - Manufacturing Innovation; Chief Investigator

University of Melbourne

Joe Gattas

Theme Leader - Innovative Solutions; Node Leader - Manufacturing Innovation & Value-Chain Innovation

The University of Queensland

Bill Leggate

QDAF Team Leader; Project Leader; Partner Investigator

Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries


Three distinct supply-chain opportunities exist for manufacturing innovation to support the multiple product opportunities under consideration through Nodes – Performance of Building Components, Building Performance for Occupants and Design for Extended Building Life:

  1. Building on ARC Future Timber Hub recommendations, continued refinement of EWP manufacturing techniques will yield reductions in the cost and complexity of processing required to reduce the capital intensity of new manufacturing facilities.
  2. Extend the techniques developed for modular housing prefabrication by the ARC Training Centre for Advanced Manufacturing of Prefabricated Housing to the suite of EWP products suitable for mid-rise building
  3. Couple recent advances in the design of autonomous robots for onsite construction activities, with the shift to onsite assembly made possible through large-scale utilisation of customised, lightweight


  1. Demonstrate manufacturing feasibility of conventional and composite EWP’s and improve resource availability and utilisation for residential timber manufacturing and construction.
  2. Trial and assess new techniques for utilising low-value fibre (e.g. plantation thinnings, peeler cores, out-of-spec materials) from softwood and hardwood.
  3. Refine expertise on drying performance, lamination performance and non-destructive quality assurance testing for mass panel.
  4. Refining digital design and automated assembly techniques for modular pre-fabrication.
  5. Laboratory and field testing of autonomous robots for mass fastening of EWP floor and wall panels on construction.


Proof that innovation can drive down manufacturing and construction costs, supporting the case for investment into manufacturing of innovative end-products that will stimulate future demand for using EWPs in mid- rise buildings. Findings will both inform and reflect the recommendations of Nodes – Performance of Building Components, Building Performance for Occupants and Design for Extended Building Life, with the implications of process efficiency gains influencing the systems analysis of Nodes – Towards a Low Carbon & Circular Economy, Socio-Economic Opportunity and Value-Chain Innovation.


Benoit Gilbert

Project Leader; Chief Investigator

Griffith University / Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

Dan Luo

Node Leader - Value-Chain Innovation; Project Leader

The University of Queensland

Dikai Liu

Project Leader; Chief Investigator

University of Technology, Sydney

Ding Wen ‘Nic’ Bao

Project Leader; Chief Investigator

RMIT University

Tharaka Gunawardena

Project Leader; Chief Investigator

University of Melbourne

Tim Schork

Project Leader; Chief Investigator

Queensland University of Technology


Improving resource availability and utilisation in residential constructions

Bio-material utilisation opportunities in panellised prefabricated construction

Out-of-grade board utilisation in panellised prefabricated construction

Digital and physical systems design for optimised design-to-delivery of prefabricated timber housing

Autonomous screw-fixing robots for CLT panel building assembly

Advanced technologies for adaptive assembly of smart timber products and systems

Adaptive product design, fabrication, and optimisation from variable fibre feedstocks

Performance-based architectural design and optimization using biomaterial and AR-assisted discrete assemblies