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Centre for Future Materials

A world-leading research centre in advanced composite materials and applications providing advanced partnerships with industry towards innovation and growth. 
Centre for Future Materials is known for pioneering research and development in engineered fibre composites, prioritising industry lead R&D in advanced composite manufacturing, civil composites, smart materials, and geopolymer & concrete. It operates a dedicated industry test service for more than 1000 clients across multiple sectors both nationally and internationally. 

Themes and Projects

High value composites manufacturing research works closely with Australian and international aerospace, defence and space industries. We have developed unique capabilities in repair, robotic filament winding, robotic braiding, pultrusion, AI applications in autoclave and out-of-autoclave. Besides polymeric composites, we also focus on the manufacturing of oxide-oxide prepreg ceramic composites. 

Title: LP220100278 Fire-Retardant Composite Resins for Bushfire-Safe Wind Farm Infrastructures 

Project Partners: ACCIONA | Allnex Resins Australia 

Funding Body: ARC Linkage 


Environmentally friendly flame-retardant development and composite pultrusion process of key electric infrastructures on wind farms.

Title: CRCPXII000174 DART CMPAirframe: A composite reusable hypersonic platform 

Leader: Professor Xuesen Zeng | Dr Tristan Shelley | Professor Peter Schubel

Project Team: Dr Cam Minh Tri Tien | Molly Hall 

Project Partners: Hypersonix | LSM Advanced Composites | ROMAR  

Funding Body: CRC Programme 


Cost effective ceramic composite design and manufacturing for re-usable hypersonic satellite launch vehicles, with service temperature up to 900 degrees Celsius.

Title: iLAuNCH Manufacturing Twins for Composite Repair 

Leader: Professor Xuesen Zeng | Dr Tristan Shelley | Professor Peter Schubel

Project Partners: BOEING | MENKO  

Funding Body: Department of Education Trailblazer Universities Programme 


Full integration framework of physical and digital composite structural maintenance and repairs, with advanced sensors and novel repair technologies. 

This work focuses on developing functional composites and composites for special applications. The research investigates: in-situ structural health monitoring systems, nano material for high-efficiency energy conversion, and shape memory composites.

Title: Carbon fibre thermoplastics as next-generation carbon fibre composites. 

Leader: Professor Hao Wang 

Project Team: Dr Venkata Chevali | Professor Uday Vaidya 

Project Partners: The University of Tennessee Knoxville 

Funding Body: ARC 


By combining sizing, chemical grafting, and nano-reinforcement strategies, this project develops chemically and thermally robust thermoplastic interfacial sizing for carbon fiber/thermoplastic composites for rapid manufacturing.

Title: Fire-Retardant Composite Resins for Bushfire-Safe Wind Farm Infrastructures.  

Leader: Professor Pingan Song 
Project Team: Professor Xuesen Zeng | Dr Zhenhu Cao | Dean Voice 

Project Partners: Ningbo Miruo Electronic Technology Co., Ltd | Allnex Composites | Acciona Energy Oceania Pty Ltd 

Funding Body: ARC 


This project aims to develop advanced fire-retardant composite resins for manufacturing bushfire-safe wind farm infrastructures.

Title: Advanced Gas Diffusion Electrodes for Electrochemical Manufacturing. Leader: Associate Professor Lei Ge 

Funding Body: ARC 

This project aims to develop electrochemical conversion technologies to convert carbon dioxide into globally needed chemicals.

CFM has been leading the research and development of engineered fibre composites for civil infrastructure in Australia for decades. The research activities in Civil Composites include large scale structural testing, computational modelling and analysis of innovative composite structures for civil applications.

Title: Advanced composite reinforcing materials for longevity of Australian Infrastructure 
Leader: Professor Allan Manalo 
Project Team: Dr Omar Alajarmeh | Dr Hannah Seligmann | Neda Bozorgi | Hazem Shebl 
Project Partners: Inconmat | Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads | Holcim/Humes | Zero Waste Matters | Graphene Manufacturing Group  
Funding Body: Cooperative Research Centre - Project (CRCPXIII000007) 

This project supports the development of novel, sustainable and low-cost non-corrosive reinforcing solutions using recycled glass and plastics and advanced manufacturing to provide the Australian construction industry with a viable alternative to steel reinforcement products.

Title: Composite railway sleepers 
Leader: Dr Wahid Ferdous  
Project Team: Professor Allan Manalo 
Project Partners: Austrak Pty Ltd | Partec Pty Ltd | Zero Waste Matters 
Funding Body: Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship 

The aim of this project is to develop a low cost, eco-friendly, and highly durable composite railway sleeper to replace traditional timber railway sleepers in Australia.

Title: Transformation of recycled waste resources into engineered materials and solutions for a circular economy (TREMS) 
Leader: Professor Hao Wang | Weena Lokuge 
Project Team: Dr Dhasindrakrishna Kitnasamy | Vimukthi Fernando 
Project Partners: Paintback Limited | Tweed Shire Council | Halok Pty Ltd | Moreton Bay Regional Council  
Funding Body: ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub 

With the support from the ARC and industry partners, UniSQ research team is developing new sustainable construction materials and solutions by considering the waste paint, soft plastics and glass as a resource.

Sustainable industry design concerns the process technologies and management of recovered waste materials including plastics, fibres and fly ashes. CFM develops cost effective manufacturing approaches for high value low carbon emission products.
Title: Sustainable Industry Manufacturing Planning for Long-term Ecosystems (SIMPLE) Hub – Polymer Property Improvements Project (Shipping Pallet System Demonstrator) 
Leader: Associate Professor Polly Burey | Dr Tristan Shelley 
Project Team: Dr Pratheep Kumar 
Project Partners: Venlo Investments  
Funding Body: Australian Government – Department of Education (formerly DESE) 

Introducing a ‘recovered’ material that can maintain enhanced structural integrity of a polymer blend for application in high-value products is an attractive proposition.
Title: Sustainable Industry Manufacturing Planning for Long-term Ecosystems (SIMPLE) Hub – Development of Sustainable Amended Grout Products for Mining 
Leader: Associate Professor Polly Burey | Dr Tristan Shelley 
Project Team: Associate Professor Ali Mirzaghorbanali, Hadi Nourizadeh, Mr. Alireza  
Project Partners: Jennmar Australia  
Funding Body: Australian Government – Department of Education (formerly DESE) 

To enhance the sustainability of cement industries, it is essential to use pozzolanic waste additions like fly ash, silica fumes, furnace slags, waste glass, as well as other waste materials such as plastics and agricultural wastes as fillers. The objective of this project is to introduce new and improved cementitious grouts by replacing parts of the clinker content of conventional grouts with supplementary waste materials.
Title: New Options for Saving Waste and the Environment (NO WASTE) Pilot Precinct – polyCUPboard Demonstrator 
Leader: Associate Professor Polly Burey | Dr Tristan Shelley 
Project Team: Dr Matthew Flynn 
Project Partners: Talon Carbon Fibre R&D 
Funding Body: Australian Government – Department of Education (formerly DESE) 
Over 1 billion single-use coffee cups are used in Australia each year, but the plastic lining in the cups makes them nearly impossible to recycle with our current infrastructure. This project is developing polyCUPboard – a composite material which uses the plastic lining of the cups as a ‘glue’ to bind everything together, so it can be made entirely from recycled materials and prevent the cups from being sent to landfill.