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SA - Tonsley Park Site Tour & 70th Anniversary Event

Tonsley Park Site Tour & 70th Anniversary Event

Tonsley Park (

1284, South Road, Clovelly Park, SA 5042

This technical site tour was held as a joint meeting with the Society of Plastics Engineers, and was also an opportunity to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Materials Australia. For both of these reasons it was relatively well attended with 34 attendees.

The evening commenced with registration on the stunning fifth floor of the new Flinders at Tonsley building.

We then gathered in a lecture room for a short introduction by Deborah Ward on Materials Australia and the 70th anniversary followed by an overview of the tour and Flinders by Jonathan Campbell.

Due to the numbers involved, we were split into two groups to make the numbers more manageable for each lab tour. The first group visited the Sustainable Industries Education Centre (SEIC), TAFE SA first, which was a stiff walk from the Flinders at Tonsley building. This part of the tour was led by Greg Bassani, senior educational manager.

He explained the range of activities that were covered in the centre, from plumbing groundworks in a very deep sandpit through to design and manufacture of whole transportable buildings. The centre is also home to start up companies such as Zen Energy, specializing in solar power.

There was then a changeover with the first group walking back to the Flinders Innovation Centre whilst the second group walked across to SEIC. Within the Flinders Innovation Centre, the first lab visited was the 3D printing lab.

There was a large table with lots of different examples of printed products with different hardnesses and combinations of soft and hard materials. Alison Gill, project coordinator, explained that they are happy to look at ideas from industry and give them form in materials ranging from very flexible elastomers through to titanium or tool steels.

The next lab was the Medical Devices Research Institute where Carmela Sergi , the Institute manager demonstrated a range of medical products. An example of one of these was a cane for the visually impaired that also detects high level hazards, increasing the safety and security of the visually impaired in new situations.

The final lab was the Advanced Materials lab where Jonathan Campbell and Andrew Blok talked about the use of nanoscale science to produce advanced materials. One example shown was an engineered timber using waste forest products with a very attractive “grain”.

The tour concluded with a very enjoyable networking session with food and drink as well as conversation, which everyone seemed to enjoy (Photos: Networking 1&2).