Manufacturing Systems and Technology (MST)

The MST programme is a comprehensive education and research effort that concentrates on enabling manufacturing systems and technologies for emerging industries. Emerging industries are defined as those based on new technologies that are just beginning to be considered for commercialisation. Currently, this includes a host of new concepts in micro-and nano-technology such as molecular diagnosis, advanced drug screening, new ideas for photonic devices, micro-robots, nano-scale optical devices and a multitude of potential products employing microand nano-scale fluidics. At the commercial manufacturing level, these industries will be characterised by micron-scale product dimensions, high value-added, extreme quality requirements, mass customisation, time-sensitive distribution and entirely new business structures. Currently research will focus on an emerging industry that is now at the point of large-scale commercialisation, namely microfluidic devices for chemical, biomedical and photonic applications.

While specific in nature, the manufacturing issues for this emerging industry will have manufacturing processes, systems and business issues that are common with many other industries that have yet to emerge, such as fluidic devices computation, advanced drug delivery systems and advanced health maintenance systems. The research themes focus on critical issues enabling high volume, low cost and high quality products in these industries. In addition, as commercial viability is a key issue, it is necessary to address the business economics of the new operations in these emerging systems. In MST, these topics are treated as an integrated set, sharing common performance metrics such as cost, quality, rate and flexibility in all aspects of the system.