Defence Minister Christopher Pyne announces Australian Maritime College awarded $3 million research grant

Naval future: Defence Minister Christopher Pyne outside the Australian Maritime College in 2017. Picture: Scott Gelston
Naval future: Defence Minister Christopher Pyne outside the Australian Maritime College in 2017. Picture: Scott Gelston

The Australian Maritime College has secured a $3 million, three-year research grant into marine research in partnership with the Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) run by the US Department of Defense.

Defence Minister Christopher Pyne said the University of Tasmania’s AMC would join seven US universities in the “highly successful” research partnership to study the physics of cavitation, or the process of air bubbles forming in the water flowing over a surface before collapsing.

The research will consider differering hull shapes, propeller profiles and flexibility to learn how they affect cavitation, and then identify shapes that will reduce cavitation, and erosion and noise.

“I congratulate the University of Tasmania on their sound research proposal and wish them all success with their US partnership in delivering a maritime capability for Australia,” Mr Pyne said.

The grant was provided under the Next Generation Technologies Fund, led by the Defence Science and Technology Group. 

“MURI is a highly successful collaborative US program that brings researchers from different disciplines together to investigate high-priority and complex military problems,” Mr Pyne said.    

“This is consistent with the intent of the Next Generation Technologies Fund and an excellent example of adding value by leveraging expertise and funding from additional sources.”

In 2017 the future of the AMC was placed under question when Mr Pyne announced a second maritime college was to be built in South Australia, leading to protest that the AMC was already an international-standard university.

Mr Pyne moved to reassure the university and the Tasmanian community that the new college would be focused on the technical skills required to build ships, and would not impact the funding or research conducted at the AMC.

The AMC was contacted for comment.

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