Design and manufacturing

BHI RobotThe Barbara Hardy Institute has broad expertise in the areas of advanced manufacturing, supply chain management, manufacturing management, green manufacturing, robotics, intelligent control and engineering design.

Our researchers have a strategic focus on applying novel and innovative solutions to improving sustainability and enhancing productivity.  

Research is multidisciplinary and collaborative, covering not only engineering but also areas such as social dimensions, consumer behaviour, economic modelling and government policies and their impacts on productivity and sustainability.


In the area of sustainability, our researchers focus on developing tools and techniques to enable companies to consider sustainability during the design and modelling stages.

Work in this area involves the consideration of environmental issues during the product life cycle from product design to disposal and includes:

  • whole of life analysis for product costing
  • sustainability risk assessment
  • optimization of assembly sequence planning
  • design for assembly and disassembly
  • an integrated framework for design for recyclability and
  • modelling and optimization in design for product upgradability


In the area of productivity, researchers focuses on the development and applications of automation technologies (robotics and machine vision), simulation and decision support systems for process improvements, design for assembly, and applications of artificial techniques (genetic algorithms, fuzzy logic and neural networks) within the manufacturing plant and within the wider context of distributed manufacturing enterprises (eg location-allocation and dynamic scheduling problems) to address the area of supply chain management. Researchers also work in close collaboration with the Mawson Institute.

For further information please contact Peter Majewski.

Key projects include:

  • IR sensing on farms

    IR sensing on farms

    A scoping study of engineering solutions for soil and plant sensing using Infrared (GRDC funded).

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  • Low carbon living CRC

    Low carbon living CRC

    Overcoming identified market barriers preventing adoption of cost effective low carbon products and services.

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  • TREV


    Two-seater renewable energy vehicle.

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  • Weed seed termination

    Weed seed termination

    Mechanical weed seed termination at harvest (GRDC funded).

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Areas of study and research

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