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iLAuNCH Trailblazer: Virtual twins to revolutionise composite aerospace vehicle repairs

Regional Queensland is set to make aircraft and spacecraft composite repairs faster and more efficient than ever before, thanks to a University of Southern Queensland (UniSQ) project: iLAuNCH Trailblazer program, in collaboration with MEMKO and Boeing Australia.

Backed by the Australian Government’s iLAuNCH Trailblazer program, materials researchers at UniSQ will collaborate with Melbourne-based engineering services company MEMKO and aerospace manufacturer, Boeing Australia.

iLAuNCH Trailblazer Executive Director, Darin Lovett said the project aimed to digitally transform the repair process for aircraft and spacecraft built from composite structures.

“MEMKO brings to UniSQ access to the Dassault Systèmes virtual twin software and their engineering expertise with these tools, which enables the virtual replication of a product along its whole lifecycle – from digital design through to manufacturing requirements or in this case, structural repair.”

“Researchers will apply the digital tools to Boeing test cases to identify the most accurate and efficient aerospace maintenance repairs.”

Boeing’s Production Capability Manager, Mykl Devlin said the company had already seen real value in applying digital twins to design and manufacturing processes within its programs.

Dr Tristan Shelley UniSQ (left) & Mykl Devlin Boeing (right) in front of UniSQ Robotic Filament Winding Machine

Dassault Systèmes, the 3DEXPERIENCE® Company, provides business and people with collaborative virtual environments to imagine sustainable innovations. By creating virtual twin experiences of the real world with the 3DEXPERIENCE platform and applications, customers can redefine the creation, production and life-cycle-management processes of their offer. The software ecosystem at the heart of the iLAuNCH project is crucial to the lifecycle sustainment of large-scale aircraft and spacecraft.

MEMKO Systems General Manager, Ravi Jain said that as a Dassault Systèmes partner, they had been supporting industry primes, their supply chains and start-ups in Australia since 2007.

“We have forged strategic partnerships with leading universities to develop workforce development and upskilling programs to address critical skills shortages within growing industry domains.”

“The iLAuNCH program is vital for the growth of Australian sovereign space manufacturing capability and we are glad to partner with the University of Southern Queensland.”

Dr Tristan Shelley from the UniSQ Centre for Future Materials will head the research, and said the ultimate goal was to achieve increased digitalisation of manufacturing processes for composite materials.


MEMKO is an Australian company offering engineering services, technology solutions and training to assist and support customers in advanced and highly regulated industries. Established in 2007 with its headquarters in Melbourne, Australia, MEMKO is a certified software, systems integration and training partner of Dassault Systémes PLM Software, DELMIA, CATIA, ENOVIA, SIMULIA & NETVIBES for Australia and New Zealand, Verisurf metrology software for Australia and New Zealand, ICAM for the Asia Pacific region.

For more information, visit www.memko.com.au

About iLAuNCH

The Australian Government is building new research capabilities, driving commercialisation outcomes and investing in new industry engagement opportunities through the Department of Education’s Trailblazer Universities Program.

The Innovative Launch, Automation, Novel Materials, Communications and Hypersonics (iLAuNCH) Trailblazer is a $180 million program to transform Australia’s competitiveness by rapidly commercialising University research through industry partnerships. Our efforts directly enhance Australia’s burgeoning space industry.

Through this federal program, iLAuNCH will receive $50 million of investment over 4 years, alongside a further $130 million from universities (University of Southern Queensland, The Australian National University, and the University of South Australia), industry partners, and CSIRO. The net economic benefit of the $180 million investment is expected to be $3.6 billion by 2040.

About Boeing Australia

With a 96-year legacy, Boeing Australia is the leading aerospace company in the region. Our 4800 plus employees work across the broadest aerospace portfolio in Australia, including advanced manufacturing, defence, services, and research and development. We have a thriving Australian supply chain supporting our operations, and we’re proud to partner with great organisations that support veterans, STEM and the communities we live and work in.

Read the full announcement