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Carbon Nexus director, Derek Buckmaster has been honoured for his contribution to Australia’s place on the world stage.

Mr Buckmaster, whose leadership and experience within the composites, plastics, petrochemicals and automotive sectors has seen Carbon Nexus established as one of the world’s most advanced fibre research centres, has been announced as the winner of the Advance Awards‘ Advanced Manufacturing Award category for 2018.

Now in its seventh year, the Advance Awards celebrate international Australians, those living abroad and those who have returned home following high achievement overseas, who exhibit remarkable talent, exceptional vision and ambition.

Mr Buckmaster, Carbon Nexus Director and Management Committee Chair, has worked in numerous countries including China, Japan, Singapore, The Netherlands, Saudi Arabia and the United States.

Before coming to Deakin in 2014, Mr Buckmaster led the Functional Polymers business unit of Saudi diversified manufacturing company SABIC, and spent 19 years with GE Plastics in various roles including marketing, product development, application technology, sales, information technology and Six Sigma.

He said it was an honour to be recognised by Advance for Carbon Nexus’ work in the global carbon composites sector.

“At Carbon Nexus it’s important to approach our research and our advanced manufacturing from a global perspective. We’re connected into a global market, and a global carbon fibre industry that’s growing at a great rate, with more and more companies starting to make use of lightweight material technologies.

“The impact this will have across a wide range of industries over the coming decade is profound, and the work we’ve been undertaking for these past four years has placed Carbon Nexus at the core of one of Australia’s most significant investments in global technology, developing the people and research base that will shape our world in years to come,” Mr Buckmaster said.

“We had high expectations when we first set out with Carbon Nexus, and I’m proud of how our team has delivered on what was promised, to become one of the world’s leading carbon fibre research facilities, playing a role in re-inventing Australia’s manufacturing industry for the modern era.”

Established in 2014 with support and investment from Deakin and all levels of government, Carbon Nexus is the world’s first open access, dedicated pilot scale research plant capable of producing large-scale quantities of industrial and aerospace quality carbon fibre.

Home to the only polyacrylonitrile (PAN) precursor wet spinning line in the Southern Hemisphere, a research line for small quantities of carbon fibre and innovative research activities, and a pilot scale line, which produces sample quantities of carbon fibre for industrial scale evaluation, Carbon Nexus offers R&D services from precursor development to white fibre spinning, to carbon fibre production and composite manufacturing.

Mr Buckmaster’s award caps off a string of recent successes for Carbon Nexus, with the signing of a $58 M deal with LeMond Composites last year to revolutionise the use of carbon fibre across the world, and the facility being named the 2017 winner of the Powercor Geelong Business Excellence Awards Innovation, Research and Development category.

Advance is an initiative supported by Australian Government funding and the Advance Awards cover categories from education, sustainability and the arts to financial services and technology innovation.

Mr Buckmaster was presented with his Award on 18 October 2018 at Sydney Town Hall.


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Carbon Nexus is a purpose-built research facility designed to accommodate the diverse needs of international manufacturing organisations that require the cost-effective resolution of carbon fibre-related projects.

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