Mr Andrew Abbott

Team Leader - Carbon Fibre

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Biography

Andrew was trained as a Mechatronic Engineer and has developed expertise in a diverse range of engineering fields since joining CSIRO. As part of CSIRO’s Advanced Fibre’s and Chemical Industries program he has worked predominantly in materials based projects providing mechanical engineering expertise to this broad area.

His current role is as the Carbon Fibre Team Leader. The Carbon Fibre Team undertakes research and development of high value carbon fibre, its precursors, characterisation and application in industry. This team leads the relationship between CSIRO and carbon fibre research at Deakin University (Carbon Nexus). Working closely with the Resins and Composites Team, they cover the full Carbon Fibre Value Chain. Our differentiating technology is using RAFT polymerisation that enables control of the molecular weight and composition of the precursor polymer. The team’s research is focussed on understanding the influence that this control has over the properties of the carbon fibre and ultimately the composition of the product. Their goal is to make high quality precursor fibres that are tunable for end use applications.

To do this the team is focussed on polymer synthesis (RAFT Polyacrylonitrile), precursor “White” fibre spinning and its conversion to carbon fibre, and understanding how the characteristics of the fibre is influenced by its chemistry and processing parameters.

Other areas the team has been involved in recently are carbon fibre based projects including the development of carbon fibre cables, carbon fibre characterisation instrumentation and the development of smart composites using carbon fibre.

Andrew’s previous role was as the Engineering and Design Team Leader. The team of engineers designed and manufactured instrumentation and devices for use in a wide range of research areas predominately in the area of materials fabrication and characterisation.

A recent success from this time was developing a new customised emboss shell process for a leading textile company in Australia. This has given the customer the ability to customise their product to different clients around the world increasing the impact of their technology they currently manufacture.

For a number of years Andrew lead a project with a leading aerospace company with the aim of developing large and lightweight deployable structures. As the project leader Andrew lead the project team and worked directly with industry to generate a number of new concepts for this complex area.

Andrew has also developed biomedical devices including leading the mechanical engineering for the development of a miniaturised Biomedical Optic Fibre Sensor for use inside the body to measure peristaltic motion inside the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract.

Andrew spent a number of years building expertise in polymer fibre extrusion and ran a number of consultancies with nonwovan companies developing new products from these materials. Andrew also developed a customised extrusion process for manufacturing medical grade fibres used to form a conduit for nerve regrowth.