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News from ECSE

ECSE research wins the ABC's New Inventors 2010 Grand Final

A new diagnostic tool for detecting mental illnesses and other neurological conditions has taken out first place honours on ABC's The New Inventors.

The innovative diagnostic device (EvestG), invented by the department's Mr. Brian Lithgow in research collaboration with Professor Jayashri Kulkarni, Alfred Hospital Chair of Psychiatry and the Director of Monash Alfred Psychiatric Research Centre (MAPrc), won the grand final of the popular ABC program.

Associate Professor Andy Russell  receives ARC Linkage Project funding to help the elderly 28/6/2010

This project will improve the quality of life of our aging population by extending the time that they can live independently and safely in their own homes. There will be additional benefits involving reducing the demands on carers and on society in general. The wellbeing of people in need of enhanced levels of care will be monitored by non-intrusive sensor systems. Data from the sensor systems will be analysed using user models grounded in psychological studies to provide timely warnings of when intervention is desirable.

ECSE researchers receive major funding for Bionic Eye Research 15/12/09

The Monash University project proposed for the ARC Research in Bionic Vision Science and Technology Initiative has received $8 million funding announced 15/12/09.

The successful team involves Monash University (ECSE researchers in the team include Prof AJ Lowery, A.Prof Kleeman, Dr. N. Karmakar and Dr. W.H Li) and the Alfred Hospital, and will receive $8 million to develop a device that is implanted directly on the region of the brain that processes vision signals (the visual cortex). This will provide treatment for progressive blindness.

More information on the ARC Bionic vision website.

ECSE researchers receive two ARC discovery grants in the 2010-funding round (Oct 2009):

Congratulations to Professor's J. Armstrong and AJ Lowery on their success in getting ARC Discovery grants.
Prof J Armstrong for
"Multiple-input multiple-output orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (MIMO-OFDM) for optical wireless: a breakthrough solution to gaps in broadband delivery"
Prof AJ Lowery for
"Next-Generation Optical Orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) for long-haul telecommunications: building on recent research and commercialisation success"

Optical OFDM (oOFDM)  is being commercialised by Ofidium Pty Ltd,  and has recently had a large investment from the Trans Tasman Commercialisation Fund (TTCF) -- a new Melbourne-based $30 million seed investment fund, supported in Victoria through the Victorian Government. The TTCF, designed to help the early-stage commercialisation of opportunities developed at universities across South Eastern Australasia, including Monash University. This is the first investment by TTCF into Victorian university research.
Congratulations to Iris Yan on her 2nd Prize win in the ACM student research competition at the Grace Hopper Celebration:  "Creating Technology For Social Good" Tucson, Arizona September 30 - October 3, 2009.

The Annual Meeting of the CIGRE Australian Panel A2 “Transformers” was held at Monash University Clayton on 30 September – 2 October 2009

The Department of ECSE and the Centre for Power Transformer Monitoring, Diagnostics and Life Management (The transformerLIFE Centre) welcomed the Members of the CIGRE Australian Panel A2 “Transformers” for their Annual Meeting held at Monash University Clayton on 30 September – 2 October 2009.  For more information.

Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering Postgraduate Student Research Forum held Monday 28 September 2009.

The ECSE department's postgraduate research scholars presented short talks on their topics. An agenda and list of thesis topics is online


Congratulations to all students who won awards and prizes.

Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering Student  project wins the 2008 EDN Innovation Award for Best Student Project. (October 2008)

The EDN Australia Innovation Award Best Student Project is sponsored by Altium (suppliers of electronic design software used in the departments teaching) and was won by the team of students involved in the 2007 Future Energy Challenge (For which they won 2nd Prize). The project involved an undergraduate team
developing an effective universal battery charger that would adapt to charge lead acid, lithium ion, nicad, nimh and rechargeable alkaline batteries with a minimum need for user intervention.

ECSE Postgraduate Research scholars raise funds for China's earthquake victims.
More volunteers needed.

With many overseas research scholars, the ECSE department's Postgraduate students are helping with the Red Cross fund raising effort.
Please read more about it.

The Monash 50
th Anniversary Research awards were presented on Monday 18 August 2008 at Government House in Melbourne.
The awards acknowledge and celebrate Monash researchers who have had significant success and impact in a broad range of areas over the past 50 years. In the field of engineering,  Late Emeritus Professor Douglas Lampard, Foundation Professor of Electrical Engineering was a recipient for his seminal contributions to the field of biomedical engineering which led to significant developments in anaesthesia with widespread clinical and commercial application.

The department would like to congratulate:

Stevan Preradovic  - a Postgraduate research student for winning first prize in the Student Challenge held at the 2008 European Microwave Conference, Amsterdam, Holland (28-30 October), The award winning poster was titled: ADVANCED TRAFFIC REGULATION USING UWB CHIPLESS RFID SYSTEMS.

4th year thesis student
Jonathan Raj and his Supervisor Assoc. Prof. Ian Brown, for winning (joint) first prize in the Engineers Australia: College of Biomedical Engineering's outstanding biomedical engineering projects by undergraduate students competition.

Dr. Nemai Karmakar has been successful in two ARC 2008 Linkage grants for the projects:
"Printable, multi-bit RFID for banknotes" with SatNet P/L and Securency International P/L
"Smart information management of partial discharge in switchyards using smart antennas" with SP Ausnet.

Dr Himal Suraweera. The Mollie Holman Doctoral Medal is awarded to the doctoral candidate judged to have presented the best thesis of the year. The 2007 recipient for the Faculty of Engineering was Dr Himal Suraweera.His supervisor was Associate Professor Jean Armstrong.

Prof David Suter elected to the College of Experts of the ARC.

Prof Arthur Lowery who became a Fellow of the Australia Academy of Technological Science and Engineering (ATSE)

Future Energy Challenge Team who scored second place in the finals in Dallas.

ARC Grant recipients:

Prof RA Jarvis; Prof I Zukerman; Dr J Alexandersson; Prof Y Shirai Multisensory Fusion and Understanding in Robotic Assistive Technology Environments

Dr MH Premaratne; Prof AJ Lowery; Prof GP Agrawal; Prof B Jalali Design and Experimental Demonstration of Ultrabroadband Silicon Optical Amplifiers

A/Prof RA Russell Manoeuvrable burrowing robots for underground search

Prof D Suter; A/Prof A BabHadiashar Statistical Methods of Model Fitting and Segmentation in Computer Vision

The Australian Robotics and Automation Association Best Student Paper Prize

The Australian Robotics and Automation Association Best Student Paper Prize has been awarded to Alan Zhang and Associate Professor Lindsay Kleeman at the Australasian Conference on Robotics and Automation held in December 2007 for their paper "Robust Appearance Based Visual Route Following in Large Scale Outdoor Environments" .

Clunies Ross Award

Prof Arthur Lowery is a recipient of the 2007 Clunies Ross Awards for his work in photonics. (April 2007)

Engaging youth through science

In just under three hours, Dr Andrew Price, was able to teach a class of Year 12 students how to build their own microcontroller system -- resulting in a product the students could use on their home computers and continue to develop long after the lesson was over. The students attending the National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) earlier this month were from across Australia. Many had travelled thousands of kilometers to attend the Monash University Science session held at the Clayton campus on 9 February. (Feb 2007)

T.J. Tarn Best Paper in Robotics

Assoc Prof Andy Russell's paper "Tracking Chemical Plumes in 3-Dimensions" was awarded the T.J. Tarn Best Paper in Robotics, Conference on Robotics and Biomimetics (ROBIO 2006). (Dec 2006)

Electricity supply research centre opens

The Victorian Minister for Innovation, Mr John Brumby, has officially opened a new Monash research centre that will play a pivotal role in improving the operation of Australia's power transformers. The Centre for Power Transformer Monitoring, Diagnostics and Life Management, at the university's Clayton campus, is a world first. The centre's partners include the Wilson Transformer Company, Dynamic Ratings and TJ|H2b Analytical Services. (Oct 2006)

Faster optical communications coming down the line

Professor Arthur Lowery and Associate Professor Jean Armstrong, with Business Development Manager Ms Leonore Ryan, have won the 2006 Peter Doherty award. Professor Arthur Lowery and Associate Professor Jean Armstrong, from the Faculty of Engineering, won the Peter Doherty prize for developing optical OFDM (orthogonal frequency division multiplexing) -- the optical equivalent of ADSL. The Peter Doherty prize recognises optical OFDM technology as the most outstanding commercialisation opportunity... (June 2006)

Recent articles featuring members of our department:

Monash's future engineers win

A team of Monash engineering students has won an international competition for its design of a cost effective, environmentally friendly power source for homes in developing nations. Monash team co-leader Mr John Luo said the win provided a chance to promote Australia. The win provided a cash prize of US$11,000 to be split between Monash University and the team. (Aug 2005)

"Smart" wheelchair gives obstacles the run around

A Monash University robotics expert has built a "smart" semi-automatic wheelchair that can navigate itself around obstacles if its user becomes temporarily incapacitated. (Monash Newsline May 2005)

Centre for Power Transformer Monitoring, Diagnostics and Life Management STI bid successful

A Victorian Government STI Fund grant of $1.59 million over three years towards establishing a world class centre that will facilitate laboratory, factory and field research and development activities for oil-filled power transformers has been announced. Total project value is estimated at $3.61 million. Maintaining and upgrading infrastructure to meet power services demand is a worldwide challenge. This project focuses on building new capabilities that expand upon internationally recognised expertise in power transformer research. The Centre for Power Transformer Monitoring, Diagnostics and Life Management will enable the performance of insulation systems to be studied under different conditions, and allow examination
of methods to manage and extend the life of transformers. The new test facility will enable research into effective and attractive solutions for a number of identified technical areas including:
• Development of new cost-effective monitoring
• Diagnostic and life management technologies for industrial applications, such as algorithms, software, hardware and instrumentation
• Investigation of environmentally friendly, renewable, and less flammable alternative to current petroleum oils
• Improved reliability of power supply by minimising transformer related power disruptions
The project brings together representatives of the entire power transformer supply chain and an internationally recognised research team to deliver the project outcomes.

Founding Members Consortium
Monash University
Wilson Transformer Company (Vic)
Dynamic Ratings (Vic)
TJ/H2b Analytical Services (Vic & USA)
Ergon Energy
Weidman Company (Switzerland)
SPI PowerNet (Vic)
TXU (Vic)
Powercor/CitiPower (Vic)
Country Energy (NSW)
Energy Australia (NSW)
Powerlink (Qld)
Transpower (New Zealand)
Dr Valery Davydov, Monash University

(April 2005)

A new dimension

Urban planning methods could be totally revamped through an innovative project at the new Monash Institute for Vision Systems. (Monash Magazine, October 2004)

Engineering the needs of industry

An agreement between Monash University Malaysia and Motorola is helping meet industry needs while developing the campus as a centre of excellence in electronic design. (Monash Magazine, Autumn/Winter 2004)

Keeping kids off their toes

What began as an investigation of why muscles become sore after walking downhill has led to an innovative way to develop and maintain longer calf muscles in children who walk on their toes. (Monash Magazine, Autumn/Winter 2003)

RATs could replace sniffer dogs

A Monash professor has created an odour-sensing robot that may one day replace sniffer dogs in detecting drugs, explosives and gas leaks. (September 2003)