AIMES world-first transport technology trial completed in Carlton

By Carl Jackson

Majid Sarvi explains AIMES' transport trial to the Hon Paul Fletcher

In a significant milestone for Australian Integrated Multimodal EcoSystem (AIMES), a world-first trial of connected transport technology took place in Carlton on 11 July 2018. While AIMES involves a live ecosystem in a CBD-adjacent setting, this particular test focused on sensors in place around the intersection of Drummond and Faraday streets.

Attended by Australia’s Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities Paul Fletcher, the trial demonstrated real-life use cases including speed management, intersection collision avoidance and vulnerable road user protection.

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Six STEM stories to read this week

By Carl Jackson

Robot on futuristic background

Chemical sensitivities’ impact on Australians, the discovery of the world’s oldest colour, a world-first transport trial and more – we’ve put together a wrap-up of some of the most interesting and important STEM news from Melbourne School of Engineering and beyond.

Important inclusion: a piece featuring astronauts falling over on the moon you definitely don’t want to miss.
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Smart sensors provide low-cost solution to monitor air quality

By Prue Gildea 

An environmental focus of the Australian Integrated Multimodal Ecosystem (AIMES*) has seen a new range of “smart” environmental sensors in place in central Melbourne. The sensors have been installed along Victoria and Alexandra Parade by the University of Melbourne in partnership with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and technology company, Active Reactor Ltd.

The new low-cost sensors called arcHUBs, monitor air quality and for the first time provide detailed information at the local street level. Poor air quality is often due to changing conditions such as traffic and building works.

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Using maths to map mines deep underground

By Greta Harrison

The wires of a tiny microchip may seem a world away from a huge underground mine full of complex tunnels, but for a team of University of Melbourne researchers, the design principles are very similar.

More than 20 years ago, Professor Doreen Thomas and Professor Hyam Rubinstein were working on innovative methods of network optimisation – which aims to ensure optimal usage for system resources, as well as improving productivity and efficiency – in the design of microchips.
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ARC grant helps biomedical engineers develop algorithms to restore sight

By Prue Gildea

Photo of eye with futuristic overlay

A Biomedical Engineering research group was recently awarded a linkage grant from the Australian Research Council. The two-year funding will focus on developing algorithms for electrical stimulation of neurons using arrays of electrodes.  These algorithms could be used to help restore sight for a bionic eye user.

The University of Melbourne led research will be carried out in partnership with commercial entity, Bionic Vision Technologies (BVT). Professors Anthony Burkitt and David Grayden (University of Melbourne), Dr Hamish Meffin (University of Melbourne and National Vision Research Institute) together with Dr Tatiana Kameneva (Swinburne University) are the chief investigators. They are joined by Dr Martin Spencer, postdoctoral researcher from the University’s Department of Biomedical Engineering.

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Sperm separation to improve IVF success rate

By Prue Gildea 

3D illustration of sperm going for the egg

Two University of Melbourne Engineering alumni are giving hope to those planning families; designing a new technique to effectively isolate the best quality sperm.

Professor Sandra Kentish, Head of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Melbourne has joined forces with Alison Coutts, Executive Chairman of Memphasys Ltd, an ASX listed Australian bio-separations company. Coutts was the first woman to graduate with a Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Melbourne in 1977. Professor Kentish followed, graduating in 1983.

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How could soybeans help heal diabetic ulcers?

By Prue Gildea

Soy bean plants at sunrise

A one-year grant from the Ohio Soybean Council is helping two talented University of Melbourne researchers make better use of a soybean by-product, potentially providing higher revenue for farmers. Standard practice involves using the stems and leaves from soybeans to make straw for cattle feed. However, like all plant material, these stems and leaves contains a useful substance.

You can’t see it and you’ve probably never heard of it, but inside all plant material is one very special substance. It’s known for its ability to provide both strength and reinforcement to materials it is added to. It’s called nanocellulose.

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‘Loads, Diodes and Cathodes’ Win the 2018 Case Study Competition

By Carl Jackson

‘Loads, Diodes and Cathodes’, the 2018 Case Competition winners

Presenting to peers, academics and a panel of industry-based judges on 26 March 2018, over 154 students comprising 33 multidisciplinary teams competed in this year’s Case Study Competition, with ‘Loads, Diodes and Cathodes’ taking home the prize.

Melbourne School of Engineering alumnus Alex Catto-Smith, Longford Surveillance Engineer from ExxonMobil, presented the teams with this year’s case topic, which focused on the repurposing and decommissioning of two ExxonMobil offshore platforms in the Bass Strait.

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Remote drone surveillance maps horticulture crop health

By Melbourne School of Engineering

Drones carrying high-resolution multi-spectral, hyper-spectral and thermal cameras are being used to develop monitoring systems to help growers assess the health of their crops.

Dr Dongryeol Ryu at the University of Melbourne’s Department of Infrastructure Engineering is leading several related research projects, one of which targets water stress in fruit trees and grape vines. This has been funded and coordinated through Victoria’s Horticulture Centre of Excellence.

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Self-driving bus takes first tour of University of Melbourne campus

By Claire Quinn

The University of Melbourne launched its own autonomous mini shuttle bus today to assist in integrated transport solution research and make transport safer.

The autonomous vehicle is designed for low-speed urban environments and is part of a three-year partnership with French company EasyMile, specialists in autonomous vehicle technology.

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