What do earthquakes, financial market crashes, wars and epileptic seizures all have in common? These events are studied across completely different disciplines – geology, economics, anthropology and medicine – yet they may all be linked by a fundamental mathematical principle known as critical slowing.
Critical slowing is a phenomenon that occurs as a system approaches a “critical point”. In the brain, the critical point could represent a catastrophic threshold past which the brain transitions into a seizure state. Predicting the exact moment that the brain will cross the threshold may be impossible. However, the theory states that there are early warning signals that indicate the critical point is approaching.
2018 has been a year of progress for the Australian Integrated Multimodal EcoSystem (AIMES), a world-first living laboratory incubated at the University of Melbourne.
AIMES’ objective is to deliver a future where technology allows all transport customers to communicate and react to one another in real time. The AIMES ecosystem in Carlton is the largest inner-city grid of streets mapped with smart sensors, to accurately monitor the flow of vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians and public transport. Continue reading “A year of success for AIMES – 2018 in review”→
The IT systems that support our modern business operations record vast amounts of valuable data daily. Process mining gives organisations the keys to this data, providing analysis and insight into making more strategic, data-driven business decisions.
Through large-scale collaborative research incorporating multiple research institutions and industry partners, we’re investigating how we can bring the full range of process mining elements together to create a practical and powerful solution for helping organisations improve their performance and support their digital transformation journey. Continue reading “How open-source software is helping business improve its processes”→
Over 150 past and present colleagues, past students, family and friends came together on the 28th of November to celebrate the life of Emeritus Professor Len Stevens AM, who passed away in August, aged 93. The celebration of his life provided an opportunity to reflect on the many achievements in his career, and to learn more about Professor Stevens as a much-loved husband and father.
Professor Stevens’ relationship with the University spanned more than 60 years, beginning with his time as a student, later a young lecturer, before taking on leadership roles including Dean of the Faculty of Engineering for three terms and as Head of the Department of Civil Engineering later on. Although Professor Stevens formally retired in 1990 he continued to consult, research and collaborate in the Department until December 2017 – a remarkable feat for a man by then in his 90s.
By Professor Greg Foliente, Infrastructure Engineering Enterprise Professor
“Engineers are problem solvers, innovators and builders who are helping to drive Victoria’s economic engine,” says Dr Collette Burke, Victoria’s inaugural Chief Engineer. For these and other reasons, I think that the world will be a better place in the future if people think and act like engineers.
Technological developments and the delivery and management of infrastructure and engineering assets underpin the economies and societies of the world. In Australia, the infrastructure spend pipeline is around $80 billion dollars. And over the next 30 years in Victoria alone, the estimated strategic investments is also in the region of $80 billion.
The Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) has announced the appointment of seven distinguished Australian scientists and engineers to the independent body that helps guide the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
The Murray–Darling Basin is the largest and most complex river system in Australia. Running from Queensland through New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and South Australia it spans 77,000 kilometres of rivers, many of which are connected. It’s also the food bowl of the nation with the agriculture industry worth $24 billion annually.
Increased extreme weather events and the challenges brought upon us by climate change will necessitate a new approach to disaster management. Devastating fires in Greece and the recent landslide in Sulawesi demonstrate some of the many challenges we face in dealing with extreme weather events and natural disasters.
By Erin O’Donnell, Centre for Resources, Energy and Environment Law and Avril Horne, Department of Infrastructure Engineering
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack last week suggested the government would look at changing the law to allow water to be taken from the environment and given to farmers struggling with the drought.
This is a bad idea for several reasons. First, the environment needs water in dry years as well as wet ones. Second, unilaterally intervening in the way water is distributed between users undermines the water market, which is now worth billions of dollars. And, third, in dry years the environment gets a smaller allocation too, so there simply isn’t enough water to make this worthwhile.
Imagine if a drone could wash the windows on a tall skyscraper or a sensor could detect when a watermelon has reached its optimum ripeness. These aren’t crazy contraptions from Wallace and Gromit, but just a taste of some of the ingenious inventions designed and built by our engineering and IT masters students that will be on display at our Endeavour Exhibition.
These projects also include life-saving and life-enhancing devices, with an app designed to predict devastating bushfires, non-invasive medical tools to detect severe illness and 3D printed prosthetics for children in amongst 130 different projects.