Ivan Marusic elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science

The Australian Academy of Science has elected Professor Ivan Marusic, from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, for his outstanding contributions and applications of scientific research.

Distinguished scientists are elected every year by their peers to be part of this elite Fellowship.

“They are the Olympic athletes of science,” said Suzanne Cory, President of the Australian Academy of Science.

Professor Marusic, who completed his Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) and PhD at the University of Melbourne, was elected for his contributions to fluid mechanics and advancing our understanding of wall-bounded turbulent flows, with applications from aquatic ecosystems to aircraft drag reduction.

Aircraft spend about half of their fuel overcoming turbulence, meaning that any improvement in this area has implications for not only the cost of air travel, but also its contribution to carbon emissions.

Professor Marusic said that it was not only an honour for him, but his team and Australian fluid mechanics researchers more generally.

“This is an area in which Australia has been traditionally very strong – it’s a great recognition for the field as well,” he said.

Professor Marusic joins University of Melbourne colleagues Professor Barbara Howlett from the School of Botany and Professor Ingrid Scheffer from the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health as 2014 Fellows of the Australian Academy of Science.


Orica Engineering Design Prize Announced

l-r: Jacob Rivera, Dr Peter McGowan (Manager of Mechanical Engineering at Orica) and Lee Rogers
l-r: Jacob Rivera, Dr Peter McGowan (Manager of Mechanical Engineering at Orica) and Lee Rogers.

Jacob Rivera and Lee Rogers are the joint winners of the 2013 Orica Design prize. On Wednesday March 19 2014, the Mechanical Engineering students received a financial prize and certificate from Dr Peter McGowan, of Mechanical Engineering at Orica.

The Orica Engineering Design Prize is awarded to students who have produced outstanding project work in their penultimate year design subjects in Mechanical Engineering.

Jacob and Lee worked in small and large teams on various projects throughout their study. The final project, designing a gearbox, was among the most challenging and rewarding assignments.

“We were challenged with real-world problems,” Lee said, reflecting on the difficulties of finding cost-effective solutions. Despite these obstacles, the students found their project work rewarding. “Throughout all the difficulty, it was pure mechanical design and it showed me that I was exactly where I wanted to be,” Jacob said.

Orica Engineering has been a long-time supporter of Engineering Design at the University of Melbourne, employing many of the best and brightest graduates from the School of Engineering. Orica has been involved in a number of collaborative projects across various study levels with the School.


MSE Welcomes new veski fellow

Professor Kenneth Crozier, an expert in optical technologies has returned to the University of Melbourne through a veski innovation fellowship worth $150,000 over three years.

Professor Crozier is a world leader in micro- and nano- optical structures and their applications in medical imaging, sensing and ‘lab-on-a-chip’.

Joining the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and the School of Physics, where he undertook his undergraduate studies, Professor Crozier will work on an integrated program of research, education and commercialisation that will involve training the next generation of Australian optical scientists.

“Optical technologies play a key role in everyday Australian life from the lasers and optical fibres required for high-speed Internet, the image sensors for digital photography and the microscopes in research institutes across the country, to the lasers used for cutting edge surgery,” Professor Crozier said.

He plans to recruit a team of PhD students and research fellows to work with him.

“Through this project, we will develop optical technologies based on nanoscience that could enable digital cameras to ‘see’ more than colour, that could enable individual viruses and molecules to be held in place and observed, and large area biological samples to be imaged at high resolution with unprecedented speed.”

In a press release issued by the University of Melbourne, Professor James McCluskey said that the investment in talent by assisting leading experts to return to Victoria was crucial to innovation.

VESKI (Victorian Endowment for Science, Knowledge and Innovation) is an initiative to identify outstanding individuals and bring them back to Victoria for the benefit of the Australian community.

Professor Crozier said that he was pleased to be back at the place where it had all started. He has a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (1996) and a Bachelor of Science (1995) from the University of Melbourne, followed by a Masters and PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford University. He returns to Melbourne from a position in Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.


Becoming “digital blacksmiths”: Paul Mignone and Bernard Meade discuss 3D Printing for The Conversation

University of Melbourne students from a range of discipline backgrounds recently took part in a 3D printing workshop, allowing them to become “digital blacksmiths.” Paul Mignone, a PhD candidate in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and Bernard Meade from Information Technology Services have written for The Conversation, profiling the recent workshop and outlining the many cost benefits that 3D printing can offer researchers.

Their article is available on The Conversation‘s website.


First ever Indigenous Engineers Scholarship recipient on a pathway to a Geomatics career

Engineering pathway student Adam Pyke admitted that he was very excited when he found out he was the inaugural recipient of the Indigenous Engineers: Engineering Pathway Scholarship at The University of Melbourne.

“I’ll be honest, I was jumping up and down. It was rewarding me for what I wanted to do.”

This year, Adam begins his Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Geomatics, with a plan to continue into the Master of Engineering (Geomatics).

The University of Melbourne is offering the new scholarship thanks to funding support from the Commonwealth Department of Education, formerly the Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education. The scholarship is intended to support an Indigenous Bachelor of Science student undertaking pathway subjects to graduate engineering.

The scholarship is valued at $75,000 over three years and comprises a $10,000 per annum living allowance and $15,000 per annum fee remission.

Adam said the scholarship offered a great incentive in reducing financial pressures and enabling him to focus on his studies.

“It certainly takes a big burden off in terms of my HECS debt. The scholarship is going to be a massive help, especially later on down the track.”
Adam said he was always interested in Maths and Science, particularly Physics, throughout his schooling at Highvale Secondary College and later Wesley College where he transferred on a scholarship.

“I was interested in design and architecture originally. I always liked building things. I had a massive Thomas the Tank Engine train set as a kid that I used to build. I would spend hours and hours watching documentaries about construction.”
Adam said he started considering his career options when he was 14 and 15.

“Given my skills with mapping, and through talking to curriculum advisors, Geomatics kept coming to the surface and I thought, that’s what I want to do.”

Adam said he was particularly encouraged by the fact that Geomatics graduates are in high demand, with a wealth of career opportunities in the field.

Adam also competes nationally as a middle distance athlete, and is aiming for the World Junior Championships later in the year.

“It’s going to be a bit of a challenge to balance it at first but once I get into the rhythm of study, I’ll be ok.”

For further information about undergraduate scholarships available for Engineering students, visit the scholarships page of The Melbourne School of Engineering’s website.


Melbourne Accelerator Program Information Night

Students, staff, alumni and members of the public are warmly invited to the official MAP Information Night of 2014. This free event, to be held on Tuesday March 25, will cover key information about the program, which is dedicated to supporting startups. By up-skilling, providing networking opportunities and funding, this program aims to meet the needs of entrepreneurs at all stages of development.

The Information Night will provide important information addressing the Startup Accelerator’s selection process, upcoming events and unique opportunities from the program. It provides a fantastic opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs to step into the world of startups and discover what MAP can do to help get their innovations off the ground.

Registrations have recently opened, so book your spot now to avoid missing out. MAP looks forward to sharing all the exciting events planned for the year!


Engineering and IT ranks first in Australia across four subject areas

Engineering and IT at The University of Melbourne has ranked number 1 in Australia across four engineering and technology discipline areas according to the latest QS World University Rankings by Subject.

For Computer Science and Information Systems, the University of Melbourne has been ranked 1st in Australia and 15th in the world.

Chemical Engineering also maintained its strong rankings position, coming in at 1st in Australia and 16th in the world

Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering also saw a significant jump in rankings, coming in at 1st in Australia and jumping to 17th in the world, up from 25th in 2013.

Electrical and Electronic Engineering also improved its rank, up to number 1 in Australia and 28th in the world, up from 32 in 2013.

At a faculty level, the QS Rankings placed Engineering and Technology at the University of Melbourne at number 1 in Australia and 32 in the world.

For the full rankings tables by subject area for 2014, visit the QS World University Rankings website.


2014 MAP Master Classes

The Melbourne Accelerator Program (MAP) is excited to commence its Master Class Series for 2014. Running every second Wednesday, these classes are designed to support entrepreneurs through all stages of development, including up-skilling and networking. The best startups are awarded access to the MAP Startup Accelerator, which includes formal mentoring, exclusive networking opportunities and funding.

Master Class 1: Introduction to the Startup Ecosystem – 5 March (5:30pm-6:30pm)

This course provides an excellent opportunity to learn and mingle with entrepreneurs of diverse backgrounds, while giving insight into the Australian startup ecosystem. Presenter Rohan Workman will discuss topics including sources of funding, international support and local success stories which are designed for individuals who are new to the start-up community, or would like to become more involved. Register here.

Master Class 2: Global Tech Trends and Thinking Big

This class is essential for everyone interested in the relationship between technology, innovation and entrepreneurship. In this Master Class Zezan Tam will discuss how technological trends apply to startup thinking, with a view that these businesses can drive future technology. Zezan is co-founder of PPT Productivity and is passionate about future technology and dreams of techno-utopia. Register here.

Master Class 3: Startup Soft Skills

It’s not what you know, it’s who you know

If entrepreneurs are to seize opportunities and succeed, it is essential they understand and use business etiquette. This program describes how to avoid alienating investors while maximising positive exposure for your business. Rohan Workman will use examples and discuss techniques that entrepreneurs can use to strengthen their interpersonal connections within a startup ecosystem. Register here.


Alumnus honoured in Sri Lanka

A Melbourne School of Engineering alumnus will be honoured in Sri Lanka this weekend at the Australian Alumni Excellence Awards.

Dr Asanga Ratnaweera will be honoured with the Australian Alumni Excellence Award for Research in a ceremony in Colombo this weekend. The awards are in honour of Australian alumni who have gone on to achieve excellence in Sri Lanka following their Australian education. The ceremony will be attended by Her Excellency Robyn Mudie, Australian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka.

Dr Ratnaweera completed his PhD at the Melbourne School of Engineering in 2004, examining the performance optimisation of spark ignition engines.

He is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Peradeniya, and has collaborated with Prof Saman Halgamuge on projects including the real-time energy management of hybrid electric vehicles.

The Melbourne School of Engineering congratulates Dr Ratnaweera on this significant international award.


Dean’s Lecture: IBM Public Sector Chief Technology Officer and Vice President Dr Katharine Frase

FraseThe Education Revolution: Digital, Personalised, Driving Better Outcomes

Presented by Dr Katharine Frase, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, IBM Public Sector

5.30–6.30pm Thursday 27 March 2014
(commencing with drinks at 5pm)

Auditorium & Foyer, Ground floor
Melbourne Brain Centre, Kenneth Myer Building
30 Royal Parade
University of Melbourne (Map)

Register here

The Melbourne School of Engineering is proud to present our first Dean’s Lecture for 2014, with a leading international figure in the information technology industry: Dr Katharine Frase, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of IBM Public Sector.

All over the world, students, parents, teachers and administrators look at the trend toward digitised learning content and its digital/online/mobile delivery and assume that affordable, scalable personalised instruction that leads to better outcomes is within reach. Government programs are driving school systems to collect, organise, and use data about their student performance. Across primary, secondary and higher education, budget allocations are shifting from printed instructional content to digital content and the information systems needed to drive them. Katharine will discuss real life examples, where the use of data and analytics is helping the staff of schools and universities to attract, retain, nurture, graduate and place students into employment.

Dr Katharine Frase
Dr Katharine Frase was appointed Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, IBM Public Sector, in March 2013. As CTO, she provides thought leadership for IBM and its customers on innovation and strategic transformation specific to government, education, life sciences, healthcare and cities, driving the creation of new solutions. Prior to this role, she was Vice President, Industry Solutions Research, working across IBM Research on behalf of IBM clients, to create transformational industry-focused solutions, including the application of “Watson” technologies to business applications and the realisation of Smarter Planet solutions. In 2006, she was elected as a member of the (U.S.) National Academy of Engineering. Dr Frase received an A.B. in chemistry from Bryn Mawr College and a PhD in materials science and engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a member of the IBM Academy of Technology and sits on numerous external committees and boards.


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