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7/12/2007 A Summer Job With a Difference
30/11/2007 Expert advises businesses on online security
30/11/2007 Biodiversity on the agenda at workshop
23/11/2007 ICE WaRM receives another award!
22/11/2007 Robot Stars in Movie at Federation Square
26/10/2007 Plant disease research a winner for student
10/9/2007 High Demand for Graduates in IT
19/7/2007 Students in the Workplace
13/7/2007 Workshops for Games Whiz Kids
10/7/2007 Test Tube Dog at Deakin
4/6/2007 Creating Robots That Can Swim
30/5/2007 Tracking the Powerful Owl
25/5/2007 Sumo Robotics at Deakin
21/5/2007 Robotics workshops for schools at Deakin
30/4/2007 Students Identify Snake Venom
24/4/2007 A Promising Future for Deakin Students
19/4/2007 From the Bush to the Beach
21/3/2007 Deakin graduate scoops two major awards
22/2/2007 Wanted: Race Car Team
19/2/2007 Climate Change on the Coast
14/2/2007 Students Construct their Own Game
02/2/2007 A World of Design at Deakin
Faculty news homepage
DEAKIN’S Formula SAE team, Deakin Race Technologies, achieved its best result ever with a 2nd place in the Fuel Economy category and an overall top five finish in the international race car design competition.
Twenty-two teams of Engineering students from New Zealand, Germany, Japan and across Australia competed in the Formula SAE Australasia competition between December 13 and 16 at Werribee. In the competition, the teams designed racing cars that were judged on a range of factors including speed, presentation, cost and fuel economy.
Deakin students worked for a year to build the successful race car at the Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds and only a small margin separated Deakin’s design from the team that finished in third place.
Co-team leader and chief design engineer Brendan McGinniskin said the group had refined the car built in previous competitions to achieve this year’s success.
“It was really an evolution of the car that was built last year with technical improvements,” he said. “We refined the design and engineering to iron out the kinks from 2006, which helped make it faster and more reliable.”
The second placing in the fuel economy section was a result of the team’s use of a single cylinder engine, rather than the four-cylinder engine used by most other universities. The single-cylinder design meant that only 3.51 litres of fuel was used over the length of the 22km endurance test. The four-cylinder cars used between five and six litres of fuel in the event.
Mr McGinniskin said the fifth placing overall was a great, but well-deserved, result.
“We worked hard and we were aiming for a place in the top five. We knew that the car was good enough, but it just depended on everything going well over the weekend,” he said.
Formula SAE was launched by the Society of Automotive Engineers in the USA in 1980 to provide students with the opportunity to work on a complex and relevant engineering project in a team environment. Students manage all aspects of their entry, including scheduling, budgeting, fundraising and cost control.
Deakin University Engineering students also competed in the new SAE Robotics Competition in which they finished in first place.
Mr McGinniskin has been part of the Formula SAE team for the past three years and said the competition provided him with extra skills and experience above his class work.
DEAKIN University robotics researchers and experts introduced members of the Australian Air Force Cadet 428 Squadron to cutting edge robotics in November.
On Thursday, 15 November Faculty of Science and Technology Professor Saeid Nahavandi and a group of robotics researchers visited the squadron in Geelong and made a special one hour robotics presentation followed by another three hours of demonstrations.
The presentation focused on Deakin University's robotics research and involvement in the Joint Strike Fighter (JFS) program. The JFS program is being carried out by the Department of Defence in conjunction with universities to develop next generation strike aircraft weapon systems for the Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Australia’s allies.
Deakin researchers were selected to carry out research on a feasibility study on augmented reality systems as part of the program.
During the demonstrations for the squadron, cadets experienced how to drive and control robots developed at Deakin University. There were around 80 attendees at the event, which included cadets and their family members.
Deakin University is committed to building robotics research and skills through its postgraduate students, experts and the Bachelor of Engineering (Mechatronics and Robotics). More information is available at www.deakin.edu.au/sebe/eit.
THIS summer, Kyle Nelson does not have to stack shelves at his local supermarket. Instead, he is getting paid to learn in his university placement with Insight Engineering in Geelong.
The 12-week placement is part of Deakin University’s Industry Based Learning Program offered to participants in the Dean’s Scholars Program and high achieving students.
Mr Nelson gained a highly sought after position in the Dean’s Scholars Program after he was named dux of his class at Trinity College in Colac.
In the first month of his placement, the second year student in the Engineering (Mechatronics and Robotics) course is enjoying learning while he works.
“I'm now into my third week of placement and am thoroughly enjoying it,” Mr Nelson said. “The staff at Insight have been fantastic. They made me feel welcome right from the very first day and have been there to help me whenever I have needed.”
Students in the Industry Based Learning Program are paid to undertake three month, six month or 12 month placements in industry.
Mr Nelson said he had already gained a range of skills that will be valuable in his future workplace.
The experience will provide him with valuable skills both in his future career and as he embarks on the third year of his Engineering degree at Deakin.
Faculty associate professor Dineli Mather said the program, available to Dean’s Scholars and to students who maintain a distinction average, provided valuable career skills.
“The Industry Based Learning Program offers participants the opportunity to apply and consolidate knowledge gained at university, experience workplace culture and work practices, explore career options and develop professional networks,” Prof Mather said.
“The program aims to recognise and reward hard-working, ambitious students and showcase them to prospective employers. Graduate recruiters usually give preference to students who have participated in IBL programs for these same reasons as they recognise that these students are better prepared for work and also likely to be making a more informed decision about their career choices,” she said.
Mr Nelson’s achievements at Deakin follow various successes he gained as a resident of Colac. In 2005, he was school captain at Trinity College, attended the National Youth Science Forum and won the Colac Lions Club stage in the Lions Youth of the Year quest.
More information on the Industry Based Learning Program is available at www.deakin.edu.au/sebe/wil.
COMPUTER security breaches can take a devastating toll on businesses, organisations and individuals. Deakin University senior lecturer Jemal Abawajy will lead a masterclass in Sydney in December to provide advice on creating secure IT systems.
The masterclass will be attended by representatives from a range of businesses and organisations who are concerned about the potential for security breaches, now and in the future.
“We are seeing lots of security problems, particularly in high risk areas like banks and governments where there is personal and sensitive information,” Prof Abawajy said.
“There are two ways that IT security breaches can happen: information can be leaked from inside or broken into from outside, and we need to find ways of preventing both of these types of breaches from happening.”
Prof Abawajy said that an increased demand for mobile services in the modern workplace exacerbated the problem.
“With more people using mobile access, the risk is even higher and it is easier for information to be high jacked. It is a global problem that we are going to see more and more of.”
Prof Abawajy said businesses, individuals and organisations should install systems to protect their computer security and undertake regular penetration testing to detect any breaches.
Prof Agawajy will lead the Securing Your Organisation's Information in the Digital Age masterclass alongside NSW Internal Audit Bureau Associate Director Dr Stephen James and Information Technology Services Director Johan Pelser.
He will also spread the word about Information Technology security at the CollECTeR (Collaborative Electronic Commerce Technology and Research) conference in Melbourne between December 9 and 11. His talk about online trading will be titled Electronic Negotiation and Security of Information Exchanged in eCommerce.
The problem is not confined to Australia and Prof Agawajy will also speak in Egypt in December.
“I have spoken in Iran, Malaysia, and soon in Egypt, about IT security this year; it’s a huge and very costly global issue.”
In each of his talks, Prof Agawajy will speak about his latest research that has involved developing programs to ensure the safety of computer systems. He said the findings would have far reaching benefits.
“The research we are doing at Deakin University into IT security will be very valuable to Australian industry,” Prof Abawajy said
ENVIRONMENTAL leaders will come together in Melbourne next month in a bid to develop a new approach to conservation in Victoria. Deakin University will bring up to 100 representatives of academia, government and science and environmental agencies together in the workshop on December 6.
The Ecological processes in Victoria: Policy priorities for sustaining biodiversity workshop is part of a two-stage project that started with a scientific report by 19 senior ecologists, in which it is proposed that greater emphasis needs to be given to ecological processes in the state’s approach to nature conservation.
In the second stage, these proposals will be developed further into practical recommendations to put forward to the State Government’s Land and Biodiversity White Paper, which is currently being drafted.
Scientific review chair Associate Professor Dr Andrew Bennett said new ways of thinking were needed in order to sustain Victoria’s ecological diversity.
“Victoria has a great record of establishing national parks and reserves and it’s also been a leader in developing innovative programs such as Landcare and Land for Wildlife, but more needs to be done,” Dr Bennett said.
“We need to extend our current focus on protecting ‘natural assets’ such as national parks or reserves or threatened species, to improving our knowledge and management of the processes that sustain them,” Dr Bennett said.
In short, the new approach will involve giving greater attention to the ecological processes on which the ‘natural assets’ that we value, depend. It would involve steps such as long-term monitoring to understand how species and ecosystems are changing through time, and scenario planning to envisage how ecosystems are likely to be affected by major threats such as the impact of climate change, degradation and loss of habitats, altered hydrological flows, nutrient and chemical additions to ecosystems, unsustainable harvesting of natural resources, and introduced species.
Representatives from academia, non-government organisations, the CSIRO and government aim to identify methods of tackling these issues through government policy at the workshop at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons on December 6.
Deakin University Associate Professor Geoff Wescott said the project could provide valuable information to the government in its approach to biodiversity.
“The project aims to identify policy directions and priorities to sustain biodiversity in Victoria by translating the findings from the ecological processes project and other advances in environmental policy, ecology and ecological management into the policy arena," Associate Professor Geoff Wescott said.
The project was commissioned by the Victoria Naturally Alliance consisting of leading environment groups including the Australian Conservation Foundation, Environment Victoria and Greening Australia and led by the Victorian National Parks Association.
The workshop will be held between 9.45am and 4pm at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in Spring St.
The International Centre of Excellence in Water Resources Management (ICE WaRM) and partners have won another major national business and education award for their innovative professional development programmes.
A ROBOT designed and constructed at Deakin University will make its acting debut at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image at Federation Square next month.
The robot will star in a short film by the Victorian College of the Arts students titled ‘Lone’ on December 8, 14 and 15. The film is a science fiction drama that follows the robot and his human co-star after the two become the last inhabitants of earth.
Deakin PhD student Ben Horan designed the robot in the Intelligent Systems Research Lab (ISR) at the Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds. Filming began in August and was completed in early September.
The film will screen 5pm on Saturday, December 8, 7pm on Friday, December 14 and 7.45pm on Saturday, December 15.
After it is aired at the event at Federation Square in Melbourne it is expected to be entered in festivals in Australia and overseas.
Deakin University PhD student Ben Horan said he had enjoyed the opportunity to be part of the production.
“It’s a great opportunity to use the knowledge and skills that I have developed at Deakin and in the Intelligent Systems Research Lab in a different way,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the film on the big screen.”
Mr Horan designed the robot after he was given a brief on its appearance and he was responsible for enabling the robot to perform using sensors and other electronic systems.
Mr Horan is part of a team that works in the ISR in Deakin University’s School of Engineering and Information Technology to build and develop semi-autonomous systems, such as the robot that is being designed for the film.
Tickets for the screening of ‘Lone’ and eight other films by graduating students are $11 or $9 concession and are available at the ACMI Box Office or on 8663 2583.
VIRTUAL design and digital architecture will be among the new tools in sustainable building to come under the spotlight at an international conference at Deakin University this week.
Researchers from Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Qatar and Malaysia will be among the delegates at the 41st Annual Conference of the Architectural Science Association (ANZAScA) between Wednesday, November 14 and Friday, November 16 at the Geelong Waterfront Campus.
Conference convenor James Coulson said the “Towards Solutions for a Liveable Future: progress, practice, performance, people” conference would address new approaches to sustainable building including three-dimensional computer aided design (CAD) and computer driven reporting of weather conditions.
“This conference is about the role of the built environment within the global sustainability and climate change debate. We aim to discuss the way that buildings contribute to and provide solutions for the environmental problems that we are facing or will face in the future,” Mr Coulson said.
“The papers that will be presented range from general climate change issues and expected building performance to the way practitioners can best evaluate and develop more sustainable built environments.”
Research from Deakin University’s Built Environment Research Group (BERG) will be among the papers presented at the conference. Some methods that BERG is investigating in creating more sustainable building include reducing construction waste and better utilising existing buildings.
Group member Professor Mark Luther said the conference provided built environment experts with the opportunity to discuss taking the next step in fighting climate change.
“This conference is about advancing sustainable building systems for the future, which is a huge issue at the moment,” Prof Luther said.
“We’ve gotten past the breakfast table of Al Gore’s work building awareness of climate change and now that we know what the problem is, we need to do something about it. That is what we will discuss at this conference.”
BERG is focussed on finding renewable, adaptive and recyclable forms of building to reduce the impact on the environment. Through its research, the group of multidisciplinary researchers aims to develop new processes and practices to help society realise its goals for sustainable development and learn more about the ways facilities and the technologies within them can help the people that use them perform at their best.
Deakin University students are heading to Indonesia this month to teach local villagers how to protect the forests and wildlife of Sumatra.
Wildlife and conservation biology students, Ben Gaylard and Jake Urlus, will spend a month in Sumatra working on a variety of projects with staff from the Melbourne Zoo and Fauna and Flora International.
Both students have had an interest in the wildlife for many years. They welcomed the opportunity to spend time in Sumatra and put into practice what they have been learning through their Deakin course.
“Jake and I had an interest in the wildlife of south east Asia before we got involved in the Deakin course,” Mr Gaylard said.
“Sumatra has wildlife unrivalled on the planet for such a small area. Where else can you find orangutan, rhino, elephant, tiger and tapir in the one place? It is simply a conservation biologist’s paradise!
“Nearly all the skills we have learnt from our course will be used in Sumatra. Skills such as the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS), field techniques and the ability to teach ecology have all been learnt through Deakin University.”
Mr Gaylard and Mr Urlus will be teaching ranger staff new skills, such as GIS, basic ecology and photography. They will also be building a vegetable garden to help improve the diets of the elephants used by the Mahouts and teach ecology in the schools.
While poaching is still an issue in the region, habitat destruction is more of a problem.
“There is a lot of encroachment into the national parks in south east Asia where the local villagers continue to chop down trees to set up their farms,” Mr Gaylard said.
“We will be able to show them other ways of making a living without damaging the forests.”
The students have been raising money to support their work in Sumatra.
“So far, $10,000 has been raised, mainly through a charity auction held recently. We hope that this will increase to $12,000 before we leave,” Mr Gaylard said.
“The money will be spent on establishing the elephant garden as well as on equipment for the ranger staff, such as laptops and GIS units.”
Anyone interested making a donation can send cheques payable to the Zoos Victoria-Sumatran Elephant Conservation Project to Chris Banks, PO Box 74, Parkville, Victoria 3052.
A TEAM of Deakin University Engineering students has won a national competition for designing a robot that could be used in Ford’s car manufacturing process.
Aaron Dixon of Geelong and Jarred Spriggs of Newport were announced as winners of the Society of Automotive Engineers - Australasia and ABB National Robotics Innovation Competition in October.
Mr Spriggs and Mr Dixon collaborated with Ford to design an automated vehicle glazing application that won the inaugural competition. The team had earlier been successful in the first round to gain a place in the finals.
An industry judging panel was impressed with the students’ technical knowledge and ability to answer in-depth questions about their proposal.
Another Deakin University team also gained a place in the finals with their design of an automated process for combining metal parts safely and efficiently. The judges said the decision of the ultimate winner was a difficult one.
Mr Dixon said he was surprised to win the competition, although he and Mr Spriggs had worked hard on their submission.
“We weren’t expecting to win, but we’re really happy with the result,” Mr Dixon said.
“We put in a lot of work, particularly into our budget. I think that something that we did that set us apart was going around to businesses and tendering to suppliers for parts, which we submitted with our entry,” he said. “By spending the time and effort to do this, I think we improved our submission.”
Mr Spriggs is studying the Mechatronics and Robotics stream of the Bachelor of Engineering at Deakin’s Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds, while Mr Dixon is studying the Electronics stream.
Associate Head of School of Engineering and Information Technology Prof Saeid Nahavandi congratulated the students on their success and said the win reflected the practical emphasis of Deakin’s Engineering course.
“At Deakin, we equip our students with relevant theories augmented by hands-on learning in our Engineering course and I think that has provided Deakin’s winning team with the practical skills to develop an excellent entry for the competition,” Prof Nahavandi said.
“We believe it is very important to be able to apply the theoretical knowledge that the students learn in class to the real life workplace, and that is what this competition reinforced. Creating such job ready graduates makes all the difference”.
The competition aims to provide students with the opportunity to work with industry to design robotics equipment that can be applied by manufacturers. It follows the successful Formula SAE competition for which Engineering (Mechanical) students design a race car.
Entries for the robotics competition were assessed on the savings generated, innovation, safety, likelihood of success and presentation skills.
A DEAKIN Architecture graduate has designed an eye-catching beach house clad from top to bottom in corrugated steel. Marc Dixon’s creation has drawn the attention of corporate leader Colorbond for its creative solutions to financial and environmental restraints.
The house was designed by Mr Dixon, who graduated from Deakin University’s Architecture course in 1989, as a result of a brief to create an inexpensive and environmentally responsible beach house.
Those specifications have been met with the stylish beach house in Walkerville, Victoria, which blends in perfectly with the surrounding bushland. The house is narrow, two-storey, just 3.9 metres wide, with bedrooms and bathrooms downstairs and lounge, dining and kitchen upstairs, which utilise the view of the surrounding countryside.
Mr Dixon graduated from Architecture at Deakin University in 1989.
DEAKIN University student Jane Cullum tackled a plant disease that has made a negative economic and environmental impact around the world in an award-winning poster.
Ms Cullum’s poster addressed the responses of native plants to the disease. She was awarded the student poster prize at the 16th Biennial Australasian Plant Pathology Society Conference in Adelaide in September as a result of her work. The prize included $300 prizemoney and membership to the society.
“It [the poster] basically covered the cellular responses of native plants to the pathogen and the optimisation of a Zea mays (corn) pathosystem which will enable future molecular analysis,” she said.
Ms Cullum drew on knowledge of plant species that were resistant to the disease in her research, comparing their responses to infection with highly susceptible plants. In her poster, Ms Cullum explained that the research provided a fundamental step towards the preservation of vulnerable species.
Ms Cullum is currently undertaking her PhD in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences at Deakin University.
The 1st International Symposium on Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Technology
December 5, 2007
RFID 2007 will be held in conjunction with the 3rd International conference on Intelligent Sensors, Sensor Networks and Information Processing (ISSNIP 2007).
Research Challenges and Industry Perspectives
Kate Smith-Miles, Deakin University
Full Registration: 150 AUD
For online registration and more details
The Langham Hotel, Melbourne
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology enables the non-contact, automatic and unique identification of objects and people using radio waves. As the need for auto identification (auto-ID) systems becomes increasingly common place in many economic sectors, potential RFID applications include homeland security (RFID enabled passports), e-business (RFID enabled credit cards), e-cash (RFID enabled bank notes) and automated supply chain management. It is estimated that the RFID market in the United States alone, including systems and services will be worth US$3 billion in 2010 increasing to around US$26.9 billion by 2015. However, there are significant research challenges that still need to be addressed before the widespread adoption of RFID technology.
The main purpose of this symposium is to serve as a forum that brings together RFID researchers and practitioners from academia, industry and government to discuss recent developments in RFID systems and technology. This platform will serve to identify key research challenges in the design, operation, analysis, practical application and optimization of RFID systems that are relevant from an industry-oriented perspective. The symposium will feature international experts from industry and government who will provide valuable insight into RFID research going forward. Topics covered will include RFID technologies, standards, security and privacy, strategic issues, applications and information management.
Gordon Buchan, IBM
For more information please contact
Dr. Robin Doss
Professor Peter Cullen, one of Australia’s most eminent thinkers, will head a stellar line-up of speakers as Deakin University explores new ways to create a sustainable future.
Professor Cullen, a member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, will join with Deakin's own Professor Geoff Wescott and Dr Anne Wallis in the public forum entitled:
YES IT IS UNSUSTAINABLE BUT IT IS NOT MY FAULT
To be held at St Michael's Church, 120 Collins Street, Melbourne at 6pm on Tuesday, October 9.
"We are thrilled that Professor Cullen has agreed to take part," said Professor David Stokes, Deakin's Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research).
"He has become an important voice, not just in Australia but globally, as we try to grapple with issues like climate change, the lack of water and creating industries that are sustainable.
"Quite obviously, and as the title of the forum suggests, much of our current lifestyle in Australia is unsustainable.
"The big thing for us all now, from individuals to major corporations, is to come up with new ways of thinking so that we can enjoy our current way of living, but without it costing the earth."
Admission is free and bookings are not essential.
For further information about the forum, ring (03) 5223 2918.
Researchers at Deakin University have found that diesel exhaust is far more damaging tour health than exhaust from biodiesel, the plant-based fuel.
Associate Professor Leigh Ackland, Associate Head of Deakin’s School of Life and Environmental Sciences, led a team of researchers who compared the effects of diesel exhaust and biodiesel exhaust on human airway cells. They found that diesel exhaust damaged and killed the cells, while biodiesel exhaust had little effect.
“Australia’s escalating need for fuel is posing a major health problem,” Associate Professor Ackland said.
“The fumes from burning fuels, including diesel, contributes to pollution and can cause heart disease, bronchitis and asthma. Efforts are underway to replace petrol and diesel with cleaner biofuels, such as biodiesel, but there is considerable resistance to this.
“This study provides clear evidence that diesel exhaust is more harmful tour health than biodiesel exhaust.”
As it is not possible to study in real time what happens in the real human airway, the researchers conducted their research on human airway cells grown in a culture. The cells were exposed to the particulate matter emitted in diesel and biodiesel exhaust fumes.
“Particulate matter is the burnt material, including carbon particles, emitted into the air. This particulate matter is part of biodiesel and diesel fumes but the particles produced from biodiesel were much less damaging to the cells than particles produced from diesel,” Associate Professor Ackland explained.
“Our research found that the particulate matter from diesel exhaust stimulated a ‘death pathway’ response that the body uses to dispose of damaged cells. This response caused the airway cells to fuse together and die.
“We saw hardly any cell death after treatment with biodiesel particulates.”
Associate Professor Ackland said that the results of the study provide support for calls to move towards replacing petrol and diesel with cleaner biofuels.
“It is clear that breathing in diesel fumes is going to have a far more detrimental effect on our health than biodiesel. Given the level of cell death we have found, diesel exhaust could be the cause of respiratory disorders such as asthma and could even be implicated in cancer,” she said.
The study has been published in the latest edition of the international journal Immunology and Cell Biology.
Wool clothes that change colour in the sun and provide protection from harmful UV rays could be the next fashion trend thanks to new research at Deakin University.
Tong Cheng, a PhD student with Deakin’s Centre for Material and Fibre Innovation, has developed for the first time a way of colouring wool with photochromic dye.
Photochromic products undergo a colour change when exposed to UV radiation. Photochromic dyes and wool are incompatible when applied by traditional dyeing methods.
Miss Cheng, under the super of Deakin’s Drs Tong Lin and Rex Brady, has created a polymer that holds the photochromic dye and is then applied to the surface of wool fibres.
“Tong Cheng had to solve some very challenging technical issues to get to this stage,” Dr Brady said.
The special polymer contains a huge number of tiny pores for trapping the dye.
“Tong Cheng had to ensure that the pores in the polymer were just the right size—if they were too large, for example, the dye would seep out. It was also important that the polymer allowed the colour change for the dye to take place quickly—this she has achieved,” Dr Brady explained.
To ensure marketability of any clothes produced with this technique, the polymer should not interfere with the feel of the wool and must be durable and colour fast.
“It is impossible to notice the difference between normal wool fabric and fabric coated with the polymer,” Miss Cheng said. “The fabric maintains its softness and drape and the colour is preserved when washed.”
Wool fabrics are both luxurious and comfortable. Gone are the days when wool garments were regarded as traditional and old-fashioned items.
“It is exciting to be able to work on new techniques to extend the range of possibilities for wool garments,” Miss Cheng said.
“We could soon be seeing wool T-shirts that only reveal their patterns when worn outside or in a disco with black lights. Having patterns appear this way also opens up novel marketing and fashion opportunities.”
Miss Cheng said that an unexpected bonus with the polymer coating was its UV protection quality.
“We have found that the polymer absorbs harmful UV rays in sunlight,” Miss Cheng said. “When applied to wool, these polymers enhance the natural UV absorption of the fibre, further increasing the SPF (Sun Protection Factor) afforded by wool garments. Initial tests have shown these rays are almost totally blocked.”
Miss Cheng’s research has been funded by the China-Australia Wool Innovation Network (CAWIN) program — a partnership between Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) and Deakin University.
The significance of her work has been recognised with two recent awards—Materials Australia’s prestigious 2006 Borland Forum Award and the 2007 AWI/DWI Award for Excellence in Wool Science.
INFORMATION Technology jobs have skyrocketed, according to the number of positions advertised on popular job-search internet sites.
On August 17, SEEK at www.seek.com.au advertised 29,040 IT and Telecommunication positions in Australia, well above the number in all other areas.
An investigation of the areas the jobs are listed in reveals the jobs are often in new areas of software development using .NET and J2EE and wireless and mobile computing. In particular, jobs in Melbourne in the analyst/programmer category were:
Deakin University has developed the IT (Web and Mobile Technologies) course to meet demand for professionals in this area. The course provides students with the skills to develop the software, applications and system for the web and mobile world.
Professor of Computing Andrzej M. Goscinski said the course offered both broad IT knowledge and specific web and mobile technologies skills.
The course addresses distributed systems and applications, computer networks, Web applications and development, mobile application development, Web and mobile technologies use in organisations, and computer security. Students are taught and learn how to build software in the object oriented environment such as .NET and J2EE environments, program in object oriented languages C#, Java and SQL, XML, use Oracle, and how to develop Web Services that communicate using SOAP. Thus, our students can satisfy the Analyst/Programmer category straightforwardly.
“The skills and knowledge acquired over the duration of the course will allow graduates to start their professional life immediately,” Professor Goscinski said. “Graduates are highly employable,”
Deakin students can choose to study web and mobile technologies as a specialism (IT (Web and Mobile Technologies) or as a major in the Bachelor of Information Technology.
DEAKIN University researchers aim to use science to reduce the impact of pollution and improve quality of life in China. Deakin’s Professor Frank Stagnitti and Associate Professor Leigh Ackland have developed a collaborative partnership with the Institute of Applied Ecology at the Chines Academy of Science in Shenyang.
They visited China in June to meet with colleagues and formalise their working arrangement. The group will work on soil remediation and study the health effects of pollution.
During their visit to China, Professor Stagnitti and Associate Professor Ackland also visited Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Shenyang University to present research seminars, tour laboratories and field sites and explore new joint research programs.
Associate Professor Ackland said the visit enabled the researchers to see first-hand the effects of pollution. “We made visits to several field sites to witness the consequences of environmental pollution, caused by human activities,” she said.
This included a trip to Inner Mongolia, plagued with desertification, where winds blew topsoil all the way to Japan and a field site where soil was contaminated by cadmium, a by-product of sewage and industrial effluent.
The Deakin research team will work with Chinese researchers to determine how cadmium is processed by plants and find the most effective means of using plants for bioremediation.
Assistant Professor Ackland said the collaborative partnership offered an opportunity to help use science in a practical way to tackle pollution. “As the pollution problem is so great in China, there is a great sense of being able to use science to improve peoples’ lives,” she said.
The Faculty of Science and Technology’s Industry-Based Learning Program
DEAKIN University student Jarred Spriggs had not considered using his Engineering degree as a platform for work in the pharmaceutical industry. But after completing an industry placement with Business Biotics Group, he has learnt how his skills can be utilised in a whole new way.
Mr Spriggs, a fourth year Engineering (Robotics) and IT student, completed a three-month placement as a project engineer with Business Biotics Group, a pharmaceutical engineering company. During his placement he was involved in the analyst and procurement of pharmaceutical equipment, facility design and testing of equipment.
“It was challenging and very different to what I had done before, which made it very enjoyable,” he said. “I really enjoyed seeing the results of my hard work, when machinery that I had helped design was being used.”
Deakin University’s Industry Based Learning program is enabling students like Mr Spriggs discover new career pathways and gain a better of understanding of life in their future workplaces.
The program is available to high achieving students with paid placements available for three, six or 12 months. IBL students were also invited to a special professional development program on July 9 and 10. The two-day program involved sessions on time management, customer service, business writing, and a range of other topics, run by corporate thinking specialists.
Mr Spriggs said that the IBL program had given him a new confidence in his ability and introduced him to a different way of using his Engineering skills in industry.
“I see the IBL program as a stepping stone to where I want to go,” he said. “When I first started my Engineering degree I didn’t realise that jobs like this existed, so it has made me aware of the options that are available. I feel much more confident now.”
Barwon Water’s Denise Sheean said both students and the organisation had benefited from participating in the IBL program.
“The benefits for us have been that we have hosted people who have plenty of initiative, even though they might not have had workplace experience,” Ms Sheean said. “We have found that they have been well trained and fit into the organisation well.”
Students at Barwon Water have undertaken work including software development and implementing a new project.
“Students at Barwon Water have undertaken software development work on existing applications and have also designed and implemented a new software project,” she said.
IBL website: www.deakin.edu.au/sebe/students/wil/ibl
GRADUATES of Deakin’s Property and Real Estate course will enter an industry worth an estimated $1,705.4 billion in Australia in 2004.
The constructed environment constitutes 44 per cent of the country’s net worth, therefore property and real estate is critical to Australia's prosperity. It also plays a vital role in sustainable development through efficient resource usage.
As well as focussing on the economic opportunities available in the industry, the course will draw on Deakin University’s world-class research in sustainable building.
The commercial building sector generates almost 10 per cent of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. At a global level, buildings use 32 per cent of world resources, 12 per cent of water consumption, 40 per cent of waste to landfill and produce 40 percent of air and greenhouse gas emissions.
One way of reducing the economic and environmental cost of building is to retrofit existing buildings, rather than depending on demolition and construction. Deakin students will learn about new methods and options for retrofitting buildings to ensure that existing structures can be utilised to reduce the environmental impact and improve cost-effectiveness of the industry.
Property and real estate is critical to Australia’s prosperity and its contribution to sustainable development through efficient resource usage. The Bachelor of Property and Real Estate is a three-year full-time equivalent degree beginning in 2008 at Deakin’s Melbourne Campus at Burwood. An honours program is also available.
SECONDARY school students will find out how to turn their favourite pastime into a career in special games workshops at Deakin University between July 10 and 12.
The workshops at the Melbourne Campus at Burwood will introduce 25 students to the possibility of a career in games through Deakin’s Information Technology (Games Design and Development) course
Participants will learn about games styles and genres, design issues and technologies used in computer game development during the workshops.
Games Design and Development Deputy Leader Dr Michael Hobbs said the workshops aim to introduce computer games whizzes to the potential of turning their passion into a career.
“The popularity of computer games has increased dramatically over recent times, with global sales of computer game software reaching $US30 billion per annum,” Dr Hobbs said.
“Through these workshops we aim to provide students with an understanding of the game design and development process so that they can decide whether they would like to pursue a career in this exciting and ever-evolving field in the future.”
Dr Hobbs said Electronic Arts research revealed that 53 per cent of Australians and a huge 60 per cent of Americans regularly played computer games.
“There is a high demand for games professionals and graduates of Deakin’s Games Design and Development course have the opportunity to benefit from the booming computer graphics market,” he said.
A highlight of the workshops will be the use of Deakin’s cutting-edge Motion Capture Lab, which is used to produce high quality motion in animation and can be applied to 3D characters.
Interview and photograph opportunity: 9.30am-2pm, Thursday, July 12, Deakin University Melbourne Campus at Burwood, Building T.
LEXIE the test-tube corgi is a popular special guest in Deakin University’s Physiology classes. The four-year-old is an example of a relatively rare breed resulting from an international exchange of genes using frozen semen, with her father from Southern California and her mother from Melbourne.
Lecturer Jan West takes her dog, Lexie, to classes once a year to illustrate the reproductive process in an unusual, real-life application. She said the visit helped reinforce students’ understanding of reproduction principles that they have learnt with the human system.
“There are a lot of differences between a human and a dog’s reproductive systems, but basically it is the same. This “live” example of test tube reproduction gets the students to revise what they have learnt about human ovulation and the development process,” Dr West said. “We compare the dog’s reproductive system to that of humans and then track the development of the puppies.”
Dr West explains the process of producing a “test tube” corgi was a complex one that required a detailed knowledge of reproduction, as well as abiding the quarantine laws for importing into Australia. Before Lexie was born, her mother’s progesterone levels had to be monitored regularly to determine when ovulation has occurred. Semen, which has been shipped from America, and stored at Monash Veterinary Clinic, was then surgically implanted.
The corgi was one of a litter of three puppies born in Melbourne four years ago. Since then, she has become accustomed to taking centre stage, having attended the lecture for the past three years. Lexie’s mum has been named Grand Champion at dog shows and appeared on the tele program Harry’s Practice.
Dr West said the students had enjoyed Lexie’s visits in the past three years that she had been a guest in the classes.
“I always tell them that there’s going to be a guest in class, but I don’t tell them who, or what, it is,” she said. “The students get a bit of a kick out of it.”
The “test tube” method (artificial insemination using frozen semen) of breeding rare or endangered breeds or species is gradually becoming more popular as an alternative to sending the animals across the globe.
“It is a rather new technology, but it avoids shipping animals around,” Dr West said. “As well as protecting these breeds, the process diversifies the gene pool to create greater genetic diversity.”
Lexie’s litter brother Oliver has produced puppies using the same technology in New Zealand, Southern California and Florida. An article about Lexie’s story appears in the Year 12 text book Nature of Biology. One of the authors is Prof Marjory Martin, an Honorary Professor here at Deakin.
IT MIGHT sound like science fiction, but Deakin University senior lecturer Matthew Joordens aims to create swarms of robots that can explore the underwater world.
In June, Mr Joordens will travel to the US to develop underwater swarm robots that he hopes will be used in marine investigations in the future. The term ‘swarm’ refers to robots that work together. This provides back-up for a project if one robot is damaged.
Mr Joordens will work overseas on the PhD project for eight months to further develop the cutting-edge robotics technology. A form of swarm robotics is already used in projects on the ground, but it is much more difficult to design robots that can operate cooperatively underwater.
“We can’t use radio underwater so communication is difficult,” he said. “We can’t use Global Positioning Systems, either, so we have to be able to locate them underwater another way.”
Sonar and close range video technology have provided solutions to these problems.
“Another difficulty is that you have currents pushing the robot – it’s a bit like flying, but in a denser medium.”
Mr Joordens said he hoped to build on the underwater robots he had already created to make cooperative robots that operated without human intervention.
The robots have the potential to be used commercially on projects such as inspecting oil rigs, the bottom of boats and harbours in the future.
“The project is in its infancy, but we want to design robots that have ability to act autonomously underwater, gathering information that they can bring back to the surface.”
A specially-designed pool is being built at the University of Texas for Mr Joordens to carry out his research. The underwater swarm robotics project is part of Mr Joordens PhD studies. He will be assisted in his research by students at the American university.
Mr Joordens has worked extensively in Robotics and Mechatronics at Deakin University. Diving is one of his hobbies, and he is happy to combine both of his pursuits in developing the underwater robots.
Deakin International in conjunction with the Faculty of Science and Technology recently held a dinner In Malaysia for Alumni members to celebrate the 30 year anniversary of the University.
Held in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday 17 May 2007, at the Sao Nam Vietnamese Restaurant, the theme of the evening was 'Remembering the Good Times: Celebrating 30 Years of Deakin University'.
A Deakin International spokesperson believed that the dinner was a great night.
'The event was an outstanding success, with over 65 Deakin graduates from the years 1979 to 2006 attending, as well as Deakin staff. We were at capacity in terms of numbers. I think the Alumni enjoyed reliving many old memories during the night and catching up with old classmates.'
"We are also indebted to our sponsors for donating our door prizes and special thanks should also go out to Alumnus Mr Ronald Leong, former President of the Deakin University Alumni Malaysia, who helped to organise the event from Kuala Lumpur.'
Ms Susan Ang, Associate Lecturer and International Academic Liaison from the Deakin University School of Architecture and Building, was a guest speaker at the event.
Ms Ang spoke about her fascinating journey from an international student studying at Deakin University in the eighties to her current position as Associate Lecturer in the School of Architecture and Building.
Alumni members in attendance were given a swag of Deakin 'goodies' as a mementos, with over 20 door prizes won throughout the night.
THE secret lives of powerful owls in parks around Greater Melbourne are set to be uncovered later this month. Deakin University PhD student Bronwyn Isaac will monitor owls’ movements using Global Positioning System tracking technology.
The study aims to determine the size of the species’ home range along a forest to urban gradient across Greater Melbourne. Data collected during the tracking will reveal the habitats that are important for the survival of these top order predators. It will also expose the predator/prey relationships between the owl and its predominant prey species.
It will be the first time in Australia that GPS transmitters have been used to monitor the movements of any owl species. Sites for the study will include highly urbanised parks, urban fringe parks and forested areas.
Ms Isaac said the study aimed to provide more accurate information on the movements of the species that is classified as ‘rare’ in Victoria and ‘threatened’ in Melbourne.
“In the past, it was thought that the powerful owl only dwelled in forested environments, but now this species is also appearing in urban environments. The next step is to understand why they are moving into urban areas,’’ she said.
“It’s astounding that a top order predator such as the powerful owl can live in areas that have been modified so intensely. This research will give us a better idea of the parts of that habitat that are important to them. We are also interested in investigating why they are not breeding in urban areas.’’
Tracking began at the end of April, in which Ms Isaac attached GPS transmitters onto the owls. It is expected to take between 12 and 18 months to gather sufficient data to investigate the owls’ movements.
Ms Isaac’s PhD research will be titled, ‘The Spatial Geology of Top Order Predators’ and most of her field research will be carried out at night when the owls are most active.
For more information, please contact Mandi O’Garretty from the Deakin University Media Unit on 5227 2776.
THEY weigh less than 1kg and span just 20cm, but they are still sumos, according to a Deakin University competition.
Deakin’s fourth year Mechatronics and Robotics students competed in the annual sumo robotics competition on May 21.
The robots were been built during the semester under strict specifications; they must weigh-in under 1kg, be less than 20cm x 20cm x 30 cm (tall) and cost less than $100 to build.
During the event they were placed on a sumo wrestling-style platform from which they attempted to push each other off, without falling off themselves.
Faculty of Science and Technology senior lecturer Matthew Joordens said the success of the robots depended on a range of factors.
“They need to be able to sense each other and follow each other’s movements, have the strength to push each other off, and be able to detect the edge of the arena,” he said. “They must also be completely autonomous.”
“The students really enjoy this activity because it has got the competitive factor,” he said.
SUSTAINABILITY and climate change were the hot topics at this year’s Faculty of Science and Technology Hot Research Breakfast.
The annual breakfast on May 4 was held to highlight the innovative research being carried out at Deakin University.
Civic, manufacturing, education and mining leaders in the Geelong community were among the guests at the event.
Associate professor Andrew Bennett, professor Craig Langston and senior lecturer Bronwyn Fox all touched upon environmental issues in speeches about their cutting-edge research.
Mr Bennett from the School of Life and Environmental Sciences drew the audience’s attention to the plight of woodland birds and the impact of landscape change on these species.
School of Architecture and Building professor Langston spoke about his studies of 30 Melbourne buildings and his new method in predicting the amount of energy different buildings would expend over the next 100 years.
Centre for Material and Fibre Innovation senior lecturer Dr Fox spoke about her work with carbon composites and their potential to make air travel safer for the environment.
The Hot Research Breakfast was held as part of the university’s Deakin Week activities.
TESTING venom to identify snakes was one activity that introduced school students to the real-life applications of biological science at Deakin University.
The test is a valuable tool in identifying the type of anti-venom that should be administered to a snake-bite victim.
Students from Bellarine Secondary College and Newcomb Secondary College also tested cow serum to identify the presence of tetanus antibodies as part of the VCE Immunology Workshop.
The workshop was held in cooperation between Deakin and the schools to build students’ knowledge of science and promote science as a career.
School of Life and Environmental Sciences project organiser David Cahill said the workshops aimed to introduce students to the possibilities of science.
“This project brings bright and enthusiastic young people into state of the art facilities at Deakin to see how exciting biological science can be and its relevance to every day life. These students are the next generation of active researchers whom we need to attract to Deakin,” Associate Professor Cahill said.
Bellarine Secondary College teacher Steve Benge said the workshops provided about 60 participating students with the opportunity to see how science could be used in real-life situations, using scientific equipment that they otherwise would not have access to.
“This gives students the chance to see where they could be heading after they have finished their VCE,” Mr Benge said.
“In the workshop they learn from postgraduate students who are just five years older than them, and see what they’re doing.”
The workshop also aims to develop students’ scientific investigation skills, encourage creativity and problem solving and promote higher order reasoning and critical thinking.
The Deakin University and schools initiative has been made possible through a $55,000 grant as part of the Australian School Innovations in Science, Technology and Mathematics program. Mr Benge, a Deakin University honours graduate, said he would like to see the workshops extended to other schools across the region.
“It is great to be able to link educators in the area with research that is being done at Deakin,” he said.
The event was led by School of Life and Environmental Science (LES) technical staff and honours and post graduate student demonstrators.
Bellarine and Newcomb students will attend another workshop at Deakin University later in the year in which they will learn about DNA technology.
DEAKIN University students will have the opportunity to design robots that clean up the environment, fight fires, play music, fly or improve workplace efficiency in the new National Robotics Innovation Competition.
The robots designed by students for the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Australasia competition have the potential to be developed and implemented, if successful.
It is the first time the SAE, in partnership with the ABB Robotics Di, has run the robotics competition that will follow the format of the highly successful Formula SAE competition, in which students design racing cars.
In the robotics competition, students team up with local companies to identify a manufacturing process that could be improved with the help of robotics. It is mainly open to final year Engineering students, but students from other years and courses are welcome to be involved in aspects including design, simulation, control, communications, electronics, marketing and accounting.
Deakin University will compete against teams from across Australia in September, with the possibility of progressing to an international level.
As part of the competition, students will present their design to a board of directors and they will be judged on cost savings resulting from the robot, innovation, environmental impact, safety, practicality of implementing change and planning.
The winning design will be used as a new case study for the ABB robot simulation package.
Engineering and IT Associate Head of School (Research) Saeid Nahavandi said the competition gave students to contribute in a wide range of areas to the design.
"There are so many aspects of this competition that are beneficial to students," Professor Nahavandi said.
"It provides an opportunity for them to work together to create something that could eventually be used in industry."
The competition also gives students the chance to collaborate with industry to learn about the potential for robotics innovations and different challenges in the workplace
SECIA (Organization for E-Security Innovation & Awareness)
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To find Building Y, enter at gate 1 off Burwood Highway. Free parking is available immediately to your left, or from 4:30pm, in the blue marked spaces to the right. Alternatively, use the parking garage at the rear of the campus.
Get your hands dirty!
CLASSROOMS do not always have walls for Environmental Science students at Deakin. Students have the opportunity to take part in a range of field courses from Phillip Island to the Grampians, where they gain first-hand knowledge about the natural world.
During the field courses, students do not only learn about their chosen field in a fun and interactive way, but also have the opportunity to meet and spend time with their classmates.
In their first year, Wildlife and Conservation Biology and Environmental Management students visit Cape Conran Coastal Park to learn about parks management issues and wildlife conservation.
In their second year, students have the opportunity to take part in a research methods field trip to the Grampians in their second year, where they carry out experiments they have designed.
In the final year, Wildlife and Conservation Biology and Environmental Management course fieldwork opportunities culminate with a field course to the Great Otways National Park, for which students develop their own program. This might include small mammal trapping, bird surveys and sand pad research.
Similarly hands-on opportunities are available to Marine Biology students, who travel to Phillip Island to study penguins and seals and learn about managing marine wildlife. The one-week field course is held in the third year of the course.
In field courses in Marine Biology, second and third year students study a range of marine environments, including rocky shores, mangroves and salt marshes, measure water quality using Deakin’s collection of research and teaching boats and design and carry out their own projects.
Freshwater Biology and Management students contribute to environmental projects across Victoria in their third year field work unit. In this unit, they work on a specific project for one week to use the practical information they have gained in their classes to assist in the management of water resources. In the past these have included helping restore Lake Condah and studying the ecology of a wetland near Portland and estuaries in southwest Victoria.
The camps provide students with the practical knowledge and skills for their future careers.
IMAGINE a hotel in Cairns that has been designed to provide a natural escape from the heat, without the use of air conditioning. That is exactly what Deakin University graduate Cassie Southon did to win two prestigious architecture awards last week.
Cassie shared with Scott Eldridge the Royal Australian Institute of Architects (RAIA) Graduate Prize for the School of Architecture and Building, 2006, at Deakin University's Waterfront Campus last week, after she designed a hotel that minimised the need for energy-consuming air conditioning systems. She also received the Peddle Thorp Award for Design Excellence at the awards ceremony ceremony.
Cassie's design is among the award-winning work by Deakin University, University of Melbourne and RMIT graduates displayed at the Geelong Gallery until Friday, March 23.
Her graduating design project for the five-year Bachelor of Arts (Architecture)/Bachelor of Architecture program is for the Verandah Hotel in Cairns. The building's shape, materials, ventilation and orientation were designed to keep the hotel naturally cool.
Now working for a leading Australian architecture firm in Brisbane, she will continue designing environmentally sustainable buildings.
"I want to focus on designing buildings that minimise the use of energy, and that are responsive to their natural environment,'' she said.
"For my thesis I aimed to design a public building in a warm climate that didn't use too much air conditioning. It is important that buildings are a part of the larger environment.''
Cassie complemented her coursework at Deakin University with summer work at an architecture firm in Bairnsdale.
The projects ‘Three Houses (at Portland)' by her equally talented fellow student, Scott Eldridge, who shared the coveted graduation prize is also displayed at the Geelong Art Gallery.
Scott worked for one of Geelong's most imaginative architects before also taking up a lucrative position in Queensland.
Architecture and Building Head of School Judith Trimble said she is impressed by the calibre of the students' work.
She encouraged members of the public to view the exhibition of work by graduate prize-winners from all three architecture academies at the Geelong Art Gallery until Friday, March 23, and then at Deakin University's Waterfront Campus gallery on level four for two weeks.
THE Boost mentoring program is taking off again this year in the School of Architecture and Building, following the success of its inaugural year in 2006.
The program is divided into two categories: Boost Enlighten for new students and Boost Inspire for continuing students. In Boost Englighten students who are new to the school are mentored by Second and Third Year students. The mentors support about five students each as they begin their studies at Deakin. This involves a networking event and informal contact throughout the year.
Coordinator and associate lecturer Susan Ang trains mentors and encourages them to keep a log book of students' concerns and issues. "In the first two weeks they have already asked questions about things like their workload, possibly combining their coursework with a part-time job, and that sort of thing," she said.
"While mentors can't do their homework for them, they can offer them some pointers, like reading ahead, not leaving their assignments until the last minute, and good coping strategies. Our mentors have volunteered to be part of the program, and I've been really impressed by their contribution."
The Boost Enlighten mentoring support is offered by the university's industry partners to students from their second year in Architecture and Built Environment courses. Allocated mentors from Boost's Registry of Professional Mentors offer guidance, support and friendship to provide students with insight into the world of practitioners and the profession.
Students studying Architecture and Built Environment courses who are interested in the program should visit the school's website at http://www.deakin.edu.au/sebe/a+b for more information.
INFORMATION Technolgoy sparked Sophie Nichols' interest when she was still at school. She thrived in her IT course at Deakin University and has now undertaken her PhD in creative support systems. Unfortunately, Sophie is among a minority of women who study IT or Engineering at university.
Deakin is attempting to turn that around by launching its Initiative for a Girds' Network in Information Technology & Engineering @ Deakin (IGNITED) in March. The initiative provides mentoring for female students from current students, industry leaders and academic staff. The highest-scoring VCE student entering each Engineering and IT stream at Deakin, ranging from IT Security to Robotics and Mechatronics, also received a $10,000 scholarship through the program.
Engineering and IT Head of School Kate Smith-Miles said Deakin aimed to create more awareness of the benefits of entering the industries.
"Nationally, there are less than 25% female students in IT degrees and 15% female students in engineering degrees at Australian universities. The interesting thing is that when women do embark on careers in engineering and IT, they are usually very successful, working their way into management roles very quickly. This is possibly due to the extra non-technical skills that women are often very good at, such as communication, team work, relationship building and project management."
"It is really critical that we encourage more high achieving female students to consider Engineering and IT degrees. Women represent 50 per cent of the population, and given the growing skills shortages in these industries, we cannot continue to have women so under-represented in the workforce," Professor Smith-Miles said.
On Tuesday 13th March Dr Jenny Martin Lecturer in Zoology, University of Melbourne
Program for upcoming seminars:
Wanted: Race Car Team
THE impact of the annual influx of tourists into coastal towns was the topic of Deakin associate professor Geoff Wescott's speech at the Sustainable Living Festival at Federation Square last month (February).
Life and Environmental Sciences professor Wescott said his speech titled Sea Change and Sustainability aimed to highlight the potential impacts caused to the coast by tourists each summer as part of the widely discussed "sea change" phenomenon. He said the effects of day visitors were potentially more significant than the population movement of permanent residents to the coast.
"A problem is that if we were to build facilities to cater for all of the people who come for a total of, say, two weeks a year, these facilities would be left underutilised for the other 50 weeks of the year," he said.
"We might build car parks, toilet blocks, roads and shops to cope for a short time and it's costing the environment and local councils. Places like the Surf Coast that are a day trip from Melbourne are particularly confronted by the problem."
Professor Wescott also spoke about the serious issue of rising sea levels.
"Most of the country is preoccupied with the drought, but 85 per cent of Australians are living on the coast and it is predicted that the sea level will rise by half a metre within this century. In the event of a high tide and an offshore storm, that could become a real problem."
He said courses at Deakin that included Coastal Management units and the national Sea Change Taskforce were helping to address the issues, but more attention was needed.
"Let's hope the discussion of the impacts of climate change last well beyond when the current drought breaks," he said.
He also spoke about the issue of sea change and sustainability on SBS News.
Students Construct their Own Game
A World of Design at Deakin
ONE graduate of Deakin Architecture worked on the redevelopment of Wembley Stadium in London. Another carried out similar work in Shanghai, and closer to home at the MCG.
Deakin will this year build on the international success our students are experiencing with the introduction of a five-year Master of Architecture degree. It is the first time the Bachelor of Design (Architecture)/Master of Architecture format has been offered in a Victorian university.
The new program means that graduating students will leave after five years armed with a Master degree that will boost their employment opportunities, whether in Australia or overseas.
Another benefit for Deakin graduates will be the program's focus on hands-on architecture and design experience from the start of their studies. While elsewhere students wait until their third year to learn specifically about architecture, students in the Bachelor of Design (Architecture)/Master of Architecture program will design and build their own models and respond to professional architectural briefs from day one.
The hands-on format has long been a successful part of Deakin's Architecture course. In 2006 first year students gained an international perspective while gaining hands-on experience in one of their early assignments in which they were asked to create a model Mediterranean village building out of limestone.
By the third year of the course the small-scale designs have grown to include high-rise buildings, illustrating complex issues in architecture and design, including price, materials, energy use, aesthetics, and cultural issues.
Both the international design and major project experience are a taste of the potential the future could hold for graduates of Architecture at Deakin.
Challenging Perceptions – The Science and Engineering Challenge
STUDENTS from across the Geelong region will converge on Deakin University for the Science and Engineering Challenge on April 30 and May 1.
The region's reigning champions from the past two years, Oberon High School, will be among more than 400 students expected to compete in the event at the Waurn Ponds Campus.
During the event students will take part in science and engineering-based activities with the chance to compete against other schools Australia-wide. The challenge is held in rounds across the country before the top eight schools compete in the Grand Challenge Gold final at the end of the year. Last year, Oberon won the state final and only missed out on the national title by a narrow margin, settling for second place. This year the college will be aiming to go one better.
The Science and Engineering Challenge was first held at University of Newcastle seven years ago to introduce students, mainly in Year 10, to the possibilities of science and engineering. In the challenge, activities including building a catapult and crash testing model cars, aim to show students that science and engineering can be fun.
For more information on the Science and Engineering Challenge at Deakin contact Natalie Quick on 5227 2367.