Seminars and workshops

IISRI regularly hosts, attends and presents at seminars presented by the Victorian chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society (SMC). These seminars are a major source of information, inspiration and collaboration. Whether you're a student, academic or simply curious, we encourage you to attend too.

About the IEEE and the SMC

The IEEE is an association comprised of engineers and scientists. The SMC aim to serve the interests of its members and the community at large by promoting the theory, practice and interdisciplinary aspects of systems science and engineering, human-machine systems and cybernetics.

Upcoming IEEE SMC seminars and workshops

The IEEE SMC seminars feature fascinating topics, showcased by world leaders in the field. You'll hear about the latest innovations from some of the world's most impressive researchers and academics.

Title: “IEEE SMC Victorian Chapter/EMBS Presentation on Delivering Bionic Technologies That Improve Human Health"
Speaker: Robert  Klupacs, CEO Bionics Institute and A/Prof James Fallon, Research Director
Venue: IISRI Seminar Room, Building NA,
Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation
Deakin University, Waurn Ponds, Geelong, Australia
Time: 12 pm
Date: Friday, 27 July 2018


PDF Delivering Bionic Technologies That Improve Human Health.pdf253.2KB Delivering Bionic Technologies That Improve Human Health

Past IEEE SMC Victorian Chapter seminars

State-of-the-Art Neurodynamic Optimization: Past, Present, and Prospects

Speaker: By Professor Jun Wang, Department of Computer Science, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Date: Monday, 14 August 2017
Time: 1.00 pm – 2.00 pm 
Venue: Deakin University, Waurn Ponds, Geelong, Australia - Room na1.417, GTP building (Ground Floor)

Jun Wang is Chair Professor of Computational Intelligence in the Department of Computer Science at City University of Hong Kong. Prior to this position, he held various academic positions at Dalian University of Technology, Case Western Reserve University, University of North Dakota, and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He also held various short-term visiting positions at USAF Armstrong Laboratory, RIKEN Brain Science Institute, Dalian University of Technology, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, and Shanghai Jiao Tong University (Changjiang Chair Professor). He received a B.S. degree in electrical engineering and an M.S. degree in systems engineering from Dalian University of Technology and his Ph.D. degree in systems engineering from Case Western Reserve University. His current research interests include neural networks and their applications. He has published over 200 journal papers, 15 book chapters, 11 edited books, and numerous conference papers in these areas. He is Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Transactions on Cybernetics. He also served as Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks (1999-2009), IEEE Transactions on Cybernetics and its predecessor (2003-2013), and IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics – Part C (2002–2005), and as a member of the editorial board of Neural Networks (2012-2014), editorial advisory board of International Journal of Neural Systems (2006-2013. He was an organizer of several international conferences such as General Chair of the 13th International Conference on Neural Information Processing (2006) and the 2008 IEEE World Congress on Computational Intelligence, and Program Chair of the IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics (2012). He is an IEEE Fellow, IAPR Fellow, and  IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Society Distinguished Lecturer (2017-2018), and was  IEEE Computational Intelligence Society Distinguished Lecturer (2010-2012, 2014-2016). In addition, he served as President of Asia Pacific Neural Network Assembly (APNNA) in 2006 and in many organizations such as IEEE Fellow Committee; IEEE Computational Intelligence Society Awards Committee; IEEE Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society Board of Governors.  He is a recipient of  IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks Outstanding Paper Award and APNNA Outstanding Achievement Award in 2011, Neural Networks Pioneer Award from IEEE Computational Intelligence Society in 2014, among others.


As an important tool for scientific research and engineering applications, optimization is omnipresent in a wide variety of settings. It is computationally challenging when optimization procedures need to be performed in real time to optimize the performance of dynamical systems. For such applications, classical optimization techniques may not be competent due to the problem dimensionality and stringent requirement on computational time. New paradigms are required. One very promising approach to dynamic optimization is to apply artificial neural networks. Because of the inherent nature of parallel and distributed information processing in neural networks, the convergence rate of the solution process does not decrease as the size of the problem increases. This talk will present state-of-the-art of neurodynamic optimization models and selected applications. Specifically, starting with the idea and motivation of neurodynamic optimization, this talk will review the historic science and practice and present state-of-the-art neurodynamic optimization with many individual models for convex and generalized convex optimization. In addition, it will present a multiple-time-scale neurodynamic approach to selected constrained optimization. Finally, population-based collaborative neurodynamic approaches to constrained distributed and global optimization will be discussed.  By deploying a population of individual neurodynamic models with diversified initial states at a lower level coordinated by using some global search and information exchange rules based on swarm intelligence at an upper level, it will be shown that many constrained global optimization problems could be solved effectively and efficiently.

Unlocking the art of technical writing: From journal papers to competitive grants

Speaker: Dr. Khashayar Khoshmanesh, School of Engineering, RMIT University, Melbourne VIC 3001, Australia
Date: Monday, 19 June 2017
Time: 2.00 pm – 3.30 pm 
Venue: Deakin University, Waurn Ponds, Geelong, Australia - Room na1.417, GTP building (Ground Floor)

Dr. Khashayar Khoshmanesh received his PhD in Biomechanical Engineering from Deakin University, Australia in 2010. He is currently a Senior Research Fellow at RMIT University’s School of Engineering.

Khashayar leads a group of PhD students, working on microfluidic based lab-on-a-chip devices, and miniaturised soft actuators made of liquid metal. He is the named author of 75 journal papers, and the recipient of several awards, fellowships and ARC discovery grants.

This presentation aims to assist post-graduate students and junior research fellows in writing journal papers. A journal paper is divided into twelve sections, and the aims, significance and configuration of each section will be discussed through several examples.

In particular, this presentation aims to address the following questions:

  • How to write the Abstract?
  • How to structure the Introduction?
  • How to present the Materials & Methods in an exciting manner?
  • How to configure your research Results to impress the reviewers?
  • How to get more Citations on your papers?

And more importantly:

  • How to manage your time for writing as many as Papers during your PhD?
  • What are the recipes of a successful Grant Application?

Triality: God Image for Multi-Scale Complex Systems and Unified Theory for Identifying Chaos and NP-Hardness

Title: Triality: God Image for Multi-Scale Complex Systems and Unified Theory for Identifying Chaos and NP-Hardness
Speaker: David Yang Gao, Alex Rubinov Professor of Mathematics, Federation University Australia
Date: Monday, 3 April 2017

Professor David Y. Gao received his Ph.D. in Engineering Mechanics and Applied Math from Tsinghua University. He has held research and teaching positions in different institutes including MIT, Yale, Harvard, and Virginia Tech. He moved to Australia in 2010 for his current position as the Alexander Rubinov Chair Professor in School of Applied Sciences at the Federation University Australia.

Professor Gao is the author of 14 monograph/handbook/special volumes and about 200 research papers (> 50% are single authored) on applied mathematics, theoretical and computational mechanics, global optimization and operations research etc. His main research contributions include a canonical duality-triality theory, several mathematical models in engineering mechanics and material science, a series of complete solutions to a class of nonconvex/nonsmooth/discrete problems in nonlinear sciences, and some deterministic methods/algorithms for solving certain NP-hard problems in global optimization and computational science. One application of this canonical duality theory in large deformation solid mechanics solved a 50-years open problem and leads to a pure complementary energy principle (i.e. the Gao Principle in the literature), which has broad applications in engineering mechanics and physics. One of the large deformed beam models he proposed in 1996 is now recognized as the nonlinear Gao beam which can be used to study post-buckling analysis and plays an important role in real-world applications. In discrete systems, this canonical duality theory shows that the NP-hard 0-1 integer programming problems are identical to a continuous unconstrained Lipschitzian global optimization problem which can be solved deterministically.

Professor Gao’s multidisciplinary research has been supported continuously by different programs at US National Science Foundation (NSF) and US Air Force Office for Scientific Research (AFOSR) before he moved to Australia in 2010. He is one of a few researchers in the southern hemisphere who receive research grants every year directly from the AFOSR Washington Office. Recently, Professor Gao’s canonical dualitytriality theory has been identified by AFOSR as a breakthrough research and his team has win two prestigious international grant awards with total US$600,000 for 2016-2020.

Professor Gao is an editor-in-chief for Springer book series Advances in Mechanics and Mathematics and Taylor & Francis book series Modern Mechanics and Mathematics. He is also an associate editor of about eight international journals. Since 2000, Professor Gao has delivered over 40 keynote/plenary/invited lectures at international conferences and more than 60 colloquium talks at different universities and institutions. As a chair and co-chair, he has organized successfully about 10 world congress/conferences. Currently, he is serving as the Secretary-General and Vice President of the International Society of Global Optimization.

Detailed information can be found at his web page:

Chaos in complex systems and NP-Hard problems in computer science have been studied extensively for more than fifty years, but most people may not know what the chaos really is, which problems are truly NPhard, and the inner connection of these two concepts. This lecture intends to answer these fundamental questions as well as to present a unified theory for modelling natural phenomena and a powerful methodology for solving challenging problems in multi-scale complex systems. Canonical duality is a breakthrough methodological theory, which can be used not only to model complicated phenomena within a unified framework, but also for solving a wide class of nonconvex/nonsmooth/discrete problems in multidisciplinary fields [1,2,3]. The associated triality theory reveals an interesting multi-scale duality pattern in complex systems, which can be used to identify both global and local extrema and to design powerful algorithms for solving challenging problems.

Starting from dualities in Garden of Eden and traility in DNA and quantum mechanics, the speaker will first present a unified mathematical model for multi-scale complex systems, which lays a foundation for understanding complicated phenomena in nature, including bifurcation, chaos, decision making, game theory, information technology, logistics, manufactures, phase transitions, scheduling, and management science, etc. Based on this model, he will show how a precise mathematical theory of duality was developed and why this theory can be used for solving not only the most challenging problems in chaotic dynamics and post-buckling of nonlinear structures, but also a large class of so-called “NP-hard” problems in global optimization and computer science. The inner connection between this theory and other popular methodologies, such as SDP method in nonconvex/integer programming and HQ regularization in image process, will be discussed. Applications will be illustrated by some well-known benchmark problems in global optimization, sensor networks and bi-level topology optimization of structural design. A very interesting relation between chaos in nonlinear dynamics and NP-Hardness in global optimization will be revealed.

This talk will bring some fundamental new insights into nonlinear sciences, global optimization, complex systems, and computational mathematics.

On the simulation of a complex power system

Title: On the simulation of a complex power system
Prof Tyrone Fernando, School of Electrical, Electronic & Computer Engineering, University of Western Australia
Date: Thursday, 9 February 2017

Tyrone Fernando, senior member of IEEE, obtained his bachelor of engineering with honours and the degree of doctor of philosophy from the University of Melbourne in 1990 and 1996 respectively. In 1996 he joined the School of Electrical Electronic and Computer Engineering (EECE), University of Western Australia, where he is currently a Professor and also the Director of Power and Clean Energy (PACE) research group ( He was the Associate Head of EECE in 2008 and Deputy Head of EECE in 2009 and 2010. His research interests are in power systems, renewable energy and state estimation. He has served as an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Information Technology in Biomedicine and also as Guest Editor for the journal of Optimal Control Applications and Methods. He is currently an associate editor for IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems–II and also IEEE Access.

A complex power system consists of a variety of electrical components, including generators, transmission lines, transformers, loads, battery storage systems, and power electronics devices. In this presentation, the development of a mathematical model and a computer simulation framework for a complex power system will be discussed.

Trusted Autonomy: Challenges and Opportunities for Computational Intelligence

Title: Trusted Autonomy: Challenges and Opportunities for Computational Intelligence
Speaker: Prof Paul Yielder, Chair in Medical Imaging, School of Medicine, Deakin University
Date: Thursday 2 February 2017

Hussein Abbass is a Professor of Information Technology at the University of New South Wales in Canberra (UNSW-Canberra), Australia. He is a fellow of the Australian Computer Society (FACS), a fellow of the Operational Research Society (FORS,UK); a fellow of the Australian Institute of Management (FAIM), the President of the Australian Society for Operations Research, and the Vice-president for Technical Activities (2016-2017) for the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society. He is an associate Editor of the IEEE Trans. On Evolutionary Computation, IEEE Trans. on Cybernetics, IEEE Trans. on Cognitive and Developmental Systems, IEEE Computational Intelligence Magazine, and four other journals. His current research contributes to trusted autonomy with an aim to design next generation trusted artificial intelligence systems that seamlessly integrate humans and machines. His work fuses artificial intelligence, big data, cognitive science, operations research, and robotics.

Trusted Autonomy (TA) is the wider scientific endeavour to establish the groundwork and basic research in science and engineering required to develop Trusted Autonomous Systems. Autonomous Systems are leaving the laboratory environment. Will they be used? Will they be safe? Are they ready for a harsh unpredictable environment? Are they ready to interact with humans? Can they understand humans? Can they feel humans? Can they trust humans? Will they be trusted?

More questions exist today on autonomous systems than ever before. As the technology becomes technologically mature, answers to questions on social maturity will become the decisive factor on whether or not these technologies will be allowed on the streets, in hospitals, schools, or even in the battlespace.

This talk will present on the challenges facing TA, raise questions more than answers, and offer suggestions for researchers in the field of Computational Intelligence (CI) to work on some of the key challenges in TA; explaining why it is the right time for CI techniques to showcase their utility in this fast evolving field of research

Functional Tissue Modelling Asymmetry, laterality, neural plasticity and medical imaging

Title: Functional Tissue Modelling Asymmetry, laterality, neural plasticity and medical imaging
Speaker: Prof Paul Yielder, Chair in Medical Imaging, School of Medicine, Deakin University
Date: Monday 5 December 2016

Professor Yielder is the Foundation Chair in Medical Imaging and Course Director here at Deakin University, School of Medicine.  He has an international reputation in medical imaging and neuroscience and is an active researcher and gained his PhD from Aalborg University (Denmark) with his original work having been approbated under the guidance of the State Classical Academy Moscow Russia and the Russian Academy of Science.
  His research interests include human neurosciences with emphasis on neurophysiology with a translational strategy that leads into clinical applications with patients using various advanced medical imaging modalities.

Recent research has included generating a computerized method for measuring muscle energy, using compressive and decompressive deformation of superficial skeletal muscle, in vivo, and also exploring transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) stimulus-response recruitment curve asymmetry in left and right handed individuals. A current study adopting structural MRI and tissues response modelling has developed a neuromechanical method for the analysis of whiplash injury in the neck focusing the volumetric adaptation of the Sternocleidomastoid muscle (SCM) under traumatic perturbation.

Current research involves various aspects of clinical neurophysiology. This presentation  will also contain concluding PhD project findings that assesses dysregulated hippocampal function with the investigative aim addressing whether a structured, supervised 8-12 week exercise program (in addition to antidepressant medication and cognitive behavioural therapy) can promote changes in HIPPOCAMPAL FUNCTION in depressed individuals and whether this is associated with improvements in areas of cognition, inflammatory cytokine, growth factors, cortisol, hippocampal volume and cerebral blood perfusion including fMRI technology as a potential correlative biomarker.

Internet of Things: Research and Practice (IEEE Distinguished Lecture)

Title: Professor MengChu Zhou, Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology, USA
Speaker: Professor MengChu Zhou, Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology, USA
Date: Monday 2 December 2016

Play the video

MengChu Zhou received his B.S. degree in Control Engineering from Nanjing University of Science and Technology, Nanjing, China in 1983, M.S. degree in Automatic Control from Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, China in 1986, and Ph. D. degree in Computer and Systems Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY in 1990. He joined New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), Newark, NJ in 1990, and is a Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Director of Discrete-Event Systems Laboratory. His research interests are in intelligent automation, Petri nets, Internet of Things, Web service, workflow, big data, transportation and energy systems. He has over 680 publications including 12 books, 360+ journal papers (over 260 in IEEE transactions), and 28 book-chapters. His recently co-authored/edited books include Business and Scientific Workflows: A Web Service-Oriented Approach, IEEE/Wiley, New Jersey, 2013 (with W. Tan) and Contemporary Issues in Systems Science and Engineering, IEEE/Wiley, New Jersey, 2015 (with H.-X. Li and M. Weijnen).

He was invited to lecture in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Singapore, Taiwan, and US and served as a plenary/keynote speaker for many conferences. He is the founding Editor of IEEE Press Book Series on Systems Science and Engineering. He served as Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation from 1997 to 2000 and IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering from 2004-2007, and Editor of IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering from 2008-2013. He is Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics: Systems, IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics and IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems. He served as Guest-Editor for many journals including IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics and IEEE Transactions on Semiconductor Manufacturing. He was General Chair of IEEE Conf. on Automation Science and Engineering, Washington D.C., August 23-26, 2008, General Co-Chair of 2003 IEEE International Conference on System, Man and Cybernetics (SMC), Washington DC, October 5-8, 2003, Founding General Co-Chair of 2004 IEEE Int. Conf. on Networking, Sensing and Control, Taipei, March 21-23, 2004, and General Chair of 2006 IEEE Int. Conf. on Networking, Sensing and Control, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.A. April 23-25, 2006. He was Program Chair of 2010 IEEE International Conference on Mechatronics and Automation, August 4-7, 2010, Xi’an, China, 1998 and 2001 IEEE International Conference on SMC and 1997 IEEE International Conference on Emerging Technologies and Factory Automation. He organized and chaired over 100 technical sessions and served on program committees for many conferences. Dr. Zhou has led or participated in over 50 research and education projects with total budget over $12M, funded by National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, NIST, New Jersey Science and Technology Commission, and industry. He was the recipient of NSF’s Research Initiation Award, CIM University-LEAD Award by Society of Manufacturing Engineers, Perlis Research Award and Fenster Innovation in Engineering Education Award by NJIT, Humboldt Research Award for US Senior Scientists, Leadership Award and Academic Achievement Award by Chinese Association for Science and Technology-USA, Asian American Achievement Award by Asian American Heritage Council of New Jersey, and Outstanding Contributions Award, Distinguished Lectureship, Franklin V. Taylor Memorial Award and the Norbert Wiener Award of IEEE SMC Society, and Distinguished Service Award from IEEE Robotics and Automation Society. He is founding Co-chair of Enterprise Information Systems Technical Committee (TC) and Environmental Sensing, Networking, and Decision-making TC of IEEE SMC Society. He is a member of IEEE IoT Initiative Committee and IEEE Smart City Initiative Committee. He was leading Guest-Editor for July 2016 IEEE Trans. on Automation and Science Special Section on Advances and Applications of Internet of Things for Smart Automated Systems. He serves as Chair of Steering Committee of IEEE International Conf. on Automation Science and Engineering and IEEE Int. Conf. on Networking, Sensing and Control. He has been among most highly cited scholars for years and ranked top one in the field of engineering worldwide in 2012 by Web of Science/Thomson Reuters. His Google citation count is well over 25, 000 and H-index is 72. He is a life member of Chinese Association for Science and Technology-USA and served as its President in 1999. He is Fellow of IEEE, International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC) and American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

The Victorian electrical distribution network is converting to resonant earthing in bushfire prone areas. The use of resonant earthed electrical distribution feeders with residual current compensation is a technology 'considered worth investigation' for use on Victorian Electricity Distribution feeders to reduce the possibility of fire starts. This recommendation was made by the Victorian Bushfire Taskforce, set up by the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Victoria and Energy Safe Victoria (ESV), in response to recommendation 27 of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission. This technology is characterised by its rapid response rate and extremely low residual currents that flow into a fault.

Resonant earthing systems with residual current compensation are commercially used for improving network reliability and have never been evaluated for use for its ability to reduce fire starts. The presentation shall cover the performance of preliminary testing of resonant earth systems and other technology to minimise the potential for fire starts from electrical distribution line faults.

The technology response to the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission: Using technology to reduce the probability of electricity fire starts - Graeme McClure

Title: The technology response to the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission - using technology to reduce the probability of electricity fire starts
Speaker: Graeme McClure, Principal Engineer Protection, Control and Automation, AusNet Services
Date: Monday 5 October 2015

Graeme is a technical specialist on network aspects of smart grid at AusNet Services. He is responsible for AusNet Services technology review in response to the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission. He is also the technical lead on AusNet Services self healing network, integrated Volt/Var strategy, integrating embedded generation and storage, and enhanced distribution network control. 

AusNet Services self-healing network has been in service for three years and has changed several aspects of operating the network. Distributed generation at AusNet Services ranges from wind farms to domestic solar. Many mid-sized embedded generators produce power from tip gas and water transfer. Integrated Volt Var control (IVVC) and embedded energy storage are seen as key technologies for the future.

Prior to working with AusNet Services, Graeme was employed as product development manager at Doble for Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa regions. He also previously held a position as product development manager for outdoor automated distribution switchgear at ABB in Raleigh, N.C. Graeme began his engineering career as an engineer-in-training with the State Electricity Commission of Victoria and hold a degree in electrical and mechanical engineering.

The Victorian electrical distribution network is converting to resonant earthing in bushfire prone areas. The use of resonant earthed electrical distribution feeders with residual current compensation is a technology 'considered worth investigation' for use on Victorian Electricity Distribution feeders to reduce the possibility of fire starts. This recommendation was made by the Victorian Bushfire Taskforce, set up by the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Victoria and Energy Safe Victoria (ESV), in response to recommendation 27 of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission. This technology is characterised by its rapid response rate and extremely low residual currents that flow into a fault. 

Resonant earthing systems with residual current compensation are commercially used for improving network reliability and have never been evaluated for use for its ability to reduce fire starts. The presentation shall cover the performance of preliminary testing of resonant earth systems and other technology to minimise the potential for fire starts from electrical distribution line faults.

Touch and feel the human-unreachable world: Haptic device and haptic rendering for haptic based teleoperation systems - Dr Guanyang Liu

Title: Touch and feel the human-unreachable world: haptic device and haptic rendering for haptic based teleoperation systems
Speaker: Dr Guanyang Liu, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Automation, Beihang University, China
Date: Monday 7 September 2015

Dr Guanyang Liu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Automation at Beihang University in China. He is a member of State Key Lab of Virtual Reality Technology and Systems in China. He is also a visiting research fellow at Monash University. 

Dr Liu received his PhD in Robotics Institute at Beihang University. He has been working in the fields of robot deign, dimensional synthesis and optimisation, artificial neural network algorithms and haptic interaction. 

Currently, he is focusing on the research of haptic interaction and haptic device design. His research on haptic-based human motor skill training is currently funded by National Science Foundation of China (NSFC). His research on haptic based teleoperation systems is funded by National High-Tech Research and Development Program of China (863 Program). His research on haptic device design is funded by the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST). 

Dr Liu has published more than 40 papers, and served as proposal referee for NSFC and paper referee for more than ten journals and conferences.

Based on the research of haptic interaction, physical interaction with virtual environment and human-unreachable environments is becoming a reality – to touch and feel a virtual world or real world. Whatever human-computer interaction or human-robot interaction, the research goal of haptic is to understand how haptic information can improve them, which includes haptic device design and haptic rendering algorithms. 

In this topic, two specially designed haptic devices for teleoperation systems are proposed, and the artificial neural network based forward kinematic solution is presented to guarantee the high update frequency of haptic loop while using an embedded control system. 

Genetic algorithm based dimensional synthesis is used to optimise the mechanism variables to meet all conditions and requirements. An object-based haptic control scheme is developed to provide a more identifiable force feedback for an operator to feel and grasp different objects in a teleoperation system. In this method, a pre-grasp process is defined during which the estimation of the object parameters is performed by using Hunt-Crossley dynamic models. Based on these parameters, the motion mapping coefficient of the teleoperation system is adjusted along with the difference in each object so that more refined grasp force feedback is provided.

Robot hands for the real world - Prof. Robert D. Howe

Title: Robot hands for the real world
Speaker: Professor Robert D. Howe, Thinker in Residence, Deakin University; Professor of Engineering, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Date: Monday 21 September 2015

Robert D. Howe is Abbott and James Lawrence Professor of Engineering and Area Dean for Bioengineering at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Dr Howe founded the Harvard BioRobotics Laboratory in 1990, which investigates the roles of sensing and mechanical design and motor control, in both humans and robots. His research interests focus on manipulation, the sense of touch and human-machine interfaces. Biomedical applications of this work include of robotic and image-guided approaches to minimally invasive surgery. 

Dr Howe earned a bachelors degree in physics from Reed College, then worked as a design engineer in the electronics industry in Silicon Valley. He received a doctoral degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University in 1990, and then joined the faculty at Harvard. Dr Howe is a Fellow of the IEEE and the AIMBE. He is a recipient of the National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award as well as Best Paper Awards at mechanical engineering, robotics, and surgery conferences. 

Find out more at the Harvard Biorobotics Lab website

Manipulating objects in unstructured environments like homes and workplaces is challenging because object properties are not known a priority and sensing is prone to error. Research in this area has largely focused on anthropomorphic hands that are complex, fragile and difficult to control. 

We are pursuing an alternate approach that focuses on the passive mechanical behaviour of the hand. By integrating carefully-selected joint compliance and adaptive transmissions, we have developed a simple and inexpensive hand that can grasp objects spanning a wide range of size, shape, weight, and position, while using only one motor. The hand is constructed using polymer-based Shape Deposition Manufacturing (SDM), resulting in a robust design that can withstand large impacts. Experimental testing demonstrates that the SDM hand can autonomously grasp objects despite large positioning errors, while keeping contact forces low. A new hand, the iHY Manipulator, combines optimised passive mechanics with five motors for precision fingertip manipulation.

The development of radiopharmaceuticals in Australia - Michael Druce

Title: The development of radiopharmaceuticals in Australia
Speaker: Michael Druce, Chief Technical Officer, Nuclear Business, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO)
Date: Monday 3 August 2015

Michael Druce is Nuclear Business's Chief Technology Officer and Manager of Client Office activities for the new ANM Plant. He provides technical support for Nuclear Business Projects and Operations.

Michael has extensive experience in the development and manufacture of radioisotopes for both medical and industrial applications. He provides technical advice on ANSTO projects and consulting services to other organisations. He is the technical director for the new ANM Mo-99 Plant and responsible for preparing the plant for operations.

Michael holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Chemistry) and a Master of Business Administration. He has also graduated from the Australian School of Nuclear Technology and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He has over 30 years of experience with both reactor and cyclotron based radioisotopes. He is based at ANSTO's Lucas Heights campus.

This talk will give an overview of the use of radioisotopes in medicine, both in Australia and overseas. ANSTO, as Australia's nuclear agency, has contributed significantly to its use in Australia. ANSTO now sells radioisotopes for medical applications not only across Australia and New Zealand but also exports globally with substantial sales in both the USA and Japan. 

ANSTO is a government 'research and development' organisation, and all of ANSTO's major nuclear medicine products and processes have been developed internally. However, this development process was undertaken by the operating division, not by the research divisions. This initially occurred after the research divisions failed to develop the products into a market-ready state. Often 'research and development' are banded together as if they are the same function however our experience has shown that they should be considered as separate functions and managed accordingly. The difference between the research function and the development function will be discussed.

Motion sickness and thermoregulation: From humans to rats and back - A/Prof. Eugene Nalivaiko

Title: Motion sickness and thermoregulation: from humans to rats and back
Speaker: Associate Professor Eugene Nalivaiko, Director, Neurocardiology Laboratory, School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy, Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle
Date: Wednesday 1 July 2015
A/Prof. Nalivaiko is a head of the Neurocardiology Laboratory at the School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy of the University of Newcastle. He obtained with MD (1981) and PhD (1986) in Ukraine, and conducted his post-doctoral training at CNRS (Paris), Strasbourg University (France), St. George's Hospital Medical School (London) and at the Research Centre of Sanofi (Montpellier, France). In 1997 he moved to Flinders University (Adelaide) where he have established his own group, and in 2008 accepted the Senior Lecturer position at the University of Newcastle (A/Prof. from 2010). 

A/Prof. Nalivaiko's expertise is in the brain-body interaction. He is currently involved in three projects: i) mechanisms of motion sickness; ii) biomarkers of resilience; iii) link between emotions and respirations. He has co-authored 72 journal publications and 2 book chapters.

Principal symptoms of motion sickness in humans include facial pallor, nausea and vomiting, and sweating. It is less known that motion sickness also affects thermoregulation, and the purpose of this talk is to present and discuss existing data related to this subject. Hypothermia during seasickness was firstly noted nearly 150 years ago, but detailed studies of this phenomenon were conducted only during the last two decades. Motion sickness-induced hypothermia is philogenetically quite broadly expressed as besides humans; it has been reported in rats, musk shrews and mice.

Evidence from human and animal experiments indicates that the physiological mechanisms responsible for the motion sickness-induced hypothermia include cutaneous vasodilation and sweating (leading to an increase of heat loss) and reduced thermogenesis. Together, these results suggest that motion sickness triggers highly coordinated physiological response aiming to reduce body temperature. This response has potential adaptive role during intoxication-induced nausea, and potentially is an accidental by-product of motion sickness. It can be accurately measured to quantify motion sickness.

Computational modeling and simulation for decision making in global health - A/Prof. Bruce Y. Lee

Title: Computational modeling and simulation for decision making in global health
Speaker: Associate Professor Bruce Y. Lee, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins
Date: Tuesday 30 June 2015

Bruce Y. Lee, MD, MBA is Associate Professor of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Director of the Global Obesity Prevention Center (GOPC) at Johns Hopkins (, and Director of Operations Research at the International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC). 

Dr Lee has over 15 years of experience in industry and academia in public health operations research, which involves developing and utilising mathematical and computational methods, models, and tools to help stakeholders better understand decision making, processes, and systems. He has been the Principal Investigator for a number of projects supported by a variety of organisations and agencies including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research (AHRQ), UNICEF, Global Good, and the Global Fund.

His previous positions include serving as Senior Manager at Quintiles Transnational, where he led teams that developed economic and operational models for a variety of clients in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries. He has worked in biotechnology equity research at Montgomery Securities, and co-founded Integrigen, a biotechnology/bioinformatics company. He has also served as an Associate Professor at the University of Pittsburgh, where he founded PIHCOR (Public Health Computational and Operations Research), which is now based at Johns Hopkins.

Dr Lee has authored three books and over 160 scientific publications (including over 80 first author and over 35 last author). His books are called Principles and Practice of Clinical Trial Medicine, What If... ?: Survival Guide for Physician', and Medical Notes: Clinical Medicine Pocket Guide

He is an Associate Editor for the journal Vaccine and Area Series Editor for the Wiley Series in Modeling and Simulation. He also is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post. 

He and his work have garnered attention in leading media outlets such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Businessweek, U.S. News and World Report, Bloomberg News, Nature Medicine, and National Public Radio (NPR). 

Dr Lee received his BA from Harvard University, MD from Harvard Medical School, and MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He completed his internal medicine residency training at the University of California, San Diego.

We will review some examples of our ongoing efforts to develop and utilise computational models to help a wide variety decision makers (e.g. funders/donors, policy makers, disease control officials, healthcare workers and manufacturers) address a variety of major issues affecting health and wellness throughout the world.

Intelligent agent technology for intelligent and autonomous systems - Dr Andrew Lucas

Title: Intelligent agent technology for intelligent and autonomous systems
Speaker: Dr Andrew Lucas, Managing Director, AOS Pty Ltd
Date: Monday 1 June 2015

Andrew Lucas is the founder and Managing Director of AOS Pty Ltd and of its subsidiaries in Cambridge, Dallas and the UK. AOS specialises in the development of reasoning software for the rapidly developing field of intelligent robotics and autonomous systems. 

Dr Lucas holds a PhD in Aeronautical Engineering from Cambridge University and a Bachelor of Engineering (1st Hons) from the University of Melbourne. He has over 40 years of experience in various engineering roles in aerospace and defence, management consulting, robotic systems, artificial intelligence software and telecommunications. 

Dr Lucas started in the aerospace industry in the design team of the Nomad light turboprop, and then for Rolls-Royce, Derby. He later founded The Preston Group (now Preston Aviation Solutions, a division of Boeing). He has nearly 20 years experience in the technology of Artificial Intelligence and Software Agents, and their applications in simulation and robotics.

AOS is applying Artificial Intelligence technology to unmanned vehicles. It has recently tested its 'Intelligent Watch Dog' and autonomous surveillance system, in conjunction with Insitu Pacific Limited and RMIT University. 

AOS, together with BAE Systems, Airbus, Cobham, QinetiQ, Rolls-Royce and Thales, are partners in the UK national ASTRAEA Unmanned Air Systems program.

Autonomous and intelligent systems are now in the news on a daily basis – the Google Car, Amazon's Prime Air system for small parcel delivery, and the UK Government announcement of the trial of autonomous vehicles in three cities in 2015. Autonomous and intelligent systems rely upon the convergence of a new generation of low-cost, low-power consumption sensors and a new generation of reasoning software. 

AOS's work on intelligent software agents has led to their adoption for autonomous systems. This talk will highlight a couple of recent applications and the potential for autonomous systems in Australia's key industries of agriculture and mining.

3D spatial environment and precision GNSS navigation for machines - Graeme Hooper

Title: 3D spatial environment and precision GNSS navigation for machines
Speaker: Graeme Hooper, Managing Director, GPSat Systems Australia
Date: Monday 4 May 2015

Graeme Hooper graduated in Electrical Engineering from Monash University in 1980. Starting as a RF Design Engineer from 1981–86 for Andrew Antennas, he then joined Rockwell International from 1987 to 1992 working in the USA on military GPS systems and equipment development. 

Since founding GPSat Systems Australia in 1993, the company has continuously delivered innovative satellite navigation (GNSS/GPS) equipment, system solutions and technical expertise to Australian regional markets. The company's dedicated team of professional engineers with broad multidisciplinary skills in electronics, software, geomatics and information technologies, continue to deliver 'frontier GNSS navigation projects', to advance 3D machine automation, air navigation infrastructure, thoroughbred race horse training, and defence navigation warfare systems to mention a few.

A background journey into the industrial 3D spatial environment and the associated use of precision GNSS navigation for mining machines will be presented. Examples associated with applications as diverse as truckless mining (e.g. the Vale S11D in South America), precision rail mounted stockpile machines subjected to mechanical skew distortion and rail ground subsidence problems, and automated remote bulk ship loading of ore will be presented. A look at the present and the future of machine 3D spatial navigation for efficient, safe automation and control of machines.

Challenges and innovations in designing lightweight armours for protected vehicles and critical structures against blasts and impacts - Dr Tuan Ngo

Title: Challenges and innovations in designing lightweight armours for protected vehicles and critical structures against blasts and impacts
Speaker: Dr Tuan Ngo, Director, Advanced Protective Technologies for Engineering Structures (APTES) Group, Department of Infrastructure Engineering, The University of Melbourne
Date: Tuesday 28 April 2015

Dr Ngo is one of Australia's leading researchers in an area of critical infrastructure protection, and as a world expert in blast and extreme loadings. He is a co-founder and Director of the internationally recognised research group in this area – the Advanced Protective Technology of Engineering Structures (APTES) Group at the University of Melbourne. 

Dr Ngo has attracted significant amounts of research funding (totalling more than $10M) from the ARC, CRCs, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, CSIRO, DMTC and Industry. 

Between 2005–2009, Dr Ngo was the Research Manager of the ARC Research Network for a Secure Australia (RNSA), Australia's most comprehensive network in the multi-disciplinary areas related to critical infrastructure protection from natural or human-caused disasters (including terrorist acts). He has won a number of prestigious scientific awards, including the Safeguarding Australia Award (2011) for the best contribution to national security technology research and the prestigious Eureka Science Prize (2013) for Outstanding Science in Safeguarding Australia. 

Dr Ngo has been working as an expert on many government projects related to national critical infrastructure security (airports, bridges, tunnels, ports, gas and power plants, water pipelines etc.) and the protection of Australian diplomatic posts overseas. He's one of the pioneers in Australia carrying out research in the lightweight composite materials systems for blast and ballistic protection. He has been leading the research and development of advanced protective materials and systems for a number of companies in the defence, civil and security industries.

Force structure planning by tile Australian Defence Force is driving an evolution in the design and development of protected military vehicles. Future vehicle acquisition plans include vehicle that are smaller and lighter and this is influencing the types of vehicles being developed by defence companies. Engineers are faced with the challenge of minimising the weight of the vehicle while still meeting structural performance, protection levels and endurance requirements. 

Meeting these challenges has pushed engineers to embrace lightweight materials, explore new design concepts and take advantage of state of the art engineering tools. The underlying question is: How to mitigate the extreme blast and ballistic loads acting on critical structures to minimise damage and casualties?

Aerial robotics: Future opportunities and challenges - Kelvin Hutchinson

Title: Aerial robotics – future opportunities and challenges
Speaker: Kelvin Hutchinson, Remotely Piloted Aircraft
Date: Monday 20 April 2015

Kelvin Hutchinson is a serial entrepreneur. He's been a property developer, angel investor in high-tech companies, President of Queensland Entrepreneurs for five years, aviator, farmer, aerial robotics futurist and, more recently, patent holder for aerial robotics technologies that will allow beyond visual line of sight flight for Unmanned Aircraft Systems worldwide.

In 2002 Australia's Aviation authority CASA led the world by approving the use of aerial robots. The industry was so new that it took over 10 years before CASA and industry pioneers started to figure out how to issue pilot and business licenses and make money. In 2013 the first Aerial Robotics flying school was approved by CASA. This spearheaded exponential growth in CASA applications for new aerial robotic businesses across Australia.

Commercial success still eludes the majority of aerial robotic entrepreneurs due to a general misunderstanding of the significant part payloads and software processing play in this industry.

Who will succeed and why? Where are the opportunities for the education sector, business, government and individuals? The discussion will consider what are the catalysts, opportunities and roadblocks relevant to commercial and sustainable success.

Non-destructive testing and reliability solutions for utility overhead lines - Dr Jalal Kia

Title: Non-destructive testing and reliability solutions for utility overhead lines
Speaker: Dr Jalal Kia, Reliable Lines
Date: Wednesday 15 April 2015

Dr Jalal Kia completed his BSc in Electronics and MSc in Computer Science from Sharif University of Technology in Tehran and his PhD in Artificial Neural Networks in University of Auckland in 1993. Since then, he has been involved in research and development for dairy, forestry, printing and utility power industries in the fields of Computational Intelligence, Automation, Reliability and Software Engineering. 

Currently, Dr Kia is the CEO, founder and director of various companies. This includes Reliable Lines, which specialises in providing software, pole testing technologies, engineering and reliability solutions for utility power industry. He has developed WoodScan, PoleScan, Pole Tester and Pole Designer mobile application products. His software applications have been used in various countries to assess the condition of tens of thousands utility poles and engineering design of overhead lines.

Electrical utility and telecommunication industries have been searching for new solutions to the problem of assessing the condition of aging wooden poles. The majority of suggested solutions use a variation of non-destructive testing (NDT) technology. 

In this presentation, we introduce three separate technologies capable of assessing the remaining strength of wooden poles. The methods used in these devices are Time of Flight using Electro-Mechanical Acoustic Pulse, Radar Beam using Ground Penetrating Radar technology and Impulse Excitation Technique by measuring natural frequencies of the pole.

MCV: A (semi-) hierarchical image labelling technique utilising MRF image models - Dr John Mashford

Title: MCV: A (semi-) hierarchical image labelling technique utilising MRF image models
Speaker: Dr John Mashford, CSIRO
Date: Monday 30 March 2015

Dr John Mashford studied mathematics, physics and philosophy at Melbourne University between 1975 and 1979 where he obtained a BSc (Hons) degree. In 1980 he worked for the engineering company Nelson English, Loxton and Andrews. Between 1981 and 1984 he studied mathematics at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, concentrating on differential geometry and analysis (with a seven month break living in Paris). 

Dr Mashford commenced working for CSIRO full time in July, 1985. He completed his PhD on mathematical physics part time at Melbourne University, while working full time for CSIRO, between 1992 and 2005. He ceased working for CSIRO full time in November 2014 and is currently a consultant mathematician. 

Dr Mashford has programmed in FORTRAN, C, C++, Lisp, PROLOG and Java and is familiar with the DOS, Windows and UNIX operating systems. His CSIRO research has been in the areas of operations research, artificial intelligence and mathematical modelling concentrating specifically on computer vision. He has published more than 40 papers and is a member of IEEE and ACM. 

He invented and implemented a method for rail route optimisation, which resulted in a multimillion dollar CSIRO spinoff company and was awarded the Australian Technology Award. He also invented the MCV image labelling algorithm, which is currently being run on CSIRO supercomputers for remote sensing applications.

In this talk, the MCV (Markov concurrent vision) image labelling algorithm is described. This algorithm is a (semi-) hierarchical algorithm commencing with a partition made up of single pixel regions and merging regions or subsets of regions using a Markov random field (MRF) image model. It is an example of a general approach to computer vision called concurrent vision in which the operations of image segmentation and image classification are carried out concurrently. The output of the MCV algorithm can be a simple segmentation partition or a sequence of partitions which can provide useful information to higher level vision systems. In the case of an autoregressive Gaussian MRF the evaluation of sub-images for homogeneity is computationally inexpensive and may be effected by a hardwired feed-forward neural network. The merge operation of the algorithm is massively parallelisable.

Computational intelligence-based systems: Architectures, algorithms and applications - A/Prof. Chee-Peng Lim

Title: Computational intelligence-based systems: architectures, algorithms and applications
Speaker: Associate Professor Chee-Peng Lim, Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation, Deakin University
Date: Monday 2 March 2015

A/Prof. Chee-Peng Lim's research interests include design and development of computational intelligence-based systems for pattern classification, data mining, condition monitoring, medical prognosis and diagnosis, manufacturing process optimisation and decision support. 

He collaborates closely with researchers in the international arena and received the Australia-India Senior Visiting Fellowship (by Australian Academy of Science) and Australia-Japan Emerging Research Leaders Exchange Program (by Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering) in 2013. He also received the Australia Endeavour Executive Award in 2009, the Commonwealth Fellowship in 2003 (University of Cambridge, UK) and a Fulbright Scholarship in 2002 (University of California, Berkeley, USA). 

To date, A/Prof. Lim has published more than 270 technical papers in journals, conference proceedings and books. He has also received seven best paper awards, edited three books and 12 special issues in journals, and served on the editorial board of five international journals.

In this information age, the usefulness and applicability of computerised intelligent systems in deriving knowledge enterprise is well-recognised. As an example, search and advertising tools of Google provided $111 billion to economic activities of the USA in 2013.

Building effective simulation programs: Going beyond education to design better healthcare delivery - A/Prof. Marcus Watson

Title: Building effective simulation programs: going beyond education to design better healthcare delivery
Speaker: Associate Professor Marcus Watson, Schools of Medicine & Psychology, The University of Queensland; Executive Director, Queensland Health Clinical Skills Development Service
Date: Wednesday 11 February 2015

Associate Professor Marcus Watson is the Executive Director of the Clinical Skills Development Service, Australia's largest healthcare educational and research simulation program distributed across Queensland. He is an Associate Professor of Medical Education in the School of Medicine and an Honorary Associate Professor in the School of Psychology at The University of Queensland. He has extensive knowledge of simulations and human factors in both healthcare and defence. He also has experience as a developer and instructor working with computer based simulation, high-end immersive simulation, serious games and distributed learning. 

A/Prof. Watson is a contributor to the HWA NHET-Sim program and the Chair of the Board of Simulation Australia. He instructs on a range of workshops, including simulations development, serious games, online learning and human factors in healthcare. 

A/Prof. Watson has received numerous national awards for innovation and the Jerome Ely Award for the Best Paper in Human Factors for 2004.

The use of simulations in healthcare is not new; however, changes in the way we deliver care and accumulating research into the effectiveness of simulations is increasing the application of simulations internationally. Healthcare simulations is transitioning from a focus on individual clinical skills to the application of simulations to develop clinical teams and even the redesign systems. The growth over the last five years has been dramatic yet many healthcare organisations are struggling to efficiently implement large-scale simulations programs.

Neuromorphic approaches to computing acoustic information - A/Prof. Neil McLachlan

Title: Neuromorphic approaches to computing acoustic information
Speaker: Associate Professor Neil McLachlan, Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, Melbourne University
Date: Monday 9 February 2015

Dr McLachlan is an Associate Professor in Psychological Sciences at The University of Melbourne and has broad professional experience in music, acoustic design, engineering and auditory neuroscience. 

In 2000 Dr McLachlan designed the world's first harmonic bells and, more recently, has designed a new harmonic percussion ensemble for use in educational and a range of community contexts. To establish better design criteria for musical instrument design, he developed the first end-end neurobiological model of auditory processing. He has computationally implemented aspects of this model leading to the development of new sound segregation and recognition algorithms for hearing prosthetics and automated sensing systems.

During the 1890's Ivan Pavlov observed that dogs could be conditioned to salivate at the sound of a bell. The association of conditioned stimuli to behaviours has been studied in a wide range of animals for over a century; however, practically no research has been undertaken on how animals learn to recognise sounds in the first place. This is important because sound recognition likely occurs early in auditory processing, and underpins most other auditory functions. 

Previous research has shown that conditioned reflexive responses to sound involve ponto-cerebellar pathways, and so these pathways likely underpin sound recognition more generally. High-level computational models of these pathways have been used to recognise human speech, music, environmental sounds and animal calls, and to act as adaptive filters for integrating pitch and loudness information. 

This paper will outline a new neurocognitive account of the auditory pathways and provide examples of computational algorithms based on this model. More broadly, it will discuss the possibility that neuro-cognition based on memory processes may provide the operating systems for future generations neuromorphic computers based on memsistors. These computers will learn and adapt to natural environments just like animals, but can 'inherit' (or share) their sense memories from other computers at any time.

Contact us

Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation (IISRI)
General enquiries
+61 3 5227 1352

Deakin University
CISR Drive
Waurn Ponds, VIC 3216