News and Events Archive - 2011
Congratulations Formula SAE Team!!!
21st of December, 2011
Formula SAE Australasia 2011 is an annual event which brings together the work efforts of competing Australian and some International Universities, who in total have spent over $2 million in the building of their entrys for this one very long weekend of competition.
This is one of the biggest student-centric events for Mechanical Engineering, and is without comparison in its capacity for creating 'well rounded' graduate engineers. This year also saw international teams from New Zealand, India, and Japan competing in the events.
The comparatively small UoN contingent of 12 students and 3 staff, travelled to Melbourne on the Wednesday, returning on Monday. Over the 4 x 12 hour days of competition, the team completed all static and dynamic events with only a small number of car issues requiring attention at the event.
The team was placed a commendable 13th from 23 competitors in a year that saw a very high number of car actually complete all events. The team were placed in front of UQ, UMelb, UTS, Deakin, hot on the heels of RMIT.
Grant recipient to improve student experience
15th of December, 2011
Dr Helen Giggins and her team have received a grant of up to $10,000 to promote and support the development of initiatives focused on enhancing the quality of teaching and learning and the student experience at the University of Newcastle.
Dr Giggins and her team members Prof. Tony Williams, Mr Wyn Jones and Mr Andrew Yardy will develop an integrated system to provide students with 'verbal' feedback. The results of the project will be presented at the 2012 Teaching and Learning Showcase to be held in November.
"We are very excited to receive the grant and look forward to starting work early in the new year," said Dr Giggins.
"The project will incorporate voice to text, or voice recognition, software into an existing marking system, improving feedback to students and at the same time make marking a little easier for Academics."
"This will allow the academic to provide high quality feedback to students in a much more natural way, simply by speaking as they would if the student were in the room with them."
The Teaching and Learning Project Grants are coordinated by the Centre for Teaching and Learning. Please contact Julie Moulton, Grants and Awards Officer, for further information on 4921 6722 or Julie.Moulton@newcastle.edu.au.
Fellowship to help enhance faculty academic's career
8th of December, 2011
Dr Regina Beretta of the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science has been awarded a 2012 Career Enhancement Fellowship for Academic Women.
Career Enhancement Fellowships support senior women to enhance their profile and reputation, increase their likelihood of promotion to Level D or E, and aim to assist women wishing to move into leadership positions.
"I was very happy when I received the news," said Dr Beretta.
"The fellowship will give me an exceptional opportunity to improve my leadership in different areas and the possibility to enhance an international collaboration with renowned researchers in my area of expertise."
The fellowship is one of a number of activities that the University carries out to enhance the career profile of women and prepare women for senior leadership roles.
Top honour for contribution to Australian science
8th of December, 2011
The Australian Academy of Science has announced the University of Newcastle’s Professor Kevin Galvin as the recipient of the 2012 Ian Wark Medal and Lecture for contributions to Australian science.
Professor Kevin Galvin is the inventor of the Reflux Classifier, a novel fluidized bed system offering a broad range of benefits in a wide range of applications.
The Ian Wark Medal and Lecture recognises the contributions to Australian science and industry by the late Sir Ian Wark, CMG, CBE, FAA, FTSE.
The award pays tribute to research which contributes to the prosperity of Australia where that prosperity is attained through the advancement of scientific knowledge or its application, or both. The award is normally made every two years.
The award of the Ian Wark medal is in recognition of Professor Galvin’s research and development leading to the invention and utilisation by industry of the Reflux Classifier.
"This recognition from the Australian Academy of Science, in being awarded the Ian Wark Medal, is a wonderful honour, and something that I value highly," said Professor Galvin.
"As a 'Career Award', there are many individuals over the past decade who have contributed to the success of the work, and hence I want to acknowledge the efforts of all of my past and present students and research staff."
Award winners will receive their medals at the Academy's annual conference from 2 to 4 May in 2012.
For more information about the Academy’s 2012 awards visit: http://www.newcastle.edu.au/news/2011/12/08/top-honour-for-contribution-to-australian-science.html
Control systems researcher Germany-bound
7th of December, 2011
University of Newcastle academic Dr Chris Kellett will head to Germany next year to research the development of efficient and productive control systems across a range of technologies.
Awarded a prestigious Humboldt Research Fellowship, Dr Kellett’s research will focus on addressing challenges associated with system stability.
“Simple feedback control systems are found in a range of technologies from cars to wind turbines to high-precision manufacturing,” Dr Kellett said.
“For example, variable-valve timing, anti-lock braking systems, electronic stability control, and automatic manual transmission are all advanced control systems embedded in cars. Feedback control systems are everywhere, but are sometimes referred to as ‘hidden technology’ since they are often invisible to the general public.
“There is a push to operate complex, dynamic and interconnected systems - such as electricity networks - more reliably and more efficiently and therefore we need more advanced control systems.”
Dr Kellett will work with colleagues at the University of Magdeburg and the University of Bayreuth to develop systems that are guaranteed to be stable and robust.
“Advances in computer technology means we can develop feedback control systems that rely on computers much more than in the past,” Dr Kellett said.
“However, the increased complexity of these systems makes it much more challenging to guarantee they will behave well in all foreseeable circumstances.
“My research aims to design new control systems that keep pace with technological advancements while guaranteeing efficient and reliable operation. The systems will be specifically for use in intelligent electricity networks but the techniques developed will be applicable to a wide range of applications.”
The Humboldt Research Fellowship, supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, promotes academic cooperation between top scientists and scholars in Germany and from around the world.
Dr Kellett is a member of the Centre for Signal Processing Microelectronics, a University of Newcastle research centre in Electrical Engineering, and will undertake two sabbaticals in Germany between April and July 2012 and April and July 2013.
Mechanical and mechatronics Engineers Australia thesis presentations
7th of December, 2011
Three Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering students had a chance to present their Final Year Project Theses to an audience of local engineers and university guests on Tuesday the 6th of December.
This annual competition, organised and sponsored by the Mechanical Branch of Engineers Australia, Newcastle Division, aims to encourage and enhance the presentation skills of Engineering Graduates.
George Wakeham received first prize for his presentation "Drag Reduction Using Localised Cavitation". He was awarded a $500 cash prize, and will have the opportunity to represent the
Mechanical Branch of the Newcastle Division at theIan Henderson Award to be held on Thursday 15th December, 2011.
Ian Stevenson took out second prize for his presentation titled "A Rugged 3D Laser Scanner for Application in Industrial Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping Systems," while David Bradney came third with his presentation "A Comparative Analysis of the Hydrodynamics of Crocodilian Rostra."
Pro Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research Publications
1st of December, 2011
The Faculty's Pro Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Carter, has announced the recipients of the 2011 Pro Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research Publications.
This year's recipients are Dr Yuqing Lin, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Oluwole Olatunji, School of Architecture and Built Environment.
The quality of all candidates this year was excellent, so it is a significant achievement to have been selected for an award.
The purpose of these awards is to recognise research excellence in outstanding early career and mid-career researchers from the Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment.
The scheme is designed to encourage researchers to produce high quality journal articles, conference papers or creative works in line with the Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) ranking system.
The recipients of each award will receive a certificate and a cash prize of $2,500.
Outstanding academics promoted to Lecturer and Senior Lecturers
1st of December, 2011
Congratulations to the Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment’s newest Lecturer and Senior Lecturers. Five of our academic staff members have been promoted based on outstanding contributions in the areas of research, teaching and service.
Ms Annemarie Dosen of the School of Architecture and Built Environment has been named a Lecturer while Dr Michael Mak (School of Architecture and Built Environment), Dr Alexandre Mendes (School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science), Dr Terrence Summers, (School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science) and Dr Grant Webber, (School of Engineering) will become the Faculty’s newest Senior Lecturers.
Faculty finalists named best University researcher and supervisor
28th of November
Two of the Faculty’s most outstanding researchers and supervisors have taken out best of the best honours at the Vice-Chancellors Awards Ceremony on Monday 28 November.
Dr Dmitri Kavetski of the School of Engineering received the Vice-Chancellor's Award for Researcher of the Year for his work ‘Ancient numerical daemons of conceptual hydrological modeling: 2. Impact of time stepping schemes on model analysis and prediction.’ The Award was presented to the most exceptional applicant are based on their research output (usually a research publication) in the previous calendar year.
The paper by Kavetski and Clark focused on computational aspects of catchment-scale hydrological models, which are widely used both in research and operational applications.
It not only provided a quite definitive mathematical explanation of the origin of many previously reported difficulties, but, more importantly, suggested several practical solution strategies, including those inspired by Dmitri's final year project at the University of Newcastle 12 years ago.
Kavetski and Clark conclude with a call to the hydrological community, and any other field of environmental modeling or science that is tempted to disregard robust mathematics, perhaps on the pretext of "the models are simplistic anyway", that a laissez-faire attitude toward numerico-statistical errors is scientifically indefensible.
The paper has generated considerable interest internationally, including being awarded the "Editor's Choice Award" in the leading Water Resources Research journal, and several hydrological groups in Australia, US and Europe are using or planning to use these techniques.
Professor Mirka Miller of the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science was also named the Supervisor of the Year. This award recognises the important role that supervisors play in our research achievements and in supporting our talented research higher degree candidates.
"I am very delighted to have received the award and I am pleased that so many of my PhD students got together to support my nomination," said Professor Miller.
"It is gratifying that the University of Newcastle recognises and values the contribution made by postgraduate supervisors."
These distinctions recognise and reward the high calibre of researchers and supervisors that we have at the University, and within our Faculty.
Newcastle welcomes the who's who of Australian architecture
25th of November, 2011
Newcastle architecture students will have access to the best design minds in the country following the appointment of five leading Australian architects.
The internationally-renowned architects behind prestigious works including the Opera House, Olympic villages in Sydney, Athens, Beijing and London, and the Brisbane Gallery of Modern Art, have been enlisted as specialist mentors for students.
Attracting the high calibre industry professionals was a massive coup for the university, Head of the School of Architecture and Built Environment, Professor Tony Williams said.
“The professionals will work closely with students to provide invaluable industry perspective through critique sessions, offer advice on high impact design, and ensure connectivity to the industry was not lost,” Professor Williams said.
“Newcastle is arguably the best-equipped architecture school in the country, and now we are the first university in Australia to have five prominent practitioners working within a school. No one else can lay claim to that.”
The university is one of Australia’s largest architecture schools and is the only higher education provider that offers a studio environment for teaching, giving students 24-hour access to a state-of-the-art design studio, plus their own personal workspace.
Professional architects in residence are:
- Laurence Nield (BVN Architecture) designed four successive Olympic villages in Sydney, Athens, Beijing and London.
- Kerry and Lindsay Clare (Directors, Architectus) husband and wife duo and winners of the Australian Institute of Architects 2010 Gold Medal for the design of Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art.
- Peter Stutchbury designed several Newcastle campus buildings, including the Birabahn Indigenous centre and the Design building. Peter has also recently won both state and national awards for housing designs.
- Richard Leplastrier worked on the Sydney Opera House design and is known most recently for his environmentally sustainable designs, particularly his prolific use of wood.
Phd student presented with best paper prize
25th of November, 2011
Computer science and software engineering PhD student Aaron Wong has received the best student paper award at last week's 45th Annual Conference of the Australian and NZ Architectural Science Association.
“I was quite surprised that the paper was selected as the best student paper”, said recipient Aaron Wong.
“It's an excellent result for the team and has shown that many months of combined effort has paid off.”
The paper, entitled "Humanoid Robots for Modelling"
and Analysing Visual Gaze Dynamics of Pedestrians Moving in Urban Space,” was a collaboration with Associate Professor Stephan Chalup, Shashank Bhatia, Arash Jalalian, Jason Kulk and Professor Michael Ostwald.
Wong's paper explored the teams’ approach in solving the problems associated with studying human pedestrians in their urban environment.
“It’s a small step in a larger system which ultimately aims at looking at pedestrians interaction with the urban environment to judge the quality of the environment,” said Wong.
The literature presents a method of using Humanoid robots, programmed to be pedestrians, placed on a model street where they traversed and interacted with the environment. Robotic data collected was then used and analysed to assist in building the system.
The paper can be found on NOVA for viewing and download.
2011 Vice-Chancellor’s awards for teaching excellence
22nd of November, 2011
Dr Christopher Kellett, a Senior Lecturer in the School of Elect Engineering and Computer Science, has won the 2011 Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence and Learning Support.
Dr Kellett has taught a range of courses across Electrical, Computer, and Telecommunications Engineering, and has led significant curriculum revision while Program Convenor for Computer Engineering (2008-2010).
Anonymous student comments from Dr Kellett’s SFC surveys cite his expertise in the subjects he teaches, enthusiasm, a sense of humour, and openness to feedback and questions.
Among other achievements, he has developed a popular laboratory activity for the Australian Engineering Summer School, which the Faculty hosted in 2008 and 2009, that has subsequently been used in the Girls' Choices Summer Schools.
"The award is really a testament to the students who have taken the courses I've taught," said Dr Kellett.
"Their engagement and motivation, particularly when many are studying part-time, inspires me to try to give them the best educational experience possible."
The awards are designed to recognise and reward staff members who have made a substantial, significant contribution to enhancing the quality of teaching and learning. The 2011 recipients will have an opportunity share their innovative approaches to other University staff throughout the next year.
First year finalists develop sustainable Indian transport solution
21st of November, 2011
A team of first-year students from The University of Newcastle were selected as finalists in the 2011 New South Wales Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Challenge.
The team were one of four groups nominated to submit their design projects for the annual competition from the Faculty’s ‘Introduction to Engineering Practice’ course. EWB judges then selected the group as one of three teams to present their work at the EWB Challenge NSW Showcase in Sydney on 21 November.
Along with groups representing from The University of Sydney and University of Wollongong, the team presented their innovative project aimed at supporting the development of a rural community in the Nadukuppam Panchayat area of Tamil Nadu, India.
The team’s project, entitled ‘Nadukuppam Sustainable Transport Program,’ aimed to solve some of the community’s transportation problems by implementing sustainable program that would provide new and re-used bicycles as well as a network of bicycle paths for residents of the region.
After outstanding presentations by each of the teams at the EWB Challenge NSW Showcase, the group from The University of Sydney were selected to present their project at the EWB Challenge National Finals in Perth on 6 December.
Back row: Cameron Burns, Brady Casey, Mitchell Clune, David Caesar and Samuel Buttenshaw.
Front row: Kelsie Clarke and GENG 1803 Discipline Coordinator Dr. James Hambleton.
‘Resuscitate’ - Master of Architecture exhibition
Date: November 25th, 2011
Venue: Newcastle Town Hall
Date: 2 December, 2011
Venue: Paddington Town Hall
Master of Architecture students will showcase their work in an exhibition entitled ‘Resuscitate’ on the 25th of November at Newcastle Town Hall and at Sydney's Paddington Town Hall on the 2nd of December.
Local, national and international locations have been chosen to create a range of innovative and inspired designs which address important issues within the global community.
Students were given an academic year in which to choose a suitable site, building type and to develop their project, using the skills they have learnt throughout their degrees.
‘Resuscitate’ is an exhilarating aesthetic exploration of what can be achieved in our built environment and a display of the sheer talent of our next-generation architects.
To find out more about the exhibition and the works to be shown, visit the Resuscitate website.
Postcard Image and Elevation Image by Master of Architecture Student Warren Haasnoot
Electrical engineering and computer science final year projects
Date: Thursday 24 November, 2011
Time: 12.30pm –4.00pm
Venue: Electrical Engineering Laboratory, EE Building, Callaghan campus
Come along to our final year student exhibition and be amazed at what our future electrical, computer and telecommunications engineers are capable of creating.
The student’s projects are the culmination of their academic careers, requiring utilisation of the knowledge and skills learnt throughout their degrees. The works span a diverse range of topics from across the disciplines and are a fantastic display of the talent within the Faculty.
Before seeing our final year student’s projects, you are welcome to join us for a free BBQ lunch at 12.30pm with entertainment provided by our robotic soccer team (NUbots) at 1.00pm.
‘Visions’ – Architecture and industrial design exhibition
Date: Wednesday 23 November, 7pm to Friday 25 November, 6pm, 2011
Venue: Architecture Design Studio, School of Architecture and Built Environment, Callaghan campus.
Students from the Bachelor of Design (Architecture) and Industrial Design degrees will showcase their work to the public during an exhibition held at the University’s Architecture Design Workshop.
Opening night celebrations will be held on Wednesday the 23rd of November at 7pm with drinks, finger food and entertainment provided.
Guests will have an opportunity to view a range of innovative industrial design, architecture and furniture projects, and also have a chance to meet and find out more about the works from their creators.
For more information about the event, contact Wyn Jones on 4921 6327 or email.
Postgraduate Poster Prizewinners Announced
24th of October, 2011
The winners of the 2011 Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment Postgraduate Research Prize have been announced.
Winners in each of the eight, discipline-based categories will take home a $1000 cash prize and certificate to be awarded at the Newcastle University Postgraduate Student Association Dinner, November 4th.
Entrants to the annual competition were required to submit a poster based on their research and answer questions from judges.
Chanel Hopkinson, organiser and Faculty Research and Research Training Officer said, “The event helps students prepare to present their research at conferences here and overseas.”
Each category was judged by two Faculty academics on the basis of originality and innovation, technical and intellectual difficulty, scope, depth, degree of contribution and overall presentation.
“The Assessors were very impressed by the quality of all research posters entered and would like to thank all students who participated in presenting their work,” said Andrew Abbo, Assistant Dean Research Training.
Those wishing to attend the ceremony at Customs House can purchase tickets through NUPSA.
2011 Postgraduate Research Prize Winners:
- Rongrong Yu (Architecture and Industrial Design) for her work entitled “Evaluating creativity in parametric design environment.”
- Sharifah Syed Zakaria (Building) for her work entitled “Behavioural Dimensions of Technology Adoption Decision Making: The Case of Industrialised Building Systems (Ibs) in the Malaysian Construction Industry.”
- James Edward Dickinson (Chemical Engineering) for his work entitled “Enhancing Foam-Liquid Segregation in Continuous Foam Fractionation using Multiple Parallel Inclined Channels.”
- Yousef Ansari (Civil Engineering) for his work entitled “A Study on the Piezocone Interpretation Methods for Hydraulic Conductivity of Clays.”
- Ahmed Shamsul Arefin (Computer Science & Software Engineering) for his work entitled “GPU-FS-kNN: A Fast and Scalable kNN Computation Technique using GPU.”
- Rodrigo Carvajal (Electrical, Computer & Telecommunications Engineering) for his work entitled “EM-based channel estimation in OFDM systems with phase noise.”
- Seyed Mohammad Mortazavi Naeini (Environmental Engineering and Surveying) for his work entitled “Efficient Multi-Objective Ant Colony Optimization for Computationally-Intensive Water Resources Systems Planning.”
- Christoph Veyhl (Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering) for his work entitled “Novel Numerical Analysis of Advanced Porous Composites.”
Women in Engineering Gold Coast site visit
10th of October, 2011
From 6th – 8th October 2011, 13 female students from a range of disciplines across the Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment took part in a visit to the Gold Coast.
Students toured Carlton Brewery at Yatala and attended the offices of Rapid Transit for a presentation on the Gold Coast Light Rail Project, after which they were taken to inspect a site along the route.
The trip was a great opportunity for female engineering students to meet, socialise and create support networks, visit operational sites and gain industry insights, as well as gain a better understanding of how a major project works, how different disciplines are interconnected and how professionals from diverse disciplines work together to achieve project goals.
“The Rapid Transit tour was particularly interesting,” said trip organiser Melanie D’Arbon. “The engineers discussed each stage of the process including compulsory acquisition of land, community consultation, traffic management, design, construction and a whole range of other tasks”
The Women in Engineering network holds a variety of activities throughout the year and is a fantastic way for female students to get to know each other. If you’d like to get involved contact Melanie D’Arbon.
For more photos, check out the WIE Gold Coast Gallery.
2011 Weir Warman Design and Build Competition
2nd of October, 2011
Congratulations to Mechanical Engineering Design students Thomas Hudson, Tyler Plowright, Jon Littlewood and Brendon Walsh who have won the 2011 National Finals of the prestigious Warman Design and Build Competition.
The competition, sponsored by Wier Minerals and Engineers Australia, is open to students in mechanical engineering who are in their first or second year of study. Campus heats are held as part of design engineering courses, with heat winners converging on the national final to determine the Asia-Pacific region's best budding designers.
This years challenge was to design, build and prove a prototype system in a laboratory environment that serves to transfer a payload of game balls on a track. The Newcastle team was one of only two teams in the national finals who completed both runs with perfect scores, and were awarded first place based on the quickest run time.
Newcastle University Campus Organiser, A/Prof Craig Wheeler said, “The hybrid mechanical and mechatronics device developed by the Newcastle team utilised sonar sensors to guide the robot along the competition track and individual servo motors to pick and place the payload. While the device was one of the most technically complex designs at the finals, it performed very reliably and accurately.”
The Warman Competition is an excellent example of problem based learning, where engineering students are involved in a highly creative, yet practical, design and build project in their second year of study.
Visit Engineers Australia for more information about the competition.
University fellowship winner has eye on urban renewal
Thursday, 29 September 2011
Lessons learned from a Brazilian city could be the key to revitalising Newcastle’s central business district. Natalie Cook, the 2011 winner of the Parker Fellowship for architecture students at the University of Newcastle, will spend six months in the city of Curitiba to study its urban renewal and sustainability projects.
Curitiba has become world renowned for improvement of its urban landscape, earning it the Globe Sustainable City Award in 2010, hosted by the Globe Forum.
The Brazilian city has applied a number of innovative and sustainable public strategies to improve transport, industry and tourism in the city.
Natalie said she was looking forward to what she hoped would be a beneficial opportunity not only for herself but also for the city of Newcastle.
“I’m really interested to see how the city has managed to succeed and I hope to bring that knowledge back with me and see how we can use their ideas in Newcastle.
“I’m hoping I will be able to meet with architect Jaime Lerner who has played a major role in establishing the sustainability and renewal projects there.”
The scholarship is named in honour of Eric Parker, who was the first permanent teacher of architecture at the University of Newcastle. The scholarship aims to inspire students to share his global view of architecture.
The $10,000 scholarship is funded by the Architecture Foundation, a group of University of Newcastle architecture graduates. Chair Bob Donaldson said the group was looking forward to Natalie bringing back innovative ideas to renew Newcastle.
“Urban renewal has become one of the most talked about topics in the City of Newcastle. We are very interested in what Curitiba has done to renew and revitalise its urban spaces.”
Anyone interested in making a donation to a scholarship at the University can contact the University of Newcastle Foundation on (02) 49217 453 or visit the website at www.newcastle.edu.au/foundation.
2011 Pro Vice-Chancellors award for research excellence
The Faculty is proud to announce the recipients of the 2011 Pro Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence: Dr Maria Seron, Dr Olivier Buzzi, and Dr Alexandre Mendes.
The award recognises the achievements of early and mid-career researchers. The recipients’ research reflects the quality and scope of research activities across the Faculty: Dr Mendes research focus is on optimization and data mining, with applications mainly in operations research and bioinformatics; Dr Buzzi is a Principal Researcher at the Centre for Geotechnical and Materials Modelling; and Dr Seron is a Program Leader for Control Systems Design in the Priority Research Centre for Complex Dynamic Systems and Control.