The clever processes driving new engineering solutions

Algorithm architect, Associate Professor Kaushik Mahata’s purpose-built mathematical processes are making new engineering innovations, solutions and products possible.

Image of Kaushik Mahata

Associate Professor Kaushik Mahata is an expert at developing mathematical algorithms to solve complex problems and inform real-world solutions.

Together with his team, Kaushik’s work provides a way to capture and identify patterns in field data. The team can then interpret the data in a way that is meaningful for their industry research partners, whether that’s to help create new products, test and improve technologies or even inform resource funding. While the team primarily operates in the field of engineering, the application of their work is impressively diverse.

“Our team has the ability to work on a variety of practical problems that arise in a wide range of engineering applications,” says Associate Professor Kaushik Mahata.

“That means that the impact of our research goes far beyond the domain of my discipline of electrical engineering. It is highly applicable for multiple industry purposes.”

Processing data and signals

Data comes in many varied forms. For Kaushik's work, a typical source of data includes the signals received by different types of antennas and sensors. A signal’s information is extracted and analysed using purpose-built, sophisticated mathematical algorithms.

“Our algorithms can process signals received by the antenna mounted on an aircraft to locate other flying objects nearby. Alternatively, it could produce an image by processing the signals collected by an ultrasound scanner. Or it could process the signals received by sensors mounted on a car to identify surrounding objects like other cars or roadside signs, which could ultimately allow cars to drive themselves.”

Kaushik shares that the speed of computers and progress in the underlying mathematical theories are both significant challenges to processing data and signals quickly and effectively. But his team is up for the challenge—and their results are helping to shape the next digital frontier.

Real-world industry solutions

Taking a highly practical, problem-solving approach to research, Kaushik is always keen to collaborate with industry partners to ensure his research informs immediate solutions.

Kaushik’s work is judiciously guided by industry needs, making it highly relevant and sought-after. The demand from industry also means the hard-working team usually has multiple research projects on the go at any one time.

Right now, Kaushik and his team are working to develop fast computer vision methods to produce 3D maps, which can be used by driverless cars. They are also developing new methods that allow a significantly higher number of wireless devices to access the wireless machine-to-machine networks powered by 5G technology. Finally, his team is developing methods to produce high-quality results in radar, LiDAR and sonar using inexpensive sensors.

“Our work has formed the foundation for many industry partners to develop successful new products. These new products then create new jobs and opportunities, contributing to broad technological and industry advancements.”

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.