School of Engineering and IT

School of Engineering and Information Technology

Dean's Newsletter

June

Dean - Professor Bogdan Dlugogorski

Welcome to the June School Newsletter.

Semester one exams have commenced and we wish all of our students the very best of luck. Thank you again to School academic and professional staff for their diligence and timeliness in getting marking and results through as quickly as possible, it is a very busy period of year, with a very quick turnaround before the next semester and study periods commence.

We are very excited that the new IT innovation hub is on track to be completed for semester two this year. The hub will greatly benefit and hopefully inspire our current and future IT students. You can catch-up on the hubs progress at Murdoch new gaming and network facility.

As most staff would know, one of our much valued staff members, June Burnett will be retiring at the end of this month. June has supported academic staff, students and colleagues at Murdoch University and the School in various roles for 20 years. Please join us on Friday 29th June at 2pm for afternoon tea to thank her for many years of hard work and dedication. Please contact Emma Tristham if you need further detail.

Congratulations to Dr Polychronis Koutsakis who has won a $5,000 Professional Development Award, funded by Perth Convention Bureau (PCB) under its Aspire Program. This funding will assist Dr Koutsakis in his personal and professional development and to also attend a relevant international conference in his chosen field. For information on the 2019 round of awards see PCB Aspire Scholarships and Professional Development.

I hope you enjoy this month’s edition of the Newsletter, please read on for more information from around the School and the University.

Remember, whether you are a student, an academic, administrative or technical staff member, if you have a story to share please send it to the SEIT email - SEIT@murdoch.edu.au. Please mention the article title in the subject line of the email.

If you are a student or staff reading this Newsletter, please let your friends and family know about Scholarships for Honours, Postgraduate degrees, details are included in the Newsletter.

Best wishes,

Bodzio Dlugogorski

CONTENT

Royal Society of Western Australia 2017 Student Medal
Are You Eligible for a ‘Murdoch First Scholarship’?
Dean's Scholarshiip for Scientific Excellence
Help Lead the Way to Clean Energy Storage
Apply for Honours and Postgraduate Courses
Postgraduate Research Update
Application Pipeline - New Dashboard in OSQA
Congratulations to Dr Ali Arefi and Family
School Manager Update
Outstanding School Alumni Honoured at Murdoch
Murdoch Partnership Lights the Way for a Brighter Renewable Energy Future
Students Visit ATCO Gas Trial Site
Dubai IT Students Talk Global Sustainability at International Think Tank
Promoting STEM in the Pilbara
Engineering Staff and Students Investigate Two of WA's most Renewable Energy Projects

OUR STUDENTS

ROYAL SOCIETY OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA 2017 STUDENT MEDAL

We have great pleasure in announcing that Bachelor of Science Honours student and recent Physics and Nanotechnology graduate, Justin Freeman, has been awarded the Royal Society of Western Australia Student Medal for 2017.

The RSWA Student Medal has been presented to the most outstanding graduating science student in the Physical and Biological Sciences, across each of Western Australia’s five universities since 2007. Students completing an Honours or undergraduate degree are eligible for the award and are nominated by their University. Recipients of the award may be selected from a cross section of disciplines including Biology, Botany, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Geology, Marine Science, Physics, Geography, Soil Science and Zoology.

Congratulations to Justin on this wonderful achievement.

The Royal Society of Western Australia Student Medal 2007 - 2016

ARE YOU ELIGIBLE FOR A 'MURDOCH FIRST SCHOLARSHIP'?

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START YOUR JOURNEY TO SCIENTIFIC EXCELLENCE

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HELP LEAD THE WAY TO CLEAN ENERGY STORAGE

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APPLY FOR HONOURS AND POSTGRADUATE COURSES

If you or someone you know is interested in continuing postgraduate study, see the opportunities available below:

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To find out more go to http://Murdoch.edu.au/Honours-courses

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To find out more go to http://postgraduate.murdoch.edu.au/

OUR STAFF

POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH UPDATE

The last posting from the Post Graduate Research Director desk was mostly concerned with the criteria that the School will use for awarding the International PhD scholarships in October of this year. These criteria were, after much discussion by the subcommittee, tabled and discussed at the Research Degrees and Scholarships Committee on the 7th June and accepted. The next step is to present them formally to the School Research Committee and then to the School so that staff can advise potential applicants before the closing date on 30th September.

The fact that our institution is now in direct competition with other universities around the globe, was made plain to me during the last month. At the end of 2017 our school made RTP (Research Training Program) scholarship offers to the six best applicants among a strong field of international students. These RTP awards, while not allowing much of the ‘high life’ (if any), do give some security to concentrate on three years of very arduous study and personal development. An RTP award provides health insurance for the successful applicant but unfortunately, family members are not included in that health cover. A successful applicant must find the resources to insure their family members if they wish to take up an RTP award at an Australian University. Between the beginning of this year and now, two of the RTP scholarships have been refused because of ‘better offers’ from other institutions. As far as I can determine, a major deciding factor has been that extra cost for family health insurance.

As always, problems in one place generate opportunities in another, so while our School has ‘missed out’ on two top choices, we still have two RTP (international) scholarships to award in a mid-year round. The subcommittee is now considering a number of applicants for the two remaining awards and recommendations will be given to the Dean before the end of June.

Whilst musing on the list of postgraduate research students in the School of Engineering and IT, I did a ‘sort’ on country of origin and decided that we have a most pleasing and diverse mix of ‘country of origin’ which I would like to share with all of you. Of the 134 students enrolled for postgraduate research degrees, there are from Bangladesh 9, Bhutan 3, China 3, Egypt 1, Ethiopia 1, Germany 2, India 3, Indonesia 5, Iran 9, Iraq 11, Jordan 1, Mauritius 1, Nepal 2, Nigeria 3, Pakistan 4, Rwanda 1, Sri Lanka 4, Thailand 5, Turkey 1, Vietnam 1, Zambia 1 and Zimbabwe 3. Welcome to everyone and I hope you make the best of the opportunities, not only for study but for lifelong networking as well.

Article provided by Dr David Ralph, Postgraduate Research Director

APPLICATION PIPELINE - NEW DASHBOARD IN OSQA

The OSQA team are pleased to share a new dashboard which exposes a collection of carefully compiled data from several sources into one dataset, representing a process known as the Applications Pipeline.

In brief, the Applications Pipeline is the number of people at each step in the process of becoming a student at Murdoch, from making an application to study, all the way to being enrolled with load at census, (See Figure 2 below).

The dashboard communicates this information via several dynamic charts, (eg. Figure 1, below) which the user can filter by using slicer buttons in a range of categories.

Access to the ‘Applications Pipeline Dashboard’ can be requested at OSQA@murdoch.edu.au or you can contact School Manager, Rebecca Treloar-Cook for further details.

If you currently have MInE access, you can view the ‘Applications Pipeline Dashboard’ at http://mine.ad.murdoch.edu.au/MINE/SitePages/Recruitment.aspx. If you require assistance or would like to provide feedback, contact OSQA at OSQA@murdoch.edu.au.

Figure 1: Chart Overview

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Figure 2: Diagram of the Applications Pipeline process.

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CONGRATULATIONS TO DR ALI AREFI AND FAMILY 

Dr Ali Arefi, his wife Behnaz and oldest son Amin are very excited and happy to welcome a new addition to their family, son and brother Ardin. 

Ardin, which means Holy and Pure, is three weeks old and although night sleeps are still a challenge, Ardin is a very welcomed and much loved addition to the Arefi family. We wish Ali and the whole family all the very best.

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SCHOOL MANAGER UPDATE

As we commence the exam period for 1st semester, I am sure many are also counting down to the mid-year break.

New Information Technology Labs

On the 25th June, the School takes possession of the new Information Technology labs and student lounge. This state of the art facility will dramatically enhance the student learning experience and provide the long overdue update to facilities. With the opening of the labs, we will see an influx of IT students as they move from the current labs in the ECL building, across to building 245 – the Science & Computing building. Please make the IT students feel welcome in 2nd semester and assist them with any queries that they might have as they familiarise themselves with the new building and available facilities.

Rio Tinto STEM Outreach

The School will host the final groups for the Rio Tinto funded STEM outreach program in the last week of June. Please make the high school students feel welcome as they move around the School.

June Burnett Retirement

After 20 years working for Murdoch University, June Burnett is retiring. June commenced at Murdoch University in 1998 in the Physics and Energy Studies area, moving to Maths and Statistics in 2002. In 2010 June moved to the (then) School of Engineering that also included Physics & Energy and in 2012 transferred to the new School of Engineering and Information Technology.

June has always provided excellent service to staff and students and continues to receive praise for her knowledge, dedication, and always going above and beyond. Whilst she will be missed, we wish June all the best for retirement and spending more time with her family living across Australia. The School will farewell June on Friday 29th June and her last day of work is Thursday 5th July.

Annual and Long Service Leave

Finally, during the mid-year break, why not take time to recharge and energise yourself by taking some annual leave. You can book annual leave through the MyHR portal and/or LSL on the Application for Leave form available through the new P&C web portal. Please come and see me if you want to discuss leave options.

FOR EVERYONE

SCHOOL ALUMNI HONOURED AT MURDOCH UNIVERSITY

The Murdoch University Distinguished Alumni Awards were recently held to celebrate the outstanding achievements of five Murdoch University graduates.

One of the recipients of the award was Dr Bill Hare, who completed a Bachelor of Science in Physics with Honours in 1983 and went on to receive an Honorary Doctor of Science in 2008 from Murdoch University for his work tackling the challenges of climate change.

Dr Hare is a physicist with 30 years experience in the impacts of climate change and stratospheric ozone depletion and is the founder and CEO of Climate Analytics, a research and policy organisation based in Berlin. He has been instrumental in the negotiation of the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement in 2015 and many other world leading projects. Dr Hare is considered to be the ‘best climate lobbyist in the world’ and credits Murdoch University for having ‘a great and positive impact’ on his life and what he learnt during his time studying at Murdoch enabled him to achieve so much across a range of climate and energy related disciplines.

Dr Hare is now residing in Western Australia after 25 years of living in the Netherlands and Germany and is an Adjunct Professor with the School of Engineering and IT and he looks forward to working with Murdoch University to further develop its climate science and energy policy profile.

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Dr Bill Hare left is presented with a fitting acknowledgment by Vice Chancellor Professor Eeva Leinonen for his work in climate change science

For more information on Dr Bill Hare and his work in climate change and policy reform go to: http://climateanalytics.org/about-us/team/bill-hare.html

MURDOCH PARTNERSHIP LIGHTS THE WAY FOR A BRIGHTER RENEWABLE ENERGY FUTURE

Dr Martina Calais, from the School of Engineering and IT, is leading a Federal Government funded project between Murdoch University and Horizon Power. The project is based on the collection and analyses of data from trial’s being conducted on electricity systems in homes and businesses in Carnarvon. The aim of the research project is to look at the benefits of solar power storage and ways to integrate battery systems into current electricity networks, as well as solar forecasting, which looks at how cloud movement effects solar power generation.

Murdoch University is well placed to be leading the project, attracting significant numbers of domestic and international students to both their undergraduate and postgraduate renewable and sustainable energy programs.

Dr Calais says it is exciting to be working with Horizon Power and being part of the change that such industries are making from fossil fuel based energy, to renewable energy generation and storage systems.

For more details on this story and information on our undergraduate degree and postgraduate master’s degree go to http://media.murdoch.edu.au/murdoch-at-forefront-of-solar-energy-future-for-remote-wa-homes

STUDENTS VISIT ATCO GAS TRIAL SITE

A group of ENG452 Environmental Engineering Design and Innovation students recently had the opportunity to visit on site, energy microgrid trials incorporating solar, battery, gas, hydrogen and fuel cells at the depot at ATCO Gas in Jandakot.

Assets and Engineering Innovation General Manager, Stevan Green, gave the students a tour of the facility and stating “we are doing the research now and building the real life trial for the transition to a low carbon future”. Mr Green went on to explain that ATCO plan to generate hydrogen from PV powered electrolysers and inject the gas at varying proportions into their natural gas network.

Dr Martin Anda, Chair of the Environmental Engineering Program, in the School of Engineering and IT, arranged for the students to give a summary presentation of their design projects to Stevan and his team, while at the site. This year the students design projects were to develop integrated energy water and waste services for an innovative Landcorp development in Fremantle. Mr Green, who is also Chair of the Program’s Discipline Advisory Committee, remarked “it’s wonderful to see the innovative solutions that these young engineers are designing during their studies”.

The tour enabled the students to see how large companies are participating in the Energy transition. ATCO is planning for many interesting times ahead in the energy distribution industry and their partnership with Murdoch University will provide a great benefit to all concerned.

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Centre Mr Stevan Green, Assets and Engineering Innovation General Manager at ACTO shows Dr Martin Anda and ENG452 students the microgrid trials at the ATCO depot.

DUBAI IT STUDENTS TALK GLOBAL SUSTAINABILITY AT INTERNATIONAL THINK TANK

Four Murdoch students from Dubai have been selected for the World Majlis series, in the lead up to Dubai’s World Expo 2020.

Majlis, an Arabic term meaning “place of sitting” provides an opportunity for people to gather to talk about and share information and ideas on subjects that affect them and their communities.

IT students, Bianca Greyvenstein, Owaish Mustafa and Graeme Smit have joined 14 other students, as well as academic and industry leaders to discuss important global issues around sustainability, the environment, conservation and arts and culture. The Murdoch students were chosen to join the think tank by Expo 2020 judges, who were impressed with their creative thinking and problem solving skills.

The World Majlis series aims to bring together current and aspiring leaders from government, technology, science, art, culture, media and literature and it is a wonderful opportunity for our IT students in Dubai to be chosen to take part.

For more information on this story go to: Murdoch Dubai Students Join Global Sustainability Conversations and MENA Herald - World Majlis Expo 2020.

PROMOTING STEM IN THE PILBARA

School of Engineering and IT and Rio Tinto have completed another successful round of Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics outreach demonstrations to more than 300 secondary students in mining communities in the Pilbara. The collaboration between Murdoch University School of Engineering and IT and Rio Tinto aims to inspire students to study at Murdoch and pursue a career in the mining industry.

Roebourne District High School and Tom Price Senior High School were part of the program for the first time this year and the response from staff and students was very positive from all of the high schools visited in the region.

The Rio Tinto-Murdoch University STEM Outreach program continues in Perth, with metropolitan schools visiting the University until the end of June.

More information on the Pilbara STEM outreach visits are at: Murdoch Metal Men Promote STEM in the Pilbara.

ENGINEERING STAFF AND STUDENTS INVESTIGATE TWO OF WA’S MAJOR RENEWABLE ENERGY PROJECTS

Undergraduates enrolled in Renewable Energy Engineering and postgraduates enrolled in the Energy Studies Program, recently visited two of Western Australia’s iconic renewable energy installations near Geraldton - the Mumbida Wind Farm, and the Greenough River Solar Farm. The renewable energy farms were visited on consecutive days, with an overnight stop in Geraldton.

The program was superbly organised by Kieran Peters, a Murdoch Renewable Energy Engineering graduate, now with DNX Energy. Academic support and detailed tour commentary was provided by Adjunct Professor Craig Carter, who was actively involved with Verve Energy in the planning of the wind farm and planning and commissioning of the solar farm.

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Mumbida Wind Farm display blade at the Walkaway Wind Farm viewing point

The Mumbida Wind Farm development (MWF), a joint venture between Synergy (previously Verve Energy) and the Energy Infrastructure Trust, is located 40km southeast of Geraldton and became fully operational in 2013. The 22 General Electric (GE) 2.5 MW wind turbines were the first GE turbines installed in Australia. The turbines produce enough electricity to power 38,000 homes with an emissions reduction equivalent of around 200,000 tonnes CO2 per annum. MWF has an expected 20-year operating life and together with Greenough River Solar Farm, supplies the electricity and renewable energy certificate (REC) requirements of the Water Corporation’s (WA) Southern Seawater Desalination Plant Stage 1, in Binningup near Bunbury. This ensures that this 50 gigalitre per year water supply is carbon neutral.

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Demonstrating the scale of a Mumbida turbine

The Greenough River Solar Farm, a joint venture between Synergy (previously Verve Energy) and GE Financial Services was opened in 2012. Using 150,000 of First Solar’s cadmium telluride solar panels, the 10 MW solar farm occupies 50 hectares (appx. 1 km2). The solar farm is to be expanded to 40 MW in 2018/19.

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Some of the 150,000 solar modules that make up the Greenough Solar Farm

The site visits were part of an ongoing programme giving students exposure to industry, which includes visits to major conventional and renewable energy installations, guest lectures by energy industry practitioners and a careers networking event between current students and alumni organised by the University Guild club, Murdoch Student Energy http://www.murdochguild.com.au/clubs/mse/

Article supplied by Dr Jonathan Whale