School of Engineering and IT

School of Engineering and Information Technology

Dean's Newsletter

April 2017

It gives me great pleasure to present to you the April Newsletter. In this edition, we will feature the events that have been engaging both current and future students’ on and off campus over the past month.

One of the stand-out events the School was involved with this period, was the Science and Engineering Challenge, held on 27th to 31st March. The week long initiative by The University of Newcastle, is aimed at providing secondary school students, a new level of science and engineering concepts and activities they normally do not have at school.

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Murdoch University was very well represented at the event and the sponsored activities we put in place, as well as our general participation, was positively received by the organisers and students.

Please read on for further details on this and other events, initiatives and news from across the School and 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 - 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 and the Dean's Scholarships for Scientific Excellence.  They are all included in the last three pages of the Newsletter.

Best wishes,






School of Engineering and Information Technology academic staff, student ambassadors and student volunteers, flew the Murdoch banner high at the recent week long annual Science and Engineering Challenge. The Challenge is a national initiative of The University of Newcastle that aims to enrich secondary school student’s perceptions of science and engineering. The event allows student to experience aspects of science and engineering that they would not normally have the opportunity to participate in their school environment. In particular, the Challenge focuses on inspiring Year 10 students to consider a future career in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), by choosing to study the enabling sciences and mathematics in Year 11 and 12.

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School staff and student volunteers stand out in red and are on hand to assist at the Challenge event

Murdoch sponsored two of the activities, Confounding Communications and Electra City. Academic staff provided instructions and briefed students on the activity, while the student ambassadors and student volunteers coached the students through the activities. The academics and student facilitators were kept busy timing each group and marking and collating results in a timely manner. Students were fully engaged in the activities and the feedback was very positive from the event organisers, school staff and the secondary students regarding the School’s contribution to the daily and overall success of the event.

With approximately 1,600 students from across Perth Schools involved in the five-day challenge, it provided a wonderful opportunity for the School to promote our Outreach programs and make positive connections with Heads of Science and secondary school teachers involved in the STEM curriculum.

An enormous thank you needs to be extended to the following students and staff whose time and contribution made the success of the activities possible:

Ilja Shevelyov, Rod Dine, Hock Tan, Noel D’Souza, Katherine Mann, Morgan Smolder, Jack Shubert, Mitch Barbara, Joseph Pusey, Haura Hussaini, Anna Whitcher, Maddie Topaz, Brice Gower, Masola Tjedza, Ngara Rodwell, Latif Shams, Tristan Ward, Mark Abernethy, Alex Wang, Gareth Lee, Dave Murray, Elaine Walker, Giles Oatley, Mike Dixon, Almantas Pivrikas, Graeme Cole, Greg Crebbin, Bruce Gardiner.

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Student volunteers at the Science and Engineering Challenge, from left: Jack Schubert and Tjedza Masola
Students get connecting with the Electra City activity at the Science and Engineering Challenge

Article and photo content provided by Dianne Noonan, additional photos by Leandra Corich


Student Ambassadors trained for Maths and Physics Workshops

Dr Chris Creagh and Dr Helen Middleton ran a Maths and Physics training session for Student ambassadors. These ambassadors are now equipped to run the Maths and Physics workshop for High School students. The workshop was recently trialled at the ConocoPhillips Science camp and rated extremely highly amongst students. This workshop can be hosted on campus, or taken out to schools, to allow students to see STEM in action.

A Day in the Life at Murdoch

A Day in The Life was held on Thursday 20th and Friday 21st of April. The event saw 100 Year 11 and 12 student’s participating in workshops to gain a taste of university life. Dr David Murray and Mr Terry Koziniec ran for the first time, a workshop titled, Internet of Things, which involved programming a Raspberry Pi. Dr Chris Creagh and Professor Bruce Gardiner gave an interactive Physics lecture on Why of the World. There were also live activities in Bush Court, including IT demonstrating Virtual Reality technology, Chemistry activities shooting Pokémon with vacuum guns and reacting Thermite.

Upcoming Outreach events and visits

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Article content provided by Fiona Mochrie, Outreach Officer



As the premier land development agency in Western Australia, LandCorp offers young professionals a great start in their careers, developing their skills by applying what they have learnt at university.

In a time where the focus has shifted to renewable energy and water efficiency technologies, it has become important to present these technologies as marketable and sustainable alternatives. LandCorp has been the leading agency for many years in this field. For the past month, students from Murdoch University have been working at LandCorp completing various tasks in their work placement and thesis projects.

Academic Chair of Environmental Engineering at Murdoch University, Dr Martin Anda explained, “The industry partnership with LandCorp is wonderful and very important for the students. The partnership is providing placements that enable the students to complete their 450 hours of work experience before graduating and thesis projects that enable valuable industry focused research to be undertaken.”

Students, Om Dolasia and Swapna Krishnakumar are completing their final year ENG470 thesis project with the state-owned government enterprise. “Everybody at LandCorp has been nothing but helpful, giving essential advice on the industry and recent developments,” Om says, “…they really encourage you to be the best that you can be and put yourself out there.” Working on micro-grids implementation, on the Peel Business Park in Nambeelup, which is 9km north-east of Mandurah CBD, Om hopes to find a balance between renewable technology and market stability.

Meanwhile, undergraduate student Nishi Verma works on the Hamilton Hill High School redevelopment. The surrounding flora and fauna near this site is of particular interest to conservation groups and the need to employ environmental principles is imperative. Environmental engineering allows the possibility of retaining as much positive natural identity to the landscape, while continuing to make sustainable advancements in technology.

Murdoch graduate Yi Xin Shaw is currently doing research on behalf of Murdoch University, at the Bunbury Caravan Park. The project involves converting the park into a sustainable, residential site. The main focus is on applying environmental engineering principles and to achieve LandCorp’s vision for its development sites. Yi Xin explains, “Not only are sustainable initiatives a key agenda, it is important to understand the balance between all sectors and how they all work collectively to create a successful project.”

Sustainability and Innovation Manager at LandCorp, James Butterfield says “All students are making significant progress in their tasks. The questions that they ask and the ideas they input into discussions are always well thought out and useful. LandCorp aims to strengthen its partnership with Murdoch University in the future and help bright young professionals get a good start in their careers.”

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Students on work placement with LandCorp staff (from left) student Swapna Krishnakumar, LandCorp Sustainability Strategy Coordinator, Nivia Giuffre, students, Cindy Yaw, Om Dolasia, Nishi Verma and LandCorp Sustainability and Innovation Manager, James Butterfield

Article and photo content provided by Martin Anda



Continuing on from its’ success last year, Fundamentals of Chemistry OSCI18 has once again rated highly in student satisfaction. This year the OUA unit was one of the top 5 highest ranking units for study period 4, 2016.

Congratulations to the Unit team on their achievement and we wish you continued success.

Unit Co-ordinators:  Dr Erich Koenigsberger and Dr Lan-Chi Koenigsberger

Unit Tutors:  Dr Erich Koenigsberger, Dr Lubomir Hnedkovsky, Dr Lan-Chi Koenigsberger,

Unit Website Builders:  Dr Kate Rowen and Dr Leonie Hughes



Associate Professor Phil Schneider has accepted the role of the Deputy Head of Discipline of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering and Chemistry.

Phil will be working closely with Head of Discipline, Associate Professor Gamini Senanayake and other staff, to develop strategies for increasing student numbers in the CMEC majors. Phil will also assist Gamini with day-to-day operations of the Discipline and will be the Acting Head of Discipline during Gamini’s absence.

Please join me in welcoming Phil into his new role.

Associate Professor Graeme Cole has finished up as Head of Discipline, Electrical Engineering, Energy and Physics and Professor Bruce Gardiner has stepped in as interim Head of Discipline, effective from 18th of April.

I would like to thank Graeme for all of his work during his time in the role and also thank Bruce for stepping in as interim Head. Expressions of interest are currently being called for the Head of Discipline role, please email me on if you would like to nominate.



The School of Engineering and Information Technology held a professional association’s, staff and student networking BBQ on Thursday 6th April. It is estimated that around 300 staff and students enjoyed the fine weather, food and drinks, and the opportunity to meet with industry representatives relevant to their disciplines. There was plenty of time for students and staff to take the opportunity to interact away from the classroom environment. One of the key elements to the event’s success, was the high number of academic staff present and the encouragement they provided to their students’ to participate.

Another important part of the event’s success, was due to the representation from the Australian Computer Society, Engineers Australia and the Australian Institute of Physics. Many thanks to these representatives for their attendance and the resources they provided. Thank you also to the representatives from the Australian Mathematical Society, the Royal Australian Chemical Institute, the Institute of Engineering and Technology and the Murdoch Careers and Employment Centre. Their presence and support for the event made a tangible difference. We appreciate all of our visitors and representative taking time out of their busy schedules to attend this event.

Thank you also to all the School staff that were able to make it on the day. Special mention needs to go to the Student Advisors for coordinating the invitation and registration process, the development and delivery of the first year survey, as well as liaison and coordination with our guests and external visitors to ensure their attendance and participation. Acknowledgement also needs to be made of the School’s administrative team, technical staff and senior students who assisted with other resources, such as food preparation, set up, clean up and cooking on the day. Feedback from staff and students, as well as our visitors was very positive and we look forward to holding similar events again in the future.

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Sharing information at the School BBQ
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Students, staff and association visitors enjoying the food, sunshine and conversation

Article and photo content provided by Dianne Noonan and Mandy Middle


Photo 9 1 First Year Survey Draw.jpgA huge thank you is extended to all those students who completed the School of Engineering and Information Technology First Year Survey.

Students in the first year of study were requested to complete the survey in an endeavor to address the question of how their expectations as first year students could be better balanced and integrated, and to provide feedback on their experience as a first year student in the School.

The survey provided students with an opportunity to tell us about their Photo 9 First Year Survey Draw.jpgcourse and to share their experiences of transitioning into university study. The School will use this information to understand the experience of its students, and to help inform change.

All students who completed the survey went into a prize draw for a variety of vouchers’. School Dean, Professor Bogdan Dlugogorski and Leandra Corich, School Administrative Officer, both assisted with the drawing of the names of the prize winners.

We are pleased to announce the following prize winners:

Harrison O’Sullivan, Enrique Gentino Reboso, Mitchell Davidson, Xavier Hodgson, Morgan Humphreys, Isaac Dawe, Daniel Griffith, Rez Daliloltejari, Aaron Gore, Amie Thompson, Toby Coulstock, Meg Atcheson, Bryce Standley, Mykel Councillor, Raymond Connors, Joshua Liu, Matthew Jones, Ethan Triplett, Adam McClements, Liam Kinsella.

You had to be in it to win it! The Dean, Professor Bogdan Dlugogorski helps to draw the winners of the First Year Survey

Article and photo content provided by Dianne Noonan


Murdoch University is a member of The Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering (AINSE), which supports research and education in the fields of Nuclear Science and Engineering.

As part of its activities, AINSE is organising an annual Winter School for senior undergraduate students from the member universities. This year it will be held at the Australia Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) in Lucas Heights, about 30 km south of Sydney, during 17th to 21st July 2017. Attendance at the event is fully funded by a scholarship.

During the past three months, all senior undergraduate students in the School of Engineering and Information Technology were encouraged to contact their local AINSE Councillor, Dr Aleks Nikoloski, to express their interest in this event and to find out more about the AINSE Winter School Scholarship and application process. At the close of applications on 31st March 2017, three candidates, two students from Physics and one from Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering, were selected for nomination to attend. The successful candidate Ms Kirsten Emory, a third year student from Physics, was announced by AINSE on 21st April 2017.

The AINSE Winter School is a prestigious scholarship offered to students interested in the use of nuclear techniques, which are applicable across a wide range of disciplines, such as archaeology, biology, chemistry, engineering, geology, materials science, medicine, nanotechnology, and physics. The AINSE Winter School Scholarship which Ms Emory was awarded includes:

  • Tours of ANSTO labs and facilities
  • Lectures and experimental sessions
  • High profile guest speakers
  • An opportunity to network with other students and ANSTO researchers
  • Extensive social program
  • Flights & Accommodation to Sydney
  • All meals

On completion of the AINSE Winter School, Ms Emory will provide a brief outline of her experience.

For any further queries about AINSE and the available scholarships or other activities related to nuclear science and engineering, please contact Dr Aleks Nikoloski at


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