School of Engineering and IT

School of Engineering and Information Technology

Dean's Newsletter

February 2017

February has seen everyone busy preparing for the start of semester, with a lot happening behind the scenes. We have been preparing for the student orientation day on Tuesday, 21st February. As preparations are almost complete, we look forward to featuring some of the highlights of the day in the next edition of the newsletter.

The School has also had some changes to executive discipline teams and academic chairs; most notably we say thank you to Dr Kevin Wong for his time as Head of Discipline, Information Technology and welcome a new Head and Deputy of Discipline. See the Newsletter for more details on this and other changes within the School.

In this Newsletter, we also take the opportunity to catch up on some of the staff and student achievements we did not get to feature last month.

One achievement we are glad to present, is the Information Technology Schools’ student success at the 16th Asia Pacific ICT Alliance (APICTA) Awards 2016 in Taipei, Taiwan.

Photo 1 APICTA.jpg

From left, Mr Mark Carriedo, student team representative and right, Dr Mohd Fairuz Shiratuddin

See our Newsletter for more details on this story and other feature articles as well as general information from the School and around 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 - 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,






Congratulations to Dr Gerd Schroeder-Turk on the publication of a co-authored paper in the Nature group’s journal Light: Science & Applications. 

Photo 2 Nature Journal.jpg

  Brezels, Bragg & Butterflies: Topological Photonics behind novel broad-band chiro-optical material

Topology, famously also called rubber sheet geometry, is a branch of mathematics that deals with the properties of an object that do not change when the object is continuously deformed by stretching, crumpling, bending but without tearing and gluing. A sphere cannot be deformed into a donut, but a donut can be continuously deformed into a coffee mug. Since the award of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics for “theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter”, topological effects are all the hype in condensed matter physics.

In a new paper “Bragg-mirror-like circular dichroism in bio-inspired quadruple-gyroid 4srs nanostructures”, just published by the Nature Group journal Light: Science & Applications, Gerd Schroeder-Turk and collaborators from RMIT University, Swinburne University and from The Australian National University describe the experimental realisation of a photonic material that owes its amazing optical properties to a topological effect.

The work describes a collaboration with Prof Min Gu's group, now called the Laboratory of Artificial-Intelligence Nanophotonics at RMIT University in Melbourne. This group has developed miniature 3D printing technology which allows to realise structures at such small scale that they can interact with light, so-called photonic crystals.

The 3D pattern in this new material is inspired by the structure realised in many green butterflies, called the Gyroid. But rather than using one of these complex spatial networks, the new material uses an entanglement of four such networks, to achieve a far stronger circular polarisation effect.

"Where there is matter, there is geometry". Johannes Kepler's famous saying provides a guiding principle for the design of new materials; spotlight on materials geometry. New 3D printing technologies that provide an immediate short cut from geometric material designs to prototypes for functional materials, need the design inspirations that come from fundamental studies of geometry and topology.

The full reference for the paper is: Benjamin P Cumming, Gerd E Schröder-Turk, Sukanta Debbarma and Min Gu, “Bragg-mirror-like circular dichroism in bio-inspired quadruple-gyroid 4srs nanostructures”, Light: Science & Applications (2017) 6, e16192; doi:10.1038/lsa.2016.192, Published online 13 January 2017.

For more information see Dr Schroeder-Turk’s blog:

Article supplied by Dr Gerd Schroeder-Turk



Dr Almantas Pivrikas, from the School of Engineering and Information Technology, received a very personal award recently in his home country, Lithuania.

The Ministry of Science and Education of the Lithuanian Republic, recognised Dr Pivrikas’s scientific achievements and accomplishments in research in the field of physical and technological disciplines, in particular in electrical conduction phenomena and the development of better opto-electronic devices. This award is dedicated to Lithuanian scientists who are living and working abroad.

All recipients were invited to receive the award in a ceremonial event at the Ministry, with nearly 200 guests present including ministers, nominating professors, family members, friends and media. Each nominating professor gave a short speech introducing the awardee, followed by a 5 minute presentation by each recipient. Dr Pivrikas was one of five recipients to be awarded on the night. The official ceremony was followed with discussions and awardees, dignitaries and invited guests all attended a banquet to celebrate the recipient’s successes.

The ceremony and proceedings were spoken in Lithuanian. Below is a link to the award ceremony featuring Dr Pivrikas and an interview conducted together with another fellow award recipient.

Dr Pivrikas was also interviewed by Lithuanian newspapers and the award winners were announced on major news channels and national TV in Lithuania. See the link below, to a Lithuanian new site, which features Dr Pivrikas success.

The award winners were provided with accommodation during their stay, which allowed them to further engage in collaborations and give talks and presentations to various research groups and to visit major new research facilities in Lithuania’s Sunrise Valley of Technology

Lithuania’s major research universities have recently been awarded multibillion euro funding for building new research facilities as well as upgrading laboratories. Combining new facilities, current high standard laboratory services, in-depth scientific knowledge of long standing professors and the enthusiasm of new and younger generation of researchers, Lithuania’s scientific road seems bright and promising.

During his visit to Lithuania, Dr Pivrikas generated a lot of interest for engagement in collaborative work with Murdoch University, as well as engaged in PhD student recruitment.

Dr Pivrikas was honoured to have received this prestigious award and looks forward to the many opportunities that will arise from the experience.

Article content provided by Dr Almantas Pivrikas



Zhe Zeng pictured centre, with other award recipientsMr Zhe Zeng, a PhD student from The School of Engineering and Information Technology, was awarded the Best Paper Award at the 1st Australia-China Conference on Science, Technology and Innovation (ACCSTI), held at UWA, 2nd to 6th February.

Mr Zeng was one of five winners in renewable energy, agriculture, medical science and civil engineering from Murdoch University, UWA and Curtin University to receive the award.

There were several key note speakers at the conference, including Nobel Laureate Professor Barry Marshall from UWA.

The conference aimed to further develop the bilateral understandings of important issues concerning both Australia and China and to disseminate knowledge of the latest developments and progress in science and technology, and also to provide an effective platform for the exchanges of ideas and networking opportunities among representatives from governments, academia, industry and research organizations of the two nations.

Zhe Zeng pictured centre, with other award recipients

For more information on the conference visit:

Article provided by Zhe Zeng 



A student Information Technology Group, has earned international acclaim with a Merit Award at the 16th Asia Pacific ICT Alliance (APICTA) Awards 2016 in Taipei, Taiwan. The award ceremony which was held in December 2016, involved entries from 17 nations and included 17 award categories.

FlexiBrains is a web-mobile based cognitive retraining system, which assists the rehabilitation of stroke survivors. It presents challenging aural, visual and visuospatial tasks, to promote a faster cognitive recovery through neuroplasticity.

FlexiBrains is part of the ongoing Neuromender project, a computer-based Virtual Reality rehabilitation system working to advance the recovery of stroke survivors.

Students Mark Carriedo, Andrew Harrison, Khalid Saleh, Saleh Alanazi, Fahad Alqahtani and Nemanja Jovanovic, worked with IT academic staff Mr Shri Rai and Dr Mohd Fairuz Shiratuddin on the project.

As part of their IT degree at Murdoch University, each student team is paired with a client (or client organisation) to provide solutions for various real-world projects.

Photo 3 APICTA.jpgThe Flexibrains team worked with Associate Professor Michelle Byrnes from WANRI (Western Australian Neuroscience Research Institute) to develop the solution for stroke survivors.

“The Murdoch IT degree is designed so that students get to work very closely with actual end users who benefit from the IT solutions provided by the students. It is great to see that two out of the three national awards have gone to Murdoch IT teams, with Murdoch being the only Australian university representing Australia in the international competition,” (Shri Rai).

The FlexiBrains project, along with another Murdoch IT project, was also recognised at the WA Information Technology & Telecommunications Alliance INCITE Awards and, the national iAwards in 2016.

Mr Mark Carriedo and Dr Mohd Fairuz Shiratuddin travelled to Taiwan to compete and won the merit award on behalf of the IT team, the School of Engineering and Information Technology, Murdoch University and Australia.

 From left, Dr Mohd Fairuz Shiratuddin and Mr Mark Carriedo, student team representative

Article and photos supplied by Dr Fairuz Shiratuddin


The School of Engineering and Information Technology School Research Committee and Dean, Professor Bogdan Dlugogorski, announced the winners in the graduate research students’ Research Poster and the Three Minute Thesis Presentation competition.

Congratulatons to the following students for the best research posters within all disciplines in the School of Engineering and Information Technology.

Best research posters by graduate student:

  Biyagama Perera Information Technology
  Gloria Rupf Electrical Engineering, Energy and Physics
  Md Mahamudul Hassan Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering and Chemistry

Best Overall Graduate Poster:

  Mohammed Kabir Uddin Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering and Chemistry

Graduate Three Minute Thesis Presentation Prize:

  Samantha Bax Information Technology           

Graduate Three Minute Thesis Presentation Highly Commended:

  Anupiya Nugaliyadde Information Technology
  Rodney Laslett Electrical Engineering, Energy and Physics      



Fadzai Nyamasve has been appointed Strategy and Growth Direct for AECOM, Africa. Ms Nayamasve is professionally trained as an electrical engineer and graduated from Murdoch University in 2006, with a double major in Engineering and Business. Murdoch University is looking at reintroducing similar double majors in the future.

See the following link for further details on Ms Nyamasve’s success in AECOM:



Associate Professor Kevin Wong will step down as the Head of Discipline of Information Technology with effect from 6th March 2017.

Kevin has contributed greatly towards the running of the Discipline over the past years. Due to his involvements in several research projects, he has decided to step down from his current position.

Kevin has led successful teaching programs in the Discipline, streamlined and supported research efforts and continued with important outreach programs that increased our student numbers. Under his leadership, the Discipline has gone from strength to strength.

Please join me in thanking Kevin for his countless hours and tremendous insights that he has given to the Head of Discipline role.

The following colleagues will assume their new academic roles within the Discipline of Information Technology from 6th March, 2017:

Associate Professor Hamid Laga – Head of Discipline of Information Technology

Dr David Murray - Deputy Head of Discipline of Information Technology

Please welcome Hamid and David to their new roles.


The following academic staff will take on the role of Academic Chair’s from 20th February 2017:

  Mobile and Web Applications Development: Shri Rai
  Computer Science: Shri Rai
  Games Tech: Shri Rai
  Games Software Design and Production: Fairuz Shiratuddin
  Cyber Forensics and Information Security: Sebastian Zander
  Internetworking and Network Security: Terry Koziniec
  Business Information Systems: Val Hobbs
  Postgraduate Coursework: Jocelyn Armarego
  Honours: Graham Mann
  Postgraduate Research: Kevin Wong
  TNE: Danny Toohey

Please direct any queries regarding these majors to the appropriate academic staff member.


Dr Gareth Lee and Dr Manickam Minakshi have been appointed Discipline Deputy Heads of Teaching and Research respectively for Electrical Engineering, Energy and Physics.

Please welcome Gareth and Manickam to the new roles.


From 1st January 2017, there is a new process for the marking of Computer Answer Sheets used in exams and mid-term tests.

Please see the link for more details:


Staff will soon be able to access a range of People and Culture support services at any time, following the launch of the new online HR Helpdesk. HRNow, as it is known, will provide a simple and efficient way for staff to seek information, request services, track progress, provide updates and manage enquiries efficiently and effectively online.

Effective today, emails sent to HR helpdesk, casual helpdesk, superannuation and salary packaging will be assigned a ticket through the new helpdesk platform and you will be able to follow up with the employee services team using the assigned ticket number.

In 2017, HRNow will be progressively expanded to include a comprehensive range of HR services that will allow you to access the HRNow portal to track progress of your queries and service requests with the People and Culture office. HRNow will also provide self-service options in the form of dynamic knowledge articles on key People and Culture processes and practices.

Staff feedback is welcome and can be directed to 



The Murdoch Careers and Employment Centre’s CareerConnect newsletter January 2017 has been released.

To register and subscribe to the Newsletter, go to CareerConnect. The site includes useful information for both students and staff.

To see what is available check the Newsletter for career information and upcoming events CareerConnect Newsletter January 2017.

WREC XVI 2017 CONFERENCE - 5TH TO 9TH FEBRUARY 2016WREC Dr Anda welcoming SEIT Dean to the podium.jpg

Murdoch University was privileged to host the World Renewable Energy Congress XVI on 5th to 9th of February. The conference brought together over 200 delegates to discuss the environmental impact of carbon emissions on society and how best to transition towards a 100% renewable energy target. Dr David Goodfield was the conference manager, while Dr Martin Anda headed the conference as chair.

As concerns grow worldwide, about increasing carbon emissions, the development and implementation of renewable energy technologies has never been more important. Welcoming a range of policy leaders, environmental scientists, engineering innovators and project developers, the conference focused on discussions on how the economy could shift away from traditional methods of coal, oil and gas power generation and move towards’ more sustainable alternatives. Perth is a city experiencing an exponential growth rate and has had to adopt other forms of energy apart from the long established coal and gas sectors. Visitors were able to witness initiatives in solar, geothermal and wind energy as well as leading technology in biomass conversion.

Conference delegates were invited to explore sites around Perth, where renewable initiatives were currently in place. Field visits included a tour of the recently completed Landcorp project, Gen Y Demonstration Home in White Gum Valley. The delegates also visited the Hilton home of Dr Josh Byrne, Director of Josh Byrne & Associates. Both of these properties showed how sustainable housing, could be a practical and cost-effective way of living. In addition to this, field tours included a visit to Energy Made Clean in Belmont, which focuses on micro-grid power and storage; Fremantle Aquatic Centre, which conducts the geothermal water heating project; Biogass Renewables in Jandakot, that run a bioenergy plant and Murdoch’s Algae Centre, a research facility for the conversion of algae to biofuel.WREC Simon Gamble Rottnests energy mix.jpg

A technical tour to Rottnest Island was also attended by 73 delegates where Simon Gamble, technical manager of small renewable asset development at Hydro Tasmania, showed the group the integration of a 600kW photovoltaic into the system. The participants were then invited to attend a public forum with the City of Fremantle. This proved to be a huge success, with over 220 members of the public attending, including the Mayor of Fremantle, Brad Pettitt.

The WREC Conference was the largest conference ever hosted by Murdoch University and it proved a huge success with 30 countries being represented. The quality of oral and poster presentations were extremely high. Dr Goodfield said, “I’ve had 30 emails in one day praising how well the entire event was,” and “The challenge now becomes how to develop and convert policy to technical ways of reducing carbon emissions.” The conference showcased to all participants, what Murdoch has to offer not only as a university, but also as a global and innovative leader in the renewable energy research.

The resolutions and recommendations from the conference are as follows:

World Renewable Energy Conference 2017, Perth, Australia

Conference Statement

WREC2017 was held at Murdoch University in Perth Western Australia from 5 – 8 February 2017.

The theme of the Conference was the Transition to 100% Renewable Energy.

The Conference was attended by 310 delegates from 30 different countries and 165 oral presentations and 45 posters were presented.

The Conference delegates noted that:

  1. Climate change is happening now and is already affecting the health and welfare of communities and ecosystems across the globe.
  2. Some areas such as small island states and semi-arid regions are highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
  3. Renewable energy offers a solution to the problem of global warming, which is driving climate change.
  4. A global transition to renewable energy is underway but it needs to be accelerated to avoid severe impacts from climate change.
  5. In making this transition to a zero carbon economy we need to provide support and assistance to those people and sectors of the community that were previously reliant on fossil fuels for their income.

 The World Renewable Energy Conference 2017 therefore resolved:  

 1. To call upon the Australian and Western Australian Governments to:.
a. Support an accelerated transition to a renewable energy economy by establishing meaningful Renewable Energy Targets for both the stationary and transport energy sectors. The suggested targets for stationary energy are 30% by 2020 and 100% by 2040 and for transport energy 30% by 2030 and 100% from renewables by 2050 (all cars electric by 2030).
b. Conduct an inquiry into subsidies for fossil fuels and barriers to the use of renewable energy, with the aim of phasing out these subsidies and removing the barriers to renewables before 2020.
c. Develop a renewable energy strategy to guide the transition to 100% renewable energy. The strategy to include measures to phase out fossil fuel generators (coal by 2030) and measures to assist workers affected by the phase out of fossil fuels.
d. Enable all new buildings from 2020 to be clad in solar PV or solar water heaters.
e. Develop a balanced policy framework with harmonisation between state and federal energy agencies, greater transparency across agency activities and information; and clear linkages between the energy sector and climate change policy.


To approach the WREN Secretariat with a view to holding another Conference in Perth in 2021 (extended from 3 days to 4.5 days)
 3. To thank Murdoch University for hosting this Conference and Dr Kuruvilla Mathew and Dr David Goodfield and their Local Organising Committee.


WREC Dr Unggul Priyanto Chairman BPPT keynote.jpg WREC VC welcome.jpg WREC Dr Dave Renne  keynote.jpg



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