School of Engineering and IT

School of Engineering and Information Technology

Dean's Newsletter

January 2017

Welcome back to what is shaping up to be another productive and successful academic year for teaching and research.

I would like to also say a particular thank you, to those staff that worked through the limited service period and provided ongoing teaching and technical support to our students on and off campus. For those that had the opportunity to take full advantage of the end of year closedown, I hope you had a restful break.

As 2017 gathers momentum, we can reflect on some of the events and achievements from the end of 2016. In this edition of the newsletter we feature the wonderful accomplishment by group of Electrical Engineering students, who won first prize in a major state competition, see our newsletter for more details.

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'Hackathon' winners from left, Robert Pezzaniti, Josephine Brain, Andrew Forbes and Radek Sabesta

I hope you enjoy the first newsletter for the year and I look forward to sharing more with you during 2017.

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,





Dr Aleks Nikoloski – elected member, AusIMM, Metallurgical Society Committee

Congratulations to Dr Nikoloski on his election as a member of the AusIMM’s, Metallurgical Society Committee, also known as MetSoc. The AusIMM is the main accreditation body for the University courses in extractive metallurgy and also provides members with professional development services, to support them through their careers and enables professional input to industry and the community. Dr Nikoloski’s term of appointment is for three years, with a possibility for re-election after this.

Dr Nikoloski had the following to say about becoming a member of AusIMM:

‘I hold Murdoch University and chemical and metallurgical engineering very much at heart. As a metallurgist and someone who graduated at Murdoch, representing the University on this most important of bodies dealing with extractive metallurgy in Australasia, is an excellent way to achieve many positive things. I see my participation in the Metallurgical Society (MetSoc) Committee of the AusIMM, as a chance to advance my own, as well as Murdoch’s ability, to continue to lead in the area of mineral resources, science and engineering.

I believe that Murdoch University is the best in Western Australia for education and research in extractive metallurgy. As Academic Chair in this area for the past four years, I have had the chance to plan and lead the transition from the old course structure, to the new major in Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering. I was responsible for the management and development of the new program in line with the University’s vision, mission and goals and ensuring high quality teaching and learning and research.

With the assistance of my colleagues, we established a new set of units and greatly increased the number of students enrolled in this new major; a fourfold increase from the previous years. This year, we look forward to see the first cohort of around twenty graduates, completing their final units in the new degree. We have also gained a provisional accreditation from Engineers Australia and expect to be fully accredited when the first group of graduates complete the units. And as of this year, we have also established a full team of knowledgeable academics, who will ensure the continued success and further development of chemical engineering at Murdoch.

My role in the MetSoc committee will be an extension of my work at Murdoch University and help to convey Murdoch’s vision beyond the University borders. The MetSoc committee members are leaders in minerals resources, science and engineering in Australia and come from both industry and academia. I have had the pleasure of working with some of the members through my existing activities and look forward to working with all of the other minerals professionals and share our knowledge and expertise.

The MetSoc connects frequently via email, group conference calls and holds meetings once or twice per year. The committee regularly engages in discussions on a number of interesting and important minerals topics. Every committee member has an interest in the success of the profession and they bring their most innovative ideas and best practices to the table. Many ideas and suggestions also come from people in the profession and the community and we discuss these issues and initiate action where appropriate. As part of the committee, I am inspired and pleased to be ‘in-the-know’, to be able to contribute positively to the industry and academic studies in the minerals field and I am sure I will learn so much more as a volunteer member. Overall, being a member of the AusIMM and the Metallurgical Society is a great opportunity and as part of it, I look forward to contributing to the minerals industry, teaching and learning and research at Murdoch University and to the Australian community.‘

For more details regarding the MetSoc Committee and the Strategic Plan 2017-2020, refer to the following links:

Heavy Vehicle Services, Mainroads Hackathon

Congratulations to Andrew Forbes, Josephine Brain, Robert Pezzaniti and Radek Sebesta, for taking home the $10,000 first prize in the Heavy Vehicle Services Hackathon.

The team are all undergraduate students in Electrical Engineering, who between them are studying Industrial Computer Systems Engineering; Renewable Energy Engineering and Instrumentation and Control Engineering.

The competition was run in collaboration with the Cisco Internet of Everything Innovation Centre (CIIC), at Curtin University and in consultation with the Department of Transport Driver and Vehicle Services, Main Roads Heavy Vehicle Services (HVS). The competition engaged four Western Australian universities to run a themed hackathon and to research the viability of integrating a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and Global System for Mobile communication (GSM), to enable a self-powered device into a heavy vehicle number plate. Each of the teams involved in the competition, submitted their design idea and provided a presentation on a proposed ‘Smart Plate’ solution, to a judging panel of industry and subject matter experts.

The ‘Smart Plate’ works by digitising a simple heavy vehicle number plate through the embedding and integration of technology. With this new design, Heavy Vehicle Services hopes to be able to deliver a range of innovative solutions aimed at increasing the safety, access and productivity of the heavy vehicle industry. Such a solution would be a world first and position Western Australia at the forefront of using technology to deliver greater access and productivity.

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‘Hackathon’ winners from left Andrew Forbes; Josephine Brain; from right, Robert Pezzaniti, Radek Sebesta, with Associate Professor Hamid Laga from the Discipline of Information Technology, (centre)

The teams’ success has also been featured on the following sites:

Additional photos from the event provided by Mainroads are available at:


2016 New Colombo Plan Scholar - Justin Freeman

Justin Freeman was a recipient of the 2016 New Colombo Plan Scholarship in 2016 and was also awarded the position of New Colombo Plan Fellow for being the best candidate at the time.

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Justin Freeman (centre) being awarded the NCP Scholarship 2016, with Foreign Affairs Minister, Julia Bishop and Governer General, Peter Cosgrave

The New Colombo Plan is an Australian Government initiative, which aims to expand knowledge of research and innovation in the Asia-Pacific region. The scheme provides funding to Australian undergraduate students, which allows them to undertake internships in countries in the region. Justin obtained an internship at Yonsie University and is also currently enrolled in Bachelor Science, Physics and Nanotechnology at Murdoch University, School of Engineering and Information Technology.

Justin was recently featured in the Yonsei University newsletter and was also invited by the Australian Embassy in Korea to record for their podcast and to talk about the scholarship, his experience at Yonsei University and his passion for physics and nanotechnology. This was a wonderful opportunity and experience for Justin and provided the opportunity to share his insights into studying abroad and his plans for the future.

Justin also outlines the reason why he chose Murdoch University to study physics and nanotechnology, which was mainly because of the specific Physics and Nanotechnology degree the University offered and the potential it provided for developing green energy technology in the future. He also states that Murdoch University provides flexibility in study options for mature age students, with recorded lectures and external study options.

To listen to the full podcast go to and the Yonsei University newsletter.

Environmental Engineering Master’s Degree – The Way of the Future

Dr Martin Anda was recently interviewed by Channel Nine News for a story on the current shortage of job opportunities for WA university graduates. It seems that University students will need to become more aware of the type of education and skills they will need in the future, to avoid long-term unemployment.

The story from Channel Nine also featured environmental engineering student, Clinton Berry. Mr Berry has enrolled in the Environmental Engineering Master’s Degree at Murdoch University and wants to eventually work as a de-salination engineer. Mr Berry suggested that there was a shift towards waste and water management jobs becoming increasingly in demand and Dr Anda collaborated with this in stating that there is ‘no shortage of work for environmental engineer graduates’.

To see the entire story go to:

For the Love of Coffee

Jaryd Revere and Michael D’Uva both attended Murdoch University and completed their studies in 2014. Mr Revere finished a Post Graduate Diploma in Energy Studies and Mr D’Uva completed a Bachelor of Engineering. Both graduates eventually found themselves working for the same renewable energy company and became friends. Through this friendship, they discovered a mutual love of roasted coffee and the entrepreneurial alumni set about starting up their own company and combining their passion with e-commerce.

The pair now run the online ‘Roasting Depot’, which provides other coffee lovers the opportunity to buy roasted coffee on line. For more details on this story visit the West Australian newspaper website at:

Apply for Honours and Post Graduate courses

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