School of Engineering and IT

School of Engineering and Information Technology

Dean's Newsletter

June 2017

I am extremely pleased to bring you another outstanding month of notable achievements and accolades from the Schools academic and student cohort, and I hope amongst the flurry of sitting exams and marking, you can take the time to catch-up on the news from around the School.

Our main feature this month is the School of Engineering and Information Technology Award Ceremony, held in May. This event was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the academic success of all of our prize and scholarship recipients, congratulations to you all. Please read on for a full list of recipients and more information and photos from this great event.

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Marian Kemp Memorial Prize in Mathematics student recipient, George Malone (centre), with Provost, Professor Andrew Taggart (left) and Emeritus Associate Professor Barry Kissane (right) at the EIT Award Ceremony

We also bring you news of a student team that had a triumphant win at the recent annual Unearthed Hackathon, an open innovation event hosted by Spacecubed. The focus of the event was to look at the challenges faced by the states resource sector. The win is a great achievement and the potential for future business applications is an exciting prospect for the team. See our Newsletter for further details on this story.

School staff have also been receiving recognition for their contribution to research and innovation and I would like to extend my congratulations to Dr Mohammednoor Altarawneh for his recent appointment in the editorial board of the ‘Journal of Theoretical and Computational Chemistry’.

Also, congratulations to Dr Sebastian Zander and co-authors, Naeem Khademi, Grenville Armitage, Michael Welzl, Sebastian Zander, Gorry Fairhurst, David Ros for winning the best paper award at the IFIP Networking 2017 Conference in Stockholm, for their paper titled ‘Alternative Backoff: Achieving Low Latency and High Throughput with ECN and AQM’. The IFIP Networking conference is an ‘A’ CORE ranked conference.

I am also very pleased to announce that the School is offering a new Dean’s Scholarship program, with up to $20,000 for undergraduate and postgraduate students studying Engineering and Information Technology and the Sciences, please see further below for more details.

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,





Kennedy Baptist College Year 11 physics students came to test out the new “Metering Energy” practical, which was adapted from Dr Jonathon Whale's, Renewable Engineering course. This workshop gave the students a good insight into some of the skills involved with carrying out an energy audit and was an excellent demonstration of some of the courses offered in the School of Engineering and Information Technology.


We built on our current partnership with Rockingham Environment Centre, visiting with a class of GAT Year 8 students from Comet Bay College, who are working on a project on sustainable housing. The centre is a solar passive designed building and therefore was an ideal location to host the renewable engineering workshops. Dr Almantas Pivrikas came to visit the students in the afternoon to talk about some of the sustainable research projects at Murdoch University, which inspired students to be more sustainable.

Upcoming Outreach Events and Visits

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If you have any queries about Engineering and IT outreach activities, please contact Fiona Mochrie at


Semester two Open Day is fast approaching.

Sunday 30th July 2017

External Engagement will be sending another call out for volunteers on the, 28th June.

To all staff and students, please consider volunteering to help in any way you can on the day.

If students have any questions about volunteering, please contact:

Briefing sessions for volunteers are as follows:

Main Briefing Session
Thursday, 20th July
General Information: 12:30pm – 1.00pm
Emergency Awareness: 1:10pm – 1:40pm
Where: Kim Beazley Lecture Theatre

Supplementary Briefing Session
Thursday, 27th July
General Information: 12:30pm – 1pm
Where: Kim Beazley Lecture Theatre



A weekend filled with a Hackathon competition, has resulted in a potential business idea for a group of Murdoch University students. Students Brice Gower, Corey Barrit, Ryan Santos and Louis Williams emerged as the victors of the Unearthed Hackathon after a hard fought 54-hour competition.

Unearthed is an innovation hackathon event, hosted annually by Spacecubed, which offers teams the chance to solve challenges faced by the Western Australian resources sector. Teams of entrepreneurs, software developers, engineers, and designers worked together to develop prototype solutions to challenges presented by resource companies, Newcrest Mining and South32.

The Murdoch University student team had a mix of expertise with three third year Engineering students majoring in Industrial Computer Systems and Instrumentation and Control, Brice Gower, Corey Barrit and Ryan Santos, who worked together with Louis Williams, who is finishing a postgraduate degree in Psychology.

Brice, who led the Murdoch University team, said the event gave the students a fantastic insight into how real companies operate. "Most plants are built with a 30 year life span, but technology is improving so rapidly that companies now have massive leaps to make.” Brice added, “One of the major challenges faced by companies is to find ways to go through a digital transformation,” and, “we had quite an advantage heading into this competition, because Murdoch University teaches in such a hands-on and relevant way, rather than just talking about theory, which luckily resulted in a win!”

The Murdoch University team had to work on a problem posed by South32, which related to an issue at Worsley’s Alumina Refinery in Collie. Currently, most companies use a series of padlocks to manually isolate and lock isolation points, to prevent the workforce from being exposed to potentially fatal electrical, chemical and mechanical energies.

During the Hackathon, the Murdoch team came up with a smart lock embedded system, which provides live feedback and control. The team is now in talks with South32, to develop further the idea. “We are aiming to use the Hackathon prize money on making this solution for South32 a reality”, Brice continued, “we will set up an innovation incubator at SpaceCubed to begin to prototype the solution and eventually would like to use the idea to launch a Lean Start-up.”

Congratulations to all of the students on this wonderful accomplishment.

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A very pleased winning Hackathon team from left, Brice Gower, Ryan Santos, Corey Barrit and Louis Williams

Story provided by Pepita Smyth, Media and Communications Officer and photos provided by Matt Schild



The award ceremony held on Thursday, 18th May, was a celebration of the best and brightest in the School of Engineering and Information Technology.

One of the many highlights of the ceremony was the inaugural presentation of the Marian Kemp Memorial Prize in Mathematics, which was awarded to George Malone. George completed the free 14 week on track enabling program in 2015 and went on to complete his first year of Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Statistics, achieving outstanding marks and going on to win the inaugural prize.

The Marian Kemp Memorial Prize in Mathematics is awarded for academic achievement in maths, to a student who has entered Murdoch University via an enabling program. George Malone has been a great ambassador for the University, the enabling program and now for the Marian Kemp Memorial Prize. George, who is from Busselton, recently featured in the Busselton Mail and on the Murdoch website: Enabling program helped maths ace to success.

Our students are taught, inspired and mentored by some of the best academic minds in Australia, and in fact the world. The student award ceremony was testament to what can be achieved when talented and committed students have the opportunity to learn in a supportive and dedicated academic environment with world-class teaching and research staff.

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Vice Chancellor Professor Eeva Leinonen welcoming students, staff and guest to the Award Ceremony

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Postgraduate Research Director, Dr David Ralph (left), presenting the award for Graduate Poster Prize to students from left, Gloria Rupf, Harshani Perera and Md Mahamudul Hassan

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Mitchell Walker (left) is presented with the Julie Shuttleworth Prize in Mineral Processing, from Associate Professor Gamini Senanayake

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Jillian Gamble left is presented with the Graduate Prize in Energy and the Environment from Dr Jonathon Whale

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Professor Bruce Gardiner announcing the awards for Electrical Engineering, Energy and Physics

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Joseph Allsopp (left) is awarded the Outstanding Achievement in Second Year Engineering by Professor Parisa Bahri

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Professor Bruce Gardiner (far right) presents the Deans Scholarships for Scientific Excellence to students from left, John Murphy, Nicholas Berryman and Simran Vijayakumar

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George Malone (centre), receives the Marian Kemp Memorial Prize in Mathematics award from Emeritus Associate Professor Barry Kissane (left) and Provost, Professor Andrew Taggart (right)







Following is the full list of students who received awards on the night, a sincere congratulations to every one of the recipients on their accomplishment. For all of the photos from the event, go to EIT Awards 2017 photos.


Murdoch University has introduced a custom-made mobile phone application to give the University community fast access to vital safety and wellbeing resources.

Called MurdochSafe, the free app is now live and can be downloaded onto Android or Apple iPhone devices. The app allows users the ability to get immediate support for either an on-campus incident, or an off-campus emergency.

The MurdochSafe features include:

Campus Security contacts for Perth, Mandurah and Rockingham Campuses;

  • Campus emergency buttons that notify Security Services of your location;
  • Quick connection to vital off-campus safety, health and emergency resources such as 000 (Triple Zero), Mental Health Emergency Response Line, Lifeline and Crisis Care;
  • Contacts and information for on-campus medical, counselling, safety and disability services;
  • Access to Murdoch’s emergency response procedures; and
  • A map sharing function for users to send their location to anyone via email.

For more information on MurdochSafe, and to download the app, visit this site.

If you have any questions please contact Dan Byles, Manager University Resilience, on or 9360 6286.



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