School of Engineering and IT

School of Engineering and Information Technology

Dean's Newsletter

December 2018

Dean - Professor Bogdan Dlugogorski

As the year draws to an end, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to all academic and professional staff for their hard work and dedication during what was at times a challenging, but also an outstanding year of academic achievements. I find it difficult to mention anyone by name, because there are so many of you who have contributed to our accomplishments. Actually, it is perhaps our personal involvement and the support that we all have given to each other, regardless of what part of the School we come from, that underpin our accomplishments. Our ranking in QILT and Good Universities Guide speak for themselves, and so does the tremendous gain in our research standing, both in depth and breadth. Good Universities exist because of the quality of their academics and students, and excellence of their professional staff who make everything tick. Our infrastructure comes closely second. We have made good progress on this front too, with new laboratories and new equipment.

Our final Newsletter for 2018 is the last under the School of Engineering and Information Technology. It has been my pleasure over the years to share with you in Newsletter the many wonderful stories from our students and academic and professional staff. As we transition into the College of Science, Health, Engineering and Education, I trust that you carry over our values of excellence and dignity of others that we have cherished so much in our School. On a personal note, I would like to thank everyone who has written articles for the Newsletter, have put it together and have published it. Again, there have been so many of you that I would be afraid to mention names not to miss anyone.

Congratulations this month to Dr Ferdous Sohel, Dr Christian Payne and PhD student, Mr Hudan Studiawan, on winning the 2018 SRI Security Congress Best Paper Award, for your paper titled “Automatic log parser to support forensic analysis”, which was presented at the 16th Australian Digital Forensics Conference 2018. Also, I have just learned that Associate Professor Kevin Wong was awarded 2018 APNNS Excellent Service Award (APNNS is Asia Pacific Neural Network Society) and Dr Hans Oskierski gained 16 days of access to the ANSTO facilities in Sydney. Well done Kevin and Hans.

We also say congratulations to several staff in the School for their successful applications for the VC Small Steps of Innovation Round 2 awards. Well done also to one of our brightest Environmental Engineering students, Tom Wheeler who was awarded a grant from DFAT for a sustainable water initiative in Indonesia. See the Newsletter for more detail on both of these stories.

As we wrap up the final Newsletter and the end of the year, I wish you all a joyful and safe holiday period and I hope you get the opportunity to relax and enjoy time with friends, family and loved ones. Judging from what we all have accomplished together, 2019 will be another year of wonderful achievements and great success in research, scholarship and teaching.

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


Murdoch Student Ambassador Wins DFAT Friendship Grant
Sustainable Energy Scholarship
Are you Eligible for a 'Murdoch First Scholarship'?
Scholarship for Scientific Excellence
Help Lead the Way to Clean Energy Storage
Apply for Honours and Postgraduate Courses
Murdoch Takes Science to the Show Grounds
Caitlan Sweeney Joins the Murdoch University Outreach Team
VC Small Steps of Innovation Round 2
Australian Institute of Physics Congress
FBI CRC Successfully Submitted
Message from the School Manager
Christmas Stocking Filler For That Special Someone With Dodgy Knees



Environmental Engineering student Tom Wheeler has been awarded $60,000 in funding from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, to set-up a new initiative and provide sustainable and safe drinking water for school children in Nusa Lembongan off Bali. Tom and partners Moerk Water Solutions, Surfrider Association and Bottle for Botel will build a solar powered seawater desalination unit at the school, which will provide safe drinking water, while avoiding the use of single use plastics. Safe drinking water and plastic pollution is a major environmental concern across Indonesia.

Tom is entering his final year of Environmental Engineering and was also recently awarded the Student Water Prize by the Australian Water Association. Chair of Environmental Engineering at Murdoch University Dr Martin Anda recently said "Tom is an extraordinary student; not only does he do exceptionally well in his studies, he works as an ambassador for the university and works tirelessly to assist developing communities and the natural environment in Indonesia, where he also loves to go surfing. Tom is an inspiration to his fellow students and to us all."

For more detail on this story go to: Friendship Grant to help clean up Bali's beaches


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For more information contact:
Caroline Mei
Communications Co-ordinator
Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership


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


To find out more go to


To find out more go to



On the 18th of August, Caitlin Sweeney from Outreach, Lani Davies and Saijel Jani from the chemistry technical group, presented a science show to the general public at Claremont show grounds.

During the 30-minute performance, the audience were exhilarated by explosions with gas mixtures and hydrogen rockets, oxidation reduction reactions demonstrating spectacular colour changes and the wonders of liquid Nitrogen.

The show was appreciated by many people and was a great opportunity to represent Murdoch University and display to the community how Science can be interesting and fun at the same time.

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Article provided by Andrew Foreman, Technical Resources Manager


After more than four and a half years of enthusiastic work with the School, particularly in the areas of Chemistry/CMEC, Miss Caitlin Sweeney is following her career into the Outreach sphere of Science with Murdoch University. Caitlin has shown great dedication in her role with the School and has provided wonderful support in Technical Services. Congratulations to Caitlin on her new role, we wish her every success and we look forward to continuing working with her in promoting STEM to students and the community.

Article provided by Andrew Foreman, Technical Resources Manager


As part of the consultation with University staff during the development of the University Strategic Plan and Future Horizon 2017-2027, many staff suggested the University consider a program that helps to foster innovative ideas and progress.

The VC Small Steps of Innovation Funding Program was established in 2018 and encourages staff to take small steps of innovation to create improvements across the University, in individual Schools and departments and ultimately enhance the experiences of staff and/or students.

In the recent round of applications, three teams from the School of Engineering and IT were awarded between $4,000 to $5,000. All three projects were assessed as innovative and creative, with potential to drive improvements in teaching and research activities across the University.

Dr Piotr Kowalczyk; Dr Artur Deditius and Dr David Ralph

Controlling wettability of nanoporous adsorbents for enhance pharmaceuticals purification.

Dr Martin Anda and Dr Stewart Dallas

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Dr Manickam Minakshi-Sundaram

Could Landfill Eggshells Be An Alternative Electrode To Store Energy? Brief below:

Eggshells that are crushed into a fine powder could be an inexpensive alternative electrode in renewable energy storage options.
As eggshells are abundant and inexpensive, and could put green energy to use in developing countries if the device proves successful on a larger scale.
The reversible faradaic and non-faradaic transfer of lithium ions from the electrolyte into the eggshell electrode surface shows a potential value for practical applications.
The preliminary work has been highlighted in the front cover of Dalton Transactions, peer-reviewed (tier 1) journal, published by the Royal Society of Chemistry.


Murdoch University recently hosted the Pitch@Palace Australia event, which was founded by His Royal Highness the Duke of York. There were eight winning innovative business ideas from Western Australian entrepreneurs and early stage businesses. These winners will go on to the Pitch@Palace Boot Camp and national final in Brisbane.

One of the successful pitches presented were from recent Bachelor of Engineering Honour graduates, Luke Beumont Barrett and Robert Pezzaniti from Geo Risk Systems. Their real time risk management software uses artificial intelligence to help users visualise, monitor and manage risk in real time.

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Luke Beumont Barrett presenting the risk management software at Pitch@Palace

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SEIT audience representation at Pitch@Palace from left Associate Professor Senanayake, Professor Gardiner, Mrs Treloar-Cook, Dr Shiratuddin, Associate Professor Laga and Professor Bahri Arabzadeh


The 23rd Australian Institute of Physics Congress was held in Perth from 9th to 13th December and attracted approximately 780 delegates from across Australia along with some exceptional international speakers.

Murdoch staff and students were heavily involved in the organisation of the event and all reports indicate it was a roaring success.

The organising committee included Associate Professor Gerd Schröder-Turk as Chair, Dr Almantas Pivrikas as Secretary and physics student Kathryn Wilson, as an undergraduate student member. The Program Committee included Professor Bruce Gardiner as Secretary and Professor Schröder-Turk (once again) as a member.

During the conference, there was a large number of undergraduate and postgraduate students helping (e.g. with AV set-up and guiding delegates), students, Azin Azdi, Tobias Hain and Phillipp Schönhöfer also presented talks and chaired sessions.

Murdoch staff members took the lead in organising sessions on:

Biophysics & Soft Matter (3 sessions)

Medical Physics

Complex Systems & Computational Physics

50 years of Bicontinuous Cubic Phases

Finally, at the closing ceremony, Gerd was singled out and thanked by the incoming AIP President, Professor Jodie Bradby, (ANU), for “the warmth and community building he created”. This view was shared among all the delegates. The professional conference organisers also advised what a pleasure it was working with Gerd. In appreciation, Gerd was presented with the filter to project the Congress logo shown in the photo below.

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Associate Professor Gerd Schroeder-Turk at the AIP Congress

Article provided by Professor Bruce Gardiner


The final application for the Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre (FBI CRC) was submitted 28th November for consideration in the Stage 2 of the Commonwealth’s 20th CRC investment round.

The FBI CRC will be a 5 year industry-led R&D program with the consolidation phase in year 6, designed to build on the strengths of Australia’s mineral resources industry and for researchers to generate new knowledge that will underpin and expand our existing competitive advantages, and help build the necessary skills for emerging battery industries.

It is anticipated that the research effort in Western Australia will focus primarily on the mine to precursor and composite materials production, as we are close to the majority of new investments in mine sites for battery minerals. In this space Murdoch has particular strengths and a long standing reputation for research excellence.

We now progress to the final stage in what remains a competitive process (with five other bids considered), and an interview with the CRC Advisory Committee in Canberra likely to take place early next year. The Federal Government is expected to announce the successful recipients soon after that with funding to successful CRCs available from 1 July 2019.

Thank you to all of the staff and students for their engagement and support through this process.

Article provided by Associate Professor Aleks Nikoloski


As we are nearing the end of the year, and the end of the current School structure, I would personally thank Mary, Emma, Leandra, Rosie and June for their contribution, ideas, collegiality and unwavering dedication to the School and Disciplines. They work exceptionally well as a team, are always there to support each other (and me), and I sincerely thank them for everything that they do.

Take a break – Relax – Rejuvenate

What a year 2019 has been. We have seen an unprecedented increase in international onshore student numbers in the School. Colleagues have retired and resigned and we have welcomed some new colleagues – with more to arrive in the New Year. All areas have been short staffed and working hard to meet the demands of the relevant areas.

So whilst teaching doesn’t stop during the Limited Services Period, I thought I would give some ideas of how you can take some time out and relax!

  • Go to the beach early in the day and soak up those positive ions and Vitamin D
  • Go for a walk in Kings Park
  • Walk around the bridges – Narrows Bridge around the river to Canning Bridge
  • Explore the city – Yagan’s Square and the Northbridge Piazza
  • Go fishing in the Swan River – there a lots of lovely spots
  • Take a picnic and a good book and find a nice spot to sit, read and get out

I wish you all a restful and peaceful break.

So what happens in January 2019?

Until the end of January 2019 there is absolutely no change to the way that the Administrative Office supports the existing Disciplines of EEPE, IT, CMEC and MAS. Whilst staff will be taking some well earned time off, the administrative team will be operating on a ‘business as usual’ basis.

I will still be supporting the new Disciplines in the same way I currently do, with just a change in position title to Operations Manager.

The following extract was overviewed in the last Towards 2027 presentation and is available on the Towards 2027 microsite and outlines who will be supporting the new disciplines in the College of Science, Health, Engineering and Education in January 2019.

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What you need to do before we break for the Limited Services Period and Christmas.

  • Outlook Email Signature

Please remove reference to the School of Engineering and Information Technology from your email signature. Your new email signature should include your name and contact details as per normal plus the name of your new discipline and college

Discipline of Information Technology
College of Science, Health, Engineering and Education
  • Extension to Limited Services Period

The University officially closes at COB Friday 21st December and reopens on Thursday 3rd January. If you would like a full 2 weeks off for the Limited Services Period, please book Thursday 3rd and Friday 4th January off as annual leave. During this period of time, Murdoch will still be supporting students with phone, email and chat support services. Specific details are available at

  • Out Of Office Message

During the Limited Services Period and any period of absence from the University, staff and students may still try and contact you. It is important that you have an out of office message that reflects alternative contacts, colleagues that can provide advice in your absence etc. A suggested message may be . . .

Thank you for your email.
Murdoch University is closed for the festive season from the 24th December until reopening on Thursday 3rd January 2019.
During this time, Murdoch Support Staff will be available most days to answer questions relating to enrolment, units, courses etc. Further information is available at
I will be returning to work on XXXXXX after taking some leave, during which time I won’t have access to emails.
If you have a specific question or matter that requires attention prior to my return, please contact my colleague Dr/Prof XXXXX who will be able to assist in my absence.

Article provided by Rebecca Treloar-Cook


Professor Bruce Gardiner and his collaborators at UWA, Melbourne and MIT have just published a book on how articular cartilage works as a tissue. It combines biology, materials physics, engineering and applied mathematics to present an integrated description of how cartilage tissue is maintained, or progresses to the disease of osteoarthritis. At the end of each chapter is a discussion for the clinician to translate what has been learned into the clinical context. Professor Gardiner says’ he considers the book as a 700 page hypothesis which has been over 5 years in the making.

So if you have someone who is hard to find a Christmas present for, and they have dodgy knees, this just may be the solution to your problems.

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Information provided by Professor Bruce Gardiner