02 February 2012
In The Loop – Issue 1/2012, 2 February 2012
In The Loop is the monthly newsletter from the College of Science, Engineering and Health.
In this month's issue…
Farewell to Professor Irena Cosic
Professor Irena Cosic will be retiring from RMIT University on 10 February 2012 after a prolific decade with the College of Science, Engineering and Health.
Professor Cosic joined the RMIT School of Electrical Engineering in 2002 as the inaugural Head of School, where she introduced significant reform, streamlining program offerings, reducing the load of course delivery and supporting the development of high quality, industry related research.
In 2007, Professor Cosic was appointed as Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research and Innovation with the College of Science, Engineering and Health. In this role, she enhanced the research culture and multi-disciplinary collaboration between different SEH schools.
Professor Cosic has been actively involved in leading the NHMRC Centre of Excellence and the biomedical electronics research group. Professor Cosic was also the interim director for a period of six months of the Health Innovations Research Institute.
Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Coloe said Professor Cosic had made an invaluable contribution to the College.
“Professor Cosic has indicated her willingness to be involved with the College in an ongoing research capacity and we wish her all the best for a happy and fulfilling retirement,” he said.
Professor Felicity Roddick will be acting Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research and Innovation whilst the position is advertised externally.
RMIT Science Experience 2012
Over 100 rural and metropolitan secondary school students recently gave up three days of their summer holidays to attend the RMIT Science Experience.
Running from the 18th to 20th January, the event was open to students entering year ten in 2012 and gave these budding scientists the chance to experience university life first hand, by attending lectures and taking part in practical sessions.
Comedian and television performer Rod Quantock opened the event with a comical address on science, and the history of the universe.
Students got hands-on experience in Chinese Medicine, forensic science, DNA, food technology, osteopathy, anatomy, electronics and statistics. They also had the opportunity to go further afield, with excursions to CERES Community Environmental Park and the Victorian Institute of Sport.
Event Co-ordinator Sarah Morley said the Science Experience is a very valuable program for both aspiring scientists and RMIT’s student volunteers.
“This event showcases the wide and varied program options available at RMIT, but most importantly it is an interactive experience, ensuring that the students have fun while learning about the possible career options available to them.”
“The volunteer group leaders were also excellent ambassadors for RMIT. Having them enthusiastically promote their programs and the RMIT experience directly to high school students is invaluable.”
The Science Experience ended with a bang as the team leaders presented a series of don’t do this at home experiments for the grand finale.
RMIT University proudly recognises Boeing Australia as the major sponsor of the RMIT Science Experience.
Rod Quantock shows his fellow dinosaur how it’s done.
Students participate in a ‘getting to know you’ activity.
Student volunteer An assists during the DNA workshop.
RMIT Peer Mentor Megan Mundy leads the group in a game.
Students get their hands dirty making acne cream during the Chinese Medicine workshop.
The Crazy Scientist (Aka SEH Marketing Manager, Nick Besley) wields an axe over Peer Mentor Megan Mundy.
2011 AIAA Student Conference
Staff and Students at the 2011 AIAA Student Conference.
The 2011 AIAA Student Conference Region VII-AU was held at RMIT Bundoora West Campus on 24 – 25 November. Sponsored by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), this was the sixth time RMIT University has hosted the event since the university established an AIAA student chapter in 2005.
Faculty Advisor and Region VII Deputy-Director for Education, Associate Professor Cees Bil said the focus of the AIAA Student Conference is undergraduate students.
“Outside of events such as this, there is little opportunity to present their thesis or design work in a professional conference environment,” he said.
Fourteen papers were submitted and presented by students from four Australian universities. The papers were assessed by international reviewers and the oral presentations were also scored by an expert panel of industry representatives.
A/Professor Cees Bil said he had received several emails from overseas reviewers commenting on the ‘Journal Quality’ of papers.
“Clearly, our undergraduate students are impressing international reviewers with the high-quality of their work and the professional write up in a technical paper,” he said.
Final year RMIT Aerospace student Jacquelynn Tian received a prize for her paper Mechanical Properties of a Composite Log Spiral Slot Conformal Load Bearing Antenna Structure.
Image quality for the social media era
Dr Stefan Winkler.
In December, the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering hosted an IEEE & ITEE lecture, looking at image quality for in the social media era with Dr Stefan Winkler.
During his presentation, Dr Winkler discussed the wide-spread use of digital cameras, imaging software, photo-sharing and social networks.
“Media production and consumption have become much more of a multi-directional, varied and complex than they used to be,” he said.
Dr Winkler gave an overview of the current state-of-the-art image and video quality assessment methods, including standardisation methods. He also discussed some of the issues with traditional approaches, their shortcomings and some unsolved problems.
New angles for image quality and social media were also discussed.
Dr Winkler is Principal Scientist and Director of the Interactive Digital Media Program at the University of Illinois’ Advanced Digital Sciences Centre (ADSC) in Singapore.
Discovery Early Career Research Awards
RMIT staff have recently received two awards from the ARC, which is a statutory authority within the Australian Government's Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (IISR) portfolio.
Congratulations to Dr Khashayar Khoshamesh and Dr Francisco Tovar for their awards.
- Dr Khashayar Khoshamesh
Analysing cell-cell communication mechanisms using microfluidic platforms.
Total grant $375,000
- Dr Francisco Tovar
Lab-on-chip platforms for hemodynamics research: new approaches for the study of blood diseases.
Total grant $375,000
College staff have also been successful in gaining grants from a range of other funding bodies. They include:
- Dr Geza Berecki (Research Fellow, HIRi)
Project title: Elucidating the mechanisms of alpha-conotoxin-induced calcium channel inhibition via G protein coupled receptors
Funding body: National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
Grant total: $404,833
- Prof Peter Little (Head of Discipline, Pharmacy)
Project title: Novel GPCR transactivation of serine kinases in vascular disease
Funding body: National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
Grant total: $373,382
- Dr Matthew Linden (Senior Lecturer, Pharmaceutical Sciences)
Project title: Using evidence to guide treatment of aspirin resistance in diabetes
Funding body: Diabetes Australia Research Trust (DART)
Grant total: $58,407
2011 Telstra Innovation Challenge
A team from the School of Computer Science and IT were winners of the 2011 Telstra Innovation Challenge.
The team, whose members included Professor Lin Padgham, Dr John Thangarajah and Dr Wilson Wong, as well as Andrew Hodgson from industry partner Real Thing Entertainment, took home the gong for their project "Open-ended Conversational System". The project fuses software agents and knowledge engineering to recreate normal conversation without the human element and hence without the cost or errors.
Manufacturing Skills Australia Innovation Award
Dr Pendharkar, from the School of Engineering TAFE recently won a Manufacturing Skills Australia Innovation Award. The award will allow Dr Pendharkar to travel to the University of Delaware and Johns Hopkins University in the USA to examine how sensing techniques can be used in the development of robotic exoskeleton and prosthetics, and the sophisticated control and co-ordination techniques that are required.
Top ten most cited papers award
Professor Jinhu Lu from the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, recently received a prestigious Top 10 Most Cited Papers Award from the Library of Chinese Academy of Sciences for the following highly cited paper in ISI Database:
Jinhu Lu and Guanrong Chen, “Generating multiscroll chaotic attractors: Theories, methods and applications,” International Journal of Bifurcation and Chaos.
This paper has been cited 131 times from the Web of Science.
Professor Lu was also invited to write an essay to briefly introduce this hot field of complex multiscroll circuits and systems in the last issue of Science Focus, December 2011. He has also been invited to the Council of Canadian Academies Survey of Science and Technology Strengths as an author of one of the top one per cent most highly cited papers in his field worldwide.
2011 Formula SAE competition
RMIT Racing competed in the 2011 Formula SAE Competition held at Victoria University's Werribee campus between the 15th and 18th of December 2011. RMIT Racing had a successful weekend, placing first in the fuel economy trial, second in the design competition, and sixth place overall.
Automotive Engineering Professor Simon Watkins was impressed with the team effort.
“You were a credit to yourselves and the University, and should feel very proud,” he said.
Opportunity to be involved in shaping the College’s academic future
Due to a resignation, a vacancy exists on the Science Engineering and Health College Board for a Higher Education Academic Representative. The term of office is for the remainder of the 2012 - 2013 term.
The College Board has overall responsibility for planning, monitoring and reviewing academic programs in Science, Engineering and Health. The Board usually meets once a month with most 2012 meetings scheduled for 3pm on the first Wednesday of the month.
A casual election will be conducted to fill this vacancy, commencing in mid-February. Staff eligible to nominate and vote (that is, Higher Education academics employed at 0.5 of a full time position or above) will be sent the Call for Nominations by email. Information will also be published on the Science, Engineering and Health Governance Secretariat's election web page.
RMIT Careers Expo
The Careers Expo is an annual event for students to meet and discuss various employment opportunities with employers from more than 100 organisations. Students can find out about different opportunities including graduate positions, vacation work and cooperative placements. Penultimate and final year students are strongly encouraged to attend. Staff are also welcome.
Date: Tuesday 6th March
Time: 1.30 pm – 4.30 pm
Location: Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton Gardens
See more information.
Enquiries Janice Robinson, 9955 5275, email@example.com
Best Paper award
Mohammad Solikin, Sujeeva Setunge and Indubhushan Patnaikuni recently received an award for best paper in the 3rd Curtin University of Technology Science and Engineering International Conference.
The research paper titled "Experimental Design Analysis of ultra fine fly ash, lime water, and Basalt fibre in mix proportion of high volume fly ash concrete" won the award at the November event which was held in Malaysia. Mr Solikin is a PhD scholar from Indonesia working under the supervision of Dr Indubhushan Patnaikuni and DrSujeeva Setunge.
Melbourne Development Circle launch
Melbourne Development Circle is launching! Melbourne Development Circle will provide a warm, friendly forum, where people working, or interested in the development and humanitarian sectors in both Australian and overseas, can meet together regularly to listen to challenging speakers; have the opportunity to chat and network with each other; share information; and possibly work together on useful outcomes for the development sector.
The first event for the year will explore the topic “Can we achieve cross-sector collaboration for better community development outcomes?”
A thought leader from business, community, education and government will address the question, followed by an evening of invigorating and challenging discussion.
- Andrew MacLeod -CEO, Committee For Melbourne
- Lizzie Brown - CEO, Engineers Without Borders Australia
- Professor Mike Donnelly - Dean, Faculty of Business and Enterprise, Swinburne University of Technology
- Jen McKinley -Manager, Planning and Development, Office for the Community Sector (OCS)
When: 6pm, Tuesday 7th February
Where: Loop, 23 Myers Pl (off Bourke St near Parliament Railway Station)
Cost: $15. Refreshments provided.
RSVP: Register for the event before Friday 3rd February, places are limited
Contact: For any queries about the event, please contact Lexi Randall-L'Estrange at firstname.lastname@example.org
AMCRC Student prize
A project involving both technology and management approaches to advanced medical manufacturing has been awarded the inaugural AMCRC RMIT Student Prize.
School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Masters student Iman Behzadian, won the $5000 prize for his proposed work, ‘Tracking System in Capsule Endoscopy’.
Three things you may not know
- During the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, the equestrian events were held in Stockholm as quarantine laws at the time would not allow horses into Australia.
- Locksport is exactly what it sounds like. The sport of competitive lockpicking.
- In a deck of playing cards, the King of Hearts is the only king without a moustache.
Science, Engineering and Health in the news (2 December – 2 February)
Senior research fellows join RMIT
Professor appointed to CSIRO Adjunct Fellowship
Study reveals happiness levels in Indigenous teens
Psychologist explains madness of the markets
Genes the key in search for perfect strawberry
Dairy weight loss study funded
Industry award supports life-changing research
Training apprentices in Laos
Ding, ding! Next stop Lyon
Team wins Telstra Innovation Challenge
PhD graduates celebrate
Researchers pack their bags
RMIT news in brief
BMW research an Australian first
Biggest trade mission to India
Three awarded $1.3 million
Class of 2011
Rapid pesticide detection tool for cleaner water
Research identifies key autism intervention window
"Happy Feet" to improve childhood vaccination programs
RMIT Professor appointed to UN Committee
Awards honour top RMIT academics
Daniel extends internship at Rolls-Royce
German researcher joins software project
Upcoming events (2 February – 29 February)
03/02/2012 2012 Australasian Computer Science Week (30 January to 3 February 2012)
05/02/2012 Mathematics and Statistics-in-Industry Study Group
For a full listing of upcoming events, please see the College Events page.
How to contribute
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In The Loop is distributed on the first Thursday of each month. Next edition: Thursday 1 March 2012.
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