03 May 2012
In The Loop – Issue 4/2012, 3 May 2012
In The Loop is the monthly newsletter from the College of Science, Engineering and Health.
In this month's issue…
Engineering Career Expo 2012
Engineering Career Expo 2012 pulled a crowd.
RMIT University was a major sponsor of the 2012 Engineers Australia Careers Expo, held in early April at Etihad Stadium which attracted over 7500 attendees. The expo provided information on education and employment options, from postgraduate to TAFE and mining to telecommunications.
Alongside more than 50 employer stands, all of RMIT's Engineering schools were represented. This year saw an increase in program enquiries, particularly from mature age students looking at a range of programs.
Highlights of the expo included packed out presentations by RMIT graduates Adam Shrimpton (SAMME) and Sarah Herkess (SoCECE). It also provided an opportunity to promote the new engineering programs available in 2013.
Associate Professor Tom Steiner answered dozens of inquiries about study options, said RMIT attracted a large number of serious inquiries from traditional and non-traditional educational backgrounds.
"It's a great opportunity to showcase the University's position as a leader in engineering education." Professor Steiner said.
"RMIT Engineering appeared to be well-recognised in the community judging by the level of interest from secondary school students, current undergraduates and practising engineers looking at further study, and even professionals thinking of cross-training into an engineering career"
Over half the attendees were graduates or current university students.
The Etihad Stadium venue was virtually at capacity with Engineers Australia already considering a larger central venue for 2013.
Students gain insight at the Experience Environment Day
Over 80 students attended this year's RMIT Experience Environment Day.
Over 70 dedicated VCE Students from metropolitan and regional Victoria recently gave up a full day of their school holidays to attend the RMIT Experience Environment Day
Prospective students with an interest in the environment discovered some of the wide and varied environmental courses offered at RMIT, by taking part in a range of interactive workshops.
The students undertook practical, hands-on workshops in a range of areas including soil testing, GIS mapping and an environmental engineering workshop on biogas. The day's schedule also included a tour of RMIT's sustainable buildings.
Presentations from the Environmental Jobs Network gave students an overview of environmental job opportunities, and recent graduates spoke about their study experiences, in particular the Vietnam Project.
Event Coordinator, Clare Russell, said the Experience Environment day provided a great insight into the career options available to prospective students interested in the environmental field.
"The students that visit us for the Experience Environment Day get a real taste of what studying at university will be like."
"By hearing about the positive learning experiences of our current students, many prospective students were inspired to pursue environmental studies at a university level."
"Events such as these encourage kids to consider a place a RMIT in the future," Ms Russell said.
New nano-hardness facilities at RMIT
The RMIT Microscopy and Microanalysis Facility's new addition, a Hysitron Model TI-950 nano-indenter.
The RMIT Microscopy and Microanalysis Facility (RMMF) now has nano-hardness measuring facilities.
With the recent installation of a Hysitron Model TI-950 nano-indenter, and a Model PI 85 Pico-indenter, the RMMF can now measure hardness at the nano-scale, for example measuring the hardness of thin films and other nano-sized devices.
RMFF Manager Phil Francis said the PI85 pico-indenter is the first nano-indenter that is incorporated into a Scanning electron Microscope in Australia.
"This piece of equipment allows site specific hardness measurement, and the ability to observe the surface during the indent process," he said.
The PI 85 SEM PicoIndenter is a depth-sensing indenter that has been interfaced with the Philips XL30 scanning electron microscope (SEM).
"With this system it is possible to perform quantitative nano-mechanical testing while simultaneously imaging with the scanning electron microscope," said Mr Francis.
"Coupling these two techniques allows the researcher to position the probe extremely accurately and to image the deformation process throughout the test," he said.
The RMMF is providing training and access to these new facilities. Interested staff can email Phil Francis at to make arrangements.
CAST award honours RMIT academic
CAST award recipient Dr Shoujin Sun.
Dr Shoujin Sun was awarded the 2012 Gordon Dunlop Award for Scientific Excellence in Research Leading to a Technological Achievement during the 2012 CAST annual conference in February 2012.
CAST is a cooperative research centre, and one of the world's leading metals research institutes specialising in research on the light metals, aluminum, magnesium and titanium as well as the ferrous metals.
Dr Sun's research is in the application of laser beams in front of cutting tools to improve the machinability of the hard-to-machine materials, such as titanium alloys and nickel alloys.
Dr Sun said the local heating and softening of workpieces by laser beam enables titanium alloys to be machined as easily as aluminium alloys.
"This means we have about a 30% reduction in machining cycle time has been achieved compared with the optimized conventional machining procedure," he said.
"We worked with a Brisbane based company, Ferra Engineering Pty Ltd, to demonstrate on the shop floor that this technology is able to make joint strike fighter parts," he said.
Dr Shoujin Sun is a senior lecturer in the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, and has been working in laser assisted manufacturing with Professor Milan Brandt for the past nine years.
A longer healthier life
RMIT University has partnered with the Australian Institute of Sport and Nestle International as part of an Australian Research Council (ARC) project looking at how diet and exercise can promote and maintain muscle growth and help keep people active longer.
Annual SEH Research Day – Advancing Engagement
A high profile line up of presentations and interactive sessions at the annual SEH Research Day will provide attendees opportunities to network with industry and colleagues.
Industry representatives from RMIT's five research focus areas have been invited to attend and participate in a facilitated panel session exploring the research challenges for relevant industry sectors;
Industry guests will have the opportunity to further explore some of the ideas and challenges raised in the morning sessions during the two hour networking lunch.
A second panel session will explore what can and does go wrong with research - industry engagement and how to avoid/or recover from these.
Attendees will also hear a keynote address on industry engagement.
Date: 1 June 2012
Time: 9.15 am for 9.30 start - closing remarks at 3.30 pm
Venue: Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens, Leopard Lodge (new conference facility)
RSVP: Register online by Monday 21 May
Questions may be addressed to Sandra Pereira.
Introducing the new Engagement and Planning team in ITS
Following an organisational review of ITS in late 2011 and a period of transition, the new ICT Engagement and Planning group has been established to better connect ITS with the RMIT community.
This group is headed by Steven Petrenko who commenced in the role of Deputy Director, ICT Engagement and Planning in mid February 2012. Prior to this role, Steven enjoyed a long career with CSL, most recently as a Senior Manager of Applications and Architecture in the Asia-Pacific region.
Steven is accountable for all engagement, planning and communication activities between ITS and the rest of the University.
His team includes five Senior IT Engagement Managers who are responsible for working closely with their respective clients (Research; Academic and TAFE; International and Development; Resources, Governance and Planning; Colleges) to identify their requirements and develop solutions to meet their needs.
The Senior IT Engagement Manager for the three academic colleges is Jonathan Goldstraw. Regular updates about the scope and priorities for the new engagement function will be communicated in the coming weeks.
NICTA's Big Picture Seminar Series presents Nobel Laureate Professor Brian Schmidt
Accelerating Universe and the hunt for dark energy: A crazy result that broke our understanding of the nature of the Cosmos
In 1998, two international teams raced to determine the fate of the Universe. Was it expanding or contracting? They found that it wasn't just expanding but that the expansion was accelerating. It was a startling discovery suggesting that an unknown force is countering the effect of gravity and pushing the Universe apart. Today cosmologists believe that this mysterious dark energy comprises 70 per cent of the Universe.
The 2011 Nobel Laureate for Physics, Brian Schmidt, leader of one of the two teams, will describe their discovery and its implications. He will explain how astronomers have traced our Universe's history back more than 13 billion years, leading them to ponder the ultimate fate of the cosmos.
Date: Tuesday 15 May
Agenda: 5.00 pm light refreshments; 6.00 pm seminar
Venue: The Spot Basement Theatre, Bldg 110 Business and Economics, 198 Berkeley St (corner Pelham St), University of Melbourne, Carlton
RSVP to Katya.Baxter@nicta.com.au by Thursday 10 May
Congratulations to the successful SEH recipients of the 2012 RMIT University Research Fellowships
Dr Everson Kandare's research interests include the evaluation of the use of polymer matrices to improve fire reaction properties, and the structural performance of aluminium and steel structures in fire. He has undertaken extensive research in the performance of composite materials and fibres when exposed to heat, and also for marine, aerospace and automotive applications.
Dr Kai (Alex) Qin is an expert in electrical and electronic engineering, Dr Qin's key research interests include global optimisation, evolutionary computation, pattern recognition and computer vision. He has an extensive record of publications and awards, and solid experience in applying academic research to industrial applications.
Dr Francisco Tovar Lopez is a founding member of the 'Lab on a Chip' team within the Micro-Platform Research Group at RMIT and has recently completed his PhD in Mechanical Engineering. His doctoral project involved the development of a micro device for blood testing. Dr Tovar Lopez specialises in computational simulation, mechanical design, microfabrication, fluid experimental techniques and programming languages.
Dr Sarah Spencer is interested in the impact of psychological stress on brain pathways that control or contribute to the body's stress responses. At the University of Calgary, Dr Spencer explored neuroimmune interactions, examining the effects of a neonatal immune challenge on the adult animals' responses to further inflammatory insults. Since returning to Australia, she has combined her research backgrounds in stress, neuroinflammation, and developmental physiology to investigate effects of early life dietary manipulations on the stress and metabolism in the adult animal.
- The City of Melbourne's first Garage Sale Trail is on Saturday 5 May. Register your garage sale, or if you're interested in grabbing a bargain, check out the map.
- The Mother's Day Classic is coming up, and Team RMIT currently has 91 members, and counting. To sponsor one of your colleagues and raise money for breast cancer research, check out the Team RMIT page.
Three things you may not know – Olympic edition
- London Olympics 2012 will be home to The International Broadcast Centre, which will be a 24 hour media hub, accommodating around 20,000 staff. It is the size of six full size football pitches.
- The tradition of athletes parading during the opening ceremony behind their national flags was introduced at the 1908 London Olympics. The 1912 Stockholm Olympics saw the introduction of country names being carried in addition to the flag.
- The first ever radio broadcast of an Olympics was from Paris in 1924.
Does pregnancy look good on me?
Seven research fellows for 2012
RMIT graduates to revolutionise how you socialise
Harnessing wind energy at high altitude
Cutting sugar for a healthy start
18/05/2012 Seminar Series 2012: Smartphone – The Centrepiece of mHealth Reality
30/05/2012 School Student Awards Ceremony 2012
For a full listing of upcoming events, please see the College Events page.
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In The Loop is distributed on the first Thursday of each month. Next edition: Thursday 7 June 2012.
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