Students focused on inspiring industry

2 November 2012

The annual Research Conversazione event gives engineering students the chance to show their work to industry representatives.
The annual Research Conversazione event gives engineering students the chance to show their work to industry representatives.

Engineers pride themselves on being thinkers and problem solvers and today students from the University of Sydney have presented their novel ideas to more than 200 industry representatives who attended the annual Research Conversazione event.

Research Conversazione allows Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies students to showcase their high calibre research projects undertaken as part of their undergraduate or postgraduate studies. The projects focus on innovative and applied research, in areas such as, biomedical, civil, electrical, chemical, mechanical, mechatronic, complex systems and information technologies.

Professor Archie Johnston, Dean of the faculty, says these engineers-in-training are creators of the future.

Among this group of young men and women are our country's future leaders in industry, government and academia.

"This forum allows our students to network with potential employers, industry thought leaders and the general community. Everyone has the chance to discuss the contributions this University is making to engineering and scientific knowledge," Professor Johnston says.

"This is a showcase, but in reality it is more than that, it is an interaction which allows the free flow of dialogue and ideas between industry leaders and our future graduates."

In previous years, projects showcased at Research Conversazione have initiated active commercialisation of projects or employment opportunities for graduates.

"The students' innovations could quite literally change the way we live our lives," says Professor Johnston.

Among this year's 200 poster presentations are the following projects:

Under Pressure: Does nano-modified Epoxy measure up?

This research could provide valuable data for use in areas involving high speed activity, such as in aircrafts, bullet trains, or racing cars. The research examines epoxy material and its strength in compressive tests under a variety of strain rate loadings.

'breath-sys' Respiratory Tissue Regeneration System

Acute and chronic respiratory diseases range from simple, reversible irritation to severe, fatal conditions. There are no treatments for progressive destruction of lung tissue. Individuals with severe lung disease ultimately require lung transplantation. The focus of this research is the development of a novel biomimetic bioreactor system that may be specifically tailored for culturing respiratory tissues. The 'breath-sys' bioreactor design concept consists of a dynamic, air-liquid interfacing scaffold component, a perfusion system, and a mechanical actuation unit.

Probabilistic Vehicle Motion Prediction and Cooperative Tracking in Large Environments

Vehicle tracking in a small area is easily achieved, but is a problem when vehicles are operated within a large environment of potentially hundreds of square kilometres, and over difficult terrain such as in mining operations. Among other things this work presents algorithms for long-term vehicle motion prediction and tracking based on a multiple-model approach.

Ocean science using Autonomous Underwater Vehicles: Automated detection of kelp in sea-floor images

Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) are being increasingly used to support environmental monitoring programs. This work is focused on creating an automated species detection system that operates on AUVs data. The work explores the potential for an automated classification system that assigns labels for use by marine scientists in studying coverage and distribution of benthic species. The benthic zone is the ecological region at the lowest level of a body of water such as an ocean or a lake, including the sediment surface and some sub-surface layers.

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