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5 things we learnt at Research Conversazione

18 October 2018
Showcasing our latest research in engineering and computer science
Farming robots, human breast milk and IoT cybersecurity may seem like unrelated topics, but they all came together under one roof at the Faculty of Engineering and IT's premier annual research event, Research Conversazione.

1. Robots boosting food security in the Pacific

An inexpensive way for small-scale farmers to increase crop yields, particularly of nutritious foods, in developing countries is on the horizon thanks to the Digital FarmHand. Engineered by the Australian Centre for Field Robotics, the robot uses low-cost, open-source technology to read crop information in real-time via a smartphone to provide an immense amount of data to the grower. Trials are currently being undertaken in Fiji and Samoa.

2. Innovative processing techniques for human milk

An underlying interest in human nutrition is the catalyst for PhD candidate Katherine Blackshaw’s research into the preservation of human breast milk – the primary source of nutrition for newborn babies. Her project is investigating the viability of freeze-dried donated human milk, alternative pathogen control options and thermal treatment to preserve the immune function of milk.

3. Better ways to energise the community

Sustainable energy systems are evolving within and isolated from conventional energy systems, bringing a level of variability that must be understood. Fortunately, the research of sustainable engineer Elizabeth Tomc is helping to shed light on this area, exploring the implementation of renewable energy networks in new developments using holistic approaches that address technology, finance, ownership and governance.

4. Finally understanding housing markets

Home may be where the heart is but for many owning such an abode is simply a pipedream due to unpredictable housing markets and trends. However, there is hope for future prospective home buyers courtesy of complex systems researcher Kirill Glavatskiy. His project aims to model the behaviour of the housing market with capacity to measure, predict and mitigate systematic risks. Best of all, it intends to provide specific guidelines to economic policymakers.

5. Improving cybersecurity in the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things offers new ways for businesses to create value, however the constant connectivity and data sharing also creates new opportunities for information to be compromised. That’s why IoT engineer Abubakar Sadiq Sani is creating a cybersecurity toolkit, designing lightweight cryptographic protocols and building real-time cybersecurity awareness, decision making, and risk assessment models to identify and overcome cybersecurity problems.

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