Designing Smarter Technologies

02/04
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Improving Health and Wellbeing

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Enabling a sustainable World

Whether it be creating the remotely controlled OzBot robots that are being used by special operations units around the country, using big data to assess the mental health of whole populations, or developing high tech aerospace-grade carbon fibre composites, our researchers are dedicating their know-how to solving 21st century problems through cutting edge smart technologies.

Deakin is a world leader in carbon fibre, short fibre, metals and steel research, electromaterials, corrosion, nanotechnology and composite materials. We are home to the globally unique, open-access carbon fibre/composite research facility, Carbon Nexus, which is supporting the transition to advanced manufacturing in industries as diverse as aerospace, automotive, defence and construction.

In the field of energy, our researchers are making outstanding progress in developing more efficient energy storage systems, including smaller and longer lasting lithium and ion batteries, and high performance solar panels. A team is working with China’s Dongfang Turbine Company to create more efficient composite materials for wind turbines, while another group is exploring the use of graphene to extract hydrogen from water.

Deakin is home to some of the best future-focused engineering and design facilities in the Australian university sector, including the new Centre for Advanced Design in Engineering Training. This centre includes a Cave Automated Virtual Environment, which complements Deakin’s unique Universal Motion Simulator – the first haptically-enabled robot-based motion simulator in the world.

Our engineering and IT researchers are providing robotics, simulation modelling and haptics solutions to clients such as the Department of Defence, aerospace, automotive, logistics and health industries.

As just one example of how Deakin is pioneering research in the new field of big data, an innovative “data mining” initiative is currently being introduced across 10 hospital branches in India by Max Healthcare. This joint project involves using data analytics to work across a large array of medical records – including admissions, diagnosis and computerised registries – to identify critical safety issues and improve efficiencies.

Funding boost for Deakin’s next generation research
Deakin is among 22 universities to share in $5.7 M of project funding to develop game-changing defence capabilities. Deakin University’s Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation (IISRI) has received funding for two projects under the Federal Government’s Next Generation Technologies Fund. The Fund is aimed at engaging industry and
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‘Prototype or die’ motto for ‘Y2’ lab
A research and prototyping lab is pioneering a new approach to product development.  Australian researchers, design thinkers, innovators, technologists and artists have an opportunity to collaborate in a new product development lab in Melbourne, thanks to an innovative partnership between creative ad agency The Royals and Deakin University. Called Y2,
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How far can your shoes run?
Research data on the durability of running shoes challenges a common assumption. Recreational and elite runners should take note: results of a collaborative study from Deakin University’s School of Engineering and School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences suggest that running shoes don’t degrade as much as we might have thought.
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Tools for research
A group of Deakin alumni have teamed up in the US to advance the technology behind DNA analysis. Systems for quick, high-volume sequencing of DNA at relatively low cost have led to many recent medical breakthroughs. However, the research that goes into developing such systems has also undergone some big
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Boost for cyber security collaboration
This week’s global ransomware attack highlights the need to maintain the edge on cyber security research, according to a Deakin University expert. The attack hit a number of vital operations around the world, including Britain’s public health system and Germany’s federal railway system. Professor Yang Xiang, Director of Deakin’s Centre
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Australia and India unite to create advanced manufacturing ‘step change’
The Australia-India Strategic Research Fund has announced it will support a major collaboration into high performance alloys. A team of Deakin researchers will lead the Australian arm of a collaborative research project that aims to achieve improved performance and cost savings through advanced manufacturing of new high entropy alloys. The
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Turning blue jeans green
Jeans are the world’s most popular clothing item, but they come with a hefty price tag for the planet.  More than 450 million pairs of denim jeans are sold globally each year and the retail jeans market is estimated to reach US$56 billion by next year. On average, the life
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Unique crystal aids carbon fibre breakthrough at Synchrotron
With huge potential for improving carbon fibre manufacturing, collaborators have discovered how to achieve ultra-high resolution of carbon fibre precursor. Innovative thinking and the special properties of germanium crystal have helped achieve a breakthrough for researchers seeking to enhance carbon fibre analysis at the Australian Synchrotron. Led by Carbon Nexus
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Partnership heralds new era in medicine
Deakin and the Garvan Institute have joined forces to accelerate precision medicine through machine learning. Precision medicine is hailed as the next big thing for healthcare, with the potential to tailor medical treatment to an individual’s genes, environment and lifestyles – and improve prevention and diagnosis of disease using genome
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OzBot Titan: the lifesaving police robot
Australian-first technology is now being utilised to support frontline police. Researchers from Deakin University’s Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation (IISRI), in collaboration with the Queensland Police Service, have created the Titan series of robots to enhance the strategic capabilities of police operations – and increase safety measures for
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Hybrid materials offer clue to energy efficiencies
Associate Professor Rimma Lapovok has received a prestigious EU Fellowship to support her research aiming to improve electricity transmission. When it comes to hybrid materials, humans have travelled light years in recent decades. Today, hybrid materials are one of the fastest growing new material classes at the edge of technological
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Prehistoric remnants transformed into futuristic experience
A virtual reality and 3D printing project is creating sensory dinosaur encounters. The application of cutting-edge technology is breathing life into dinosaur fossils. Dr Ben Horan, Director of Deakin University’s CADET VR Lab, and Dr Kaja Antlej, Industrial Design Lecturer and researcher in digital heritage interpretation, are working to develop
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Deakin makes world-first BNNT breakthrough
Researchers at the Institute for Frontier Materials have achieved a world-first in successfully 3D printing a Boron Nitride Nanotube/Titanium composite. The breakthrough has significant implications for industries such as aerospace, defence, automotive, energy and health. “Boron Nitride Nanotubes (BNNTs) are an advanced new nanomaterial with many unique properties. They are
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Carbon fibre capabilities expanded
A new wet spinning line at Waurn Ponds has extended Deakin’s research capacity across all stages of carbon fibre production. Carbon Nexus, Deakin University’s purpose-built carbon fibre research facility, has increased its research and production capabilities, with the installation of the only polyacrylonitrile (PAN) precursor wet spinning line in the
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Virtual spin on reality
It can take you to places you’ve never been, or that don’t even exist, from the comfort of your living room, but virtual reality technology has far reaching and more serious applications. The spider running up the person’s arm is not real, but it feels real and so does the
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“Multicopter” – next-generation drone created by Deakin researchers
An innovative drone developed by Deakin University researchers and industry partner Raedyne Systems is attracting interest from multiple industries. When Victorian company Raedyne Systems approached researchers at Deakin University’s School of Engineering with an idea to develop a drone to monitor infrastructure such as high voltage power lines, it was
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New industry powers up Geelong
Manufacturing in Geelong has taken a hit in recent years, but new industries with big potential for the future are rising from the ashes. Industry representatives, researchers and a panel of experts gathered in Geelong last week to discuss opportunities and possible roadblocks for the development and implementation of energy
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Digital mannequins win Engineering Gold for IISRI
Deakin researchers have been rewarded for high-tech innovation in automotive design. A system that uses digital mannequins and computer-generated vehicles to assess the comfort of drivers has been awarded the 2016 Society of Automotive Engineers (Australasia) Mobility Engineering Excellence Gold Award. The award was presented at the Melbourne Arts Centre
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Battery research powers up at Deakin
Is Geelong on the cusp of a high-tech battery boom? Researchers at Deakin’s new BatTRI-Hub have big ambitions. While they are ubiquitous in the modern world, Australian batteries are almost always imported. However, the combination of world-leading expertise and a new high-tech laboratory at Deakin’s Waurn Ponds campus is kick-starting
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Breaking a salty habit
Scientists have uncovered the exact reasons behind salt’s addictive nature. Australians eat too much salt, putting us at risk of high blood pressure, which accounts for about half of all strokes, heart disease and chronic kidney disease deaths. Almost one in 20 deaths in Victoria is attributable to high salt
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Royal Society of Chemistry honour for Deakin chemist
Professor Neil Barnett is the 2017 Royal Society of Chemistry Australasian Lecturer. Celebrating its 175th anniversary this year, the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) is the oldest chemical society in the world and Alfred Deakin Professor and Personal Chair Neil Barnett is the 57th person, and the first Deakin academic,
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Future fibres hub launched at Deakin
Geelong’s manufacturing past is heading into a new era led by future fibres technology. The Future Fibres Hub, an Australian Research Council research and development centre, has been launched at Deakin University’s Waurn Ponds campus. The Hub is a $13.2 million centre, funded through the Federal Government’s Industrial Transformation Research
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Chemistry researcher illuminates low-cost diagnosis at Harvard
Neil Archbold Travel Award recipient Emily Kerr is collaborating with Harvard experts for the final part of her PhD. It might sound daunting, but the sophisticated analytical technique known as Electrogenerated Chemiluminescence (ECL) is offering hope of a low cost, fast and simple method of diagnosing many health conditions from
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VR app comes to the aid of dementia carers
Software engineers have created an immersive experience to build empathy for carers of people with dementia. Carers and families of people with dementia can now gain a better understanding of how people with the disease experience the world, thanks to an app developed by Alzheimer’s Australia Vic and researchers from
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‘Hero’ robots step up for better surgery
Haptically-enabled robots are set to save lives and improve treatment in a new era of surgical care. The world’s first haptically-enabled minimally invasive robotic surgical system, with collision avoidance, modular instruments and automatic patient/bed adjustment, has been developed by researchers from the Institute for Intelligent Systems Research (IISRI) at Deakin
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Resins shape future for composites
Deakin’s new composite materials professor says improved resins will define the next generation of carbon composites. Lighter, stronger, self-healing and morphing properties are but some of the features of composite materials that will appear in the coming decades. According to Deakin’s new Professor of Composite Materials, Russell Varley, the only
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Ozbot Raider to improve defence training
A robotic mobile target system will achieve improved accuracy in armed force training. Deakin University has entered a partnership with RCR, one of Australia’s leading multi-disciplinary infrastructure and engineering firms, for the development of a world-first robotics-driven target system, for use by armed forces in training to enable better accuracy.
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Accolade for electrospinning pioneer
Professor Tong Lin has been awarded the 2016 International Association of Advanced Materials Medal. A 20-year career at the cutting edge of materials research has been recognised for Professor Tong Lin, ARC Future Fellow and Personal Chair within Deakin’s Institute for Frontier Materials. Professor Lin has been awarded the 2016
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People power protects Australian wildlife
The “Wildlife Spotter” project is asking the public to identify animals in images from automated cameras. Scientists are calling on the latest technology and people power in an initiative that aims to understand and protect endangered wildlife across the country. Launched during National Science Week, the web-based project “Wildlife Spotter”
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New lab drives ‘Ultimate’ in high tech
The Deakin Software and Technology Innovation Lab is gearing up with many industry collaborations. Taking a photo of your own four wheel drive and visualising how it looks with new accessories such as bull bars, auxiliary lighting or tyres, and then ordering the products on-line in real time, is a
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3D binding the future for snowboarders
An engineering student has been named a finalist in the Young Australian Design Awards. Uniting his twin passions for engineering design and snowboarding has paid off for Deakin University Masters student Robert Leen, who was recently named a finalist in the Young Australian Design Awards. Geelong-born and bred, Robert Leen
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Prosthetics first marks 3D printing milestone
Deakin University researcher Dr Mazher Mohammed has helped to make a dream come true for an Australian woman who lost her left ear in a car crash 55 years ago, when she was only 15. Ms Colleen Murray is the first person in Australia to receive a new ear through
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Plasma researcher on the bubble
Deakin scientist Dr Jane Dai and her team have developed a game-changing technique for creating liquid plasma. Like most great ideas, the concept seems so simple you wonder why it wasn’t thought of before. Yet it was a lifelong devotion to plasma physics and chemistry – and a strong dose
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iHosp spin-off prepares to launch app
A Geelong big data innovation looks set to have a big future in streamlining hospital processes and, ultimately, improving patient care. Born out of collaboration between Deakin University’s Centre for Pattern Recognition and Data Analytics (PRaDA) and Barwon Health, an innovative tech company is gearing up for commercial release of
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Frontier training centre success
Deakin awarded 1 of 6 Industrial Transformation Training Centres by the Australian Research Council Deakin University is one of only 6 universities to have been awarded an Industrial Transformation Training Centre (ITTC) in the latest Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Programme rounds announced today by Senator the Honourable Simon Birmingham,
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New product mimics the real thing
The collaborative research partnership between Deakin University and HeiQ Australia has delivered its first commercial product to market. “HeiQ Real Silk” reproduces the luxurious tactile properties of silk using the cutting edge short polymer fibre technology developed by HeiQ Australia and Deakin University’s Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM). Deakin’s chief
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Leading the charge
BatTRI-Hub, a world class research centre, is set to create a new generation of batteries. Blue Solution electric cars are a regular sight on the streets of Paris, Brussels and many other cities around the world. Such electric vehicles (EVs) could soon be a reality for Geelong, with Deakin and
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Thinkers in Residence enhance IFM expertise
The Institute of Frontier Materials is hosting international experts in fibre and plasma technology. The 2016 Thinkers In Residence program has introduced two renowned scientists to Deakin’s Institute of Frontier Materials (IFM), Israel’s Professor Yakov Krasik and Professor Gregory Rutledge from the US, who have shared their knowledge about plasma
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Deakin seals Virtual partnership
A partnership with EON Reality marks the next step in Deakin’s Virtual Reality research. The recent release of the Oculus Rift Virtual Reality (VR) Headset – giving consumers access to their own affordable, home-based VR systems – marked a new milestone in the rapid rise of VR technology. Thanks to
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Connections with Germany on a roll
Joint research projects are paving the way for longer-term collaborations. Links between Deakin researchers and colleagues in Germany are set to strengthen, with a number of collaborative projects planned for 2016. The projects will help to forge closer ties between researchers in the two nations, with Australia’s research strengths to
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Success for Australia-India battery research
Scientists will work together to harness the potential of renewable energy. Deakin University has been awarded almost $1m in funding by the Commonwealth Government’s Australia-India Strategic Research Fund. Professor Maria Forsyth of Deakin’s Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM) and her team will work in partnership with the Indian Institute of
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Far from elementary: confronting the cyber threat
A Strategic Research Centre is uniting Deakin’s cyber expertise to combat emerging threats. With recent news that current alphanumeric passwords may soon be a thing of the past – replaced by such futuristic options as digital tattoos, injected microchips, or keystroke biometrics within a decade – the race to maintain
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MOU with Tecnalia
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Deakin University and Spain’s Tecnalia research organisation is set to offer cutting edge collaborative opportunities for staff and students, particularly in the areas of electromaterials and corrosion science. Tecnalia is an applied research centre focussed on the scientific and technological development of its collaborating
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Bridging the divide
The difference between running experiments in the lab and performing them on an industrial scale is vast. But Deakin’s pilot scale carbon fibre plant, Carbon Nexus, is helping researchers validate their laboratory results in a real world setting. And it’s not just Deakin researchers who are benefiting. Dr Michael Hummel,
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Svetha Venkatesh: STEM hero
The Director of the Centre for Pattern Recognition and Data Analytics (PRaDA), Professor Svetha Venkatesh, was recognised as a “STEM hero” in a special feature in “The Australian” newspaper. The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines were highlighted as important areas for Australia’s future in the Federal Government’s “Innovation and Science Agenda” announced
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CISR haptically-enabled FlAim Trainer on show
A haptically-enabled virtual and augmented reality simulator for training fire fighters has attracted strong interest at the 2015 Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) - the world's largest modelling, simulation, and training conference. The FlAim Trainer system was developed by researchers from Deakin’s Centre for Intelligent Systems Research (CISR),
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Institute and Strategic Research Centre Directors
Designing Smarter Technologies

Prof Xungai Wang

Director, Institute For Frontier Materials
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Prof Colin Barrow

Director, Centre for Chemistry and Biotechnology
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Prof Yang Xiang

Director, Centre for Cyber Security Research
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Prof Saeid Nahavandi

Director, Centre for Intelligent Systems Research
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Prof Svetha Venkatesh

Director, Pattern Recognition and Data Analytics
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Dr David Halliwell

Director, Centre for Regional and Rural Futures
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