News Archive


Project funding for Mechatronics, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering students

March 2010

Melbourne School of Engineering received $376,000 funding from DEEWR as part of the sixth round of the EU/Australia Joint Cooperation in Higher Education and Training projects. This will allow students undertaking Mechatronics, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering at the University of Melbourne and local partner universities (RMIT and Curtin) to receive scholarships of $7000 to undertake their final year projects over four months at one of three European Universities (Technical University of Munich, Germany; University of Vigo, Spain; University of Lodz, Poland).

With engineering increasingly become a globally mobile profession, this will give students the opportunity to work in international teams, exposure to the European mechatronics industry as well as the experience of a lifetime. This program is a significant differentiator for the Melbourne engineering course, and is a further example of the possible opportunities for students in the School of Engineering.

Part of the funding will also be used to prepare a Mechatronics subject that builds on the distributed expertise across the six partner universities. Students interested in applying for the program over the period 2010-2012, should contact Dr Chris Manzie (

“Radar on a Chip” technology receives $1.7 million from VSA Fund

Media Release, 18 Jan 2010

Minister Tim Holding, Acting Minister for Innovation, has announced the recipients of the Victoria’s Science Agenda (VSA) Investment Fund. Radar on a Chip (ROACH) technology led by Electrical and Electronic Engineering’s Professor Bill Moran will receive $1.7 million. The microchip being developed in collaboration with NICTA, Raytheon, IBM and GMH will help to prevent car accidents by monitoring a car’s surrounding environment and detecting objects, such as other vehicles, people and possible traffic obstructions at a distance. According to Minister Holding, while other safety technologies are in use, ROACH technology will be more efficient and cost effective, costing car manufacturers around $90 per vehicle, compared with more than $1,500 for current technology. The technology is a break through in car safety and has the potential to save lives.


Tall Poppy Science Award to Dr Elaine Wong

An Electrical Engineering lecturer has won a nationally celebrated Tall Poppy Science Award for 2009.

Dr Elaine Wong was presented with the award on September 17.

The Young Tall Poppy Science Awards were created in 1998 by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science. The awards recognise and celebrate Australian intellectual and scientific excellence and promote science as a career for younger Australians.

Melbourne School of Engineering’s focus on fostering leadership skills and industry collaborations — both in Australia and internationally — contributed significantly to the achievement of these awards.

Dr Wong is a Senior Lecturer in Electrical Engineering and her part in research into the safety of amplified laser light will potentially benefit every household in Australia as the National Broadband Network is rolled out.

She is deeply involved in community activities that promote greater understanding of the role of engineering and encourage potential students, particularly women. A frequent guest speaker at schools and public events, Dr Wong is a gifted communicator, able to explain technical engineering concepts and share her passionate commitment to her work with broad audiences.

Elaine Wong

Electrical Engineering successful ARC Future Fellowship candidates for 2009

  • Dr Ying Tan (Electrical and Electronic Engineering)
  • A/Prof Christina Lim (Electrical and Electronic Engineering)
  • Prof Dragan Nesic (Electrical and Electronic Engineering)
  • A/Prof Ba-Ngu Vo (Electrical and Electronic Engineering)

Innovation award to Professor Stan Skafidas

July 2009

Electrical Engineering researcher, Professor Stan Skafidas accepted the Innovation Excellence Award for project, Gigabit Wireless Transceiver on CMOS. The Next Big Thing Award celebrates and promotes new Australian innovations with the potential to be 'the next big thing' and was presented by the Hon. Richard Marles, Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation and Industry, of the Australian Government. The guest of honour at the award ceremony was the Governor of Victoria, Professor David de Kretser AC.

Professor Stan Skafidas led a team that developed the world’s first integrated transceiver on CMOS at 60 GHz, capable of delivering up to 5 Gigabits per second wireless transfer of data in an indoor environment, which is 100 times faster than today’s most commonly used wireless technology. This breakthrough will transform the way information is managed and used in the office and the home of the not-too-distant future.

The achievement of Professor Skafidas and his team in developing a tiny radio on a low cost integrated circuit opens the possibility for applications in new areas, such as medical bionics, where these devices are implanted in the human body to monitor performance and in some cases replace a specific function.

Australian Leadership Awards

May 2009

Electrical Engineering researcher and Future Generation Professor Jonathan Manton has received an Australian Leadership Award. The Award recognises his achievements and ability to contribute to a vision for Australia’s future.

Jonathan Manton

Long-sighted funding aids bionic eye reality by 2011

22 April 2009

It is almost three decades since a team at the University of Melbourne developed the bionic ear, and Electrical Engineering Professor Tony Burkitt says a similar multidisciplinary approach — using biomedical engineers, clinical experts and neuroscientists from Vision Australia — will have similar success in the development of a retinal implant.

We have the team of experts to compete with anyone in the world, he says.

The bionic eye is one of nine projects to be developed as part of the Government’s response to the 2020 summit.

Media coverage of the announcement:

Wireless video using GiFi chip successfully demonstrated

21 February 2009

Electrical Engineering Professor Stan Skafidas successfully demonstrated a transmission of wireless video using the world-first Gigabit Wireless (GiFi) technology. The demonstration, attended by Victorian Government Minister for Innovation, Gavin Jennings, is the first time it has been on public display. In the future, Gigabit wireless technology will be used to show DVD movies on High Definition Digital TV without a wired connection and for very fast downloads of content from devices such as PDAs, games consoles and wireless digital cameras.

GiFi demonstration

Google Research Awards to CUBIN

USA$40K has just been awarded to Darryl Veitch and Julien Ridoux of CUBIN for a research project: Taking the Negatives out of Latency: dealing with path asymmetry This work is part of the RADclock project which aims to provide the next generation clock synchronisation infrastructure for the Internet. This grant focuses on the complementary problem of exploring and managing the path asymmetry problem, which creates dangerous ambiguities in clocks over a network, for example it can make path delays seem to be negative!

This is the second grant recently awarded from Silicon Valley companies on delay measurement. In 2007 Darryl Veitch was awarded USD$54K from Cisco Systems to support research on delay measurement in routers.

Veitch and Ridoux also recently won a best paper award for work under the RADclock project:

IEEE Symp. Precision Clock Synchronization for Measurement, Control and Communication (ISPCS’08) 2008 Best Paper Award, for ‘The Cost of Variability’ by Julien Ridoux and Darryl Veitch.

This paper showed the importance of building in robustness to delay variability into synchronisation algorithms.


Young Tall Poppy Award Winner 2008

Brian Krongold was one of ten winners of the Victorian Young Tall Poppy Science Awards announced recently. Brian is a lecturer and researcher in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. The award recognises his science promotion activites for school students in his role as Department outreach Coordinator.

Engineering Professor wins ATSE Clunies Ross Award

Professor Iven Mareels, Dean of the Melbourne School of Engineering and Professor of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, is one of five recipients of the ATSE Clunies Ross Award, Australia’s pre-eminent award for scientists and technologists. The ATSE Clunies Ross Awards — presented annually by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) — recognises research excellence and projects which make a significant economic, environmental and social impact. Professor Mareels has been honoured for a revolutionary new approach to reducing water wastage through an IT-based management system for irrigation channels.

Laureate Professor Rod Tucker appointed to panel to assess National Broadband Network proposals

Professor Rod Tucker (Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering) has been announced as a member of the Panel of Experts appointed by the Federal Government to assess proposals to build the National Broadband Network. Rod is one of six telecommunication industry, academic and corporate experts on the panel. The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator the Hon Stephen Conroy, said that the Government will formally call for proposals to roll-out the new network with a view to having construction underway by the end of 2008.

Gigabit wireless chip unveiled at the Melbourne University-based laboratories of NICTA

The world’s first transceiver integrated on a single chip that operates at 60GHz on the CMOS (complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor) process, the most common semiconductor technology, was announced today by NICTA, Australia’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Research Centre of Excellence.

The development will enable the truly wireless office and home of the future. As the integrated transceiver developed by NICTA is extremely small, it can be embedded into devices. The breakthrough will mean the networking of office and home equipment — without wires — will finally become a reality.

Researchers from NICTA’s Gigabit Wireless Project, which is based out of NICTA’s Victoria Research Laboratory, are the first in the world to have developed an integrated transceiver, a complete transmitter and receiver, on a single chip at 60GHz on CMOS.

This technology breakthrough will enable the wireless transfer of audio and video data at up to 5 gigabits per second, ten times the current maximum wireless transfer rate, at one-tenth the cost.

The 27-member team, led by Professor Stan Skafidas, includes 10 PhD students from the University of Melbourne.