The Good News

The Good News December 2021

The Good News documents the achievements and accolades of the students and researchers who make up the ANU College of Engineering & Computer Science.

Wednesday 1 December 2021

Mikaela Jade named Indigenous Leader of the Year

"We are the original scientists," said Mikaela Jade, a proud Cabrogal woman from the Georges River in Sydney. Jade sees First Nations Australian ways of knowing and being as having enormous application in the tech world. “We have more than 80,000 years of cultural knowledge in our sciences to bring to the table,” she said. The School of Cybernetics graduate and founder of Indigital was recently named Indigenous Leader of the Year at the Women in Digital awards. Read more here.

Minh Bui makes world’s most ‘Highly Cited Researchers’ list

When Dr Minh Bui started his research in bioinformatic methods, algorithms, and models to infer phylogenetic trees from large DNA sequencing data, he never imagined that his work would become essential in fighting a global pandemic, making him one of the most cited scientists in the world. “My true aim is really just to publish some impactful research work that is potentially useful for many scientists,” said the Senior Lecturer of the ANU School of Computing, surprised to see himself on the 2021 list of Highly Cited Researchers. Read more here.

Constantly coming out: on being LGBTQIA+ in STEM

Be sure to watch our much-celebrated interview with Caitlin Launt, co-Chair of InterEngineers, about how to create safe workplaces for members of the LGBTQIA+ community. The video, published in recognition of International Day of LGBTQIA+ People in STEM, is also embedded in a new feature which shares more of Launt's fascinating experiences, advice, and insight.

Robot co-pilots to make helicopter rescue faster, safer

Associate Professor Hanna Kurniawati and her team have been awarded two grants by the Australian Research Council (ARC). Both research projects stem from her groundbreaking work on robotic decision making in uncertain and dynamic environments.

Capstone students chart path to "Carbon Negative"

When you boil water for your afternoon tea, are you heating more water than you need? That’s the level of detail you will find in an 80-page carbon negative study prepared by a team of Capstone engineering students. Recommendations would result in a total emissions reduction of 50.9% for Shoul Group, a Capstone client that is certified as carbon neutral by Climate Active. By achieving carbon negative, Shoul can offset the emissions of another company of a similar size, and set a new standard to which others can aspire.

“Serious threat” of fugitive emissions with Australia's hydrogen plan

Dr Fiona Beck teamed with ANU colleagues to study emissions from fossil fuel-based hydrogen production. Their research, published recently in Applied Energy, has now been picked up by The Washington PostAustralia is one of many countries that intend to invest in hydrogen energy to reduce carbon emissions. Hydrogen made by renewable energy-driven electrolysis can achieve this, but hydrogen made from natural gas could lead to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions. Read more here.

Australia must increase R&D spending to meet net zero pledge

The Australian government's net zero plan bets that 15% of necessary carbon emission reductions will come through unknown, future technology breakthroughs. "More funding is going to be needed across that entire pipeline, to ensure that we can actually bring these new technologies and capabilities to scale in the timeframe that we need," said Dr Lachlan Blackhall, head of the Battery Storage and Grid Integration program at ANU. A new article in The Canberra Times also quotes Dr Andrew Blakers. Read more here.

Xiaolin Wang receives VC Award

Dr Xiaolin Wang of the School of Engineering received the Vice-Chancellor's Award for Early Career Academics during the 2021 Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor's Annual Awards ceremony. A total of ten ANU academics and staff were awarded for going above and beyond the call of duty in their workplaces.

Computer Science at ANU up 9 places in international ranking

ANU is now ranked at #56 for ‘Computer Science’, moving up 9 spots from #65 in the 2021 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. In the general ranking, the university is ranked #54 globally.

Cybernetics showcases projects in Demo Day 2021

Students from the Master of Applied Cybernetics showcased their group projects from the Building Cyber-Physical Systems course during Demo Day 2021. They demonstrated the skills learned across the year and explained how they have conceptualised, designed, and created systems incorporating AI, feedback loops, sensors, and actuators. The projects covered three themes: environment and energy, critical infrastructure, and health and well-being.

The human brains behind the machine brains

Ellen Broad, Senior Fellow in the 3A Institute, is one of the guests on the Download this Show podcast which looks at what values and voices are prioritised, which ones are excluded when developing Artificial Intelligence, and what factors influence why technologies are designed in certain ways.

Getting to Net Zero

Australia's plan for achieving net zero by 2050 has attracted a great deal of criticism. Professor Andrew Blakers, from the School of Engineering, was a guest on ABC's Nightlife to explain why the plan has been criticised, and what can be done to improve it.

Australia must increase R&D spending to meet net zero pledge

The Australian government's net zero plan bets that 15% of necessary carbon emission reductions will come through unknown, future technology breakthroughs. "More funding is going to be needed across that entire pipeline, to ensure that we can actually bring these new technologies and capabilities to scale in the timeframe that we need, said Professor Lachlan Blackhall.

CECS among the world’s best in Engineering and Technology rankings

University rankings for 2022 are out and the ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science is once again among the best places in the world to study technology. In the recent Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022, the ANU ranked 93 for Engineering and Technology, improving four positions from last year, while the QS ranking per subject ranked ANU as 79 in the world.

A vision for our climate and energy future

The world is watching the COP26 in the hope that international governments will agree on commitments to achieve rapid and sustained decarbonisation. In this article, published originally in the Daily Telegraph, Professor Lachlan Blackhall says we must also focus on global activities and actions that ensure our infrastructure and communities are resilient.

School of Computing commits to support next generation of female leaders

The School of Computing has launched the Pioneering Women Lectureships to attract the best possible talent to ANU School of Computing. Women are invited to self-nominate as part of their application to the School of Computing tenure track positions. The PWL $100,000 grants will fund ambassadorial, mentoring, and supervision activities designed to support women in computer science and attract more women to the discipline.

Blankers: Australia's net zero plan has it backwards

Professor Andrew Blakers recently explained to ABC News why Australia's net zero plan has disappointed scientists at home and abroad, and offered a different approach that begins with investment in solar and wind transmission lines, and incentives to push electric vehicles into the market.

Win a book voucher: Where was this photo taken?

Did you enjoy the ANU holiday on Monday? Two CECS staff members made the most of their day off by connecting to the country and shared this beautiful snapshot. Offer a guess as to where this picture was taken for your chance to win a $20 book voucher, thanks to Dr Jess Moore.

Urgent need for climate action

Associate Professor Marta Yebra, Director of the ANU Bushfire Initiative, explains how bushfires are both directly and indirectly impacted by climate change in this special article by the ABC.

How we hear the world

The brain is the software, the ears are the hardware – and a lot goes on in between. Associate Professor Catherine Ball discusses how technology can make millions of lives better by improving hearing quality.


The Good News November 2021   |  The Good News October 2021

Updated:  10 August 2021/Responsible Officer:  Dean, CECS/Page Contact:  CECS Marketing