Good News — Nov 2021

The Good News includes recent news items from this website & other outlets.

Tuesday 2 November 2021

Dr Shafin Rahman has been awarded the J.G. Crawford Prize for his PhD thesis on ways to empower computer vision to interpret unseen objects and new visual information without assistance from humans. Since its inception in 1973, only three people from the computer science and engineering disciplines had won Crawford Prize. Now there are four.

Engineering PhD wins Best Student Paper on IEEE 2021

Lachlan Birnie, from the School of Engineering, is one of the authors of the paper “Noise ReTF Estimation and Removal for Low SNR Speech Enhancement”, awarded best student paper at  IEEE International Workshop on Machine Learning for Signal Processing 2021. The work, which involved other researchers and members of the ASD-ANU Co-lab, was based on a project developed at the facility.

CECS Alumnus to pitch clean tech in Glasgow

CECS Alumnus Marcus Dawe, CEO of Mineral Carbonation International (MCi), is one of the Australian finalists pitching their carbon removal tech against other global green startups at the Clean Energy Start-up Pitch Battle, at Glasgow COP 26. MCi produced a video explaining what they will propose at the Pitch Battle, scheduled for 3 November.

Artificial Intelligence in Everyday Life

Kurt Andersen, from the podcast The World as You’ll Know It, speaks with Genevieve Bell, cultural anthropologist and founding director of the ANU School of Cybernetics, about how people adapt to changes in artificial intelligence and the way these technologies impact the way we live. 

Talking about Teaching

In a casual conversation with Interact, Senior Lecturer Dr Ben Swift and Inti Chowdhur, a PhD Student from CASS, discuss how to bring creative solutions to teaching and tutoring, and how non-traditional assignments can enhance interaction in the classroom and online.

ANU research supports development of plant-based vaccines

An Australian plant has showed promising results for developing vaccines for Ebola, influenza, COVID-19, and other viruses, as ANU researchers collaborate with Canadian biopharmaceutical company Medicago to establish ways to maximise efficient production.

Tiny bubbles to join fight against climate change

Associate Professor Yuerui (Larry) Lu and his team recently won a $654,642 grant from the Australian Research Council (ARC) to continue development of a new approach to high-density hydrogen storage. Hydrogen energy captured in microscopic bubbles will provide for safer, more affordable transport and storage, providing a major boost for the clean energy economy. 

How to halve 2030 emissions with minimal cost and inconvenience

Ahead of the international COP26 summit in Glasgow, Professor Andrew Blakers writes for The Conversation about how Australia can set for more ambitious targets and go 100% renewable.

Australia's relationship with France goes beyond submarine contracts

In addition to her work at the School of Cybernetics and Fenner School of Environment and Society, Professor Katherine Daniell also serves as President of the Australian French Association for Research and Innovation. She discusses present and future relations between the two nations in this ABC podcast.

Students in ANU Residential Colleges on track to be fully vaxxed

95% of students in ANU Residences received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and the expectation is that another 4% will receive their first jab in coming weeks. Professor Tracy Smart AO, Public Health Lead - ANU COVID Response, says that more than half of the ANU students living on campus are already fully vaccinated. "Our students have been proactive in getting out and getting their jabs as soon as they became eligible.”


Undergrad prize winners score wins for the environment as well

When third year engineering major Nicky Koubouzis learned that the 2021 Young Engineers Australia (YEA) competition would be expanded to include all states and territories, she started to dream. Thus began a journey that involves the enlistment of a billion cows and other livestock in the battle against climate change.

$1.25 million boost for renewable hydrogen

Research leading the way in Australia’s emerging hydrogen economy has received a AUD $1.25 million grant from Canberra-based renewable energy company, Global Power Generation Australia. The contribution supports applications for a number of projects led by researchers from the ANU Institute for Climate, Energy and Disaster Solutions (ICEDS) research cluster on the Hydrogen Economy. Prof Frank Jotzo, Head of Energy for ICEDS, said, “ANU researchers are driving innovation that will accelerate a clean hydrogen economy in Australia and the world.” Projects that have already benefitted from the grant include Associate Professor Yuerui (Larry) Lu's research on advanced hydrogen storage systems based on nano-bubbles in layered materials.

In addition to Questacon and NGA, school trips will visit the ANU campus

ANU is working to expand its presence in the National Capital Education Tourism Program, an initiative that brings students from all over Australia to visit the Parliament House, the National Gallery, and the all-time favourite, Questacon. Currently students can visit the Mount Stromlo Observatory, but the university has plans to bring students on campus and offer them workshops in different colleges. If you would like to pitch an activity for this program, please contact Service Coordinators Natalie and Ana:

Explaining fridges and Cybernetics, from Dubai to Jindabyne

Have you ever stopped to think how your fridge works, perhaps during one of those (inumerous) times you've  opened the door looking for a snack? Using this everyday appliance as a starting point, Dr Kelly Frame recently explained the basic concepts of cybernetics to two, very different audiences: Y9-0 students from regional Australia during Get Set 2021, and prospective students from around the world during ANU International Student Week. As Frame explained, “all they needed to participate was a device and their unique imagination”. 

Genevieve Bell is a Really Interesting Woman

Not that we didn’t know it before, but Richard Graham reiterated the fact while interviewing Distinguished Professor Genevieve Bell for the Really Interesting Women podcast, which explores personal journeys of women from all over the world. The conversation covers her work at CECS, trivia, cricket, lifts, and sci-fi books.

Undergrad blazes trails, builds new networks for women in STEM

Tegan Clark came up with the idea for the first annual Women in STEM leadership conference during the 2020 lockdown as she contemplated her past and future at ANU. She regretted that she hadn't had the opportunity to foster relationships with other women studying science. She wanted to find a female supervisor for her honours research, but she hadn't done enough networking to know who to ask. Watch our interview with Tegan about the conference and read about the research the conference has spawned.

International projects inspire embrace of Humanitarian engineering minor

This year, the College of Engineering and Computer Sciences will award the Humanitarian Engineering minor to its first recipients. As part of the course, ANU partners with Engineers without Borders on the Design Summit, which has sent 1200 students to six countries for two-week programs based in local communities. Hear more from three members of the HumEng cohort, and their experiences overseas.

Dr Niraj Lal, Professor Lindell Bromham, and Dr Xia Hua win Eureka prizes

Dr Niraj Lal won a Celestino Eureka Prize for Promoting Understanding of Science. Dr Lal has authored two books and hosts an ABC podcast aimed at inspiring a love of science among children. "Communicating science for me isn't just about highlighting the wonders of our Universe, though that can be pretty great," he said. "It's also about showing how the process of scientific thinking and evidence-based reasoning can help us decide what to believe." 

Professor Lindell Bromham and Dr Xia Hua won the Eureka Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research, a win they share with colleagues from the University of Queensland and the Karungkarni Art and Culture Aboriginal Corporation.

ANU Computing Leadership Seminar videos available on demand

The ANU Computing Leadership Seminar Series brings together alumni and friends to share their career stories. Two videos from previous sessions, featuring Dr Suvash Sedhain and Dr Xi Yang, and with Dr Elena Kelareva, are now available on the Series webpage

Bionics: from science fiction to science fact

Restoring human function with bionic devices, implants and organs makes sense to most, but augmenting human performance raises ethical questions. Associate Professor Catherine Ball argues in an InnovationAus article that we must explore the potential of bionic technologies to understand and better resolve these matters.

Engineering Thesis commended on Global Undergraduate Awards

The Global Undergraduate Awards recognised Madeleine Holly’s ENGN4200 final year thesis on the "Highly commended" list of 2021. Part of the first Humanitarian Engineering cohort, Maddie researched the optimal design technology for drying cocoa beans to enhance income for small-hold farmers in Papua New Guinea. The full list of honourees includes other 8 ANU scholars.


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