RMIT student projects claimed both the undergraduate and postgraduate prizes at the 2014 Victorian iAwards, a showpiece industry event to celebrate the best of the best of Victoria’s ICT scene.
The two projects from RMIT’s School of Computer Science and IT faced intense competition, with more than 90 nominations across a range of categories – a 40 per cent increase in nominations from last year – and Head of School Professor Athman Bouguettaya believes that winning these iAwards shows the calibre of not just the projects themselves, but also of the work being done in the school.
“I’m so proud of our students for producing such outstandingly innovative projects, and the staff for excellent supervision and leadership,” he said. “It’s gratifying to receive this sort of recognition from the local ICT industry, as that’s primarily the aim of much of the work we do – industry-partnered and industry-focused with real world applications.”
The iAwards are hosted by the Australian Computer Society (ACS), the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) and the Pearcey Foundation, honouring the most innovative and unique ICT solutions, companies and individuals on an annual basis, and are highly valued as industry recognition of excellence and innovation.
“Everyone sits up and takes notice of the iAwards, as they’re all about innovation and providing industry-focused solutions, which is why such prestigious institutions as the ACS, AIIA and Pearcey established them,” said Professor Bouguettaya. “We’re keen to build on success like this, to develop even more partnerships with businesses and organisations, whether from within or from outside the ICT industry, who are seeking tech-based answers to their particular problems.”
The winner of the postgraduate iAward, EnviS, is a wireless multi-sensor monitoring system that tracks movement and monitors the accruing data accordingly. It was developed over three months by a team of five RMIT postgraduate Computer Science students during their Software Engineering course, and continued by a product development team, all recent graduates of RMIT’s Industrial Design program, from the School of Architecture and Design. Leading the project is Dr Flora Salim, from the School of Computer Science and IT, and she hopes that this iAward will help EnviS attract an industry sponsor to help develop the tool to its full potential.
“EnviS has mainly been a research project that has been supported by various seed fundings in RMIT,” said Dr Salim. “Now that EnviS has won the Victorian state level iAwards for postgraduate student project category, we are calling for industry partners to collaborate with us and invest in this project.”
The wireless sensor network modules are cheap to manufacture en masse, and end-users will be able to add or remove sensors to suit their needs, which widens the potential market for the product, according to Dr Salim, while creating the app for Android also allows for greater flexibility and scalability in the future. Dr Salim believes the EnviS wireless sensor network modules could be adopted to suit a range of different uses, including:
- Smart health and activity monitoring. The router-nodes are fitted with accelerometers to monitor the low-level activities (walking, standing, sitting, running, cycling, etc). If combined with location information derived from GPS or Wifi access point data, the data could be analysed to monitor high level routines and predict the users’ activity and mobility patterns over time. If associated with their medical and physiological data, their cardiovascular activities can also be measured.
- Parents can attach the sensor modules to their children’s school bags and monitor their whereabouts, activities, and the environmental contexts (air quality, noise, etc).
- Smart home/building monitoring. EnviS could be used as a wireless sensor network at fixed points indoor and outdoor to monitor the changing thermal, light, noise, and occupancy conditions, and air quality indoor and outdoor. With the data management on the cloud, the data could be analysed to inform better operational management and reduce energy.
The undergraduate iAward went to RMIT Bachelor of Software Engineering student Shishir Chawla for his work in the initial development of an evaluation tool for assessing housing options. The tool is currently being developed by RMIT with funding from the Australian Research Council (ARC), SJB Urban and the Telematics Trust. As part of the RMIT team working on the tool, looking into how people make housing choices and implications for the city, Dr Dhirendra Singh is very excited about the interest being shown in Shishir’s work and the potential impact it could have.
“This iAward is great recognition of the value of this tool for home buyers and renters, and the excellent work Shishir has done in developing it,” said Dr Singh. “It really is about helping us make informed housing choices, and building vibrant and sustainable cities and neighbourhoods, and the tool is getting a lot of interest from all sorts of people and organisations (including realestate.com.au), even while still under development.”
Winners of the State iAwards will now go on to compete in the National iAwards in August, which is sponsored by the Victorian Coalition Government. Find out more about the iAwards.
EnviS: personalised wireless sensor monitoring system
EnviS is an integration of configurable wireless sensor network modules with cloud-based web services, which include a database that stores real-time readings from multiple sensor types and a mobile application which provides both historical and real-time data visualization of sensor readings within user-modelled three-dimensional maps of indoor spaces. Find out more.
This project is seeking an industry sponsor to help with further development and if you wish to get involved, contact Flora Salim (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Housing Assessment Tool
The tool gives home buyers and renters an easy way to evaluate their housing options. Users can enter any residential address in Australia, and the tool then accesses it on a range of lifetime affordability and liveability factors. These include how well the place rates in terms of walking access to shops and services, how well connected it is in terms of public transport, and how accessible are green open spaces. It can even calculate the actual time it will take to travel to the user’s workplace or other frequent destinations, using public transport or car, and compare their costs. Assessment also covers aspects of the specific dwelling, such as likely ongoing energy costs based on the type of house, but also recommendations where significant savings are possible. A first public release is planned for later this year.
- More about EnviS
- Australian Computer Society (ACS)
- Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA)
- Pearcey Foundation
- Find out how to become an industry partner, start a project collaboration or recruit students and graduates
- School of Computer Science and IT home page
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