+ OzTrekk Educational Services Home
 
 

Articles categorized as ‘University of Melbourne Engineering School’

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

Melbourne chemical engineering students claim Pratt Prize victory

A team of chemical engineering and biomolecular engineering students from the Melbourne School of Engineering has taken out the 2016 Pratt Prize for the best Chemical Engineering Design Project in Victoria.

The winning team, Lachlan Henderson, Huixuan Yu, Rob Murray, Chen-Yu Tsai, Yonathan Christianto and Suya He, developed a method to produce biodiesel from microalgae through a detailed facility design of unit operations.

Chemical Engineering Design Project

Left to right: Suya He, Huixuan Yu, Yonathan Christianto, Chen-Yu Tsai and Robert Pratt (son of Clive Pratt). Absent: Robert Murray and Lachlan Henderson (Photo credit: University of Melbourne)

The award is presented in honour of Professor Henry Reginald Clive Pratt and his contributions to chemical engineering, recognising a Victorian student team presenting the best chemical engineering design project.

The three Victorian universities that offer a degree in Chemical Engineering, the University of Melbourne, Monash University and RMIT contest the award each year.

Team member Chen-Yu Tsai said that the team worked hard to develop their project and undertake research within the time constraints.

“We are very glad that out hard work was recognized” Chen-Yu said.

“The project was very challenging but the experience is valuable. The design project did not only provide me the chance to apply knowledge from my degree to a real life case, but I have also learnt to solve problems in general and to be a good team player.”

Yonathan Christianto also said that his experience of working on the project was very challenging, yet it was the “best experience” he has had at the university.

The team will now compete for the Australasian Design Project Prize at the Chemeca 2016 conference in September.

*

Discover more about studying engineering at the University of Melbourne. Contact OzTREKK Australian Engineering Schools Admissions Officer Shannon Tilston at shannon@oztrekk.com.

Monday, February 8th, 2016

Melbourne Engineering’s new method for making biofuels is cheaper and better for the environment

Chemical and biomolecular engineers from the Melbourne School of Engineering have discovered a new way to deliver carbon dioxide to microalgae, which in turn, can be harvested to make renewable fuels such as biodiesel.

Carbon dioxide is well known to speed up the growth of microalgae.

University of Melbourne Engineering School

Carbon dioxide delivered to microalgae can be harvested to make renewable fuels (Photo: University of Melbourne)

However, the carbon dioxide has to be free of contamination or the algae die. Published in the research journal, Energy and Environmental Science, the new method purifies the carbon dioxide that is in power station flue gases by absorbing it into a liquid.

This liquid is then pumped through hollow fibre membranes. These hollow fibre membranes are like very long drinking straws, which can be immersed into the microalgae beds.

Professor Sandra Kentish, Head of the Chemical Engineering department at the University of Melbourne and leader of the research team said that supplying purified carbon dioxide by extracting it from flue gases can work, but it is expensive and takes a lot of energy.

“In this work, we have found a way to purify the carbon dioxide and to supply it to the microalgae for a much more moderate cost and using a lot less energy,” Professor Kentish said.

“The CO2 moves directly from the liquid into the microalgae culture by permeating through the fibre walls. Aside from being a cheaper approach, our research has shown that the microalgae grow faster than in other work done to date,” said another team member, Dr Greg Martin.

Other products such as chemicals, proteins and nutraceuticals can also be produced using the same approach. The experiments were completed by PhD student, Qi Zheng, who is now undertaking further experiments to find the optimum liquid composition.

*

Discover more about studying engineering at the University of Melbourne. Contact OzTREKK Australian Engineering Schools Admissions Officer Shannon Tilston at shannon@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada on 1-866-698-7355. Find out how you can study in Australia!

Friday, January 29th, 2016

University of Melbourne “Rapid Feedback” app for student learning

A new app created by learning specialists from the University of Melbourne will enable teachers to assess and provide helpful feedback in real time as students deliver oral presentations.

University of Melbourne Engineering and Information Technology

Assessing and providing helpful feedback in real time (Image credit: University of Melbourne)

The Rapid Feedback app was developed by Professor David Shallcross from the Engineering Learning Unit and Antoinette Mendoza from Computing and Information Systems, to provide students with individual and immediate feedback on their work.

The app was originally developed to assess oral presentations but there are plans to repurpose it to provide feedback on dental, physiotherapy, nursing and music examinations.

“It will be adapted for a range of practical subjects,” Professor Shallcross said.

“We are also planning to translate this into other languages starting with Mandarin.”

Assessors are able to grade student presentations across different criteria. They can then select as many or as few pre-written comments as they like from an in-built library that addresses more than 160 common issues.

The selected comments then appear in a PDF document that can be e-mailed to the student as soon as their presentation is completed. Assessors also have the option to personalise the feedback by adding an audio file of spoken comments.

Engineering and IT at the University of Melbourne

Engineering and IT at the University of Melbourne has ranked number 1 in Australia across four engineering and technology discipline areas according to the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2015. For Computer Science and Information Systems, the University of Melbourne has been ranked 1st in Australia and 13th in the world.

For Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Melbourne is ranked number 1 in Australia and 33rd in the world.

At a faculty level, the QS Rankings placed Melbourne Engineering and Information Technology at number 1 in Australia and 18th in the world.

Apply to a University of Melbourne engineering or IT program!

*

Discover more about studying engineering and information technology at the University of Melbourne! Contact OzTREKK Admissions Officer Shannon Tilston at shannon@oztrekk.com, or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

 

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

Melbourne School of Design collects multiple awards

The Institute Of Structural Engineers, based in London, recently announced that the Melbourne School of Design won best education project at the Structural Awards 2015. This is a significant award as it covers several categories, and is awarded “for excellence in the structural design of buildings… which either facilitate learning or support healthcare…”

University of Melbourne School of Design

University of Melbourne School of Design

The award follows the 2015 National Architecture Awards on Nov. 5, at which the Melbourne School of Design won The Daryl Jackson Award for Educational Architecture. It’s the first time the Australian Institute of Architects has given the award. The awards tally for the new home of the Melbourne Faculty of Architecture Building and Planning is now at 13,  significant recognition to a building that has only been open to students for less than a year.

At the Structural Awards, the judges commented that they were “struck by this unusual building which was designed specifically to teach the students about design, structure and construction. So the principal structural materials, wood, steel and concrete, are all used and incorporated to demonstrate their qualities.  Wood is represented by a huge LVL roof to the central atrium; steel by a scissor staircase, and a three-storey high, 12-metre cantilever; and concrete by exposed in-situ beams and post-tensioned slabs—a built dictionary of exposed structure.”

The school was commissioned via an international design competition in 2009. A key element of the brief was “Built Pedagogy,” the concept that the building itself would teach the students about design, structure and construction. The design team adopted a carefully considered program of exposing a number of key structural elements, and also achieves a 6 Star Green Star Education Design Rating and was the first in Australia to achieve all available innovation points. It was also delivered on budget and four months ahead of program.

Previous ABP Dean Tom Kvan, who played a major role in the competition that led to the creation of the award-winning new building, says it’s a significant award which reflects well on the overall intention of the building:

“A key aspect in the design and creation of the Melbourne School of Design was that it embody ‘built pedagogy,’ meaning future students would learn not just from teaching in the building, but from the building itself. This award is yet another significant acknowledgement from industry that we’ve done exactly what we set out to do.”

*

Learn more about studying at the Melbourne School of Design. Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Architecture Schools Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com to find out how you can study in Australia!

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

Watching water helps us better understand climate change

A new research facility launched recently will allow scientists and researchers to better understand the relationship between wind, ocean and sky.

A specially designed ocean simulator tunnel located at the University of Melbourne and in collaboration with Swinburne University of Technology and Monash University, generates waves by blowing high speed air over a large tank of water offering researchers insights into how waves behave and the impact this has on climate and ocean engineering.

University of Melbourne School of Engineering

Researchers study how waves behave their impact on climate and ocean engineering

Dr Jason Monty, leader of the Michell Hydrodynamics Laboratory at the Melbourne School of Engineering said the tunnel facility looks at the complex relationship between heat, carbon dioxide, water and turbulence.

“We have designed and built a 60-metre wind-water tunnel so we can simulate how oceans behave. Understanding turbulence above and below the water will help with wave forecasting, climate modelling and weather forecasting,” Dr Monty said.

As well as observing and measuring waves and their movement, lasers are shone onto micro beads placed in the water. A laser reveals the reflection of thousands of micro beads, and patterns of the turbulent flow are recorded with high-speed cameras.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) lists clouds as an area that is poorly understood and clouds are formed by evaporation of the ocean, which is controlled by the turbulence at the air-sea interface that these researchers are modelling.

“One of the unique features of this wind-wave tank is its ability to generate hurricane force winds. Modelling of tropical cyclones suffers from lack of estimates of air-sea fluxes in extreme weather conditions, and the new flume will help to close this gap,” Swinburne Professor Alex Babanin said.

“Ocean behaviour is still poorly understood but by modelling the ocean, we will better understand the role the ocean plays in the cycle of cloud formation and gas exchange, which will in turn provide a better understanding of the weather and climate,” Dr Monty said.

*

Would you like more information about the Melbourne School of Engineering? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Engineering Schools Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com or call 1-866-698-7355.

Friday, October 23rd, 2015

Melbourne Endeavour Engineering & IT Exhibition 2015

An e-tool that allows visually impaired people to detect hazards and obstacles is just one of the student inventions that will be launched at the Endeavour Engineering & IT Exhibition 2015, the University of Melbourne’s showcase of design projects.

University of Melbourne Engineering and IT School

Clever engineering from the University of Melbourne can help unlock the future (Image credit: University of Melbourne)

This year, projects include designing robotic arms and emergency cooking methods for refugees.

The Exhibition is hosted annually to showcase the engineering and IT technology of tomorrow, as designed by final-year students.
Endeavour’s Academic coordinator Professor Andrew Western said Engineering and IT is everywhere, and generates new knowledge through diverse research projects.

“Clever engineering can help unlock the future and allows for exciting initiatives to come to light and ultimately improve our lives and the world we live in,” Professor Western said.

“In the case of the e-tool for visually impaired people, students are working on canes with obstacle-detecting capabilities to help avoid risky situations.

“The automated obstacle-detecting cane is both low-cost and portable, and is capable of reliably informing of any obstructions and dangers in front of the user. This is achieved through the use of ultrasonic reflection and video camera image processing.”

Another group made the decision to improve the system design to reduce the sound of trams wheels.

Student Benjamin Kaufman said the screeching of a tram’s wheels as it rounds a corner is a sound all Melbournians are familiar with.

“Our group decided the noise and wheel wear could be significantly reduced as the wheels turn.”

About the Melbourne School of Engineering

The Melbourne School of Engineering offers an internationally recognised curriculum with dual accreditation that is unique in Australia. The Master of Engineering suite of programs are the only engineering courses to be accredited by Engineers Australia, as well having received EUR-ACE® label European accreditation, allowing graduates to register and work as professional chartered engineers in many countries around the world.

The university’s graduate model of engineering education provides depth, breadth and flexibility to a world-class curriculum that is informed by real-world, problem-based learning, industry experience and a generous program of scholarships for both local and international students.

*

Discover more about studying engineering or information technology at the University of Melbourne. Contact OzTREKK Australian Engineering Schools Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com.

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

Air-travel innovator joins Melbourne to address big challenges

The University of Melbourne is responding to modern engineering challenges with the recent appointment of Professor Richard Sandberg from the UK, an expert in making air travel faster and cheaper.

University of Melbourne Engineering School

Professor Richard Sandberg (Photo credit: University of Melbourne)

Named as a veski (Victorian Endowment for Science, Knowledge and Innovation) Innovation Fellow, Professor Sandberg has brought an innovative research program and strong industry contacts, as well as additional young researchers from his previous laboratory to continue research in new labs in Australia.

Professor Sandberg is using his expertise to develop new models for the airline industry to reduce noise and predict turbulence, by using supercomputers housed at Victorian Life Sciences Computation Initiative (VLSCI.)

His aim is to develop models that industry can use in engineering ‘greener’ technologies, faster and cheaper air travel and improved heating and cooling systems.

In a virtual wind tunnel at the University of Melbourne, Professor Sandberg is using a powerful numerical code to leverage modern supercomputers and create a ‘time machine’ to reduce simulation time to test and simulate these new technologies from 30 years to as little as one week.

Professor Iven Mareels, Dean of the Melbourne School of Engineering welcomes the appointment and the support from the Victorian Government.

“Having international researchers with us at the Melbourne School of Engineering with their strong industry collaborations and a clear focus on translational research, will deliver big results for the state,” said Professor Mareels.

Melbourne School of Engineering

The Melbourne School of Engineering offers an internationally recognised curriculum with dual accreditation that is unique in Australia. The Master of Engineering suite of programs are the only engineering courses to be accredited by Engineers Australia, as well having received EUR-ACE® label European accreditation, allowing graduates to register and work as professional chartered engineers in many countries around the world.

Melbourne’s graduate model of engineering education provides depth, breadth and flexibility to a world-class curriculum that is informed by real world, problem-based learning, industry experience and a generous program of scholarships for both local and international students.

*

Find out more about studying at the Melbourne School of Engineering. Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Engineering Schools Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at 1-866-698-7355 or rachel@oztrekk.com.

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

Melbourne engineering researchers develop micro-filters for clean water

Researchers from the Melbourne School of Engineering in conjunction with CSIRO, have developed new membranes or micro-filters that will result in clean water in a much more energy efficient manner.

Published recently in the journal Advanced Materials, the new membranes will supply clean water for use in desalination and water purification applications.

University of Melbourne Engineering School

Study engineering at the University of Melbourne

Sandra Kentish, Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering said that up until now, there has not been a way to add chlorinating agents to water to prevent biological growth in the desalination process.

“Such biofouling has been a major issue to date, but the new membranes have the potential to lead to a more economic desalination operation,” she said.

For the Melbourne School of Engineering professor, the availability of fresh water for drinking, irrigation and industrial use is one of the grand challenges of this century. Energy efficient water purification has the potential to improve the lives of billions of people around the world.

“The new membranes perform at a comparable level to existing commercial membranes used in these applications, but importantly show greater resistance to attack by chlorine containing chemicals,” Professor Kentish said.

“The chlorine resistant membrane materials can cut out additional processing steps reducing operating costs. They can also prevent the decrease in water flow that is currently observed with time due to biological fouling” she said.

The novel membrane technology uses layer-by-layer polymer assembly and has been developed by a collaborative research team including Professor Kentish with Professor Frank Caruso and Dr Jacky Cho from the Melbourne School of Engineering and Dr Anita Hill from CSIRO. The work was made possible through funding from the Science and Industry Endowment Fund (SIEF).

Melbourne School of Engineering

The Melbourne School of Engineering offers an internationally recognised curriculum with dual accreditation that is unique in Australia. The Master of Engineering suite of programs are the only engineering courses to be accredited by Engineers Australia, as well having received EUR-ACE® label European accreditation, allowing graduates to register and work as professional chartered engineers in many countries around the world.

Melbourne’s graduate model of engineering education provides depth, breadth and flexibility to a world-class curriculum that is informed by real world, problem-based learning, industry experience and a generous program of scholarships for both local and international students.

The school conducts cutting-edge interdisciplinary research and works with a range of partners from academia, government and industry to address some of society’s critical problems, such as water resource management, infrastructure protection, sustainable energy and targeted drug delivery for cancer treatment, to name a few. Other key projects include the bionic eye, the sustainable city, artificial skin, and the green internet.

*

Find out more about studying engineering at the Melbourne School of Engineering. Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Engineering Schools Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com, or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355. Find out how you can study in Australia!

Friday, March 13th, 2015

Melbourne engineering researcher finds hidden hazards in green products

A University of Melbourne Engineering researcher has found that common consumer products, including those marketed as ‘green’, ‘all-natural’, ‘non-toxic’, and ‘organic’, emit a range of compounds that could harm human health and air quality. But most of these ingredients are not disclosed to the public.

University of Melbourne Engineering School

Melbourne engineering researcher says most of our exposure to air pollutants occurs indoors and a primary source is consumer products

Dr. Anne Steinemann, Professor of Civil Engineering, and the Chair of Sustainable Cities, from the Department of Infrastructure Engineering, Melbourne School of Engineering, is a world expert on environmental pollutants, air quality, and health effects.

Professor Steinemann investigated and compared volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from 37 different products, such as air fresheners, cleaning products, laundry supplies, and personal care products, including those with certifications and claims of ‘green’ and ‘organic’. Both fragranced and fragrance-free products were tested.

The study, published in the journal Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health found 156 different VOCs emitted from the 37 products, with an average of 15 VOCs per product. Of these 156 VOCs, 42 are classified as toxic or hazardous under US federal laws, and each product emitted at least one of these chemicals.

Findings revealed that emissions of carcinogenic hazardous air pollutants from ‘green’ fragranced products were not significantly different from regular fragranced products.

In total, over 550 volatile ingredients were emitted from these products, but fewer than three percent were disclosed on any product label or material safety data sheet (MSDS).

“The paradox is that most of our exposure to air pollutants occurs indoors and a primary source is consumer products. But the public lacks full and accurate information on the ingredients in these products. Our indoor air environments are essentially unregulated and unmonitored,” the Melbourne School of Engineering professor said.

The most common chemicals in fragranced products were terpenes, which were not in fragrance-free versions. Terpenes readily react with ozone in the air to generate a range of additional pollutants, such as formaldehyde and ultrafine particles.

At this time, consumer products sold in Australia, the US and around the world are not required to list all ingredients, or any ingredients in a chemical mixture called ‘fragrance’.

“Given the lack of information, consumers may choose products with claims such as green, natural, or organic, but those claims are largely untested,” Professor Steinemann said.

Professor Steinemann will continue to investigate how and why we’re exposed to pollutants and ways to reduce risks and improve health.

Additional Information

•    Products selected are commonly used in Australia, the US, and other countries in a range of environments (e.g., homes, schools, hospitals, workplaces, hotels, restaurants, stores, residential buildings, parks, child care and aged care facilities, gyms, homeless shelters, government buildings, airports, planes and public transport).

•    Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) headspace analysis was used to identify VOCs emitted from 37 products, representing air fresheners and deodorizers (sprays, gels, solids, oils, and disks), laundry products (detergents, dryer sheets, and fabric softeners), cleaning supplies (all-purpose cleaners, window and surface cleaners, disinfectants, and dishwashing liquids), and personal care products (soaps, hand sanitisers, sunscreens, lotions, baby lotions, deodorants, shampoos, and baby shampoo).

•    Ingredients in consumer products and in fragrance formulations, are exempt from full disclosure to the public.

•    For laundry products, cleaning supplies, and air fresheners, labels do not need to list all ingredients, or the presence of a fragrance in the product.

•    For personal care products and cosmetics, labels need to list ingredients, except the general term “fragrance” or “parfum” may be used instead of listing the individual ingredients in the fragrance.

•    For all products, material safety data sheets do not need to list all ingredients.

•    Fragrance ingredients are exempt from full disclosure in any product, not only in Australia and the US but also internationally.

Melbourne School of Engineering

The Melbourne School of Engineering offers an internationally recognised curriculum with dual accreditation that is unique in Australia. The Master of Engineering suite of programs are the only engineering courses to be accredited by Engineers Australia, as well having received EUR-ACE® label European accreditation, allowing graduates to register and work as professional chartered engineers in many countries around the world.

Melbourne’s graduate model of engineering education provides depth, breadth and flexibility to a world-class curriculum that is informed by real world, problem-based learning, industry experience and a generous program of scholarships for both local and international students.

*

Find out more about studying engineering at the Melbourne School of Engineering. Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Engineering Schools Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com, or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

Melbourne engineering professor receives award for cochlear implant

Professor Graeme Clark AC from the Melbourne School of Engineering is the first Australian to receive the US Russ Prize for an outstanding achievement in bioengineering innovation that is in widespread use to improve health and well-being: the cochlear implant.

University of Melbourne Audiology School

Study at the beautiful University of Melbourne!

The US National Academy of Engineering and Ohio University announced the winners of the biennial prize of US $500,000 today and recognised Professor Clark’s pioneering role in the development of the multi-channel cochlear implant for people with severe-to-profound deafness.

Professors Clark, Ingeborg and Irwin Hochmair from Austria and Michael Merzenich and Blake Wilson from the US are the pioneers in developing the multi-channel cochlear implant for giving speech understanding to severely-profoundly deaf adults and children.

Professor Clark, Honorary Professor, Electrical Engineering in the Melbourne School of Engineering who is a lead researcher at the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Neural Engineering, worked with a multi-disciplinary team at the University of Melbourne after he commenced cochlear implant research at the University of Sydney in 1967.

In the late 1970s, Professors Clark and Hochmair created prostheses that deployed multiple electrodes and routed particular sounds to different parts of the cochlear. These devices improved the ability of deaf people to understand speech.

Professor Clark also helped to create Cochlear Limited, the company that has dominated world markets for the last 30 years with over 320,000 patients implanted with the Australian device.

“I am honoured to have been given this award by the US National Academy of Engineering as it represents work that was developed through true multi-disciplinary teams in engineering and medicine to solve a major health issue.” Professor Clark said.

Professor Iven Mareels, Dean of the Melbourne School of Engineering said Professor Clark has made a significant difference to the lives of the severely and profoundly deaf.

“His work has inspired a whole generation of engineers to work in the development of new technologies to improve health,” he said.

Past winners of the Russ prize include

  • Earl Bakken and Wilson Greatbatch who pioneered the implantable pacemaker;
  • Willem Kolff who invented the artificial kidney and is considered the father of artificial organs;
  • Leland Clark developed the first device to determine the amount of glucose in the blood for diabetics and considered the father of biosensors.

University of Melbourne Audiology School

The Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology at the University of Melbourne has developed to be a leading international player in hearing research, largely due to its role in the development and improvement of cochlear implants and their application. The cochlear implant now provides hearing to more than 100,000 completely or profoundly deaf people in more than 60 countries around the world.

Melbourne Audiology School’s Master of Clinical Audiology focuses on developing professional skills through a large program component of comprehensive clinical training. Clinical skills are supplemented by coursework and lectures that introduce students to graduate-level research methods, while maintaining a strong level of scientific acumen expected of students in the health sciences at the University of Melbourne.

Program: Master of Clinical Audiology
Location: Parkville campus, Melbourne, Victoria
Semester intake: February
Duration: 2 years

Apply to the University of Melbourne Audiology School!

*

Get more information about studying audiology at Melbourne Audiology School. Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Audiology Schools Admissions Officer Jaime Notman by emailing jaime@oztrekk.com, or phone toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.