UNSW Canberra Launch continuing support for veterans

UNSW Canberra Launch on Northbourne is proud of its role in supporting veterans and helping innovative defence and security SMEs bring their ideas and products to market.

Since its establishment in February 2020, Launch’s collaborators have continued their growth, with many employing a high proportion of veterans and further developing pathways and opportunities for future veteran employment.

As a 100 per cent veteran owned and veteran staffed company, Viden has been a shining example and advocate for veteran employment. Specialising in cyberworthiness and capability delivery to Defence and other national security partners, Viden has proven a natural and highly supportive environment for many transitioning veterans.

Viden’s Chief Executive Officer Anthony Barnes believes that the unique experience, training and values inherent to many veterans make them a highly capable and obvious choice for employers.

“Veterans are motivated, innovative, honest, hardworking and humble professionals,” Mr Barnes said.

“We are thrilled to have a great veteran team, but equally to be a part of many other great veteran employment initiatives, including the Australian Defence Force’s new industry On The Job Training (OJT) program.”

Launch collaborator Terra Schwartz, a cyber-security company specialising in strategic cyber services and products for Defence and national security clients, employs more than 20 per cent veterans in its team. Head of Cyber at Terra Schwartz, Dr David Ormrod, a 22-year veteran of the Australian Army, said the unique facilities and dynamic environment made Launch an ideal location for their business.

“We are thrilled to be here at Launch in a supportive and collaborative environment which allows us to grow and provide more opportunities for former Defence members,” Dr Ormrod said.

“Our clients need expertise, we are grateful that our veteran community has so many excellent candidates who have the required skills and knowledge to help our industry.”

As the premier military education institution in Australia and a long-standing member of the ACT business community, UNSW Canberra is unique in its approach to supporting the employment of veterans.

UNSW Canberra’s tertiary and professional programs are designed on sector trends, providing the skills and knowledge required for a military career but also making them equally relevant and transferable to a civilian career path; providing a breadth of opportunities for veterans, post-military.

As a research institution, UNSW Canberra shines a light on veteran issues through research, including significant contributions to the fields of post-traumatic stress disorder and analysing veteran homelessness. UNSW Canberra was also a major sponsor of the Invictus Games in 2018, a major event celebrating and showcasing the capabilities of veterans.

UNSW Canberra draws on its knowledge, experience and networks to develop practical initiatives aimed at creating and facilitating opportunities to assist veterans, especially those transitioning to civilian employment.

UNSW Canberra showcases leading Launch innovators

From cyber frameworks to the Battlefield-of-Things, electronic  warfare  capabilities  to  the  manufacture of SmallSat satellites, UNSW Canberra Launch collaborators presented their capabilities, ideas and innovation to industry during the first UNSW Canberra Launch Capabilities Showcase today.

Since it opened its doors in 2019, UNSW Canberra Launch on Northbourne has developed into an ecosystem of defence, space and cyber small-to-medium enterprises. The innovative precinct fosters collaboration between industry, academia and government to grow capabilities in Australia’s strategic priorities.

UNSW Canberra Rector Professor Michael Frater said that the growth of Launch on Northbourne after almost 12 months of operation was evidence of the incubator’s success.

“UNSW Canberra is one of Australia’s leading centres for defence and security capabilities. Launch on Northbourne offers the University an  opportunity  to partner  with and  support  tech  start-ups,  while  giving  our  students  and  researchers pathways to further their work,” Professor Frater said.

“Today our Launch businesses showcased  their capabilities and innovation for  industry.  The great  strength  of  this collaboration is this innovative space that allows different industries to come together to develop solutions, talent and technology.”

Launch collaborator Terra Schwartz, a cyber-security company specialising in strategic cyber services/products for defence and  national  security  clients,  have  leveraged  their  partnership  at  Launch  to  create  bespoke  cyber  security solutions, intelligence, wargaming design, and software development.

Terra Schwartz General Manager Amy Ormrod said that Launch, with its industry rated information security infrastructure and collaborative workspaces, has provided the ideal environment for her team to thrive.

“Launch on Northbourne offers us the necessary security and system requirements we need to provide for our clients in a collaborative and dynamic precinct,” Mrs Ormrod said.

“To be able to showcase our work today, in partnership with the other collaborators here at Launch is another example of how this unique facility promotes growth and innovation.”

Launch on Northbourne provides a working model of the UNSW Canberra Defence and Security Innovation Precinct, part of the future UNSW Canberra City campus. More information about the precinct can be found on the Launch on Northbourne website.

UNSW Canberra acknowledged as a Platinum Healthier Workplace

UNSW Canberra was recognised as a Platinum Healthier Workplace by the ACT Government at an awards ceremony this morning.

Healthier Work is a WorkSafe ACT program that was established to support local businesses to thrive as health promoting environments.

UNSW Canberra has achieved platinum recognition for consistently implementing health and wellbeing initiatives for four years.

ACT Work Health and Safety Commissioner Jacqueline Agius was on campus to present the award to Deputy Rector Harvinder Sidhu.

“Today is a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate UNSW’s ongoing commitment to work health and safety, and also for taking part in the Healthier Work Program,” Ms Agius.

“Since joining the healthier work program in 2015, I know UNSW has implemented a range of initiatives.”

Professor Sidhu said it was an  honour to accept this trophy on behalf of UNSW Canberra.

“I note that we are in good company, joining organisations such as the National Archives of Australia, ActewAGL, and the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel, in achieving platinum status,” Professor Sidhu said.

“This trophy acknowledges the outstanding work done by our teams over the past four years to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our staff – driven by the Health, Safety & Facilities (HS&F) team in previous years and in 2020, the combined efforts of the HS&F, Human Resources and Equity & Diversity units.”

Over the years, the University’s initiatives have included a focus on encouraging staff to eat healthily, increase their physical activity, cut down on their alcohol use and stop smoking.

There have also been programs designed to enhance the social and emotional wellbeing of staff including workplace resilience workshops and regular yoga sessions.

“Of course, 2020 has been a more challenging year in many respects, with first the bushfires and now the pandemic,” Professor Sidhu said.

“We needed to do things a little differently this year, and we may need to change the way we do many things in the future.”

Ms Agius said workplaces have faced unprecedented challenges in 2020, with COVID-19 having a major impact on the day-to-day activities carried out by universities, in particular.

“Universities, probably more than anyone, have had to be dynamic in the way that they put in controls to ensure that everybody on campus is safe in relation to COVID-19,” Ms Agius said.

“UNSW has been agile, responsive and you have demonstrated a commitment to your staff, with the implementation of specific initiatives to support people working remotely.”

2020 health and wellbeing initiatives have also included monitoring our buildings for the impacts of bushfire smoke, safeguarding the health and safety of those who needed to remain on campus throughout the pandemic, safely providing staff flu vaccinations, and the roll out of the Mental Health First Aid Officer program.

Professor Sidhu said the University looked forward to continuing the initiative.

“UNSW Canberra has appreciated all the advice and support the Healthier Work team has been able to provide us in implementing our programs and we look forward to a continuing connection in the years ahead.”

Community and Stakeholder Engagement Report for UNSW Canberra City

We are pleased to share the Community and Stakeholder Engagement Report for the UNSW Canberra City campus. 

The Stakeholder Engagement Report was prepared by Communication Link, the local consultancy firm that UNSW Canberra engaged to encourage and facilitate independent, open and transparent community stakeholder conversations. The report will be used to inform the Campus Master Plan as well as share valuable insights from the community with the other stakeholders involved on the project.

View the Community and Stakeholder Engagement Report here.

We thank all those that contributed and encourage you to sign up to the UNSW Canberra community newsletter to stay informed about future developments on the project.

We thank all those that contributed and encourage you to sign up to the UNSW Canberra City community newsletter to stay informed about future developments on the project.

Subscribe to the UNSW Canberra City community newsletter here.

UNSW Canberra plan to share the draft Campus Master Plan in September 2020. We look forward to sharing our vision with the community which will be published on the UNSW Canberra City website. For any enquiries in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to email equiries@canberra.unsw.edu.au

Penten at Launch on Northbourne

Penten ready for Launch as anchor tenant

Penten at Launch on Northbourne

UNSW Canberra has welcomed local Canberra cyber security company Penten as the anchor tenant at the University’s new collaborative workspace precinct; Launch on Northbourne.

UNSW Canberra Rector, Professor Michael Frater said the concept of Launch is about the power of collaboration and Penten will be a leading contributor to the success of the collaborative model.

“Penten is a local Canberra company that has achieved great success having been recognised as Telstra’s 2018 Australian Business of the year as well as Australia Defence Industry’s 2019 Cyber business of the year.

“They also have a strong connection with UNSW Canberra; from advising and teaching into our cyber courses through to the staff they employ, with UNSW Canberra alumni being key members of the leadership team,” Professor Frater said.

“Penten is forward-thinking and innovative, working on future challenges that industry and Australia will face. I welcome them to Launch and am excited by the research and educational opportunities the collaboration will enable.”

Matthew Wilson, CEO of Penten said moving to Launch will enable the business to grow in a centrally located area that provides easy access for clients, industry partners and employees.

“The Launch collaboration space provides the opportunity to share ideas, resources and new methods of delivering capability in the defence, space and cyber industries,” Mr Wilson said.

Being part of a unique opportunity to contribute to the vibrant and growing community in Canberra, focused on Defence and national security, while sharing space with academia, government and industry partners was part of the appeal of the Launch concept.

“It also means being at the heart of innovation, which is something Penten strives to do,” Mr Wilson said.

ACT Minister for Advanced Technology and Space Industries, Mick Gentleman said Penten is a local success story, providing world-class sovereign defence and cyber capability and contributing to Canberra’s remarkable culture of innovation and excellence.

“It’s great to see companies like Penten continuing to grow here in Canberra. By working collaboratively alongside other organisations – like UNSW Canberra – our local advanced technology industries will be well placed to solve the cyber challenges of tomorrow.

“The ACT Government is committed to supporting our defence, space and cyber industries, which play a key role in diversifying the ACT economy, attracting more investment and creating more jobs for Canberra,” said Minister Gentleman.

Penten is an Australian cyber company focused on delivering defence and security technologies. It makes hardware and software cyber solutions to enable the modern war fighter and policy maker and give them the best advantage. In addition, the company creates secure mobility devices, encryption modules and automation tools to counter the adversary.

“Cyber security is a rapidly growing industry and defence is becoming more digital and connected. The future fight will include machine-on-machine conflict and we need to ensure Australia has world-leading defence and security technologies to tackle this challenge,” Mr Wilson said.

Launch on Northbourne was announced in December 2019 and is dedicated to the defence and security industries. It is a precursor to the larger Defence and Security Innovation Precinct, which will be established at UNSW Canberra’s new City campus.

The Precinct will facilitate new connections in the sector, fostering powerful collaborations and contributing to the advancement of Australia’s defence and security capabilities.

YoWIE group

YoWIEs sighted in Canberra

Launch on Northbourne Opening

With less than 14% of degree qualified engineers in Australia being women, YoWIEs, or Young Women in Engineering are as difficult to find in engineering schools across Australia as their mythical counterparts.

This week, UNSW Canberra is hosting the largest pack of YoWIEs ever seen at its engineering summer school, and it really is an amazing sight.

The YoWIE program was created to directly disrupt the imbalance in the gender make up of Australian engineers. It has been designed specifically for young women and aims to show them engineering is for them through a number of fun, hands-on activities.

This year, more than 80 year 9 to 12 girls from across the country have come together to take part in the free three-day event. Some of the activities the girls will complete include designing satellites, building and testing rockets, disassembling a lawn mower and programming a robot. They will also hear from Liz Pearce who works at the Australian Space Agency.

Event organiser and aerospace engineer Dr Bianca Capra is passionate about increasing the number of women into the profession she loves.

“Engineering is a unique profession mixing creativity, abstract thinking and technical skills to solve unknown problems,” Dr Capra said.

“It is fundamental to our lives, yet sadly remains non-representative of our society. The innovative future that is our promise to further generations will only be achieved with diverse and inclusive teams – and increasing the number of women in engineering is a crucial first step to greater diversity.”

Dr Capra said the participants are at an important time in their schooling. Some will be deciding on subjects for their senior classes, while others considering university options.

“Over the next few days, these young women will develop and use the real skills of practicing engineers, improving not only their skills but their confidence in engineering. We hope that this week they are empowered to continue studies in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, which are critical subjects to any STEM career,” Dr Capra said.

“YoWIE continues to grow organically, with a year-on-year growth of about 28% so we must be doing something right! The success of YoWIE is testament to the depth of the program as well as the support from schools, teachers and parents. Importantly this program is having a real impact with several of our first pack of YoWIEs enrolling to studying engineering.

“We need gender parity in all areas of STEM, and particularly engineering where the numbers remain stubbornly low. It’s time we shook things up, and that’s what we do here at YoWIE and that’s why I love it.”

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UNSW Canberra awarded six ARC Discovery Projects

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Research into the swarm behaviours of robots, how sound waves exert force on objects and how a bird’s wingtip feathers contribute to its flying ability are among six UNSW Canberra projects awarded more than $2.8 million in Australian Research Council (ARC) funding.

Eleven academics from UNSW Canberra Engineering and IT were awarded funding from the ARC Discovery Projects on Wednesday.

In total, 72 UNSW projects received $30.8 million in the ARC Discovery Project scheme announced by Minister for Education Dan Tehan.

Professor Nicholas Fisk, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research), congratulated the University’s researchers on their funding success.

The Discovery Projects scheme provides funding for research projects that can be undertaken by individual researchers or research teams.

The objectives of the scheme include: supporting excellent basic and applied research by individuals and teams; encouraging high-quality research; enhancing international collaborations in research and expanding Australia’s knowledge base and research capabilities.


UNSW Canberra ARC Discovery Project 2020 Round grant recipients:

 

$580,000 to Professor Hussein Abbass and Dr Sondoss Elsawah

Transforming data assets into organisational knowledge assets sits in the hands of a few, highly specialised, data scientists. The aim of this research is to design educational instruments to support non-experts to teach artificial intelligence (AI) systems in a similar way to educating human teachers to teach human learners.

$390,000 to Professor Jiankun Hu

Privacy-preserving Biometrics based Authentication and Security. Password based authentication systems cannot verify genuine users. Biometric authentication can address this issue. The intended deliverables will include deep learning based biometric feature extractor, cancellable biometrics and cloud oriented biometrics security protocols.

$373,000 to Associate Professors Kathryn Kasmarik and Matthew Garratt

This project aims to develop algorithms to permit groups of robots to evolve coordinated, collective, swarm behaviours. Groups of robots will be conceptualised as developmental swarm organisms with an initially limited set of behaviours, but equipped with structures and processes to permit them to evolve new behaviours.

$540,000 to Professor Valeri Ougrinovski

The project aims to develop an innovative systems theory and optimisation methods to enhance the design of components for next-generation quantum communication networks. It will advance new theoretical knowledge and efficient algorithms that can be applied to make networks more efficient and less costly.

$400,000 to Dr David Powell

This project aims to investigate how sound waves exert forces on objects, and how these forces can be controlled by artificially engineered structures known as acoustic metamaterials. The project is expected to lead to a new understanding of acoustic radiation forces, and how they can be efficiently manipulated with high resolution.

$535,000 to Dr Fangbao Tian, Associate Professor John Young, Professor Joseph Lai and Dr Sridhar Ravi

This project aims to produce a deeper understanding of the role of wingtip feathers in the remarkable abilities of birds to fly in unsteady and unpredictable aerodynamic environments, and in some cases to do so almost silently.

Launch on Northbourne Opening

UNSW Canberra launches new collaboration space

Launch on Northbourne Opening

A new collaborative workspace precinct in Canberra City dedicated to the defence and security industries has been announced today.

Called Launch on Northbourne, and hosted by UNSW Canberra, the precinct is a concept that will provide three floors of collaborative workspace bringing together industry, government and academia to grow innovation and capability in defence and security.

UNSW Canberra Rector Professor Michael Frater said that innovation is one of the most significant sources of sustainable competitive advantage.

“That is why UNSW Canberra identified the need for a dedicated innovation space that will allow these different industries to come together to develop defence and security capability, talent and technology,” he said.

As part of the Launch concept, UNSW Canberra will host a cohort of start-ups in the defence and security industries. The incubator initiative also forms part of the University’s greater commitment to growing industry and academic capability in the region.

“Universities are trusted partners in the development of defence and security capabilities and Launch on Northbourne will build off a successful base of established activity, talent and infrastructure that is maintained by UNSW Canberra and the greater UNSW network,” Professor Frater said.

The precinct will be designed using the Protective Security Policy Framework which articulates the effective implementation of physical, personnel and information security. Launch’s flexible space solutions will suit a broad number of organisations, with security Zones Two, Three and Four supporting the proposed workspace models.

Professor Frater said that for a model such as Launch to be successful it requires the ability to tap in to a network of innovators, researchers, thought leaders and existing commercial expertise.

“The workspace provided by the precinct will provide an avenue for shared infrastructure and ideas, through to networking opportunities with complementary entities and individuals and to pool resources with like-minded companies and institutions,” he said.

More information about the precinct can be found on the Launch on Northbourne website.