Reid and Parkes blocks

Site testing on Parkes and Reid blocks

Reid and Parkes blocks

In March this year, the ACT Government entered in to a precinct deed with UNSW which details the investment in to a new campus, including approximately eight hectares of land in Reid and Parkes.

UNSW Canberra has since been working actively with the ACT Government on the planning for the Precinct and as part of this process, are required to undertake site testing on the Reid and Parkes blocks.

Testing will determine the presence and extent of any environmental contamination on the Reid and Parkes blocks for the future UNSW Canberra City campus development. Disruption caused by site testing will be minimal, details of the testing schedule are as follows:

  • Part closure of the Parkes gravel carpark on Constitution Avenue will commence on Monday,14 December 2020 and the carpark will be available at full capacity again from Thursday, 30 December 2020.
  • Testing on the Parkes site will be coordinated in two phases allowing the gravel car park to operate at 50% capacity during testing.
  • Testing on the Reid site (CIT campus) will commence Monday, 4 January 2021 and be completed by Friday, 15 January 2021.
  • Testing on the Reid site, has been scheduled outside of the teaching semester to keep disruption to a minimum.

The ACT Government will be erecting signage in the Parkes carpark advising patrons of the part closure of the carpark. All efforts have been made to minimise any impact to people using the carpark by scheduling the site testing during the CIT semester break and the Christmas holiday period. However, we apologise in advance for any disruption.

If you are experiencing any issues as a result of the site testing activity, or have any questions, please contact Access Canberra on 13 22 81.

Alliance of top universities urges G20 leaders to prioritise net zero emissions

The International Universities Climate Alliance’s first major initiative will call on world leaders to act on the climate emergency.

UNSW Sydney will lead an international coalition of top climate research universities when it issues its first Declaration today ahead of the G20 Summit on 21 and 22 November 2020.

The International Universities Climate Alliance member universities span all populated continents, representing one-third of the 100 highest performing climate research universities and a quarter of the top 100 environmental research universities worldwide.

Its Declaration implores world leaders to use the post-COVID recovery to implement measures to counteract climate change, warning that failure to do so will lock in catastrophic consequences for generations to come. Regional media events will be held with a panel of speakers from Asia Pacific and UK university members.

Watch Ian Jacobs speak here.

Professor Ian Jacobs, President and Vice-Chancellor of UNSW Sydney in Australia, which founded and leads the Alliance, said he and his colleagues recognised the need for experts with diverse voices to speak out about the climate crisis.

“Many challenges lie ahead of us in combatting the existential crisis in which the world finds itself. The International Universities Climate Alliance is a rich resource upon which governments, business, industry and the wider community can rely for evidence-based expert advice.”

UNSW Scientia Professor Matthew England said that Australia was highly exposed to the worst impacts of climate change – as demonstrated by recent bushfires, coral bleaching, floods and droughts – and has a pivotal role to play in contributing to the Alliance.

“With G20 member countries representing nearly 80 per cent of global COemissions and 85 per cent of global GDP, they have the obligation, the opportunity, and the means to lead global systemic change,” Prof. England said.

UNSW has a proud history of being at the forefront of climate science and renewable energy – the solar cell technology which underpins 50 per cent of solar panels around the world was developed at the University. Prof. Jacobs has also committed to divesting UNSW’s fossil fuel assets by 2025 as part of its net-zero emissions goal, in line with the Paris Agreement commitment to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

The Climate Alliance is unprecedented in scale and scope and will support world leaders, policymakers and industry in planning for, and responding to, climate change. The advent of the Climate Alliance comes as momentum is building for countries to decarbonise their economies. In recent months there have been moves by various nations to fortify incremental efforts with policies and actions equal to the urgency of the situation.

The Alliance will provide a central hub for universities to share the latest climate research and enable greater collaboration between leading research teams.

Update: watch the panel of climate research experts from across the Asia Pacific discuss the Declaration urging G20 leaders to prioritise net-zero emissions.

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.”

image of lightbulb

UNSW Canberra awarded six ARC Discovery Projects

image of lightbulb

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.