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ECS Masters Student Finalist in Wellingtonian of the Year Awards

16 Oct 2012 - 11:02 in Achievement

Masters student Abigail Arulandu has been named as a finalist in the youth category of the Wellingtonian of the Year Awards. For her Master of Engineering project, Abigail designed and built a device to assist with the rehabilitation of stroke patients by helping then re-gain control and strength in their hand and arm muscles. New Zealand company Im-Able obtained funding from the Ministry of Science and Innovation for Abigail develop a prototype, and is currently working to patent and sell the device.

“The Wellys” are an annual celebration of the extraordinary contribution some Wellingtonians have made to their community, across a number of different sectors. The nine categories in the awards are arts, business, community service, education, environment, government, science and technology, sport, and youth. There are four finalists in the youth category.

The Wellingtonian of the Year Awards Dinner will be held in The Ballroom, Amora Hotel, on Thursday the 22nd of November. The winner of each category will be announced, and then from these winners, the Wellingtonian of the Year award winner will be named. Past winners of the award include Peter Jackson, Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement, and Father Des Britten.

Wellington Team Comes 2nd in NZ at the ACM South Pacific Regional Contest

13 Sep 2011 - 09:11 in Achievement

On Saturday, 10th of September, 2011, ECS hosted the "Lower North Island" site for the Association for Computing Machinery International Collegiate Programming Contest's South Pacific Regionals. The top team from Australia and the top team from New Zealand get to represent the region at the World Finals to be held in Poland in May 2012. The winner of the Lower North Island (Wellington) site - DJ Tomato - came close second behind the New Zealand winning team from Christchurch: they both solved the same number of problems but the Christchurch team did it a little bit faster to take the honors. DJ Tomato consists of ECS PhD student, Roma Klapaukh, GradDipSci in Physics student Joshua Baker, and ECS 2nd year student Fergus Whyte.

The First Place Team
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The other 5 teams competing at ECS were from Massey (Max Dietrich, Faharn Wali, and Fergus, coached by Professor Jens Dietrich) and Wellington: Samuel Hindmarsh, Gordon Chan, and David Wang (coming 2nd locally), Simon Welsh, Liam Cervante, and Ben Lawn (coming 3rd locally), as well as Dominik Schmid, Luke Bravenboer, and Luke March and our 1st year team of Peter Riley, Alex Salenko, and Andrew Davies.

All Contestants
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The competition went smoothly and was held at the ECS Networking Lab (CO246). The other sites included: Perth, Sydney, Brisbane, Hobart, Melbourne, Auckland, and Christchurch and were running in parallel. The teams prepared for the regional event by participating in the 6 rounds of ANZAC League (http://ecs.victoria.ac.nz/Main/ProgrammingContests) which paid off significantly with DJ Tomato coming very close to grabbing the NZ title.

The event's main sponsor is IBM (http://www.ibm.com/nz/en/) and the contest was attended by Ralph Fox, Sundar Venkataraman, Mehrdad Fatemi, Marina Chibisova, Ryan Leighs and Jonathan Wierenga who presented the prizes at the end. Mehrdad, one of IBM NZ hiring managers, commented in particular on the value for the job applicants of having ACM programming contest experience on their CV.

Any students interested in taking part in the 2012 season need to contact Alex Potanin.

Victoria Engineering students win Australasian robotics competition

25 Sep 2013 - 16:25 in Achievement

A team of engineering students from Victoria University of Wellington has taken top honours in the Australasian National Instruments Autonomous Robotics Competition held in Melbourne this week.

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The Victoria team, ‘Ownbot’, beat 15 other teams from Australian and New Zealand universities with its robot Michelangelo, named after its turtle-like shape. A video of the achievement is gaining attention in the press.

Led by PhD student Henry Williams, the team was made up of undergraduate and postgraduate students from the School of Engineering and Computer Science: Tessa Phillips, Robby Lopez, Alex Campbell, Hamish Colenso, Alice Lawn and Joseph Shadwick.

Henry says he is “well chuffed” that their autonomous creation performed so well.

Dr Will Browne, a senior lecturer in the School who supported the students as they developed Michelangelo, is excited by the win.

“It’s fantastic news. The students have worked incredibly hard on this project over the last few months and to see them win a competition like this is just superb.

“It showcases the depth of talent and skill amongst our students, and also the team’s passion for robotics, since this was an extra-curricular project which complemented their formal studies.”

Dr Browne says things weren’t all plain sailing for the team, with Michelangelo initially consuming too much power and nearly catching fire, but the students overcame the difficulties through excellent teamwork.

To qualify for the competition finals, the team had to achieve four milestones during the year, which tested different aspects of the robot’s capability. The students documented their progress through a blog (http://vuwniarc2013.blogspot.co.nz).

In the grand final this week, the Victoria University team won the ultimate ‘Gold Rush’ themed task, where robots were required to navigate an obstacle-filled course, and identify, pick up and move objects to designated locations in the shortest possible time.

The team has won a cash prize $3,000.

Quicktime Movie of Michelangelo

100% of First BE Cohort in Graduate-level Employment

14 Oct 2011 - 13:49 in Achievement

All of our cohort of graduating Bachelors of Engineering students have gone on to find graduate level employment. This illustrates both the need for digitally focused engineers from our specialisations (Software Engineering, Network Engineering, Electronics and Computer Systems Engineering) and their quality.

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Big-name companies, such as Google (Australia), GNS, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare and Aviat Networks, have all employed our graduates. Small (agile) companies and start-ups, such as Code to Customer, have also recognised the talents and transferable skills gained through four years of dedicated study. The breadth of jobs available to our graduates is amazing, e.g. working for the Ministry of Justice for their software and networking needs. The high technology and state-of-the-art nature of the jobs is illustrated by one of our graduates who has joined FNZ who are interested in 'enterprise cloud computing and services company in the wealth management sector'.

It is also really pleasing to note that five of our students have stayed on to indulge their passion for learning in Masters degrees. This has included attracting lucrative scholarships from companies (Im-able Ltd), government (TechNZ scheme) and the University.

With greater emphasis being placed on Graduate employment levels by government it is excellent to see the continued contact that our graduates have with the School and the Careers service who are available to assist both students and graduates in finding their perfect job.

Finally, if you are a prospective student wanting an awesome job after an awesome time at University, feel free to explore our site.

Or if you are employer searching for top level graduates, then please contact our careers service who can also provide details of our in-demand careers fairs.

Te Pūnaha Matatini Centre for Complex Systems and Networks

19 May 2014 - 16:46 in Achievement

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Dr Marcus Frean

The Tertiary Education Commission recently announced funding of just under $210 million over six years for six Centres of Research Excellence (CoREs).

Dr Marcus Frean, from the School of Engineering and Computer Science at Victoria University, will contribute as a Principal Investigator to one of the six centres - Te Pūnaha Matatini Centre for Complex Systems and Networks. While hosted by the University of Auckland, the Te Pūnaha Matatini Centre is a collaborative partnership with researchers from the universities of Victoria, Massey and Canterbury and Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.

Te Pūnaha Matatini's research programme brings together New Zealand's leading researchers in physics, economics, mathematics, biology, computer science, operations management, statistics, and social science to study complex systems and networks in the biosphere, the economy, and the marketplace.

Summer Gold Scholars Poster Competition

11 Apr 2011 - 10:48 in Achievement

Henry Williams has won a $500 prize in Victoria University’s Summer Gold Scholars Poster Competition, for his poster titled “Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping: SLAM.”

Henry’s work over the summer involved researching the problems robots

have navigating unknown environments, and seeking ways to improve their performance, using a technique called SLAM.

SLAM enables autonomous robots to construct a map within an unknown environment while simultaneously tracking their current position. It uses an Extended Kalman Filter to reduce the inherent noise in the system, and combine the odometer and range data in order to determine the robot’s most likely location.

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Henry’s research found that SLAM improved the performance of e-puck robots (palm-size autonomous robots) in the localisation and mapping of an unknown maze, enabling each robot to keep itself localised within 0.05cm of its true location.

This increased precision and accuracy in mapping and localisation has important potential benefits; for example, the development of robots that can successfully navigate unknown environments such as spaces in collapsed buildings.

Network Engineering Student wins best paper award

30 Jan 2013 - 15:41 in Achievement

PhD Student Masood Mansoori has been awarded best student paper at the Australasian Information Security Conference (AISC) on how to scan networks in order to allow the automation of this creation of a network of "honeypots". He wrote this paper in conjunction with Hamid Mohammadzadeh from the University of Malaya and Dr Ian Welch from Victoria University.

Honeypots are computers that only exist in order to attract the attention of hackers and observe their activities. Ideally an enterprise should create a network on honeypot computers to hackers. Doing this is manually is a hugely time consuming task and so automated approaches have been suggested ("dynamic honeypots"). What Masood and his colleagues did was to experimentally test which was the best approach was to automatically discover the details of the real computers so that the honeypots would appear the same.

Australasian Information Security Conference (AISC) is part of the 2013 Australasian Computer Science Week (ACSW) and attracts submissions from Australasia and wider afield. This year, ACSW was hosted by the University of South Australia in from January 29 to February 1st in Adelaide.

Best student paper award (AISC)

New Zealand Wins Engineering Contest At Solar Decathlon

05 Oct 2011 - 14:28 in Achievement

We congratulate the Faculty of Architecture and Design for their third place success in the Solar Decathlon competition and are glad that we could contribute to their triumph in the Engineering category.

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"Compliments to Abby for her successful input to the VUW First Light team" Prof John Hine, Dean, Faculty of Engineering

Engineering from Victoria University of Wellington was judged top in the US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon competition.

The Solar Decathlon event is a showcase of the best practical sustainable living environments. 10 events ranging from Architecture to Engineering and even mod-con Appliances are used to measure the state-of-the-art from universities across the globe. In the Engineering category, the team from VUW was ranked first out of the 20 competitors! An impressive achievement considering VUW was the first team ever from the Southern Hemisphere.

"The New Zealand house was beautifully executed, with extreme attention to detail and craftsmanship and an intuitive tree-ring visualization system, which makes it easy to understand energy use throughout the house", said Engineering Contest juror Dr. Hunter Fanney, chief of the building energy and environment division of the engineering laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Abigail Arulandu graduated from our Bachelors of Engineering in Electronics and Computer Science (ECEN) last year and is now continuing her passion for human assistive technology with a Masters project at VUW Engineering. Over the summer, and beyond, she played an integral role in the engineering of the First Light house. "In this fast paced project the creative and problem solving skills learned in my engineering degree were vital. Also the ability to pick up new concepts quickly, such as programming in Ruby on Rails, and communicate with the diverse contributors to the house were transferable skills gained in the degree" says a very positive Abby regarding her time with the project.

Potential students interested in gaining the latest digital engineering skills that can be applied from leading sustainable technology to assistive robotics, then please see our information pages.

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See Solar Decathlon, Tring and First Light House for more information


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Shaping Industry to Student Relations Through IPENZ

18 Jun 2010 - 11:49 in Achievement

Brendan Vercoelen is a fourth year Bachelors of Engineering (BE) student studying Electronic and Computer Systems Engineering (ECEN) at Victoria University of Wellington who is shaping industry to student relations through IPENZ. Since the end of 2007 Brendan has worked as the student representative on the Wellington branch committee of IPENZ. IPENZ (The Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand) is the body which represents more than 9000 professional engineers, from a range of disciplines. The Wellington Branch has over 1400 Members in Wellington and Wairarapa.

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This branch committee includes industrial leaders from such companies as GHD (an international network of professional and technical consultants employing over 6000 people), Opus Internet (International consultancy for infrastructure, architecture, construction, water, environment, asset development and management solutions.), Beca (an international employee-owned engineering and related consultancy services group), Transpower (owns and maintains the national electricity grid for New Zealand), Fulton-Hogan (a major trans-Tasman civil contracting company) and governmental departments. Brendan cites the excellent networking opportunities as one of the biggest benefits in his role with IPENZ.

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Since the beginning of 2010, Brendan has become the Victoria University of Wellington representative for SENZ (Student Engineers of New Zealand). This is a new initiative by IPENZ to formalise student engagement throughout New Zealand. Together with students from other national universities, such as Auckland and Canterbury, Brendan is helping to facilitate industry to student interactions. This includes being awarded a grant to organise and host the inaugural SENZ event in Wellington.

Recently, Brendan was invited to be a member of the Young Professionals Task Force, which is a year-long project that seeks to smooth the transition between University and professional practice through IPENZ. This led to an invitation by the IPENZ governing board to feedback on its relationship with students. This prestigious task led to Brendan being included in a talk by the chief executive officer of Pertronic Industries Ltd (Advanced Automatic Fire Detection Systems) on how he took the start-up to international success.

The knowledge and experiences gained by Brendan will not only help his career progression, but are being fed back into the Engineering degrees to strengthen all students' interaction with IPENZ and industry.

Rod Downey joins inaugural class of Fellows of the AMS

25 Sep 2012 - 10:38 in Achievement

Congratulations to Professor Rod Downey FRSNZ from Victoria‘s School of Mathematics, Statistics and Operations Research, who has been selected to join the inaugural class of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society, in honour of his distinguished contribution to mathematics. He will be officially inducted at the world‘s largest mathematics meeting, the 2013 Joint Mathematics Meetings, in San Diego in January.

Provisional Accreditation for the BE

14 Sep 2010 - 00:42 in Achievement

We are delighted that the professional nature of our Bachelor of Engineering degree has been recognised by the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand.

The accreditation process is thorough, lengthy and worthwhile as it assists in ensuring the quality of degrees for both students and industry. Provisionally accreditation has been granted for the degree of Bachelor of Engineering at Victoria University of Wellington, in all of our specialisations: Electronic and Computer Systems Engineering, Network Engineering, Software Engineering.

By necessity, full accreditation will occur when our first graduates have spent time in industry verifying the effectiveness of our courses. It is noted that leading industry, such as Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, are confident in the quality of our degrees by making job offers to our students even prior to graduation.

A major step in the accreditation process was the visit that took place 14-16 July 2010 with the visit of a panel appointed by IPENZ.

Highlights of the recommendation report are given below:

The development of an engineering programme at VUW had been considered at different times in the University's history so, when the decision was finally made to develop a Bachelor of Engineering in 2005, it was seen as an evolutionary rather than revolutionary step. The existing Bachelor of Information Technology, which was to be replaced by the BE, was considered to have a strongly applied focus. All the same, the decision was supported by a significant programme of staff recruitment and capital expenditure, consistent with the University's objective of developing an internationally recognised engineering programme.

The panel also wished to recognise the following strengths of the programme.
  • Part III of the degree structure provides excellent potential for producing broader graduate skills. (Part III of the degree is designed to provide students with the opportunity to develop wider contextual understanding by allowing them to select three coherent courses that are outside the student's specialisation from across the University.)
  • The strength of the team- and project-based experience gained by the students
  • The collegiality and enthusiasm for engineering demonstrated by staff
  • The strength of the staffs' research and industry interaction and the richness this brings to the teaching program
  • The strength and commitment of the institutional support for engineering from VUW
  • The quality and quantity of infrastructure, personnel, technical and other resources provided to engineering by VUW

The Accreditation Panel set the following requirements to be met by Victoria:
  • Nil.

Coverage of the IPENZ graduate profile
The panel was satisfied that the VUW outcomes were substantially equivalent to the generic IPENZ Graduate Competence Profile for Professional Engineers; that by deriving them from VUW's overarching outcomes they were linked to VUW as a specific provider; and that they incorporated feedback from VUW's industry advisory panel and programme advisory panel.

We are continually listening to constructive comment from students, industry/business and professional bodies to adapt, improve and keep our courses/degrees at the forefront of professional engineering education in New Zealand and internationally.

2010 Prime Minister's Science Prize

29 Nov 2010 - 11:40 in Achievement

A team at Victoria University has been awarded the 2010 Prime Minister's Science Prize, worth half a million dollars.

Research from the Magnetic Resonance Innovation Team has been used in medical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and in climate change research in Antarctica, and the team is looking to apply its research in agriculture and industry.

The team, led by Professor Sir Paul Callaghan, consists of: Professor Callaghan; Dr Robin Dykstra, Senior Lecturer in the School of Engineering and Computer Science at Victoria; Dr Mark Hunter, Research Fellow in the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences at Victoria; Dr Andrew Coy, a physicist and Chief Executive Officer of technology company Magritek; and Dr Craig Eccles, a physicist and Chief Technology Officer at Magritek.

The Prime Minister's Science Prize is awarded for a transformative science discovery or achievement which has had an impact in New Zealand or internationally. Of the $500,000 prize money, $400,000 is for furthering the team's research.

The prize was presented by the Prime Minister, Rt Hon John Key, on Friday 26 November, in Auckland.

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Power Bass!

29 Jul 2010 - 10:37 in Achievement

Five final year Power Electronics (ECEN405) students ended their trimester with a project loud enough to potentially cause auditory damage. The students, supervised by Robin Dykstra, designed, developed and produced fully working sub-woofer Class D amplifiers.

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From left: Dr Robin Dykstra, Matthew Bourne, Abigail Arulandu, Arya Reais-Parsi, Brendan Vercoelen, Dayna Kivell

Each design was different; some allowing input directly from an MP3 player and others included multiple audio outputs. The project not only put the skills learned from the Power Electronic course into practice, but also allowed them to have full creative and design control, while still keeping to a tight budget. Given this was a difficult project, each of the students did well to achieve a working solution (even after dozens of blown components). So if you are walking through the Alan MacDairmid building on level 2, and hear a not-so-subtle doof-doof noise, it is likely to be originating from the Engineering Honours Lab, who can now claim to have the loudest lab on campus.


ECS PhD Student awarded ENZCon Best Presentation Prize for Mechatronic Guitar

12 Sep 2013 - 11:52 in Achievement

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Students and staff of Victoria University of Wellington's School of Engineering and Computer Science recently attended the 20th annual Engineering New Zealand Conference (ENZCon), held at Massey University's Albany campus from the 5th – 6th September. VUW ECS PhD student Jim Murphy was awarded the Best Presentation prize for his talk about Swivel 2, a mechatronic guitar system which he is developing with supervisors Dale Carnegie and Ajay Kapur as part of his thesis work. Swivel 2 is a 6-string slide guitar system capable of the playback of fast melodies, complicated rhythms, and long-duration compositions.

Jim is currently working with composers to create a body of new musical works for the instrument. Swivel 2 will be used not only as a performance instrument but also as a tool for engineering education outreach and as a research system. Swivel 2 will join MechBass (a mechatronic bass guitar designed and built by student James McVay): both will be used as demonstration systems to interest and excite prospective engineering students.

Swivel and MechBass are both part of ongoing work being conducted on new mechatronic musical instruments. Murphy, Carnegie, and Kapur are also building new mechatronic harmoniums, drum systems, and guitar-playing mechanisms. A common goal of these separate projects is to allow for composers to create compositions, realised in physical space, which would be difficult for human performers to play.

Other new work presented by the students included ME student James McVay's report on an in-development low-cost rescue robot, ME student Tony Cimino's talk about a nearly-completed large-scale research and rescue robot, and ME student Greg Hayes' discussion of his portable electrocardiogram research. Also shown was Daniel Burmester's work on the implementation of an alternative energy nanogrid at VUW.

On the fast track

05 May 2014 - 15:48 in Achievement

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Cogo Digital - Marcelo Hudson, Dale Galloway, Hannah Faesenkloet and Joseph Milson

The morning after Hannah Faesenkloet graduates with a Bachelor of Design Innovation, the 21-year-old will be back working in the start-up company she’s founded with three other former Victoria University of Wellington students.

Hannah is the youngest person, and the only woman, to currently be part of Wellington’s Lightning Lab—New Zealand’s first digital accelerator programme to help fledgling companies prove, build and launch their offering.

Hannah’s company, Cogo Digital, has developed a management tool that maps knowledge resources. Called Co-Operly, the system gathers information about employees’ knowledge and roles, helping to reduce the impact when staff members leave and improving efficiency in how knowledge is distributed through an organisation.

The innovative project was created by a team of students—Joseph Milsom, Marcelo Hudson and Dale Galloway—and is a great example of collaboration across disciplines.

Joseph Milson graduated from Victoria with a Bachelor of Music in sonic art in 2013 and will graduate with a Graduate Diploma in Science with a computer science endorsement this year. Marcelo Hudson will graduate with a Bachelor of Music in sonic art this year and Dale Galloway will also graduate this year, with a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration in Marketing and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology.

But the idea wasn’t what got the team into the Lightning Lab—they started the accelerator programme with a health and fitness app designed to get people off the couch.

“After one terrible day in the first week, we knew it wasn’t going to work,” says Hannah. “We went out for an ice cream and realised you have to be really passionate about something and believe in its potential, to take it through an intense programme like the Lightning Lab.”

After their “ice cream epiphany”, Hannah says the four members of the group spent the weekend forming a new idea.

“My personal motivation was frustration with having to troll through 45 minutes of a video to find the two minutes I wanted or seeing our developers trying to find succinct answers to programming roadblocks.

“It was one of our mentors at the Lightning Lab who pointed out the potential to adapt our idea for the corporate world.”

For more information visit www.cogodigital.co.nz or http://lightninglab.co.nz/

ECS Professor Awarded 'Most Influential Paper'

21 Nov 2008 - 16:02 in Achievement

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Hot on the heels of most influential paper award from ASWEC98 earlier this year, James Noble was awarded another Most Influential Paper award, this time from the ACM SIGPLAN International Conference on Object-Oriented Programming, Systems, Languages, and Applications - OOPSLA.

The Most Influential OOPSLA Paper Award is presented annually to the author(s) of a paper presented at the OOPSLA held 10 years prior to the award year. The award includes a prize of $1,000 to be split among the authors of the winning paper. The papers are judged by their influence over the past decade.

OOPSLA is the largest and most prestigious conference in the area of Object-Oriented programming languages. It is CORE A+ rated and has consistent low acceptance rate of around 15%.

Prof Noble received the award for his paper "Ownership Types for Flexible Alias Protection", along with co-authors David G. Clarke and John M. Potter. The citation is as follows:

In their 1998 OOPSLA paper, "Ownership Types for Flexible Protection," David Clark, John Potter, and James Noble introduced the notion of "ownership types" to control inter-object aliasing statically, making it easier to reason about the dynamic topology of an object-oriented program. This work is part of the broader trend of trying to handle issues of isolation and modularity while retaining expressiveness.

More details of the award can be found at http://www.sigplan.org/award-oopsla.htm

MiriaGraduation

13 May 2013 - 15:20 in Achievement

Paving the way for female Māori graduates

13 May 2013

Miria Royal doesn’t see herself as a trail blazer for Māori women but, as the first Māori female to be accepted into Vodafone’s Graduate Technology Programme, it’s a concept the Victoria University graduate is getting used to.

Miria, who will be awarded a Bachelor of Engineering tonight, says she feels a responsibility to other Māori women in the engineering and telecommunications field.

“It’s a bit intimidating to be set up as an example, but if I can open the door for other Māori women to come into this career then that would be fantastic.”

Miria Royal

Miria, who is one of 10 in the Vodafone Graduate Technology Programme, started working in Vodafone’s Auckland-based optimisation team in February. “I’m working to maintain, manage and optimise the network to improve the customer experience in terms of coverage, speed and reliability.”

However, she almost missed out on a place in the programme, which has been running since 2008.

“I attended a tech users event, where Vodafone’s Chief Technology Officer, Sandra Pickering, was speaking. I introduced myself and told her I was looking for a job and even though applications for the graduate programme had closed, she told me to send in my CV.”

Four days later, the job was hers. “I was surprised at getting in, because I always thought graduate placements were for A+ students.”

Amy Oding, Leader of the Technology Graduate Programme at Vodafone, says Miria is “a star in the Technology Group”.

“She has displayed a high standard of engagement and her team leaders are confident she will make a success of her career at Vodafone. We are very pleased to have a female Māori graduate of this calibre,” says Amy.

Miria, who was born and raised in Wellington and is of Ngāti Raukawa descent, is following in the footsteps of her engineer father. “I did a two-month internship at 2degrees in Wellington which really cemented my enjoyment of technical engineering and the telco industry. The industry is so fast-paced and varied, it’s exciting to know that there’s always something new around the corner.”

After finishing the two-year graduate programme, Miria hopes to gain overseas experience in her field before returning to New Zealand. “I want to give back and technical engineering is one way I can do that.”

Miria will graduate with a Bachelor of Engineering tonight, Monday 13 May at 6pm. She will also attend Hui Whakapūmau, a celebration for Māori graduands at Te Herenga Waka Marae at Victoria University on Tuesday 14 May at 9am.

Meet a man who owns a key to a major part of Internet security

04 Apr 2014 - 11:47 in Achievement

There are 14 people worldwide who own keys that protect the security of web domain names. One of those people, engineer Andy Linton, joins James Ball, special projects editor for Guardian US, and Consider This host Antonio Mora to explain how the security system works and how Linton came to be a key holder. To see this item on America Aljazeera please click on the link below:

http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/consider-this/2014/4/meet-a-man-who-ownsakeytoamajorpartofinternetsecurity.html

Mansoor Shafi awarded the IEEE DonaldG. Fink Prize Paper Award

24 Nov 2010 - 13:17 in Achievement

Mansoor Shafi, adjunct professor at the School of Engineering and Computer Science, has been named co-recipient of the 2011 IEEE Donald G. Fink Prize Paper Award.

The IEEE Donald G. Fink Prize Paper Award was established by the IEEE Board of Directors in 1979. It is presented for the most outstanding survey, review, or tutorial paper published in the IEEE Transactions, Journals, Magazines, or in the Proceedings of the IEEE between 1 January and 31 December of the preceding year. The award is named in honor of Donald G. Fink, distinguished editor and author, who was a Past President of IRE, and the first General Manager and Executive Director of the IEEE.

This year, along with Andreas F. Molisch and Larry J. Greenstein, Mansoor Shafi has been presented the award for the paper entitled: "Propagation issues for Cognitive Radio," Proceedings of the IEEE, Vol. 97, No. 5, May 2009.

Dr Mansoor Shafi MNZM

03 Jun 2013 - 12:31 in Achievement

Congratulations to Dr Mansoor Shafi for receiving a Queens honours.
MansoorShafi.jpg Dr Mansoor Shafi

Member of New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) For services to wireless communication technologies.

Dr Mansoor Shafi, of Wellington, is Telecom Fellow at Telecom New Zealand and Adjunct Professor, School of Engineering and Computer Science.

His rich industrial experience and knowledge of telecoms informs his teaching on the Advanced Communications Engineering course ( ECEN-410)

This course provides an introduction to the fundamentals of wireless communication systems. The characteristics of fading channels are considered and their effect on the propagation of signals. Countermeasures such as diversity, forward error control and modulation schemes for wireless communications are studied. Multiple-access techniques such as time-, frequency- and code-division multiple access are examined. WLAN, WPAN wireless sensor networks, cellular concepts such as capacity, congestion, interference and multiple access are also presented.

Victoria University of Wellington is ranked number one for research in New Zealand, where our teaching is directly led by our research. Students benefit from top-quality academic and industrial research practices, provided by experts in their field, such as Dr Mansoor Shafi. Staff and students join in congratulating Dr Mansoor Shafi on his well-deserved award.

IET Engineering Student Award

10 Mar 2014 - 16:56 in Achievement

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David Owen, from the IET Council and Wellington Network Committee, presenting the IET 2013 prize to Victoria University student, Thomas Sherson.

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) is a leading professional body that shares and advances knowledge to promote science, engineering and technology through its more than 150,000 members in 127 countries. It offers a professional home for life for engineers and technicians and is a trusted source of essential engineering intelligence. To recognize and reward excellence, it currently awards NZ$1 Million in prizes, scholarships and medals each year; this includes an annual prize to VUW’s top engineering student.

Victoria ECS Students Triumph in IET Competition

14 Oct 2011 - 12:22 in Achievement

Three post-graduate students from the School of Engineering and Computer Science achieved success in the Wellington Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Present around the World Competition on the 9th October. The competition was held at Beca's premises on Molesworth Street.

Abigail Arulandu was placed first, Dayna-Maree Kivell third, while Juan Rada-Vilella was fourth. Abigail will go on to compete in the national competition later this year, in which the winner will then compete in the Asia-Pacific Regional Finals with a chance to win £1,000.

Abigail's topic was magneto-rheological compliant actuator for stroke rehabilitation, Dayna's topic was ZnO films for ultrasonic transducers, and Juan gave a presentation on swarm intelligence for swarm robotics.

The Present around the World Competitions give engineering and technology students and young professionals an opportunity to share knowledge, and practice their presentation and networking skills by giving a ten minute technical presentation on the engineering or technology subject of their choice, followed by a five minute question and answer session.

IET - Supporting Victoria's Engineering Students

19 May 2009 - 10:05 in Achievement

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The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) is one of the world's leading professional societies for the engineering and technology community with more than 150,000 members in 127 countries. With offices in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific, IET provides a global knowledge network to facilitate the exchange of ideas and promote the positive role of science, engineering and technology in the world. It also provides a forum for specialist groups and makes available to members an extensive range of publications.

The IET Wellington Local Network Committee is an active participant of the IET worldwide community and has developed strong relationships with engineering education providers in the region.

To give recognition and support to students who are studying engineering and technology, IET gives out a number of yearly awards. Recently, Victoria University student Arya Reais-Parsi was presented with an IET Award for Best Second Year Engineering Student 2008. On hand to present the award, and to outline the role of IET, was Brian McGlinchy, who has been an active member of IET for 15 years. As Brian outlined in his presentation to third year engineering students, as well as sponsoring undergraduate students with engineering prizes, IET can provide:

  • Events and technical visits.
  • Networking at local level.
  • International speakers as well as monthly seminars that cover a wide range of topical issues.
  • 4th Year student presentations - a local competition called Present Around The World where the local winner could go to a final in Australia and possibly on to the UK.

If you are interested in knowing more about IET check out their web site: http://www.theiet.org

For Wellington's activities go to: http://www.theiet.org/local/australasia/nz/wellington/index.cfm

First Cohort of BE Students to Graduate

13 May 2011 - 12:59 in Achievement

The Faculty of Engineering congratulates the inaugural group of Bachelor of Engineering graduates. Of the graduating students, around half are currently working in the industry and the other half has gone on to further study.

Victoria began teaching the four-year Bachelor of Engineering degree in 2007, building on the University’s existing expertise from teaching the Bachelor of Information Technology and Bachelor of Science and Technology degrees.

The Engineering programme focuses on the digital technology that drives the modern world, from electronics to communications to software.

“The Bachelor of Engineering at Victoria has gone from strength to strength and last year received a very positive report from IPENZ (the Institution of Professional Engineers of New Zealand), which provided provisional accreditation for the degree.”

Engineering students win Hackfest with firefighting robot

18 Sep 2014 - 11:27 in Achievement

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Cameron Shuker and Steve Richardson

Victoria University Engineering students, Steve Richardson and Cameron Shuker, took out the top prize in the first Summer of Tech mechatronics Hackfest in Wellington last weekend.

The Hackfest was one of several events in the Summer of Tech internship programme which connects students with local technology companies.

This year Grow Wellington has extended the programme to manufacturing companies looking to incorporate technology into their products.

Thirteen Victoria University students set out to impress potential employers with their robot wizardry skills at last Saturday's Hackfest. The students were given seven hours to complete their work. Their robots had to be able to navigate an area and identify a heat source or fire. Some teams connected their robots to social media so they were able to tweet about their progress.

Steve Richardson says he was delighted to win the event. "It was a close call. All of the teams were given the same components but our robot was the only one that used an LCD display."

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A robot on its mission at the
Summer of Tech Hackfest

The winning team was not disadvantaged by having two members compared to three for the other teams, "Cameron and I have worked together before, so we weren't worreid about giving each other criticism and this helped us."

Summer of Tech is an internship programme which connects students with local technology campanies. This year Grow Wellington has extended the programme to manufacturing companies looking to incorporate technology into their products.

Through the programme, companies obtain student interns for 10 weeks between November and February. Prospective students take part in CV clinics, site visits, hackfests and boot camps throughout the years to prepare them for future employment.

Since it began in 2006, Summer of Tech has facilitated 357 paid internships. The programme is supported by Grow Wellington, Wellington City Council and technology companies.

For further information go to: http://www.summeroftech.co.nz

Engineering Student awarded $6000 Scholarship

18 Jun 2010 - 11:45 in Achievement

Brendan Vercoelen says his $6000 university scholarship will help him towards his dream job in the robotics industry. Brendan is a honours year student in a Bachelor of Engineering degree majoring in Electronic and Computer Systems Engineering at Victoria University of Wellington.

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Rendered drawing of final walker design
His final year studies include advanced mechatronics, a combination of electronic design, mechanics and software development. From implementing microprocessor control of range finding systems to the design of passive dynamic walking systems to autonomous robot path planning and artificial intelligence techniques for driving racing car simulations the subject provides a core foundation for varied and interesting careers.

Brendan supplements the breadth and depth of his degree with additional activities. He is active in the student body and has served as president of the VUW Engineering Club and as a class representative. Get outside interests include involvement with Scouts New Zealand, including serving as a member of the Scouts National Council.

As part of the lifelong learning and transferable skills at VUW, Brendan has also completed management papers while at university . Future plans include completion of a Masters in Engineering or a separate diploma in business studies.

Brendan was one of 35 scholars who claimed their awards from the Duke of Gloucester at a ceremony in the Wellington Town Hall. The Freemasons Charity is the country's largest privately-funded scholarship programme. In its 32- year history is has given more than $3.5 million to 922 students.

For further details, Dominion Post and Stuff Article see http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/local/hutt-news/3709497/Hutt-GP-robotics-student-granted-Freemasons-scholarships

e-Science Consultant Earns General Staff Award

20 Nov 2012 - 12:32 in Achievement

e-Science consultant Kevin Buckley has been awarded a 2012 General Staff Award for providing technical support to researchers using e-research. Seven researchers across five schools and research centres supported is nomination. Within this group, Kevin was a co-author of two papers, and two of the researchers were recently awarded Marsden grants.

Kevin’s proposed citation commends him for consistently demonstrating “…both technical and inter-personal skills to help researchers to achieve their research goals by supporting their use of high performance computing. This has included both Victoria resources such as the Science Faculty HPC cluster and the ECS grid, and the BlueFern at the University of Canterbury. Kevin has consistently provided the support required by researchers and has clearly demonstrated how e-Research can help to deliver better research faster.”

ECS Students Awarded Academic Prizes

15 Apr 2013 - 12:05 in Achievement

Three ECS students were recently awarded prestigious academic prizes For 2012. The School of ECS congratulates these students for their well deserved success.

Aneta Stevanovic, who graduated with a BSc majoring in computer science in 2012, was awarded the Addison Wesley Prize in Computer Science. Aneta is starting her Masters degree soon, and says the prize will be very useful for purchasing the books she needs.

Renee Kwang, a third year BSc student majoring in computer science and mathematics, was awarded the Addision Wesley prize in computer science (200 level). Renee says being awarded the prize affirms that she made the right choice in giving up her previous job as a tax accountant to study computer science.

Mitchell Lane, a 4th year BE (Hons) student majoring in software engineering, was awarded the IET prize 2012. Mitchell says the prize makes the long hours of hard work he has devoted to his studies all worth while, and encourages him to continue giving 100% to his studies during his final year.

ECS Professor Receives Splash Award for Most Influential Paper

23 Nov 2012 - 15:51 in Achievement

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Prof James Noble as perceived by a novel image processing algorithm evolved by ECS

At the SPLASH 2012 conference in Tucson Arizona, it was announced that Professor James Noble and Adjunct Professor Robert Biddle has won the award for the Onward! most influential paper from 10 years ago.

The 2002 paper, titled Notes on Postmodern Programming, argues that computer science and software design developed within the framework of Modernism, and uses “a series of snapshots, parodies, and imagined conversations” to challenge many of the values resulting from this.

SPLASH (Systems Programming, Languages and Applications: Software for Humanity) is the ACM conference that encompasses all aspects of software design and delivery. It has been the umbrella for both OOPSLA and Onward! Since 2010.

For more information about SPLASH:

http://splashcon.org/2012/

To read the paper in full:

http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=1052883.1052890

ECS Postgraduate Student Wins VUW 3 Minute Thesis Competition

22 Jun 2012 - 10:34 in Achievement

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Abigail Rajendran, a Masters student in Engineering has won the Victoria University 3 Minute Thesis Competition. Abigail gave a speech based on her research project, titled 'Magneto-Rheological Compliant Actuator for Stroke Rehabilitation'. Her project involves using magneto-rheological fluid to design and build a compliant actuator that could be used to rehabilitate the hand of a person who has had a stroke. The device first repetitively exercises a person's hand in order to help them re-learn the muscle sensation and therefore regain control of their hand movements, and then creates resistance against the user’s movements, allowing them to build up muscle strength.

The 3 minute thesis concept originates from the University of Queensland, where the first competition was hosted in 2008. From there, the idea spread to other Australian and New Zealand universities, and the inaugural Australasian-level competition was held in 2010. The purpose of the competition is to give postgraduate students the opportunity to develop their academic and research communication skills by delivering a speech on their thesis topic that is aimed at an educated but non-specialist audience. Speakers are judged according to audience comprehension, audience engagement, and communication style.

As the winner of the VUW final, Abigail won $3,000 and gained the opportunity to attend the Australasian final at the University of Queensland in October. We wish Abigail the best of luck at the final in Australia and congratulate her on such a deserving project!

Abigail Rajendran Represents VUW at Trans-Tasman 3 Minute Thesis Competition

07 Dec 2012 - 16:47 in Achievement

Abigail Rajendran - Victoria University 3MT Winner 2012

On 11th October 2012 I was honoured to represent Victoria University at the Trans-Tasman Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition, which was held at the University of Queensland at the Brain Institute. I spoke on my Masters project titled ‘Magneto-rheological compliant actuator for stroke rehabilita- tion’. The day started early with all contestants and supporters arriving at 8am. Contestants were mainly from Australia and New Zealand with a few from Hong Kong and Fiji. We were greeted with a delicious breakfast (including danishes YUM!). A room was allocated to contestants where we were briefed on the rules and how the competition and day would run.

We were broken up into four heats each containing 11 contestants and the two highest scoring in each heat went on to the finals. At the end of each heat certificates were presented to the contestants. Between heats we had a ten minute drink and food break. The contestants not competing in the current heat were allowed to attend the talk, held in a neighbouring lecture theatre, wander around or watch the online stream which was available in our room. Nerves were a little high all round and the quality of the talks was amazing. The topics ranged from law, to science through to the arts.

The judges had it cut out for them as it was extremely hard to fault anyone and it was very evident that everyone had practiced their talk more times than they would want to admit. At the conclusion of the heats the judges commended the quality of the talks and the eight finalist were chosen (sadly I was not one L), before we broke for lunch. Stress levels were reduced among those not in the finals, and students were able to get pointers off each other to overcome similar problems that were faced in their research. After lunch the eight finalists competed again and a new set of judges selected first place - Tim Paris, second place - Lauren Hollier and the audience chose the people’s choice - Tristan Simons, all did an awesome job!

Following the competition a cocktail reception was held where the winners were awarded their trophies and everyone had a chance to socialise (and eat more food!). Overall I had an incredible time, learning how to better my communication skills as well as learning about the vast range of research out there in under three minutes (beats having to read a thesis)! I would highly recommend this competition to anyone even considering it. Give it a go! It is a great experience and you won’t regret it.

What I learnt and advice to future students: firstly I was surprised by how few masters students there were as most the other competitors were PhD students (but don’t let that hold you back if you are a masters student!). Keep it simple! Although your research is probably second nature to you explaining it to a non-specialised audience is a different story. The less work the judges need to do to think and understand your talk the easier their job is (remember they had to listen to over 40 talks in the space of a couple of hours). In saying that, don’t water it done too much, people want to have learned something. Maybe have one strong idea/ point and make it relatable. Practice your talk to friends and family. If they can understand it, then you are on the right track. Explain why your research is important, who and how it will benefit those around you. Make it interesting, jokes work really well. Your audience should be left enlightened but also curious to know more. Enthusiasm is contagious, when you are clearly enthused and excited the audience and judges will be too!

Distinguished Paper Award

09 Aug 2014 - 18:52 in Achievement

Congratulations to Dr Alex Potanin from the School of Engineering and Computer Science who was one of the authors that won a Distinguished Paper Award at the European Conference on Object-Oriented Programming (ECOOP) 2014.

The paper was entitled "Safely Composable Type-Specific Languages" and resulted from the work that Dr Alex Potanin performed while on research and study leave at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, USA in 2013.

The work describes a novel technique to utilise the expected type of a language expression to select a parser for it, enabling multiple, potentially conflicting domain-specific languages to be combined safely in a single language.

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The authors on the photo left to right are: Benjamin Chung, Cyrus Omar, Jonathan Aldrich, and Alex Potanin - all the other authors are based at Carnegie Mellon University.

Alex belongs to the Software Engineering and Programming Languages research group at the School of Engineering and Computer Science: Alex.Potanin@ecs.vuw.ac.nz

Engineering Student Builds Device to Help Stroke Patients

02 Oct 2012 - 16:19 in Achievement

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Abigail Arulandu didn't plan to study engineering at Victoria University but the opportunities it has brought her confirm she made an excellent choice.

After being roped into a speech competition for young engineers at Victoria, Abigail went on to win the Asia-Pacific final of the prestigious Institution of Engineering Technology event and is gearing up for the world finals in London.

The Engineering Masters student will also soon be representing Victoria at the Australasian final of the Three Minute Thesis speech competition.

In addition, Abigail has accepted a job as a product development graduate for medical device company Fisher & Paykel Healthcare and will start work for them next year after completing her Masters degree.

At secondary school, Abigail was interested in Criminology and planned to study it - until she attended an open day at Victoria and saw student-designed search and rescue robots in action.

"Seeing some of the amazing things being designed by engineering students inspired me to change my mind," says Abby.

When she started at Victoria, Abby had limited experience of computers and no knowledge of programming or electronics. It made her first year of study quite challenging but also exciting, and by her second year she knew she had found her niche.

Abby's research has been in the area of stroke rehabilitation technology. She designed and built a tool for rehabilitating the hands of people who have had a stroke. The device repetitively exercises a person's hand in order to help them re-learn muscle sensation and regain control of their hand movements and then creates resistance against the user's movements, allowing them to build up muscle strength.

Abby says working in the medical field is important to her because she wants to make a difference and help improve people's quality of life.

Success for Abby has come through determination, hard work and motivation.

"If I can do it, anyone can. If you put in the hard yards you start reaping the benefits-nothing comes easy in life."

Datacom Scholarship

31 Mar 2014 - 09:42 in Achievement

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Simon Ferrari (General Manager, Datacom Systems), Alastair Turrell (Director, Systems and Integration, Datacom Systems), Tony Butler, Tim Stapels

A number of prizes are awarded annually to the top performing undergraduate students in the School of Engineering and Computer Science. These awards are possible through the generosity of organisations in the Wellington region. Since 2006 Datacom Systems has been awarding a $5,000 scholarship to a full-time student intending to undertake 300 level study in Computer Science or Engineering. The award is in excellence and this year the Scholarship went to two students, Tony Butler and Tim Stapels. Alastair Turrell, the Director of Datacom Systems, who presented the scholarship to the students, stated:

The Datacom Scholarship commenced in 2006 and we are as delighted and impressed with the quality of the 2014 graduate group as ever. Many of our staff are former students, and the visionary thought-leaders of our future are certain to come from your graduate pool.

Each year, as we set about assessing the scholarship candidates, we are continually impressed by the abilities, achievements and wisdom-beyond-years that we see. This year was no exception, and in evaluating the 2014 Datacom Computer Science Scholarship applicants, we decided to award two scholarships reflecting both the depth of talent emerging from the final year and the excellence of both scholarship recipients.

The School of Engineering and Computer Science would like to thank Datacom System for its on-going support.

Computing Research Education Best Paper Award

11 Feb 2014 - 09:48 in Achievement

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PhD Candidate Masood Mansoori's paper "YALIH, Yet Another Low Interaction Honeyclient" was awarded the 2014 Computing Research & Education Best Paper for best graduate paper presented at the annual Australasian Information Security Conference (ACSW-AISC). His supervisors and co-authors are Dr Ian Welch and Dr Qiang Fu from the School of Engineering and Computer Science.

The paper describes an improved method for detecting web sites infected with a drive-by-download exploit. This type of exploit allows a hacker to deliver a computer virus to a victim's computer simply by luring the victim to the web site, for example by embedding the URL in an email sent to the victim. Exisiting methods for detection called low interaction honeyclients suffer from high rates of missed infections (false negatives). Low interaction honeyclients emulate sufficient functionality of a real web browser to allow web site executable content to be retrieved and searched for patterns known to be associated with drive-by-download exploits. Unfortunately, hackers have responded to the development of this technique by creating code obfuscation tools that randomly rewrite expoit code on-the-fly so it doesn't match known signatures.

Masood's main contribution described in this paper is to reduce the missed infection rate by implementing de-obfuscation techniques within a low interaction honeyclient. Code de-obfuscation attempts to transform multiple reordered versions of the same exploit into a single canonical version allowing more reliable matching against known drive-by-download exploit signatures. He has implemented this idea as an opensource tool called YALIH (Yet Another Low Interaction Honeyclient) and shown that YALIH achieves a significantly lower missed infection rate compared to other well-known low interaction honeyclients (Monkey-Spider, HoneyC, SpyBye and Thug).

Computer Vision Research Awarded a Best Paper at International Conference

22 Jul 2014 - 11:56 in Achievement

Congratulations to a team of researchers from School of Engineering and Computer Science from being awarded a Best Paper on their computer vision utilising evolutionary computation work.

Muhammad Iqbal, Saud Syed Naqvi, Will Browne, Christopher Hollitt and Mengjie Zhang were awarded one of 11 best papers (out of 544 submissions ~ 2% awarded BP), which is voted on by peer reviewers and audience members at the presentation at GECCO 2014, Vancouver, Canada, July 2014. Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference (GECCO) is one of the most prestigious double-blind peer review conference in Evolutionary Computation. Based on its impact factor, GECCO is 11th in the rankings of 701 international conferences in artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, and human-computer interactions.

Their novel contribution is in salient object detection, which is equivalent to identifying the most important object in a photograph. This branch of artificial intelligence is gaining rapid importance due to applications as varied as 'Facebook' image identification to autonomous robotics.

Below is a series of pictures showing the raw image (ASD dataset), then human identified ground truth, followed by two alternative algorithms and the final column showing the state-of-the-art results produced by the developed algorithm.

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This work represents a collaboration between the Evolutionary Computational Research Group and the Vision, Image Computation, and Computer Graphics Group, which enhances the international reputation. Both groups are currently seeking excellent doctorate students to continue this research direction in computer graphics, vision techniques, evolutionary computation and robotics, where University scholarships are available for suitable candidates.

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http://www.sigevo.org/gecco-2014/papers.html

Computer Science at Victoria University Features in the Dominion Post

15 Apr 2013 - 14:44 in Achievement

An article published in the Dominion Post on the 4th April highlights Victoria University's initiatives to demonstrate the how much fun computer science is, and the great careers that are available.

The computer science taught at Victoria University of Wellington covers building 'hybrid engines' rather than 'driving a car' - everything from creating your own programming language to app & game creation, or even how to defeat denial of service attacks (Much more than spreadsheets and word processing!). Please contact us for more information regarding forthcoming events for students and teachers.

( marketing@ECS.VUW.ac.nz)

Dr Stuart Marshall, with collaborators from the University of Canterbury, has recently won a grant from Google for this year's Programming Challenge for Girls, (PC4G) a competition which encourages Year 10 girls to explore computer programming. The local round and national finals were hosted at Victoria in November and December 2012. Please see (http://www.pc4g.org.nz/) for further details.

Victoria University Lecturer Elected Co-Chair of APNIC Policy Special Interest Group

09 Mar 2011 - 11:22 in Achievement

At the recent APNIC conference, Victoria University Lecturer, Andy Linton, was elected Co-Chair of the APNIC Policy Special Interest Group (SIG). With the imminent exhaustion of IPv4 addresses and the adoption of the replacement IPv6, Andy will play an active role in ensuring sound policy is in place.

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Whilst the Internet is renowned for being a worldwide network free from central coordination, there is a technical need for some key parts of the Internet to be globally coordinated - and this coordination role is undertaken by IANA (the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority). Specifically, IANA allocates and maintains unique codes and numbering systems that are used in the technical standards ("protocols") that drive the Internet.

APNIC, an open, membership-based, not-for-profit organization, is one of five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) charged with ensuring the fair distribution and responsible management of IP addresses and related resources. These resources are required for the stable and reliable operation of the global Internet. APNIC is also actively involved in the development of Internet infrastructure throughout the region. This includes providing training and education services, supporting technical activities such as root server deployments, and collaborating with other regional and international organizations.

IP addresses and AS numbers are shared resources, available for use by anyone who needs them. APNIC policies ensure that these resources are distributed fairly and consistently across the whole Asia Pacific region. The Policy SIG's role is to develop policies and procedures which relate to the management and use of Internet address resources by APNIC, NIRs, and ISPs within the Asia Pacific region.

See further information at: http://www.apnic.net/about-APNIC

Best paper Award at NZCSRSC

24 Apr 2013 - 11:03 in Achievement

Congratulations to Syed Saud Naqvi for his Best Paper Award at the New Zealand Computer Science Research Student Conference 2013. This conference brings together the best young researchers in ICT in New Zealand.

Saud's paper investigated models of human eye movement. Humans concentrate only on small parts of an image at a time, termed fixation. Saud developed an existing biologically inspired model of how humans attend to a scene by using artificial intelligence to weight important aspects of the image. His method was compared with alternative artificial approaches and actual recordings of human eye movements, where he showed positive results in being able to predict human eye movement.

The practical applications of Saud's work range from developing fast camera systems for autonomous robots to predicting the best places for road signs to be mounted so that drivers notice them quickly.

Sauds best paper award


The award carries a prize of $1500, which will be spent on assisting Saud with conference travel, was kindly funded by a donation to the conference from Google. This will enable Saud to present his follow up work that has been accepted for publication in the International Congress on Evolutionary Computation (CEC 2013), which is a top rated A international conference, to be held in Cancun, Mexico.

This is an example of Victoria's national and internationally leading research as recognised by the first place ranking in the recent research evaluation exercise. Doctorate scholarships are currently being offered for bright, hard-working and enthusiastic researchers to join the Evolutionary Computation Research Group and other world-class researchers.


NZCSRSC 2013 was the 10th conference in the series which started in 1992 and has now become a regular event in New Zealand.

The aim of the New Zealand Computer Science Research Student Conference is to establish and reinforce a nationwide community of ICT graduate students. It provides an opportunity for students to establish contacts and share their research with graduates from across New Zealand, and members of the wider community. Students will gain experience in communicating their research and participating in an ICT community by:

  • submitting, presenting and reviewing research papers in a supportive and enthusiastic environment,
  • participating in workshops dedicated to providing practical information for completing a successful graduate programme, and pursuing future careers in academia or industry,
  • participating in a range of special events that get students in touch with like-minded people working in related areas within ICT, and
  • hearing from leading ICT experts in a series of exciting invited keynote presentations
Another goal of the conference is to help support and encourage other students such as minority students, women, and Māori and Pacific Nations students with ICT research.

Best Paper Award - Australasian Information Security Conference

28 Jan 2011 - 14:19 in Achievement

PhD Student Ben Palmer received $AUD 500 as prize money for winning "Best Student Paper and Best Paper" at this year's Australasian Information Security Conference (AISC). The winning paper's title is "Development and Evaluation of a Secure, Privacy Preserving Combinatorial Auction" and was co-written with his supervisors Dr Kris Bubendorfer and Dr Ian Welch.

Australasian Information Security Conference (AISC) is part of the 2011 Australasian Computer Science Week (ACSW) and is a conference attracting both submissions from Australasia and wider afield. This year, ACSW was hosted by the Department of Computing at Curtin University from January 19-during January 2011 in Perth.

The paper introduces a new algorithm for constructing combinatorial auction circuits that can calculate the results of combinatorial auctions using any garbled circuit auction protocol. This is the first example of a combinatorial auction circuit that extends the privacy preserving protocols previously applied to single good electronic auctions to combinatorial auctions. That is, only the winning bid is revealed, while the value of losing bids is kept secret.

A combinatorial auction allows bidders to express interest in a collection of goods of their own choice, and to make bids conditional upon acquiring the complete set. For example, in a real estate auction, if three adjacent lots are for sale, a developer can make their bid conditional upon obtaining two adjacent lots. The advantage of combinatorial auctions over single good electronic auctions like those used on E-Bay and Trade Me, is that they enable bidders to express these dependencies between goods, and facilitate optimal allocation of goods to bidders. Furthermore, the use of privacy preserving protocols reduces the need to trust that your auction provider will not sell information about failed bids that could be used by competitors in future auctions to gain an unfair advantage.

Ben Haughey awarded best student (novice) prize at ENZCon 2010

01 Dec 2010 - 10:54 in Achievement

Ben Haughey was recently awarded best student (novice) presentation prize at the Electronics New Zealand Conference (ENZCon) 2010 for his paper titled Simulation and Optimisation of a 2-DOF Parallel Planar.

The Electronics New Zealand Conference is an annual meeting to facilitate the exchange of ideas among researches, teachers, workers, students, suppliers and others with an interest in electronics and associated scientific and technical subjects. It is a student friendly conference, inviting paper submissions from students can present their research and meet other students and staff in an interactive relaxed environment.

Ben is presently a Master of Engineering student who is researching Robotic Manipulator Optimisation for his ME project.

Balancing physiotherapy and fun

10 Jun 2014 - 11:56 in Achievement

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A team of Victoria University of Wellington students and graduates have created a balance board that helps people stay motivated and have fun while undergoing physical therapy.

As part of the Viclink Digital Futures / Product Futures summer ‘boot camp’, an interdisciplinary team of engineers, marketers and designers developed Switchboard—a balance board that connects to a smartphone and allows patients to play games.

Numerous studies have shown that balance boards are an effective aid for muscle rehabilitation, which is why their use is often prescribed by physiotherapists. Switchboard addresses what is considered the biggest fault in traditional boards—the user’s lack of motivation to train consistently.

The solution in Switchboard is a suite of games which are custom made for the balance board controller, including snowboarding and flying, which users play while they are exercising.

“The user doesn't have to think about the fact that they are exercising, because they are having fun,” says engineering student and project manager Lukas Stoecklein.

“Additionally, having the balance data in digital form provides physiotherapists with insights about their patient’s progress. We can even change what exercises the games encourage you to do, according to what the physiotherapist or user wants, so people can train more efficiently.”

During the ‘boot camp'—designed to help graduates learn how to bring a product to market—the team met with Steve McHardy, General Manager at the International Rugby Academy, to give a demonstration to rugby players. “The players were keen on the idea and said they would enjoy using the board as part of their training,” says Lukas.

Alongside Lukas was a team of two media designers, one industrial designer, one electrical engineer, and two software computer scientists. The programme was led by Dr Edgar Rodriguez and Kah Chan from the School of Design, Dr Will Browne from the School of Engineering and Computer Science, and Alan Hucks from Creative HQ.

Switchboard has commercial opportunities on the horizon, with support from Viclink, Victoria’s commercialisation company. The team has also formed a start-up company called Swibo to continue work on the project.

Switchboard is currently in the prototype stage, and is being tested by Wellington physiotherapists.

Faculty of Engineering gains full industry accreditation

06 Sep 2012 - 11:58 in Achievement

As New Zealand looks increasingly towards science and engineering to drive business innovation, Victoria University‘s Faculty of Engineering has made an important step forward for students in the field.

Victoria University's four-year Bachelor of Engineering (BE) programme has achieved full accreditation from the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ). The promotion from provisional to full accreditation marks the next stage in the development of Victoria‘s engineering programme, which launched in 2007.

Professor John Hine, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering says that Victoria's BE programme intentionally focuses on modern forms of engineering, specialisations that can respond to today's and tomorrow's needs. "We teach courses on the digital technology that drives the modern world, from electronics to software, and where there is a high demand for graduates in New Zealand." "I am delighted that the quality of our BE programme has been recognised with full accreditation from IPENZ, and that the Faculty received such positive comments"

The Faculty of Engineering has close links with leading technology firms in the Wellington region, and full accreditation recognises that Victoria's engineering programme is producing quality graduates to enter the industry.

"Students can be confident that completing their engineering degree at Victoria will provide them with an internationally recognised qualification, and will stand them in excellent stead on their paths to exciting careers as professional engineers,"says Professor Hine.

IPENZ commended several aspects of Victoria's engineering programme including its facilities and laboratories, the accessibility of staff, the level of pastoral care provided to students, and the confidence and positivity of graduates with respect to the programme.

The accreditation process involved a visit by a panel of engineers who spent several days looking at all aspects of the programme, talking to staff, students, graduates and employers and inspecting facilities.

Staff members in Victoria‘s Faculty of Engineering are recognised as having strong research credentials and links to industry, as well as having an excellent rapport with their students. The programme is taught in an environment with around 100 research and academic staff, PhD and Masters students, with world-leading research driving teaching and providing opportunities for undergraduate students to advance their interests.

The Faculty of Engineering is equipped with state of the art equipment, and new undergraduate project laboratories, situated in both the recently-opened Alan MacDiarmid Building and the newly-renovated Cotton Building.

About IPENZ accreditation

IPENZ, the professional body which represents professional engineers from all disciplines in New Zealand, manages the accreditation of all New Zealand professional engineering programmes. Full accreditation means that Victoria University‘s BE programme is taught to the standards set out in the Washington Accord, and that Victoria now stands equal with other professional New Zealand engineering programmes in terms of international recognition.

IPENZ accreditation provides graduates with international recognition through the Washington Accord. Other jurisdictions currently covered by the Accord are Australia, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong China, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Turkey, the USA and the UK.

To learn more about IPENZ accreditation visit http://www.ipenz.org.nz

The Google Anita Borg Scholarship - 2013

30 May 2013 - 10:42 in Achievement

The Google Anita Borg Scholarship was established in 2004 to honor the legacy of Dr. Anita Borg and her efforts to encourage women to pursue careers in computer science and technology.

Scholarships will be awarded based on the strength of candidates’ academic background and demonstrated leadership. A group of female undergraduate and graduate student finalists will be chosen from the applicant pool. Each scholar recipient will receive a $5,000 AUD scholarship towards the following academic year. In addition all finalists and scholarship recipients will be invited to an expenses-paid networking retreat to be held at Google’s Sydney Engineering centre. Watch highlights from the 2012 Sydney Retreat here.

Who can apply?

Applicants must satisfy all of the following criteria to be eligible:

  • Be a female student enrolled in full-time undergraduate or postgraduate study for the 2013-14 academic year.

  • Be enrolled at a University in any of the following countries: Korea, Japan, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand and India. Citizens, permanent residents, and international students are eligible to apply.

  • Be studying Computer Science, Software Engineering, or a closely related technical field.

  • Maintain an excellent academic record

Citizens, permanent residents, and international students are eligible to apply. Past applicants and finalists are also encouraged to re-apply. If you have any questions, please email the Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship Team at anitaborg-apac@google.com, or reply to this email.

Deadline to apply: 31st of May 2013

For further information on this scholarship and how to apply, check out www.google.com/anitaborg/apac

Andy Linton - Internet Key Holder

11 Mar 2014 - 13:36 in Achievement

Andy Linton, a senior lecturer at Victoria University explains on Radio NZ his job as one of the 14 keyholders helping to keep the internet secure.

http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2588544/andy-linton-internet-key-holder

ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished Paper Award

13 Oct 2010 - 10:40 in Achievement

Associate Professor Thomas Kühne recently received a Distinguished Paper Award at the ACM SIGSOFT Conference. His paper “An Observer-Based Notion of Model Inheritance”, discusses specialisation relationships between models, languages and transformations respectively, and introduces the idea of an observer and a context for the purpose of defining and validating specialisation relationships.

“Return on investment” is an increasingly important consideration in model-based engineering, and it is more cost-effective to create a new model from an existing one rather than create it from scratch. It therefore makes sense to make maximum use of the relationships between models. Organising models in a network of relationships enhances model retrieval, investigation of model compatibility, and megamodeling of big systems.

First, the paper discusses model compatibility. It then examines various definitions of model inheritance, promoting model substitutability as a valuable property to strive for. Finally, the notion of a model observer and a model context is discussed as a way of investigating the scope for model compatibility.

It is intended that the ideas introduced in the paper will form the foundation of a systematic basis for organising models.

The full paper can be read at: http://www.springerlink.com/content/u3187t66l7275805/