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.
- Dr. Simon Lovatt, AgResearch (Chair). Simon is a Science Strategist at AgResearch with a software engineering background.
- Prof. Chris Cook, Dean of Engineering, Univ of Wollongong.
- Prof. Tanja Mitrovic, Head of Computer Science and Software Engineering, Univ of Canterbury.
- Mr. Ivo Tisch, Founder and Managing Director, Precision Technologies.
- Mr. Brett Williams, Director of Learning and Assessment, IPENZ
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.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.
The Accreditation Panel set the following requirements to be met by Victoria:
- 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
Coverage of the IPENZ graduate profileThe 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.
Paving the way for female Māori graduates13 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, 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.
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.
- 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.
Two highly-respected academic staff from the School of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS) have been recognised for their outstanding contribution to Victoria University in teaching and research. In Victoria’s Staff Excellence Awards for 2016, Dr Ciaran Moore received an Early Career Teaching Award and a $5000 grant, while Professor Mengjie Zhang received a Research Excellence Award and a $10,000 grant. The Awards are designed to acknowledge staff who have gone over and above the call of duty and are also a tangible way of promoting excellence at Victoria. Dr Moore, a lecturer in electronics and maths, says his teaching responsibilities have included re-designing first-year engineering maths papers, and encouraging peer-led learning among students. “I delivered a series of labs to show how maths can be used in an engineering context”, he says. “I also organised self-paced labs and student-led tutorials. Students learned a lot from each other and got to see their learning in action”. Dr Moore’s techniques had a great effect on overall engagement and achievement in his courses. He says it was a “wonderful feeling” to be recognised for his efforts and plans to use the grant to attend an engineering education conference in the United States in October. Colleague Professor Mengjie Zhang also has plans for his grant. The Professor of Computer Science and Associate Dean (Research and Innovation) for the Faculty of Engineering was recognised for superb research leadership, especially in Evolutionary Computation, including several international awards. “I will use the money to support staff and students’ research”, says Professor Zhang. “I would like to help more people within our Group and Faculty to play an international leadership role in their areas, and to attract high-quality students from overseas”. Vice Chancellor Professor Grant Guilford agrees that acknowledging exemplary staff contribution is a crucial step for Victoria. “In order to achieve our goal of being a world-leading capital city university, we need to ensure we foster and support excellence for the world-leading people across our organisation”, he says. This year Professor Guilford presented 22 staff excellence awards, including several to teams. He says, “These accolades are testament to the work of all the people who make our capital city university tick”.
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.
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
About IPENZ accreditationIPENZ, 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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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