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Automation of industrial processes by adopting emerging technologies such as IoT, machine learning, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and blockchain is increasing under the Industry-4.0 transformation. Together, these technologies hold the potential to significantly increase Australian companies' productivity and competitiveness. Several industries in the manufacturing, supply chain, information systems, agriculture, and retail sectors already look to transform their industry by recruiting skilled professionals. However, the skill shortage in these domains impedes the transformation process, impacting innovation, transformation, and growth.

The Australian Government’s AI and Blockchain Roadmaps has identified a significant economic opportunity for these technologies into various industry sectors, including agriculture, manufacturing, and supply chains yet the persistent skills shortage in these areas is a barrier to realising the economic benefits.

This program will train the next generation graduates in trusted automation for industrial Internet of Things through a close partnership between industry and academia. Being at the intersection of three emerging technologies with the potential to transform how we live and work, this program offers students unique opportunities to gain skills that are highly relevant for industry.

Students will work on applied research projects, where the research problem is inspired by real world problems that industry partners are facing. Student projects will address computer science research challenges on one or more of the technologies of blockchain, machine learning, and Internet-of-Things. Students will use simulators and physical network testbeds at QUT or UNSW to validate their research ideas. For examples of active projects related to this program, interested applicants can visit: Trusted Networks Lab Projects

Interested candidates please contact Professor Raja Jurdak (for QLD-based opportunities) or Professor Salil Kanhere (for NSW-based opportunities).

Trusted Automation for Industrial Internet of Things


Professor, what type of research do you think a student in your programme will be undertaking?


So students within our programme will undertake cutting edge research in the areas of blockchain, Internet of Things and machine learning. And this research will be heavily driven by the problems that industry are facing in these areas. Our programme goal is to really deliver trustworthy automation in this growing area of the Industrial Internet of Things.


As more industrial processes are automated with sensors and actuators, there's a risk that untrustworthy elements can cause disruptions or failures. And our research and this programme will design new approaches ensuring that the entire data pipeline is trustworthy and it will underpin reliable decisions in those systems. Can you give some more examples of how that would translate into impact? Sure. So among our industry partners, we have some industry partners.


Network in supply chains and there our research will help and provenance. So basically providing traceability and transparency in what's happening throughout the supply chain. Another example is machine learning and design automation. So in manufacturing there's a lot of processes that need to be optimised for efficiency. So that's another example. And all these systems that are getting data from sensors we need to actually.


Trust that data in order to make reliable decisions based on that data.


So the students were really used the industry insights to inspire the key research questions that we look at in this programme. And once the research is completed, we expect that we'll work with the industry partners in order to translate the findings into real world impact that the industry partners can use.


In your opinion, what are the other benefits of this bringing the students and industry partners together in addition to what you just mentioned, what are some other benefits?


So by bringing industry and students together, this programme will help fill Australia's skills gap. So we know that a lot of advanced technologies are needing more people who are skilled in those technology in Australia. And also we know that in Australia there is currently what's called the value of depth between what the research does and what the industry needs. So this programme role will be to help bridge that value of death and help allow research.


Be inspired by industry problems and when that research is done that it will create impact for those industries. Can you give other examples of positive impact for the students point of view. So our our programme is is actually unique in that it it's anchored in the industry problems so that the research is driven by those problems. So the students will know as they're working on this they will see the direct relevance and they will have a line of sight.


Into their career path if they want to join those kind of industries that we're working with and then to an extent a unique feature of our programme compared to existing university programmes, because it does have that direction provided by industry and the partnership with industry.


What, what are the the coexisting, obviously benefits for the partners that are involved in the programme?


So for the partners, they will have the opportunity to help shape some of the upcoming generation of students and make sure that the research that they're focusing on and the skills they're developing are actually what industry needs. So that when these students graduate, they they will be filling those skills gaps that our industry partners and the broader industry is facing in this area.


Can you give some examples of how our programme with the Next Generation Graduates programme is unique, comparing it to the traditional learning setting that students and specialists like yourselves have been exposed to before?


So our programme has unique features in that it's inspired by the industry problems and the typical research project. Somebody might think of an academically interesting problem, but that problem may or may not have the potential to translate into impact at the end of the project. Whereas with with our programme both the students and the industry partners can be confident that the outcomes will be industry relevant.


And we'll have a relatively clear pathway to impact. So the programme is going to offer honours, Masters and PhD scholarships. And within those projects, the students will have opportunities to have industry placements with our partner industry companies. So they will be able to spend time at those industrial companies through internships and get mentoring. And also they'll have access to an industry supervisor.


Who can help guide them and provide them with applied aspects of the research.


Fantastic. And you spoke about, the networking, the mentoring, the engagement and the the applied ways. Can you give some examples of those interactions with the students and and the industry partners with their research?


Sure. So we are going to engage industry partners from the onset to help define what the research projects will be.


And we're going to also involve industry partners and nominated members of those industry partners to serve on the supervisory panels or as industry mentors for our students so that they can follow them through their journey and continually give that input. And of course the students will have that, particularly for PhD students, that six month internship towards the end of their studies which will.


Help give them even more visibility on how their research can create impact.


Automi is an automation SAS that enables the rapid creation of packaging and labelling artwork without error. To get to market, packaging and labelling must be 100% brand, regulatory and production compliant. You get even 1% wrong and it's a big problem. Mistakes cause massive time, cost and brand impact. For medical packaging this is even more serious. We are building the world's most advanced regulatory and artwork generation system.


We would love to have your minds on board for that. Our first project for Next Gen AI is a language processing system that understands and contextualises regulatory information similar to a human compliance agent. This allows quicker monitoring and onboarding of regulations across regions and categories. Our second project advances our algorithmic approach to design principles to create a cognitive system that understands the multivariate analysis that goes into design choice and outputs, very similar to what a human designer would do.


With a senior team at Automi, We look forward to the next generation AI minds coming on board with us.

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Chief Investigators

Professor Raja JurdakProfessor Salil KanhereProfessor Alistair BarrosDr Helen Paik, Dr Sushmita RujDr Gowri Ramachandran


Dr Sara Khalifa, Dr Dimity Miller, Dr Volkan Dedeoglu, Dr Rahat Masood, Dr Arash Shaghaghi, Professor Mahbub Hassan, Dr Sharif Abuaddba, Dr Dilum Bandara, Vinesh George, Paul Ramirez, Nathan Eggins, Hamish Sadler, Brendan Lee



Queensland University of Technology (QUT) is a major Australian university with a truly global outlook. Home to nearly 50,000 students, QUT is providing real-world infrastructure, learning and teaching, and graduate skills to the next generation of change-makers.


UNSW Sydney is a world-leading teaching and research powerhouse recognised by employers and organisations around the globe. Founded in1949, UNSW is dedicated to shaping forward-thinking graduates who make a positive impact in the world.

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Every good that needs to be sold, needs to be labelled correctly. Imagine a system that eliminates human artwork error, creating 100% compliant production artwork and enabling human creative choices. At Automi, we're building the world's most advanced automation engine for artwork creation, using RPA, Swarm AI, & Contextual Intelligence.

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