Communications & Media

Research projects a step closer to real-world applications

Three University of Tasmania research projects are a step closer to discovering real-world applications after securing places in the CSIRO’s ON Prime program.

The projects were chosen after a competitive selection process, with the program helping research teams Australia-wide validate their ideas and test their hypothesis in a real-world setting.

Researchers will be able to test product concepts and hear feedback from experienced facilitators including entrepreneurs, technologists, financiers and start-up founders.

The teams participate in a series of face-to-face sessions to help them develop a plan to take the opportunity forward with a showcase held at the end of the program.

Successful University of Tasmania projects include:

Pharmacy Simulator (Dr Ivan Bindoff, Senior Research Fellow, Pharmacy)

A simulation tool for community pharmacy that allows students to practice in a safe, cost-effective environment. It is a set of tools which enable the rapid implementation and distribution of 3D computer-based simulated learning experiences. Currently there a number of barriers associated with simulation tools, namely inability to tailor or customise content to suit different environments (ie US vs Australian conditions) or adjusting to suit student’s skill level. This new tool aims to address barriers by being created by educators (not by technicians) with outcomes being shared across a number of communities which can be easily maintained and updated to reflect local conditions and needs.

Smarter Irrigation (Dr Marcus Hardie, Senior Lecturer, TIA)

An on-farm irrigation decision-making tool to help growers know how much to water and when. With agriculture the biggest user of water supply in Australia, researchers have developed prototype software to support on-farm irrigation decision making for growers using centre pivot irrigation. The software guides growers as to where they need to install moisture probes. It ingests local weather and climate data from multiple sources and computes not just current soil moisture for each management zone, but the amount of irrigation required, and current level of crop stress for each different soil type. It is unique as it integrates soil, sensors and models in an accessible, easy-to-use mobile app.

Novel oscillating foil turbine (Associate Professor Pengfei Liu, Ocean Engineering, AMC)

Horizontal axis turbines (with the rotating axis parallel to the ground, like in a fan) are widely used for wind and tidal energy harvest. But they have problems including low efficiency and a range of environmental impacts. Modelling demonstrates that the novel oscillating foil turbine being designed by Professor Liu can generate 1.7 times the energy of a horizontal axis turbine but with much less impact on ecology. Professor Liu’s goal is for his new turbine to be used for higher-powered energy production and better energy site utilisation.

Published on: 31 Mar 2017 1:43pm