Experts judge Murdoch students as brightest innovators amongst WA universities

January 24, 2017

The Murdoch team with their $10,000 first prize

The Murdoch team with their $10,000 first prize

Undergraduates from Murdoch’s School of Engineering and Information Technology (IT) have triumphed over students from other Western Australian universities to claim top prize in the State Government’s Heavy Vehicle Hackathon.

Transport and Innovation Minister Bill Marmion launched the Heavy Vehicle Hackathon as part of the Liberal National Government's commitment to innovation that benefited industry.

Teams from WA’s four public universities were tasked with developing opportunities for delivering innovative, cost effective safety and productivity solutions, with the focus on developing a ‘smart’ licence plate.

The ‘Smart plate’ is to be a self-powered, digitised heavy vehicle number plate that has global satellite navigation and mobile communication network connectivity.

Within a three week period the Murdoch University team of Robert Pezzaniti, Josephine Brain, Andrew Forbes and Radek Sebesta developed a ‘Smart plate’ design aimed at improving road safety.

A panel of industry and subject matter experts judged the students’ submission the best amongst the brightest minds in the State, with the Murdoch team taking home the $10,000 first prize. The team’s success follows a number of national and international honours for students from the School of Engineering and IT.

Dr David Parlevliet, Senior Lecturer at Murdoch’s School of Engineering and IT was full of praise for both the students’ achievement and the government initiative.

“We congratulate Jo, Andrew, Radek and Rob on their victory,” said Dr David Parlevliet.

“The four undergraduates are studying a combination of Industrial Computer Systems Engineering, Renewable Energy Engineering, Instrumentation and Control Engineering and we are immensely proud of them.

“The Hackathon provided the students with an opportunity for cross sector collaboration and a condensed, practical learning experience.”

The Minister said the Hackathon aligned with the objectives of the recently released Western Australian Innovation Strategy.

"This is about bringing together different people and talents, and providing opportunities for learning, networking, mentoring and collaboration to foster creativity and innovation," Mr Marmion said.

"This Government is committed to creating and developing innovative solutions and services for the heavy vehicle industry."

The design concepts will now be reviewed further to assess opportunities for a prototype

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