Fri, 04 Aug 2023 - 09:15

Queensland University of Technology Visit

On a visit to the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) I was briefed on some of the world leading research that QUT scientists and engineers are doing.

Distinguished Professor Dmitri Golberg, co-director of the QUT Centre for Materials, showed me the ‘NeoARM’ Atomic Resolution Transmission Electron Microscope, the first of its kind in Australia. Professor Golberg explained how he and his team are using this impressive tool to advance understanding in materials science, physics, polymer science and bioengineering.

Professor Paul Roe and Associate Professor Susan Fuller provided me with a comprehensive and impressive presentation on the use of sound monitors and artificial intelligence to monitor bird species, such as the Glossy Black Cockatoo.

Since 2019, the project has captured more than 17 million hours of raw audio. To meet the challenge of identifying bird sounds, the QUT researchers have collaborated with Google to develop the AI tool which goes through this huge amount audio to find the particular bird calls they are looking for.

Last stop on the visit was QUT’s Centre for Robotics. Its Director, Distinguished Professor Peter Corke, demonstrated to me their research into the application of robots in the resources sector, health, agriculture and environmental monitoring.

Earlier in the day, I was at the National Tech Summit in Brisbane. This event, organised by the Tech Council of Australia, showcased the vigour and diversity of Australia’s tech sector, with a particularly strong presence from Queensland based companies like Technology One.

I joined a panel discussion with technology leaders including Atlassian co-founder Scott Farquhar and Tesla Motors Chair Robyn Denholm. There were some fascinating observations (Scott has strong views on supporting staff who want to work from home and Robyn is very focussed on getting more women working in the tech sector).

In my comments, I spoke of the need for stronger collaboration between the commonwealth and states on digital service delivery.

It was a day which reinforced my conviction: both in fundamental scientific research, and in building businesses to bring innovation to market, there are some impressive things happening.