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PhD Industry Experience program placement projects

The PhD Industry Experience program encourages businesses and universities to collaborate in setting up short-term, unpaid industry placements for PhD students to build their work-readiness and increase the competitiveness of the businesses.

Students can select up to three projects to include in their application. The following projects were available under Round 2 of the program, which closed on 8 April 2016.

Project Location Industry Description
Alitrax ICT and telecommunications Eagle Farm (Brisbane) The Alitrax platform comprises hardware and software developed and manufactured in Australia and New Zealand, created to deliver race control and drivers with advanced safety management.  The project will expand the Alitrax platform, taking driver data from the track to a social platform, to engage not only spectators but also for drivers/circuit owners/followers.
CSS Immersive learning Eight Mile Plains (Brisbane) ICT and design The project will test the hypothesis that ‘Humans learn how to react in crisis by incrementally learning coping techniques prior to the crisis, then being ready to implement and lead when circumstances force them to react.’ This means that in order to train people how to react in a time of crisis, the delivery of necessary information must be crisp, interesting and retained so that when an unpredictable trigger occurs, they react with training and retained knowledge to make a positive difference. The project will deliver key inputs to Concept Safety Systems’ product roadmap.
Laboratory Information Management System Eight Mile Plains (Brisbane) ICT The project will develop an integrated database management system specific to the needs of an entity servicing business-to-business (B2B), by reviewing the current system and identifying a new system with features inclusive of the latest technology, to deliver a cost-effective solution for the laboratory business.
Online Conquest Kunda Park (Sunshine Coast) Marketing and communications

The project will research and investigate ways for the company to achieve its goal of being no. 1 in relevant search engine optimisation (SEO) search terms in Australia. This involves providing information to assist the marketing department and manipulating and rewording the company’s website to provide far reaching SEO effects on relevant searchwords targeting the industry in which Tro Pacific is involved.  

Wireless data retrieval in a remote environment using aircraft Toowoomba, with field trials around Tara (Darling Downs) ICT and telecommunications The project aims to lay the groundwork for the development of a system that wirelessly retrieves field data collected by Australian Rig Construction’s (ARC) mobile monitoring and data logging equipment in the Surat Basin. The system will operate from a light aircraft and will retrieve data from the ground units once altitude is reached.
Drone navigation and management platform including real time obstacle avoidance. Yatala (Gold Coast) ICT and engineering The project will aim to adapt the real time collision avoidance algorithms developed for the current robotics production platform into a drone navigation platform. The navigation platform will take the sensory data from the drones’ onboard hardware and manipulate it so it can be used in the collision avoidance algorithms to achieve autonomous flight path control for set way points while avoiding obstacles.
Antenna radome design Tennyson (Brisbane) ICT and engineering The project will design and test an antenna radome with better electromagnetic propagation properties across multiple frequency bands. The desired outcome is a report outlining a design and optimisation procedure for radomes using commercial electromagnetic simulation software such as FEKO.
A decentralised and internet scale reputation service built from the blockchain Surfers Paradise (Gold Coast) ICT and information security The project involves research into how the blockchain (as used by bitcoin and other virtual currencies) could provide the core of a decentralised reputation service. The blockchain provides the possibility of building an internet scale identity management system where users can create multiple identities, allowing them a level of anonymity on the internet. Current reputation services on the internet are proprietary to particular organisations and lack transparency. The algorithms used for calculating reputation score are not disclosed and events used to calculate a person’s reputation score are not published.
Math Thrills Brisbane City Education and training, science and technology The project involves building on the successful first generation Math Thrills product to develop a second generation suite of innovative mathematical education activities and materials.
User interaction design – browser plugin Spring Hill (Brisbane) ICT The project involves designing a browser plugin that interacts with a system engine.
Train an OCR engine Spring Hill (Brisbane) ICT When an image is loaded into the business’ system, an optical character recognition engine processes the image to identify any letters. The project will train an improved OCR for improved results to improve the quality of the segmentation of the images and outperform current results.
Image segmentation Spring Hill (Brisbane) ICT When an image is loaded into the business’ system, it is automatically segmented to separate the important section(s). The project will train an image segmentation subsystem to provide accurate segmented images to improve the quality of the system.
Image classification system Spring Hill (Brisbane) ICT The project will train an image classification system to determine weightings for combining various image recognition algorithms.
Image recognition feature design Spring Hill (Brisbane) ICT

See-Out Pty Ltd (trading as TrademarkVision) specialises in leading-edge image recognition and trademarks within the brand protection space. The See-Out Pty Ltd online search product visually compares images with trademark databases around the world, and is used by brands and law firms globally. The business has had significant success with the public sector, winning projects with government bodies to supply its technology and service.

Project whip Carole Park (Ipswich) Biotech/ R&D /science The project will investigate the feasibility of establishing a bio-processing facility that produces enzyme modified polysaccharides with unique functional properties for the food industry. The first stage is a lab scale proof of concept, to be followed, if successful, by a a cost/benefit analysis.
Ten year anniversary - trends and outcomes Woolloongabba (Brisbane) Business strategy and communications The project will track and analyse the key performance outcomes associated with Queensland Leaders members, for the 10th anniversary of Queensland Leaders in 2016.
Enterprise software integration Fortitude Valley (Brisbane) ICT and design Real Serious Games (RSG) has developed the first phase of a software tool for 4D project planning. This project, which is part of the second phase, involves understanding the design requirements for the integration of this tool into an enterprise software system, like SAP.
Neuroscience and gamification Fortitude Valley (Brisbane) ICT and neuroscience Using virtual reality (VR) and spatial gamification, a pilot project has been completed ‘in-house’ using current skill sets (primarily civil construction engineering), to train a green skin workforce in the technical role of tunnel boring machine (TBM) operators. This project will apply neuroscience design principles to a new version of the pilot to achieve the desired outcomes of VR training.
Level sensor variance evaluation Deagon (Brisbane) Science and technology The project will quantify discrepancies between tide levels measured by different sensor types; and investigate possible causes of these discrepancies (time permitting).
Q Centre-Longreach Data Centre project Longreach Research, education and training

This high-level innovative project will:

  • involve a literature review and 360-degree scoping study of the Australian and global data centre industry, and the potential economic effects of establishing a data centre in Longreach
  • provide a deeper understanding of the economic drivers of Western Queensland and how the region can engage with and move into the digital economy of the 21st century
  • work towards assisting stakeholders to reduce the region's exposure to the consequences of drought and increase the sustainability of the region and its population
  • collaborate with well-published PhD supervisors of international standing and regional stakeholders (Longreach Rotary Club and the Western Queensland Drought Appeal).
Metadata correlation Brisbane City ICT

When processing large volumes of readable documents e.g. PDF, JPG, there is currently no standard way to extract meaningful metadata from unstructured document content. This project will use open source tools to extract metadata from multiple unstructured documents and images to find correlations for the purpose of organisation and discoverability. The project will:

  • apply the principles of text mining, natural language processing (NLP), and image recognition/comparison to sort, catagorise, group and extract metadata from documents
  • challenge the current grouping of files within directories of a file system hierarchy to create dynamic, synthetic groupings based on correlations of metadata attributes between files, customisable by user and use case.
Gamification of metadata Brisbane City ICT

A client’s dataset can be vastly improved if they append meaningful metadata e.g. geolocation, about the engineering component to which the dataset artefact applies, but they need motivation to apply metadata to their artefact collection. The project will:

  • look at the application of typical elements of game playing (e.g. point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to encourage engagement of users with RedEye’s products.
  • find the most successful way to reward users for improving their dataset by looking at different techniques to apply metadata and make it as fast, easy and relevant for them as possible.
  • devise ways to apply gamification techniques to other areas of the business.
Enerflex Energy Hydraulic Pack Unit Dalby Design and engineering The project will work towards providing innovative, compliant Australian made hydraulic pack units (HPUs) for the coal seam gas (CSG) industry,with the aim of manufacturing them in Australia.
Laboratory setup for formulation Warana (Sunshine Coast) Science and technology

The project will involve:

  • setting up a new laboratory for formulating, testing and production
  • helping to formulate a new product ready for production, including testing and stability.
Intelligent ranking Spring Hill (Brisbane) ICT The project will develop an intelligent ranking system that weighs together metadata, and results from multiple search algorithms, and other factors.
Optimisation of the rheology of geopolymer concrete Toowoomba R&D, science and technology, engineering

This practical, cutting edge innovative project with real commercial application will:

  • identify a product that economically achieves water reduction and improved rheology in Wagners’s proprietary commercial geopolymer concrete, branded earth friendly concrete (EFC), without detriment to other properties, and quantify its effect
  • demonstrate improved handling /placement of EFC by investigating and modifying its rheology, to lead to greater general market acceptance of this innovative technology.
Testing a hypothesis that interactive videos are more engaging than linear videos Sippy Downs (Sunshine Coast) Marketing and communications, ICT The project will gather valuable insights into mobile social video consumption; and test the hypothesis that interactive videos are more engaging than linear videos.
Exploring new interactive video format possibilities Sippy Downs (Sunshine Coast) Marketing and communications, ICT The project will gather valuable insights into mobile social video consumption; and conceptualise and create exciting, engaging interactive videos/advertisements for mobile first applications in the social context.
NQ IP Strategy Townsville Research, legal

This project will research IP registrations (patents and trade marks) in the North Queensland region and identify trends, such as in subject matter, geographical location, inventor types, etc. The research may provide answers to questions about IP in the region, for example:

  • is the ‘mumpreneur’ the biggest growth group for home-based patents?
  • are most agricultural inventions filed by applicants away from the larger population centres?
  • is Cairns or Townsville the centre for marine biology patents?

Trade marks generally indicate new start businesses and growth areas can be identified in this regard. The scope of the project can be finalised on discussions with the PhD student.

Elite Athlete Management software user experience and industry research Newstead (Brisbane) Sports science, ICT

The project involves the development and delivery of a comprehensive report to:

  • identify current end user functionality of SMG Technologies ‘Elite’ Athlete Management System.
  • identify features and benefits of this system against direct competitors in the industry
  • identify third party integration programs (i.e. plug & play) to increase the value of this system.

The project could accommodate multiple students working on specific feature modules.

The impact of workplace context on stress experienced Heathwood (Brisbane) Science, health, psychology

The project will:

  • test the hypothesis, ‘the workplace context in which a person is subjected to any given stressor will determine the level of stress that person will experience, all other psychosocial factors being equal’,via statistical data analysis of psychosocial survey instruments, such as COPSOQ II;
  • allow the business to make an informed investment decision on the merit of creating a new or modified survey instrument through a statistically robust valid confirmation of the hypothesis.

If a statistically significant relationship is found, Stress Management Institute (SMI) has a basis for deciding whether or not to commit to the significant development process and investment required to integrate this contextual dimension into a new or existing survey instrument. A null hypothesis result would help SMI to avoid wasting resources. An alternative hypothesis finding could also prove usefull.

Sharepoint add-in Reedy Creek (Gold Coast) ICT

The project will involve software development for a sharepoint add-in for commercialisation that is targeted at the architecture, engineering, construction and consulting industries. The project will take quality management and quality assurance into a new era.

Model the University Brisbane (City) ICT and Software engineering

This project aims to develop a common model of the information and data that underpins the university curriculum experience through the delivery a written report, which includes an analysis of researched university curriculum practices that determines a viable model of the university curriculum space.

Aged Care Furniture Design of the Future Virginia, Brisbane Furniture Design and manufacturing

The project will research and communicate current trends in global furniture products for aged care market and provide recommendations on how the business’s new chair prototype can be improved into a new more technically more advanced product with the goal of bettering the lives of the elderly and their carers in an ageing population.

Bionics South East Queensland Development Ashgrove (Brisbane) Medical Bionics

The project will map the health bionics industry by researching the latest technological developments in bionics centres globally to update the business’s knowledge base to position the business to collaborate by forming a wider regional geographic bionics cluster with a focus on creating bionic solutions for previously untreatable medical conditions.

Infield data tracking to improve sugarcane harvest operations Silkwood (near Innisfail, Cassowary Coast) Sugar

The project provide insights into Harvesting Best Practice by engaging with stakeholders in the Queensland Sugar Industry to help improve the efficiency of the business’s harvesting operations. By analysing data and comparing the different types of monitoring software, which is installed on company harvesters, the project will recommend a new solution for improving harvesting operations.

Near field technologies to improve building evacuations West Chermside (Brisbane) ICT

The project will provide emergency services staff with knowledge in a building evacuation event using real-time communication. The business’s EvacMate system currently uses an RFID reader as part of its near field communication for the evacuation of buildings. By researching alternative best practise technologies and methods that could be applied to improve the system, recommendations will be made for the business to implement.

Find alternative technologies, networking protocols and strobing techniques to decrease power consumption West Chermside (Brisbane) ICT

The project will aim to deliver efficiencies in the business’s current battery powered system, which uses low-power Bluetooth and uses an RFID reader and a multi-coloured light emitting diode to communicate if the area it monitors is occupied or cleared in the evacuation of buildings. This project will research and identifying alternate technologies and techniques to simultaneously improve the battery life and decrease communication delays of the system.

Research and Development of new User Interfaces West Chermside (Brisbane) ICT and Engineering

This project will research and develop new User Interfaces to achieve efficiencies in the business’s system, which uses near field communication for the evacuation of buildings and keep emergency services staff and managers current on the progress of the evacuation. The system requires User Interfaces (UIs) at the different levels. The current UIs use a variety of designs and technologies (LEDs, RFID, Tablets, Web). The project objective is to identify and prototype UI designs and technologies to make the system intuitive and easy to use in emergencies.

Human Resource Information System Nerang, Gold Coast Business Management (Human Resources / Economics), Tourism

The project will deliver a cost benefit analysis of researched options to determine if a human resources information system (software package) is a cost effective, time saving solution to maintaining records of employees’ details including all compliance documents, contracts, performance reviews, training and development and payroll. Issues that are contributing to the employee data management problem are a disproportionate use of time involved in keeping track of employee records, high staff turnover and the fact that the business is spread across three locations.

Pest Bird Abatement Using Raptors O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat near Canungra -Scenic Rim) Tourism, ICT and Engineering, Visual Arts, Ecology

The project will track the use of native birds of prey as natural predators in a trial to control pest or problem birds at shopping centres on the Gold Coast through the use of video and still photography and bird tracking telemetry techniques. The project will evaluate and monitor the trial’s effectiveness against other pest control methods to provide the business with the information needed on the feasibility to roll out the service to other locations around the Gold Coast and Queensland.

Australian Raptor Flight Filming O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat near Canungra -Scenic Rim) Tourism, Visual and Creative Arts, Ecology

This project will undertake innovative videography of several iconic species of endemic raptors, including Owls, Kites, Falcons, Buzzards, Goshawks and Eagles at daily flight shows, one-on-one encounters and simulated hunting exercises. By recording and editing footage of the birds you will conceptualise new presentation opportunities to enhance the show, which can be used to:

  • create world-class video material
  • promote the Birds of Prey Show
  • provide insights into the different bird behaviours and avenues for behavioural enrichment.
Global financial markets and regulatory frameworks: model review and optimisation Brisbane (City) ICT and Finance

This project aims to review a financial data modelling process developed in house for a FinTech startup, which is developing a unique solution tackling market information asymmetry. The student will test model assumptions and apply research undertaken on funding concepts within the current global financial market and regulatory environment.

Financial market data model automation and optimisation Brisbane (City) ICT and Finance

This project aims to recommend enhancements to a startup’s current data processing model, which is turning large amounts of disparate source data into contextualised and valuable insights on the global financial markets. The student will utilise best-practice techniques for data preparation and processing and implement design and process improvements that adhere to the model objective.

Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia (CC BY-ND 3.0)
Last updated
31 May, 2016

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