Digital Futures Speakers

LIZ MINCHIN, SENIOR EDITOR AND QUEENSLAND EDITOR, THE CONVERSATION

PRESENTATION TITLE: The good news about ‘digital disruption’ of the Australian media – and the opportunities for smart regional universities

Liz Minchin is a Walkley award-winning journalist and author, with two decades of experience in newspapers, radio and online. She is currently Senior Editor and Queensland Editor of The Conversation. Liz’s role includes delivering tailored storytelling & public engagement training around Australia, in a new collaboration with The University of Melbourne’s Centre for the Study of Higher Education.

The Conversation is a public-good journalism project helping researchers share their knowledge with millions of readers worldwide (35 million article views in a month, as of March 2016). Its readers include Nobel laureates, school students, business leaders, prime ministers & presidents.

PROFESSOR COLIN COLE, DIRECTOR, CENTRE FOR RAILWAY ENGINEERING, CQUNIVERSITY

PRESENTATION TITLE: From Research to Product - Innovation at CQUniversity

Professor Colin Cole is the Director of the Centre for Railway Engineering, (CRE) at Central Queensland University, a role he has held for 9 years.  His work history includes over 20 years in railway research including work in both rolling stock and infrastructure areas. His PhD was in Longitudinal Train Dynamics.  He has been extensively engaged with industry via the past Rail CRC programs and has continuing involvements via the Australian Centre for Rail Innovation (ACRI) and the new Rail Manufacturing CRC. He has authored and/or co-authored over 90 technical papers, one book chapter, one book, numerous commercial research and consulting reports has developed two patents relating to in-cabin locomotive technologies. Professor Cole is a Member of the Engineers Australia, a member of the Railway Technical Society of Australia, and has RPEQ registration.

PROFESSOR DAVID LAMB, PROFESSOR, PHYSICS AND PRECISION AGRICULTURE, UNIVERSITY OF NEW ENGLAND

PRESENTATION TITLE: SMART Farms- a case study of education and industry working side by side to shape Australia's farming future

David is a physicist who has worked in the area of ‘Precision Agriculture’ (PA) for over 20 years. Despite a PhD in high voltage engineering, he is actually passionate about putting technology to work for our farmers. In 2002, he established the University of New England’s Precision Agriculture Research Group (UNE-PARG; www.une.edu.au/parg); undertaking R&D exclusively funded by industry. David leads the university’s SMART Farm project (www.une.edu.au/smartfarm); a 2,900 ha sheep farm showcasing contemporary, and future, precision agriculture and intelligence-gathering technologies supporting land use and production sustainability. He is also the Science Director (Agriculture, NRM and Climate Change) for the CRC for Spatial Information.

DR CHRISTINA MCGRAW, LECTURER, CHEMISTRY, UNIVERSITY OF NEW ENGLAND

PRESENTATION TITLE: Disposable sensors for soil, urine, and seawater

Originally from Alaska, Christina received her PhD in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Washington and has since held positions in Ireland, Massachusetts, New Zealand, and Australia. In these roles, she has built a range of scientific instruments ranging from wind tunnel models, microphones, aquariums, and sensors for honey bee wings.

DR RHIANNON SMITH, RESEARCH FELLOW AND LECTURER IN ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT, UNIVERSITY OF NEW ENGLAND

PRESENTATION TITLE: Cotton growers benefit from biodiversity and ecosystem services

Rhiannon has been involved in environmental research in the Australian cotton industry for more than 10 years. Rhiannon’s research is funded by the Cotton Research and Development Corporation and centres on developing best management practices for natural assets on cotton farms, as well as the benefits growers get from managing non-crop areas on farm for ecosystem service provision.

DR PREETHICHANDRA D.M. GAMAGE, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, CQUNIVERSITY

PRESENTATION TITLE: Enhancing Regional Skills Base Through Mechatronics Engineering Education

The speaker received his B.Sc. Engineering degree in electrical and electronics engineering from the University of peradeniya, Sri lanka. He received his Masters in Telecommunications Engineering and Doctoral qualifications in Multi-sensor design from Saga University, Japan. He was a winner of prestigious JSPS postdoctoral fellowship from japan and won the FAIS and HORN fellowships from Japan.

 He is a well known researcher in biomedical engineering, specifically on development of artificial muscles using ionic polymer metal composites and development of high sensitive nano-biosensors for glucose measurements.

DR STEPHANIE MACHT, SENIOR LECTURER IN STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT, CQUNIVERSITY

PRESENTATION TITLE: Raise capital from the crowd and get more than money – an exploration of the value-added benefits of crowdfunders’ comments for fund-seeking entrepreneurs

Dr. Stephanie Macht is Senior Lecturer in Strategic Management at CQU’s Sydney campus. Her research interests revolve around entrepreneurship and small business, with a particular focus on the funding of entrepreneurial endeavours and entrepreneurship education.

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, JEREMY BUULTJENS, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR IN ECONOMICS, SOUTHERN CROSS UNIVERSITY

PRESENTATION TITLE: Regional SMEs and social media: Use, perceived benefits and possible limitations

Jeremy Buultjens is an Associate Professor in the School of Business and Tourism at Southern Cross University. He has taught in a number of units ranging from Economics and Indigenous Tourism through to Tourism Planning and the Environment. Jeremy's research interests include Indigenous entrepreneurship, regional development, tourism in Sri Lanka and tourism in protected areas.

MR DAVID ANDERSON, HONOURS STUDENT, UNIVERSITY OF THE SUNSHINE COAST

PRESENTATION TITLE: How to quantify the value of your website. Insights from research into the income-producing website marketplace

David has a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) and is researching website metrics during his Honours year at USC.

AMANDA MARSHALL, PhD CANDIDATE, UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND BUSINESS SCHOOL

PRESENTATION TITLE: The future of connectivity: What does it mean to be connected in the modern Outback?

For the last two years Amber has lived in remote Northern Territory while completing her PhD (under examination) through the University of Queensland Business School. Her research specialisation is ‘virtual organising’ and she holds a Masters degree in organisational communication. Her professional background is in internal/external communications in public/private sectors, along with start-ups and project management. Amber is now seeking to apply her city-based education and experience towards the social and economic development of remote, rural and regional Australia.

CHRISTOPHER O'NEILL, PhD CANDIDATE AND LECTURER, CQUNIVERSITY

PRESENTATION TITLE: Improving beef productivity through increased genetic and ecological diversity – cattle genotype and pasture management options

Chris O’Neill has dedicated a career of over 30 years to researching issues of productivity in Australia’s northern beef industry. He joined CSIRO Rockhampton in 1980 after graduating from Queensland Institute of Technology with a degree in biology. Through many changes to CSIRO Chris has steadfastly established a meaningful dialogue with beef producers. This is evidenced by a publication record of 30 peer-reviewed scientific publications. A passion for the genetics of adaptation was shown by Chris taking several study opportunities oversees including a 2007 Churchill Fellowship to study the integration of livestock behaviour into genetic improvement programs via biotelemetry. In 2015, Chris was an invited speaker at the CEA 23rd International Congress of Agricultural Technology Transfer, Asunción, Paraguay – recognition of Chris’ knowledge and commitment to improving livestock productivity in stressful environments. The exposure to global production systems has reinforced his strongly held belief that productivity hinges on selecting the animal that is best adapted to the production system. This belief is currently being pursued as a PhD with the Precision Livestock Management Group at CQUniversity.

DON MENZIES, PhD STUDENT, CQUNIVERSITY

PRESENTATION TITLE: Can an automated radiolocation device ascertain date and location of calving in extensive beef systems

Don Menzies began his career in the animal science field in 1993 having graduated with Agricultural Science qualifications.  In 1996, he moved to Rockhampton to begin his involvement in the northern beef industry initially working for the Meat Quality Co-operative Research Centre.  From 1999 to 2008, he worked in a number of positions within both research organisations and private companies providing supply chain and herd management solutions.  Since 2008, he has been a company director and business owner focusing on project management solutions to the livestock industries.  In late 2013, he returned to study having been awarded a PhD scholarship through CQUniversity.  He maintains strong ties to rural Australia and is passionate about valuing agriculture as a respected career and a major contributor of the Australian economy.

THOMAS HILL, PhD CANDIDATE, FEDERATION UNIVERSITY AUSTRALIA

PRESENTATION TITLE: Unheard Farmers: Strengthening Precision Agriculture by Capturing Knowledge Using the Social Sciences

Thomas Hill is an award winning early career researcher looking into data availability within agriculture using the social sciences. Thomas’ background is in agricultural parasite treatment development but has recently made the leap over to the social sciences where he is hoping to reveal important new information. Thomas is an avid believer in sustainable agriculture and embracing technological innovation for the betterment of society.

DR MARK TROTTER, SENIOR LECTURER, PRECISION AGRICULTURE

PRESENTATION TITLE: SMARTfarm Learning Hub: Next Generation Precision Agriculture Technologies for Agricultural Education

Mark Trotter is a Senior Lecturer in Precision Agriculture within the School of Environmental and Rural Science at the University of New England (UNE). Mark is deputy director of the UNE Precision Agriculture Research Group and a lead researcher within the CRC for Spatial Information.

His research interests focus on spatio-temporal variability in agricultural systems and the development of sensors and management techniques that enable producers to increase production and efficiency in the face of variation found in soils, plants and animals.

Mark’s teaching is focussed on developing industry ready graduates. He has developed unique industry integrated pedagogies which result in engaged student learning. His students, both undergraduate and postgraduate are keenly sought after by both the research and commercial sectors.

DR XIANG REN, RESEARCH FELLOW, AUSTRALIAN DIGITAL FUTURES INSTITUTE, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN QUEENSLAND

PRESENTATION TITLE: Open Knowledge Developments and Digital Regional Futures: Benefits, Challenges, and Initiatives

Dr Xiang Ren is a Research Fellow at Australian Digital Futures Institute, University of Southern Queensland, where his research focuses on digital publishing, open access, and disruptive innovations. He has published widely in these fields. Ren earned his PhD at the Queensland University of Technology with an outstanding doctoral thesis award. Prior to his academic career, he spent more than a decade working in scientific publishing industry.

PETER ELFORD, DIRECTOR, GOVERNMENT RELATIONS AND eRESEARCH, AARNET

PRESENTATION TITLE: Regional Universities as Anchors for Digitally-Led Regional Development

Peter Elford manages AARNet’s relationships across a broad range of Federal and state government agencies, and AARNet’s engagement with the Australian research community. He is a strong and passionate advocate for the role Information and Communications Technology (ICT) plays in enabling globally collaborative and competitive research through ultra-high speed broadband connectivity. Peter is an ICT professional with over 30 years’ experience within the government, education, research and industry sectors having worked at the Australian National University, AARNet (twice) and Cisco. In his first stint at AARNet (in 1990) he engineered much of the original Internet in Australia.