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Foundation of the Living Lab

One of the main areas of development for the Australian METS sector is WiFi-enabled digital-electronic sensing systems, commonly known as Internet-of Things (IoT) applications, which will power Industry 4.0. Examples include asset health, ground control and environmental monitoring, and sensing systems for use on robotics and drones. However, in Australia it is difficult for developers of these new digital sensing systems to efficiently test new electronic products in an industry setting. This proves a significant barrier in being able to deliver current, commercial solutions to the resources sector.
In 2018 METS Ignited issued a call for interest to develop real or near real-world testing environments to form a network of “Living Labs” across Australia. Supported by METS Ignited, BHP Fellowship, UWA, CORE Innovation Hub, the Living Lab @UWA is the first of these. We deliver two key support pathways for innovators: Accelerated Life Testing and Derisking Site Trials for MEMS-IoT products.
The Living Lab @UWA leverages testing equipment (e.g. ovens, vibration shakers, UV rigs, IP ingress) to perform accelerated life testings and can also place IoT products on infrastructure available at the University. Testing is done by the System Health Lab engineers providing valuable industry experience for the students involved.
To date the Living Lab @UWA team has delivered the following:
  • UV, vibration and IP reliability assessment for MEMS-IoT device for major resources company.
  • Performance testing of wireless MEMS-IoT vibration unit developed at UWA on rotating equipment
  • Understanding of how to access the asset registers for university infrastructure equipment and test equipment held by academics in their labs.
  • Administrative, legal, safety and technical procedures to support university site trials and derisk mine site trials
  • Procedures for testing for UV, vibration, IP and EMC reliability to improve reliability and derisk certification testing.
  • A set of checklists, co-developed with resources and METS companies, for mine site trial
METS Ignited
System Health Lab
University of Western Australia
Core Innovation Hub

Meet the Team

Professor Melinda Hodkiewicz is the leader of the Living Lab project and founded the UWA System Health Lab (SHL). Both operations are co-funded by her BHP Fellow for Engineering for Remote Operations in 2015. The BHP Fellowship is an integral part of BHP's investment in the new EZONE UWA and this Living Lab initiative is one of a number of activities aimed at bridging the gap between industry and the university and improving the engineering student experience.
Drew Georgiades is a Master’s student at UWA, studying mechanical engineering. He is the Project Manager for the Living Lab at UWA SHL. He is currently completing a thesis investigating underwater sound radiation through numerical methods. Drew pioneered and maintains the SHL’s equation of the day.
Tamryn Barker is committed to growing a community of innovators in WA to deliver the ideas, solutions and skills we need into the future. She is one of the founders of CORE Innovation Hub, Australia’s first co-working, collaboration and innovation hub focused on the resources and energy sector. CORE provides a common point for operators, suppliers, researchers, entrepreneurs and startups to connect, collaborate and upskill on innovative challenges and opportunities.
Craig Hook is a highly accomplished executive, Non-Executive Director and Advisory Board Chair with leadership and strategic experience across a portfolio of Board positions. He chairs several METS nationally including mine technical consulting, asset maintenance software, and tenement management software businesses. Previously Craig was a Partner of Churchill Consulting, a leading boutique management consultancy based in Perth. Prior to his consulting career, Craig was General Manager of OceanaGold (NZ) and held senior operational and technical roles internationally with Rio Tinto. Qualifications in mine engineering, business management with substantial experience in the mining industry across feasibility studies, operational readiness, business improvement projects and restructures.
Aseem Maroo is a Master's student of Mechanical Engineering at UWA. He has worked on improving the systems and processes of the lab, and more recently he has been working on the Living Labs project in collaboration with the SHL, Core and BHP. Aseem volunteers for the IMechE UWA Student Club and was a member of the 2017 SHL Unearthed Hackathon team. Aseem worked at Mining Area C for his internship in the Engineering team and has a keen interest in mechanical systems and design.
Amit Patel is a Master's student in Mechanical Engineering at UWA. Amit is currently completing a research project on use of condition monitoring technique (vibration and MCSA analysis) to detect ragging in centrifugal pumps.
Carlin Lapuz is currently studying a Master’s of Professional Engineering (Mechanical Engineering) at UWA. He has demonstrated excellence as a workshop facilitator/tutor for undergraduate dynamics and electronics. With his experience as a Research Engineer in robotics, sensor development, and vibration sensing technology, he is currently undertaking his thesis on accelerometer signal processing with SHL’s BlueBox. He also volunteered for Engineers Without Borders – School Outreach Team and had developed their renewable energy module.
Charlie Schumacher is currently undertaking a Master of Professional Engineering with Mechanical specialisation. Charlie is completing his thesis in UV degradation of 3D printed materials under the supervision of Melinda Hodkiewicz and Tim Sercombe, as well as working for the System Health Lab on developing an extended monitoring system related to his thesis work. Charlie also works as part of the team at the Living Lab on accelerated life testing and has keen interest in everything from material science to space to computing.
James Royer is in his first year of study in the Master of Professional Engineering (Mechanical) at UWA. James works as part of the Living Lab team and will be conducting his thesis in 2021. Outside of the SHL and Living Lab, James has worked on alumina and gold projects for Monadelphous and volunteers for university clubs such as Co-Directing PROSH UWA in 2018 and as an ordinary member for IMechE UWA chapter.
Aiden Taba is undertaking a Master’s in Electrical Engineering. He has been working at the SHL since his first year of university creating hardware/software for networked sensors. Outside of the SHL, Aiden is working as a Research Engineer at BRITELab/OncoRes, to develop a medical device used by surgeons to more effectively identify tumours. He has also completed internships in the telecommunications, renewables, neurotechnology and management consulting fields. He is particularly passionate about biomedical engineering and was selected to take part in the 2017 SPARK Co-Lab (Stanford University SPARK Affiliate) Design Course as an Accelerating Australia Scholar.
Eddie Atkinson began working with the lab as a second year Bachelor of Philosophy(Hons) student studying Computer Science and Data Science at UWA.For his BPhil research placement Eddie investigated Piezo MEMS microphones and their potential to be used as water - proof and dirt - proof microphonesfor research projects and smartphones.Previously the Safety Officer, Eddie is now the Treasurerfor UWA Makers.
Frinze Erin Lapuz is a Software Engineering and Data Science student at UWA. He works as part of the Living Lab team, collating information of equipment and procedures to create the Living Lab website. He also volunteers for the Coders For Causes to help non-profit organisation and charity to get the digital solution they need. Projects he has worked on can be seen in his portfolio.
James Digley is a Mechanical Engineering and Finance student at UWA, Fogarty Scholar and part of the BPhi program. James is passionate about space and has even spent time volunteering at NASA’s Johnson Space Centre as well as taking part in the Australian Universities Rocket competition. He is also the creator of the Perth Science YouTube series
Jaymin Moffatt is a Master’s student in Electrical Engineering at UWA. He is a facilitator for the unit Risk, Reliability and Safety and is currently working on the Living Lab Project completing EMC testing. Jaymin has recently completed his thesis doing research into detecting the cascading failures of assets using his knowledge of complex network analysis.
Toby Griffiths is in his first year of study in the Master of Professional Engineering (Mechanical) at UWA. Toby works as part of the Living Lab team, aiming to de-risk mine site trials for innovators by using campus test equipment. Outside of the SHL, Toby has worked on Asset Health projects at Roy Hill and volunteers as part of the executive teams for Teach Learn Grow, a not-for-profit tutoring company, and the IMechE UWA chapter.
Paul McCann AM is the Campus Services Manager of the Faculty of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences at UWA. He is a motivated, innovative and dynamic executive, having extensive project management experience with the State Govt, GHD and Jacobs Pty Ltd. Following international experience in aerospace & military operations, Paul came to the private sector after over 20 years in the RAAF, lastly as a Wing Commander. He was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 1997 for work in Air Force operational air transport. Paul has held leadership positions in voluntary groups at UWA and currently in the WA sports community.
Peter Clarke has spent most of his career in technology development and commercialisation in a range of industries including mining, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals and agriculture. He has been a co-founder of four companies, a robotics and engineering business, a computer vision company, a refrigeration product design company and a mining services company. He was the WA Innovator of the Year in 2007, was made a University of Sydney Innovation Hero in 2011 and accepted the Australian Museum Eureka Commercialisation prize for Scanalyse in 2013. Currently he is General Manager for Industry Engagement with the METS Ignited Growth Centre, promoting the technology developers and suppliers to the Mining industry to both the Australian and global market.
Quenten Thomas is a software and mechatronics engineer with more than a decade of industry experience designing and building hardware, firmware and software. He is one of the founders of WearHawk – a start-up that is developing technology to monitor conveyor belts in the mining industry to predict and thereby prevent costly failures. Through the MO4U arrangement with UWA he works alongside, and collaborates with, the SHL team and the Living Lab
Sharon Wong is a strategy and business analyst who supported the Living Lab as a representative for BHP. Sharon managed the BHP stakeholder engagement through her experience in innovation, operations and technical engineering to support the project.
Matt Arpin is the Technical Manager of the Faculty of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences at UWA. He leads a team consisting of the following specialist areas: EMS Safety team; Teaching technicians; Mechanical, Physics and Electronics Workshops. Also, he was previously the managing member of Mekrolek Industrial Supplies in South Africa specialising in precision engineering and industrial manufacturing, OEM of Rotary Couplings, mechanical seals, gearboxes, pumps, pneumatic and hydraulic equipment, Laser and encoder alignment specialist. A qualified tool, jig and die maker, he started first engineering business at 21 years old.

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We have a proven track record of designing testing equipment and tests. By sharing our highly developed systems and processes with innovators we’re perfectly placed to support WA-based businesses.