Building the smart cities of tomorrow.

Sensors are already all around us. In our homes, our cars, our workplaces and our cities. Technology is advancing at a rapid rate and changing the way humans interact with their environment. The Internet of Things connects everyday objects to the internet, sharing and sending data to make daily life easier. Smart Cities will connect infrastructure, people and vehicles to help us move around faster, communicate more effectively and interact with the built environment more seamlessly, making cities more dynamic, safe and liveable. 

At the heart of it all are smart sensors, and NSW universities are at the forefront of smart sensing research, exploring new frontiers in optical, chemical and in-line sensing to deliver next-generation sensors that are wireless, networked, smaller, cheaper and more sensitive.

Partnering with the NSSN, companies can access expertise and technology from across NSW’s leading universities and gain an enduring competitive advantage. Some of the exciting R&D projects already taking place throughout the network include:

The SMART Infrastructure Facility at the University of Wollongong leads a research program on big data, dedicated to helping governments and businesses plan for the future. Their Digital Living Lab uses sensors on the LoRaWAN network to collect real-time data on stormwater flows and landslides and map population movements to better inform council services. SMART are also applying their research expertise in a variety of other ways: from predictive tools to help health planners decide locations for future medical centres, right through to sensors that can remotely detect and advise a brewery when beer kegs across the city are running low! 

UTS data sciense researchers are using leading AI/data science techniques to integrate multiple sensing datasets in the water sector to provide ground-breaking approaches for the improvement of risk analysis and reactive maintenance, as well as to deliver significant economic benefits.

Through the integration of a wide range of novel techniques, they are actively leading efforts to expand their discoveries beyond the water industry to the wider community. Their efforts are resulting in a number of increased social benefits including energy savings, environmental sustainability and improved community health, nationally and internationally.

Working with the NSSN simplifies the process of engaging with universities. With over $3 million in funding from Sydney Water and a range of other Australian water utilities, the NSSN is leading groundbreaking research into emerging technologies that can better predict and prevent critical failures in water supply networks.

The multi-disciplinary project draws upon quantum sensing expertise from ANU, acoustic sensing expertise from UNSW, pressure transient sensing from the University of Newcastle and data analytics at UTS. The project synthesises discoveries in these fields to generate technologies that will be in the ground within 12 months and is a demonstration of the power of the NSSN in leading complex projects that lead to applied solutions for industry.

In addition to Sydney Water, the collaboration brings together a range of Australian water utilities including Hunter Water, SA Water, Melbourne Water, Queensland Urban Utilities, Intelligent Water Networks along with the NSSN and the NSW state government. 

Navigating the ever-changing built environment and infrastructure space is challenging, working with universities should not be.

With the support of the NSW Government, the NSSN is your one-stop shop for multi-disciplinary expertise and technology. 

To find out how the NSSN can help solve your challenges, please contact Zhitao Xiong at (02) 9351 6049 or


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Advanced Pipe Sensing 


The Challenge 

Spanning fundamental discovery science to real time application on live water networks, this $3.2 million venture will use smart sensing for condition assessment and leak detection to prevent catastrophic breaks in critical infrastructure.

This agile program of works will weave five different strands of cutting-edge scientific and engineering inquiry including quantum sensing, acoustic sensing, LiDAR technology and next-generation data analytics. This multi-disciplinary package of works will garner real breakthroughs to what is a multi-billion dollar global problem.


The Solution


The outcomes of this collaborative project will impact critical water infrastructure around the globe. The project is designed to be agile and adaptable as new findings come on stream. Innovative and exciting areas like ground-penetrating radar, distributed acoustic sensing and fibre-optics are anticipated areas of future investigation.

This collaboration draws upon the expertise of several leading research universities and water utilities under the co-ordination of the NSW Smart Sensing Network. It will lead to adaption of world’s best practice in pipe leak and condition monitoring.