A revolution called smart sensing

The NSW Smart Sensing Network (NSSN) Frontiers in Sensing Forum took place on the 15th of May at the NSW Parliament House. The forum focused on the current state of the science and future trends in smart sensing.

 “We are starting to see a revolution and a better understanding of how sensors can solve real-world problems,” said Professor Benjamin Eggleton, the Co-director of NSSN.

The event kicked off with a keynote presentation on economic opportunities for quantum sensing delivered by Professor Kai Bongs, a globally recognised quantum physicist and the Director of the UK’s Quantum Technology Hub for Sensors & Metrology from the University of Birmingham. 

“Gravity sensors, which look into the ground [allow us] to look under our feet. We use magnetic sensors to look into the brain to hopefully help with all the brain-related health issues, and we are doing rotation sensors for navigation” said Professor Kai Bongs.

“At the moment Sydney Water is involved in a research program with the NSSN, and that’s about us really understanding and predicting leaks and breaks in our infrastructure,” said Mr Paul Plowman, General Manager of Liveable City Solutions from Sydney Water, “So if we can use sensing technology to avoid those things happening it’s a great plus for both our costumers and the community.”

Professor Kai Bongs, a keynote presentation on economic opportunities for quantum sensing.

Professor Kai Bongs, a keynote presentation on economic opportunities for quantum sensing.

The event continued with a panel discussion on “How will smart sensing change the industry and society by 2030.” The members of the panel discussion included; the Western Sydney District Commissioner at the Greater Western Sydney Commission, Ms Liz Dibbs accompanied by the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer, Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte, Mr Paul Plowman; General Manager of Liveable City Solutions from Sydney Water and Dr Paul Scully-Power, Australia’s first astronaut and NSW Government Space Industry Ambassador. 

“We are going to see, eventually, hundreds of thousands, if not millions of small satellites in our Earth orbit. If you put smart sensors on them and connect them with robotics, you will be able to mining prospecting from space,” said Dr Paul Scully-Power, Australia’s first astronaut and NSW Government Space Industry Ambassador, “You’ll be able to actually tend farms using robotics, and the applications are just enormous.”

“We are beginning to build up sensor networks now where we can put together information, make decisions about difficult areas like pollution control, natural environment, agriculture, and the way we operate cities. And those are all underpinned by all these different, new sensing technologies. ” said the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer, Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte.

The NSW Smart Sensing Network brings together smart sensing expertise in academia, industry and government to develop a robust, collaborative and innovative network that will deliver economic and social benefits for New South Wales. 

“Our organisation is quite unique, what it’s really trying to do is connect the university researches who have fantastic capabilities and solutions with the people that really have the problems, and build a smart sensing innovation ecosystem that takes it through to manufacturers and then products to end users,” said Professor Justin Gooding, the Co-Director of NSSN.

“Sensing, of course, is a vital part of ensuring we have state-of-the-art infrastructure, transport and utilities in the Western City,” said Ms Liz Dibbs “I am very excited to be connecting with everyone today on that.” 

In the morning session of the NSSN Frontiers in Sensing Forum, researchers from across the NSSN convened in workshops based around the NSSN’s thematic areas, namely, built environment, agriculture technology, medical technology, resources and energy, manufacturing, space and aviation. The workshops explored current trends and future opportunities in smart sensing and developed new collaborations through which the NSSN can have a significant societal and economic impact.

“We bring academia and industry together for the greater good, we are the point of contact, a portal to all things smart sensing in NSW,” said Dr Susan Pond of the NSW Smart Sensing Network.

To watch a video on the highlights of the NSSN Frontiers of Sensing Forum, click here http://ow.ly/RDMQ50uqwLF.

Mr Paul Plowman, Ms Liz Dibbs, Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte and Dr Paul Scully-Power. A panel discussion on “How will smart sensing change the industry and society by 2030.”

Mr Paul Plowman, Ms Liz Dibbs, Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte and Dr Paul Scully-Power. A panel discussion on “How will smart sensing change the industry and society by 2030.”

Shahrzad Abbasi