NSSN shines a spotlight on the brightest minds in smart sensing

The NSW Smart Sensing Network (NSSN) Ambassadors program recognises the wealth of research expertise in smart sensing that exists across NSW’s leading universities and aims to shine a spotlight on some of the field’s brightest minds.

“NSSN Ambassadors were each nominated by their universities for being leaders in their field and key contributors to novel discovery in smart sensing,” said the COO of NSSN, Nicholas Haskins “The NSSN Ambassadors serve an important role in the network. As leaders in their field, they help to shape the scientific direction of the NSSN.”

Dr Ewa Goldys is NSSN’s Ambassador in UNSW. Professor Goldys is internationally renowned for the development and application of advanced fluorescence techniques to biomedicine, nanotechnology and advanced materials. 

For pioneering a technique known as “hyperspectral imaging technology”, Professor Goldys and her colleague Dr Martin Gosnell won the 2016 ANSTO Eureka Prize for Innovative Use of Technology. 

The technique uses technology to look at the colour of cells and tissues under fluorescent microscopes, and learn detailed information about their biochemistry to determine whether a patient is sick or healthy, and their potential response to treatment.

“Humans are just not very good at matching colours. We can match colours if they’re drawn side-by-side on a wall, but to carry the memory of that colour to Bunnings, that’s when we need technology,” said Professor Goldys.

Olfactory neurosphere cells taken from the body, analysed for subtle differentiation of colour. Image courtesy of CNBP.

Olfactory neurosphere cells taken from the body, analysed for subtle differentiation of colour. Image courtesy of CNBP.

Broad recognition of Professor Goldys research excellence is exemplified by publications in elite journals (Adv. Mat, JACS, Nat. Nanotech., Nat. Photonics, Nat. Comm., Adv Funct. Mat), approximately 5,000 citations of her ~ 300 publications to date, and Fellowships of the Optical Society, SPIE, key international society for optics and photonics, and the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering.

Her current projects focus on label-free non-invasive high content cellular imaging and characterisation of cell subpopulations, on nanoparticle chemical sensors and theranostics.

NSSN’s Ambassador to University of Sydney is Dr Lamiae Azizi. Dr Azizi seeks to teach machines to learn from experience through equipping them with mathematical reasoning. She has a PhD in Applied Mathematics and is the Deputy Champion for the Sydney Nano Grand challenge: "Next generation Materials Discovery”.

Dr Azizi’s research interests are to develop Probabilistic Machine Learning (PML) methods for big data problems and complex systems that play a central role in the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI). 

Her contributions lie particularly in Bayesian nonparametrics, Graphical modelling, Variational methods, and probabilistic learning. Her applied research ranges from Health; to Engineering, to Materials and Nanotechnologies related challenges.

Associate Professor Sarath Kodagoda (PhD in robotics) is NSSN’s Ambassador to UTS, and the Deputy Director of the Centre for Autonomous Systems (CAS) and the VP of the Australian Robotics & Automation Association (ARAA). With over 20 years of experience in robotics, Dr Kodagoda, has published over 150 papers, received over $6M industry grants and received five research awards.

His broad research interest is infrastructure robotics, autonomous cars, human-robot interaction, machine learning, sensors and perception. He develops robotic solutions for humans to safely and efficiently carry out dull and dangerous tasks. 

Professor Sarath Kodagoda, UTS.

Professor Sarath Kodagoda, UTS.

At the University of Wollongong, NSSN’s Ambassador; Professor Pascal Perez Directs the SMART Infrastructure Facility. Professor Perez (PhD in Environmental Studies) is a world leader in participatory modelling of complex socio-technical systems. He oversees research in infrastructure-related fields such as water and energy efficiency, future transport and mobility, smart cities, and infrastructure system engineering.

Professor Perez was the catalyst behind the regional Digital Living Lab, a ‘smart communities’ initiative, aiming to offer a public and free-to-air Internet-of-Things (IoT) network across the Illawarra and Shoalhaven regions to encourage the creation of smart solutions with local start-ups, councils and associations.

Professor Perez has published over 150 refereed articles and book chapters. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of NSW and the Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand (MSSANZ) and a member of the National Scientific Committee of the Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network (AURIN).

Professor Paul Dastoor (PhD in Surface Physics) is NSSN Ambassador in the University of Newcastle (UON). He is the Director of the Centre for Organic Electronics in the UON. 

Professor Dastoor’s research encompasses the growth and properties of thin films, surface coatings and organic electronic devices based on semi-conducting polymers. These exciting materials offer the tantalising prospect of paints that generate electricity directly from sunlight and sensors that can be printed as flexible arrays.

“What we see is the opportunity to coat every building, every roof, in every city with a coating that will generate power,” said Professor Dastoor; “The solar cells that we develop are extraordinarily cheap to manufacture.”

"The sun provides us with many times the energy we need every day – we just don't use it. We are focusing on using up stored sunlight in the form of coal or oil. Our ability to dig something out of the ground and utilise it is diminishing rapidly," said Professor Dastoor.

Paul Dastoor, Solar Filed, Image courtesy of the University of Newcastle.

Paul Dastoor, Solar Filed, Image courtesy of the University of Newcastle.

NSSN’s Ambassador at Macquarie University is Professor Michael Withford. He is a world leader in the field of laser processing of materials, particularly the creation of photonic circuits in glass using femtosecond lasers. Professor Withford leads the OptoFab Node of the Australian National Fabrication Facility at Macquarie University.

He is an Associate Editor for Optics Express, a Fellow of the OSA, SPIE and IAPLE. He is the recent recipient of international awards such as the Prism Award and Lightwave Innovation Honoree. He holds two patents and has published over 160 refereed journal papers and several hundred conference papers.

At NSSN we bring together expertise in academia, industry and government to position New South Wales as a recognised global leader in smart sensing innovation.

“The NSSN Ambassadors meet monthly to discuss the Network’s activities and opportunities, to share ideas and the latest trends in smart sensing. They also play a key role at scientific workshops and various events of the NSSN,” said Nicholas Haskins, the COO of NSSN. 

Shahrzad Abbasi