UniSA-CDS partnership moves towards market leadership
Born in Spain, Patricia Moreno attended Universidad De Navarra where she gained a Bachelor Degree in Engineering. That was just the start of a long professional and personal journey.
Moving initially to Canada and then Australia, Patricia’s interest in autonomous systems, meant that she did further study at UniSA, completing a Masters Degree in Engineering.
UniSA, well known for its focus on courses that are relevant to the community, encourages its students in the final year of a Masters Degree in Engineering to participate in projects that are linked to real industrial/commercial situations.
In Patricia’s case, it was a project sponsored by CDS, who, at that time was on its way to developing visual system technology, the system that identifies the type of containers that are being fed along the line.
This was a 3-year project undertaken by a team of 5 people from UniSA and Patricia was a part of that team, thanks mainly to a conversation she had with the Course Co-ordinator for her Masters Degree course.
Not only did her Course Co-ordinator suggest she be part of the project, UniSA teaching staff were part of the project and provided advice and support to Patricia, who in fact was the only student in the project. The involvement of teaching staff in the project says much about the commitment of UniSA to be involved in local industry.
Although Patricia was part of the project, it was not the hands-on workplace experience that saw her become an employee of CDS. Most of the work was done on her laptop computer, working from home, talking to her teammates on the phone.
However, she did have enough face to face interaction with CDS staff to decide that she would like to work there.
In September 2018 she became an employee of CDS as the Development Engineer.
She clearly has a big interest in the areas of; autonomous systems, visual systems, machine learning; the backbone of the CDS technology.
Not only did the CDS/UniSA project provide her with an opportunity to work in the field of visual systems, it allowed her to follow one of her passions, the environment. Designing hi-tech systems that encourage people to return containers was a win-win situation for Patricia.
Visual systems, machine learning, autonomous systems; are terms that Patricia uses, and they mean little to the ordinary person, but Patricia is able to provide well-known examples of the technology in action that explain the terms.
The facial recognition feature in mobile phones is an example she uses to explain visual systems. Drones used to constantly photograph forests allow decisions to be made about the health of the trees. A simple form of the technology is used in oyster-processing plants to size and separate the oysters.
The CDS technology is high tech and has proved to be enormously successful where it has recently been installed in Queensland. Successful as it is, Patricia believes there are still more improvements to be made. Many universities around the world are working in the area of visual systems. There’s both a competitive and collaborative approach amongst the universities. Clearly, there’s a financial benefit in being the first to develop and capitalise on an invention or improvement. At the same time, the judicious sharing of knowledge is good for all stakeholders.
Patricia believes that further improvements in visual systems will allow more information about a container to be interpreted, providing an even more useful product to re-manufacturers.
Some of these future improvements might be designed by students from UniSA involved in another CDS project.
Given UniSA’s commitment to community involvement and the willingness of CDS to partner with UniSA, no one will be surprised if this happens.
Tuesday, 29 January 2019 12.04 pm