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Electronic Engineering

The relevant projects are listed below. Alternatively, you can return to the main list of subject areas.

Please note: There are many overlapping aspects in the Chemical and Biological, Materials and Process, and Mechanical Engineering programmes.  Students should contact the academics of the various projects they are interested in. Note that it is possible to have design teams made up of students from different engineering programmes.

These pages are updated as new projects become available.  Please check back regularly.


Underwater electric fence (industrial)

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
30/01/2018 

Project description:
Investigate the requirements for underwater electric fences.

Supervisor:
Rainer Kunnemeyer 


OTC

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
30/01/2018 

Project description:
Optical coherence tomography is a well established technique. Here we develop a system for analysing agricultural products in the field.

Supervisor:
Rainer Kunnemeyer 


LoRa sensors

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
30/01/2018 

Project description:
Develop a wireless sensor network based on the LoRa protocol.

Supervisor:
Rainer Kunnemeyer 


Photoacoustics (Damenraj Rajkumar)

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
30/01/2018 

Project description:
See supervisor for details.

Supervisor:
Rainer Kunnemeyer 


Blutooth sensors

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
30/01/2018 

Project description:
Develop wireless sensor networks based on the Blutooth protocol.

Supervisor:
Rainer Kunnemeyer 


SPICE model of a BC547

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
30/01/2018 

Project description:
The BC547 has been around a long time. A detailed SPICE model has been available for over 40 years, but the values do not seem to be consistent over time. This is likely to be a result of changes in the silicon fab technology. This project aims to obtain values on a single transistor for the majority of the SPICE parameters. A point of interest will be comparing them with values obtained in the 1970s.

Supervisor:
Jonathan Scott 


Kickstarter Pitch

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
30/01/2018 

Project description:
This project would suit a small team (2 to 5) students, at least one of whom should be an EE. From a previous, very successful, project, we have the plans and code for a plug-in upgrade to Scalextric slotcars that installs the equivalent of anti-skid stability systems on real cars. The team will build a number of these then put together an offer on Kickstarter, including manuals, promotional video, etc.

Supervisor:
Jonathan Scott 


Solar Panel Quality Assessment

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
30/01/2018 

Project description:
This project would suit one or two EE students. The quality of a solar panel, particularly one designed for power harvesting rather than grid use, turns out to be captured no so much by its peak conversion efficiency, but by the variation of that efficiency with the intensity of insolation. (See "Low Light Performance of Mono-Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells", Bunea et al., IEEE 4th World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy, 2006.) In this project you will construct a light table capable of delivering from 0.001 sols to 1.0 sols to an area of about 130mm square, calibrate it, and measure some cells to determine their efficiency curves and maximum efficiencies.

Supervisor:
Jonathan Scott 


Replacement of BDC Motor with a PMS Motor

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
30/01/2018 

Project description:
This project would suit an EE and an ME student working as a team. Brushed Direct Current (BDC) motors, and especially the ubiquitous "can" type of motor, are very common in low-cost applications such as toys, window-winders, small tools, small appliances, etc. The advent of low-cost disk drives, starting with floppy disks in the 1990s, and the relentless drive to make them cheaper and cheaper, has lead to BrushLess DC (BLDC) or Permanent-Magnet Synchronous (PMS) motors that are approaching being as cheap as the BDC type. These are now found in cooling fans and drones as well as disk drives. Many systems now have these motors designed into them instead of BDC types. PMS motors tend to have a higher power-to-volume than BDC motors. This project will demonstrate the possibility of replacing a BDC can motor with a smaller PMS motor, as a plug-in replacement, by putting both the drive electronics and a PMS motor in the can of a PDC type. The practical outcome is the ability to obtain the long life of a PMS motor in a system using a BDC motor design. I envisage a publication with a title something like "Retrofitting Vintage Models' BDC Motors with Reliable AC Synchronous Motors".

Supervisor:
Jonathan Scott 


Hardware Accelerated Analysis of Video Sequences for Direction and Depth

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
30/01/2018 

Project description:
Humans and primates have sophisticated visual systems that enable them to navigate complex scenes by vision alone. Matlab and AVX2 implementations of the numerous filters that model the human visual system exist but take at least a few seconds to process one frame of video data. This project is to implement image processing filters on accelerated computer hardware to achieve real-time processing of video sequences. The hardware is the Intel Phi---a multiprocessor and vectorised processing unit, and is available in the Faculty of Computing and Mathematical Sciences. Video test sequences can be constructed with equipment and laboratories in the School of Psychology and the School of Engineering. The experimental apparatus can provide accurately known camera motion to which the output of the Intel Phi implementation can be compared. This project will require a student who is comfortable working in the Linux environment and programming in C or C++. This RESEARCH and DESIGN project would suit either a software engineering student or an electronic engineering student.

Supervisor:
Michael Cree (Engineering) and Assoc Prof John Perrone (Psychology) 


An Experimental Visual Odometry Mobile Robotic Platform

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
30/01/2018 

Project description:
Visual odometry is the process of getting odometry (velocity and heading information) on mobile robots by analysis of monocular video. This project is to develop a mobile robotic platform with GPU accelerated video processing and logging of video and telemetry data. What we have: A number of quadcopters with opensource/hardware flight controllers. A Jetson TK1 GPU/ARM embedded device. A Go-Pro camera and gimble. Other bits and pieces. What we would like to have: A camera mounted on a mobile platform, either a quadcopter or a small land-based vehicle, with the camera connected to the Jetson so that video data can be streamed into the GPU and logged. The Jetson connected to inertial sensors and/or the flight controller so that we can log inertial and telemetry data along with the video data. Stretch/challenge (particularly if have more than one student): Implementation of basic visual odometry so that we can get heading and speed information from the video/GPU (e.g. using standard OpenCV algorithms). Compare output of implemented visual odometry against inertial/telemetry data in a test. Particularly the camera interfacing to GPU part of the project would require students who are comfortable with working in the Linux environment and programming in C++/python. This research and design project would suit electronic engineering and/or software engineering students.

Supervisor:
Michael Cree, John Perrone 


WESMO - various research projects related to the car design and performance are available

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
30/1/2018 

Project description:
Various research projects related to the car design and performance are available.

Supervisor:
Mark Lay/Graeme Glasgow/Mike Duke 


Low Reynolds Number Swimmer

Project type:
Research and/or Design

Updated:
30/1/2018 

Project description:
Moving through a fluid in a low-Reynolds number situation is difficult. A simple reciprocal motion, such as an opening-and-closing scallop shell, or a front-crawl leg-kick, will not achieve movement - any progress made on the first half of the cycle will be cancelled out on the second half. Instead, a motion that breaks time-reversal symmetry is required - e.g. a rotation (this is used by bacteria). In C.G.13 a tank of high-viscosity fluid gives an example of a low Reynolds number situation in the laboratory. For this project, you will design two 'swimmers' to go into this fluid - the first will use a reciprocal motion, the second one that breaks time-reversal symmetry. This will allow an illustration to students of the low Reynolds-number situation. This DESIGN and/or RESEARCH project is suitable for one or two students.

Supervisor:
Marcus Wilson 


Measurement of electrical conductivity of brain tissue with guarded electrodes.

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
30/1/2018 

Project description:
Students will design and ideally build a set of electrodes suitable for measuring the electrical conductivity of tiny sections of brain tissue using the 'guarded electrode' approach. This will form part of the research of the Cortical Modelling group on the physics of the brain. Students will need to use equipment such as an Agilent Impedance monitor, controlled with a Matlab computer interface, and computer modelling of electromagnetic fields. Research Projects: Associated with this are two research projects. 1. To research the best materials for building electrodes, and how best to fabricate small, guarded electrodes easily and economically. 2. To research how best to connect the electrodes into a measurement circuit in order to ensure the most robust and accurate measurement of electrical impedance. This DESIGN and RESEARCH project is suitable for two students.

Supervisor:
Marcus Wilson 


Small coils for magnetic stimulation of brains

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
30/1/2018 

Project description:
In Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) rapid pulses of magnetic field are applied to the brain, via an external current-carrying coil. This is now a common clinical treatment. We would like to be able to produce an equivalent set-up for use with rats and mice. Here we run into a problem - their brains are much smaller than humans, and consequently to localize the field over a small portion of the brain requires smaller coils. However, with a small coil it is difficult to provide sufficient current in a sufficiently short time, and the forces between the two parts of a figure-of-eight coil are large. In this project the student will look at the design of small TMS coils, suitable for rodents, with a view to overcoming the difficulties. We will consider the electronics driving the coils and the strengths and time profile of the electric and magnetic fields they produce, and aim to match them to the output of human coils. A successful outcome would be the design and production of a prototype coil and control system that could potentially be used for research work. This RESEARCH and DESIGN project is suitable for up to two students.

Supervisor:
Marcus Wilson 


Moving Object Detection and Tracking on a Robot Using a Time-of-Flight Camera

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
30/1/2018 

Project description:
The project is to use an existing robot platform and time-of-flight camera to detect and track an object moving in front of it. The objective of the project is to turn the robot so that the moving object is always in the centre of the camera's field of view. First, the student will detect and track a single moving object. Second, the robot will be turned towards the moving object. When the camera moves then everything it sees is moving across the field of view, and the challenge is to tell apart the moving object from the background. This project will suit a student with an interest in robotics, control, and image and signal processing. This RESEARCH and DESIGN project is suitable for one or more students.

Supervisor:
Lee Streeter, Michael Cree 


Machine learning to improve time-of-flight range imaging

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
30/1/2018 

Project description:
Time-of-flight range imaging measures distance and provides rich information about the environment of a robot, but light scatter can corrupt that information. The aim of this project is to model the range imaging process using ToF-tracer, an open source transient image simulator recently modified by Microsoft to simulate time-of-flight imaging, and to use existing software to restore corrupted images. In the first part of the project the student will bring together software elements such as ToF-tracer and model ToF range imaging, including error due to multi-path interference. In the second part the student will use machine learning algorithms to correct the error. This RESEARCH and DESIGN project is suitable for one student.

Supervisor:
Lee Streeter, Michael Cree 


3D sonar ranging

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
30/1/2018 

Project description:
The project is to design and build a sonar ranging system using three ultrasound transmitters and three receivers. The system will be set up so that a user may place their hand inside, which will be detected and localised in space. As a bonus task, the student may interface the system to a computer and control the cursor. This DESIGN and RESEARCH project will suit one or two students.

Supervisor:
Lee Streeter, Michael Cree, Jonathan Scott 


Robotic Safety and 'Cobotics' with Depth Imaging

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
30/1/2018 

Project description:
Using a time-of-flight depth camera and robotic arms, the students will develop a system to interpret a scene and perform basic tasks. E.g: detect the presence of a person or other foreign object and stop the robot (safety), detect objects in a bin, and use the arm to move the objects from one bin to the next (this is a common problem in industrial automation), place a sheet of material, human interaction or tasks deemed too difficult for robotics, e.g. bolts, screws etc.

Supervisor:
Lee Streeter, Shen Hin Lim, Michael Cree, Mike Duke 


Robotic Navigation

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
30/1/2018 

Project description:
The students will upgrade a 'pioneer peoplebot' available at the University, to a new ARM based computer, building any mounts and adding any electronic interfaces required. The robot has sonar, bump sensors, and is interfaced with a time-of-flight camera. Using these sensors, the students will implement basic navigation and control. E.g. pre-path planning for mapping of laboratory space, obstacle avoidance.

Supervisor:
Lee Streeter, Shen Hin Lim, Michael Cree, Mike Duke 


DC powered white goods with SCALDO converters for domestic use

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
30/1/2018 

Project description:
DC at home is a new concept gradually being matured and in few years we can expect a DC bus fed from renewable sources at home. In realising this concept, for better energy efficiency and to be less dependent on the AC grid, this project is to develop a power conversion technique with short term DC UPS capability based on supercapacitors. This DESIGN and RESEARCH project is suitable for one student.

Supervisor:
Nihal Kularatna 


A fast charger for a supercapacitor array in a surge resistant UPS {2nd stage}

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
30/1/2018 

Project description:
Essential preliminary techniques for surge resistant UPS (SRUPS) based on supercapacitor energy storage are already developed. Fundamental approach to a fast supercapacitor charger is also developed. The first part of this two-part project aims at developing and assembling a low-cost supercapacitor array and its fast-charging scheme to replace the battery; for a 300VA, 230 V AC UPS system, paying attention to its capability reject common-mode and differential-mode surges. Using a lighting surge simulator to test the design's surge resistant properties will be an integral part of the project. In the second part of the project, you will be developing the SRUPS prototype, integrating the fast charger technique. This DESIGN and RESEARCH project is suitable for two students.

Supervisor:
Nihal Kularatna 


An ultra low dropout regulator with digital output control

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
30/1/2018 

Project description:
Powering portable products and high speed processors is a challenging task due to fast load current transients and noise. In these environments low drop out (LDO) regulators are a commonly used device family based on linear series regulator techniques. Basis for a novel shunt regulated LDO technique to work with very low dropout voltages is already developed. This project is to further develop this new technique with a digital control module to adjust the output voltage and other parameters, adhering to commonly used power management techniques. This DESIGN and RESEARCH project is suitable for one student.

Supervisor:
Nihal Kularatna 


Developing a 1 kVA AC voltage regulator based on a series transistor array

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
30/1/2018 

Project description:
AC voltage regulators are used in commercial and industrial systems when the AC mains fluctuate beyond acceptable limits, and, sometimes they are used by high fidelity enthusiasts to get better listening performance. This project is aimed at developing a 2kVA transistor array based system to get better overall performance than an existing commercial product by an Australian company. One student will be developing the overall technique, learning from the existing publications. The second student will be developing a more elegant transformer configuration, with a view to increase the overall efficiency and total harmonic distortion. Overall efficiency, waveform fidelity and response times are the critical parameters to be improved compared to the commercial product tested using a Voltage Dip and Swell Simulator. This part will be jointly done by the students. This DESIGN and RESEARCH project is suitable for two students.

Supervisor:
Nihal Kularatna 


Modeling Disease Outbreaks in Urban Social Networks

Project type:
Research

Updated:
30/1/2018 

Project description:
Communication paradigm can be employed as a powerful canonical model for analysis of complex contagion processes. The project is to use communication models to characterize the spread of disease in realistic urban social networks for the control process.

Supervisor:
Yifan Chen 


Molecular Communication Model of Targeted Drug Delivery

Project type:
Research

Updated:
30/1/2018 

Project description:
The project is to use molecular communication model, which is an emerging beyond-electromagnetism communication technique, to characterize the targeted drug delivery (TDD) processes for optimal targeted therapies. The student will also develop a tabletop system to verify the proposed techniques.

Supervisor:
Yifan Chen 


Touchable Computation Model of Cancer Detection

Project type:
Research

Updated:
30/1/2018 

Project description:
Computation paradigm can be employed as a powerful canonical model for design and analysis of complex physical, chemical, and biological processes. The project is to use computation/optimization models to characterize the detection of cancers by using contrast-agent-loaded nanorobots. The student will also develop a tabletop system to verify the proposed techniques.

Supervisor:
Yifan Chen 


Push recovery of a humanoid robot

Project type:
Research

Updated:
30/1/2018 

Project description:
Design and implement a recovery strategy and algorithm on a small humanoid robot so that it can earn back its balance when external forces are applied on it. This RESEARCH project is suitable for one student.

Supervisor:
CK Au 


NIARC 2017 - various research projects related to autonomous robots

Project type:
Research

Updated:
30/1/2018 

Project description:
Projects related to Kalman filter algorithm, SLAM and sensor fusion.

Supervisor:
CK Au 


Identification and elimination of electrical noise in local field potential recording

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
30/1/2018 

Project description:
The mammalian brain is an extremely complex structure that functions by generating and transmitting electrical signals. We have a specialised laboratory for recording electrical activity from sections of live brain tissue. This requires capturing and amplifying microvolt-level electrical events detected at an active electrode in the tissue, referenced to a distant ground electrode. Electrical noise and artefacts can obscure the biological signal of interest. The challenge is to identify, and where possible, eliminate noise and artifacts by optimising the recording set up. The student will systematically investigate how the active and ground electrode configurations influence electrical noise in biological recordings. A particular focus will be on electrode fabrication, composition and positioning. This RESEARCH and DESIGN project is suitable for one student.

Supervisor:
Alistair Steyn-Ross and Logan Voss 


Bruising detection using ToF camera

Project type:
Research

Updated:
30/1/2018 

Project description:
Time-of-flight camera has been utilised in various applications and there's a big potential to detect bruising condition on fruits. This project will analyse the applicability of ToF camera on bruise detection of fruits.

Supervisor:
Shen Hin Lim 


Distillation column design.

Project type:
Design

Updated:
7/02/2018 

Project description:
A modular glass distillation column exists within the School of Engineering. However, this column is not currently operational as the boiler was under sized and most of the instrumentation is missing. This design project aimed at retrospectively redesign the distillation column to separate methanol and water. The column needs to be well instrumented and the design and operation verified. This project has the potential to involve 2-3 students, at least one from CABE/MAPE and potentially either a mechanical or electronics student.

Supervisor:
Johan Verbeek