Current Members


Professor Melinda Hodkiewicz was appointed the BHP Fellow for Engineering for Remote Operations in 2015. The BHP Fellowship funds the UWA System Health Lab. Prior to joining academia Melinda worked as an engineer in industry and uses this experience and her industry links to drive collaboration and innovation aimed at improving asset maintenance. Melinda tags along when SHL teams participate in Hackathons as she aspires to improve her programming skills. In 2016 she was awarded the MESA Medal, a lifetime achievement award for services to Asset Management.

Dr. Ben Travaglione is a Senior Research Scientist with the Defence Science and Technology Group and an Adjunct Associate Professor at UWA. He leads the BlueBox project in the SHL and is the go-to person for our questions on MEMS and coding for embedded systems. He is developing our capability to use open source collaboration tools and encouraging us to use Linux. He is a technical mentor to students and staff alike. Ben’s background includes a postdoctoral research fellowship in Quantum Information Systems at the University of Cambridge.

Research Engineers

Aiden Taba is undertaking a Master’s in Electrical Engineering. He has been working at the SHL since his first year of university creating hardware/software for networked sensors. Outside of the SHL, Aiden is working as a Research Engineer at BRITELab/OncoRes, to develop a medical device used by surgeons to more effectively identify tumours. He has also completed internships in the medical device, telecommunications, renewables, neurotechnology and management consulting fields. He is particularly passionate about biomedical engineering and was selected to take part in the 2017 SPARK Co-Lab (Stanford University SPARK Affiliate)  Design Course as an Accelerating Australia Scholar. Aiden has a graduate position with Cochlear starting in 2022.

Charlie Schumacher is currently undertaking a Master of Professional Engineering with Mechanical specialisation. Charlie is completing his thesis in UV degradation of 3D printed materials under the supervision of Melinda Hodkiewicz and Tim Sercombe, as well as working for the System Health Lab on developing an extended monitoring system related to his thesis work. Charlie in the Manager of the Living Lab for accelerated life testing and has keen interest in everything from material science to space to computing.

Caitlin Woods will complete her Masters in Software Engineering at the end of 2018. Caitlin has worked for BHP part time for over 2 years and in 2018 cofounded of the software consulting company Hoo. Her Hoo team developed a web based timecard management tool for the SHL. She is also key part of the SHL cognitive computing team (NLP-TLP) team working on various maintenanc ontologies in Protege. Her PhD is on developing adaptive users interfaces for maintenance technicians. This work is done with in kind support from BHP NW Kwinana refinery, AssetOn and Westrac.

Eddie Atkinson began working with the lab as a second year Bachelor of Philosophy (Hons) student studying Computer Science and Data Science. For his BPhil research placement Eddie investigated Piezo MEMS microphones and their potential to be used as water-proof and dirt-proof microphones for research projects and smartphones.  Eddie has been instrumental in the development of the Makers Lab at UWA. He is currently combining work at GridCognition with his BPhil honours project.

Frinze Erin Lapuz is a penultimate undergraduate Software Engineering and Data Science student. Frinze developed the web sites for the Living Lab, the Industry Advisory Panel data collection for Engineers Australia accreditation (IndEAA) and is currently working on a webtool for how to find equipment on campus. Frinze volunteers for the Coders For Causes to help non-profit organisation and charity to get the digital solution they need. He also manages the SHL server. Frinze is combining his studies with full time work as a software engineer with LotteryWest.

James Royer is in his first year of study in the Master of Professional Engineering (Mechanical) at UWA. James works as part of the Living Lab team and will be conducting his thesis in 2021. Outside of the SHL and Living Lab, James has worked on alumina and gold projects for Monadelphous and volunteers for university clubs such as Co-Directing PROSH UWA in 2018 and as an ordinary member for IMechE UWA chapter. James works part time at FMG and will join them on graduation.

Toby Digney is a UWA Winthrop Scholar studying his undergraduate in Electrical Engineering and Philosophy. He is passionate about embedded systems and provides electronic design & software support to the SHL specialising in low-power sensing and telemetry systems. Outside of the SHL, Toby is the President of the Electrical & Electronic Engineers of WA and he is also the Avionics Team Lead at UWA Aerospace where he develops custom flight computers and avionics systems for aerospace applications.

Tom Smoker started a PhD in computer science in 2018 following completion of his Masters in Software Engineering. Tom is a key part of the SHL’s Siri for Maintenance project. He is an active participant in hackathons and was a member of the 2016 Unearthed Hackathon team. Tom retains strong links to the start-up community working part time for the cryptocurrency group Bamboo.

Nick Sadovnikov is a first-year Bachelor of Philosophy student studying Electrical Engineering and Finance. He is passionate about electronics and controls and is a part of the ADAQ project at the SHL. He is currently the VP Operations at the Electrical and Electronics Engineers of WA (EEEWA) and is also a part of the Avionics Team at UWA Aerospace.

Patrick Morton is a Fogarty Scholar in his second year of Mechanical Engineering and Finance with a Direct Pathway to Medicine. In 2019 he placed 2nd in the National Division of the Young ICT Explorers Competition and has a background in coding and robotics. He is innovation-focussed and believes in a culture of continuous improvement. In particular, he is excited to use coding and robotics to innovate in the medical space. When he is not playing cricket or studying, he is a keen blacksmith.

Ivy Bui is currently undertaking her Masters in Software Engineering. She is passionate about web development, particularly in front-end, and is a part of the ASER project at the SHL. Outside of the SHL, Ivy works at Code Camp inspiring and teaching kids to code from a young age. She is also on the committee for both Coders for Causes and the Data Science Club at UWA.

Dmitry Kozlov is in his final year of studies for a Master of Professional Engineering with Mechanical specialisation, and is completing his thesis on development of unidirectional carbon fibre composites. Dmitry is currently part of the Living Lab team while also working part time as an Asset Health engineer at FMG. With a background in applied mathematics and statistics, Dmitry is passionate about leveraging data science and new technology to develop predictive maintenance tools. Dmitry has previously worked with Rio Tinto, and looks to continue exploring the iron ore industry on graduation.

Taku Mtabeni is currently studying a Master of Professional Engineering degree, specializing in Mechanical Engineering. Taku is doing a CEED project sponsored by BHP Nickel West with the aim of developing a set of Cost of Quality (CoQ) indicators for lubrication management. Key to the project will be the use of Technical Language Processing (TLP) to obtain data from the short text descriptions of maintenance work orders, as such Taku is also part of NLP-TLP team. Taku has previously completed internships in the mining and management consulting industries. He is also on the UWA Young Engineers and Engineers Without Borders committees. Taku is interested in the mining industry and looks forward to exploring this industry upon graduation.

Brad Hershowitz is a fourth-year Bachelor of Philosophy student, completing his Honours in Computer Science and Software Engineering. Brad has had part-time work opportunities as a Data Scientist in the mining and finance sector where he has explored his passion in leveraging AI to extract hidden insights and make powerful decisions. Brad is undertaking a CEED project sponsored by BHP Nickel West, aiming to implement Technical Language Processing (TLP) to capture critical information from long text maintenance work notifications. 

Supporting Academics and Professionals

Quenten Thomas is a software and mechatronics engineer with more than a decade of industry experience designing and building hardware, firmware and software. He is one of the founders of WearHawk – a start-up that is developing technology to monitor conveyor belts in the mining industry to predict and thereby prevent costly failures. Through the MO4U arrangement with UWA he works alongside, and collaborates with, the System Health Lab team and the Living Lab project.

Associate Professor Tim Sercombe combines his technical expertise as a materials engineer with being Dean and Head of School of Engineering at UWA. Tim has been working in additive manufacturing since 1996. We are fortunate to have him as a collaborator on the UV testing of SLS vs conventional manufactured materials project.

Dr. Tim French works in modal logic and has co-supervised all the cognitive computing projects in the SHL. He provides ontology, reasoning, machine learning and much other advice and has worked on many theoretical and industry use case challenges. Tim has been a regular mentor in Unearthed Hackathon events and helped establish the WA section of CoderDojo, a global network of free computer programming clubs.

Associate Professor Adrian Keating expertise is in optics and MEMS and he has vast practical electronic experience. Adrian was pivotal in setting up the SHL and has been the motivator and co-supervisor of a number of our projects. He was a finalist in the UWA IQ awards 2018 for his role in establishing the Makers Group on campus. In 2008 he received the Defence Science and Technology Organisations Eureka Prize for contributions to the development of a MEMS microspectometer.

Dr. Wei Liu from the UWA School of Computer Science and Software Engineering collaborates with us on cognitive computing projects out of the SHL. Along with Tim she has cosupervised all of the SHL NLP projects and worked on industry use cases. Her expertise spans multi-agent systems, semantic web and ontology applications, and e-commerce. Wei’s review paper ‘Ontology Learning from Text: A look back and into the future’ 17 has received 240+ citations to date.