Current Members

Lead Academics

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

Caitlin Woods has a Masters in Software Engineering and will soon be finishing her PhD. Caitlin’s PhD research combines techniques from Human-Computer Interaction, Organisational Psychology and Ontology Engineering to transform the way that maintenance procedures are created, managed and used in industry. From 2018 to 2022, Caitlin co-directed a software company, Hoo Solutions. Now, Caitlin is a Data and Ontology Modelling Engineer and is starting a new company to promote technology equality using semantic web technologies.  Caitlin’s involvement in the SHL has seen her become a key member of the industrial ontology community, working with research groups across America, Europe and Australia.

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.

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.

Nick Sadovnikov is a second 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 currently works part-time as a Reliability Engineer at BHP Nickel West Kwinana. He is also the VP Operations at the Electrical and Electronics Engineers of WA (EEEWA) and a member 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.

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. 

Jacob Van Den Broek is a final year Master of Data Science student. Jacob has recently completed a vacation program with Newcrest Mining where he developed a passion for data science in mining. Seeking to bolster his domain knowledge and experience with real-world problems he is now undertaking a CEED project sponsored by Metso Outotec, aiming to develop a framework for a more accurate wear prediction algorithm utilised by the WearSense system in chute linings. The project will require him to implement spatio-temporal and Bayesian statistical methods to achieve the desired outcomes.

Briana Davies-Morrell is a fourth-year student completing a Bachelor of Philosophy (Hons) in Software Engineering and Mathematics. Briana has previously completed internships with Primero and BHP, where she worked on maintenance optimisation via vibration analysis and predictive modelling of critical assets. Her honours project focuses on exploring user-centred design of ontologies in the space of industrial maintenance, collaborating with Grundfos to use real data as a case-study. Briana has got a summer internship with Canva.

Yash Sabnis is a final year Master of Electrical & Electronics Engineering student. Yash has previously been the Outreach Officer for Electrical & Electronic Engineers of WA and has also interned at companies within the mining industry. He is currently undertaking a project which involves researching the data acquisition performance of an in-house 6-input PiDAQ module in comparison to Brüel & Kjær Type 3050-B-6, which is done by using the Beamforming technique on a MEMS microphone array.

Thomas Morton
is a UWA Winthrop Scholar in his first year of study at UWA, majoring in Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science. He is passionate about Aerospace technology and hopes to use the skills he is developing in engineering and software development to innovate in this space. When he is not studying or sharpening his coding skills, Thomas is playing cricket for the University Cricket Club.

Paul Rogers
is currently completing his final year in Master of Professional Engineering, specialising in Mechanical Engineering. He has previously completed a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Finance and Engineering Science. Paul has experience in the Oil and Gas Industry having recently completed a vacation program with Santos in their WA Assets integrity team. He has a keen interest in finance and business, having previously worked in that field for over a year. He is currently completing his research project on The Optimisation of Replacement times for Idler-Conveyor Belt Systems.

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 Adriano Polpo is a statistician who likes to develop new methods and study statistical theory underlying practical approaches. He has been mainly working with reliability/survival analysis, regression models for counting data and Bayesian nonparametric methods.

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 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.

Dr. Débora Corrêa is a computer scientist working with machine learning, nonlinear time series analysis and complex networks. She has used machine learning and complex networks with time-series data. She has expertise in applying these techniques to remote sensing and environmental data, streaming sensor data, and audio signals.