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 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. He was an integral member of the Shield-X hackathon team. 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.

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 also works as part of the team at the Living Lab on accelerated life testing and has keen interest in everything from material science to space to computing.

James Digley is a 2nd year undergraduate in Mechanical Engineering and Finance, Fogarty Scholar and part of the BPhi program. James is passionate about space and has even spent time volunteering at NASA’s Johnson Space Centre as well as taking part in the Australian Universities Rocket competition. He is also the creator of the Perth Science YouTube series

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 is working on a new software package for the SHL to digitise our timecard management process. She is also key part of the SHL cognitive computing team working on a maintenance ontology in Protege.

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.  Previously the Safety Officer,  Eddie is now the Treasurer for UWA Makers.

Frinze Erin Lapuz is a penultimate undergraduate Software Engineering and Data Science student. He works as part of the Living Lab Team, collating information of equipment and procedures to create the Living Lab Website. Also, he volunteers for the Coders For Causes to help non-profit organisation and charity to get the digital solution they need.

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.

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 also a member of the Avionics Team at UWA Aerospace and is a committee member for the Electrical and Electronics Engineers of WA (EEEWA).

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.