23 July 2014

Innovation through technology

There’s a room in Building 88 that’s different to the rest.

From the outside it looks like any other, but when you step inside and see a high density HP computer unit (one of the first available in Australia), a two metre wireless signalling antennae and a portable drone device tucked away in the corner – you start to feel it’s a bit special. This is the Infrastructure Innovation Lab at ITS and it‘s where the future starts.

Headed by Paul Zanna, ITS Infrastructure Innovation and Design Manager, along with two fourth year computer engineering students, this small, high performing team have their eyes firmly on the future. Their task is to research emerging infrastructure technologies, ensuring that RMIT is ahead of the trend and actively involved in shaping the next generation of IT.

According to Paul, having a hands-on knowledge of the latest technology innovations is another way that ITS can provide value to the University.

“At ITS, we don’t want to be just a service provider. We want to have the knowledge of what’s possible, or what’s going to be possible around the corner. So when a customer comes to us with an advanced technology need, we’ll be in a position to provide practical advice on the best way forward.”

The Innovation team do more than gather knowledge. They also collaborate internally with the School of Electrical Computer Engineering (SECE), author research papers and share technical know-how with other IT institutions – including the Stanford’s and Berkeley’s of the world.

Recently the team have been helping to strengthen the performance of RMIT’s wireless campus network. Using remote drone technology and 3D mapping techniques, location surveys will soon be conducted to map wireless signals and identify ‘blackspots’ for remediation.

[Source: Russell Burgess, ITS]