Governor-General opens new Deakin research building


A new research building officially opened by the Governor-General, His Excellency David Hurley, will establish Deakin as the first university in Australia equipped to handle zone 4 classified, secret-rated defence research.

Located within the Geelong Future Economy Precinct at the University’s Waurn Ponds Campus, the $18million building will extend the capacity of Deakin’s Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation (IISRI) to build on its industry-leading research and development in the fields of motion simulation, robotics and haptics, defence systems, and modelling and simulation.

Now equipped with a Zone 4 capable classified secret-rated space, Deakin will become the first university in Australia to provide a highly secure research environment suitable for the Department of Defence and the defence industry.

Deakin Vice-Chancellor Professor Iain Martin said it was exciting to see the new facility completed and to anticipate the future innovation that would be born there.

“Through the expanded capacity this building provides to IISRI, Deakin will play an even stronger leadership role in technological discovery, advancement and innovation,” Professor Martin said.

“The building houses the next generation technologies for defence-related research and development and entrepreneurship activities at Deakin.

“It will also enable us to continue to build on the University’s already strong relationships with local industry through the Geelong Future Economy Precinct and the benefits this provides to the community.”

Custom designed spaces within the building will support new and existing research projects, including:

  • A human factors electroencephalography (EEG) laboratory for advanced research in using EEG and other bio-medical equipment for cognitive load and human performance measurement.
  • A haptics and force laboratory that replicates and extends IISRI’s current capability in frontline research in haptics, force sensing, biomechanics, system modelling, virtual reality, augmented reality and EEG experimentation to measure the electrical activity of the brain.
  • A neural and cognitive systems laboratory to assist with neurophysiological studies looking at the underlying behaviour and properties of neurons.
  • An electronics and fabrication area for electronic prototyping and assembly of components and machines.

IISRI Director Professor Saeid Nahavandi said the new building would enable the team to drive various R&D and technology innovation initiatives.

“This new building is home to a variety of state-of-the-art technologies in intelligent systems, encompassing robotic and haptic, modelling and simulation, as well as human performance measurement and assessment,” Professor Nahavandi said.

“These facilities coupled with the world-class research and innovation capabilities of the team of over 100 researchers and our strong university-government-industry-community partnerships, will enable us to continue to translate research into real social impact through generation of economic values and creation of jobs, delivering benefits to our local, regional, and national communities.”

Deakin’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, Professor Julie Owens, said the new building will greatly enhance the already world-leading research undertaken by IISRI.

“IISRI has a well-earned reputation for being at the cutting edge of new technology and innovation and for making a positive impact for our communities,” Professor Owens said.

“As one of Deakin’s seven research institutes, IISRI is integral to many elements of the University’s education and research priorities, such as creating smarter technologies, building safe and secure communities and advancing society, culture and the economy.

“This important work is set to go from strength to strength with the new facilities available to the IISRI researchers.”

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