CAST students begin year of innovation and collaboration 

Nine leading STEM students have begun a year of exceptional research and collaboration as part of their Centre for Antarctic and Southern Ocean Technology (CAST) Undergraduate Engagement Program.   

The studentship program, a joint initiative between the University of Tasmania and CSIRO’s Engineering and Technology Program, was developed to nurture the next generation of STEM leaders.  

The program enables students to apply academic knowledge to real-world situations, improving practical skills and building important professional abilities. 

The 2024 CAST Undergraduate Engagement Program recipients are: 

Reuben Dunne  

Reuben, a Mechanical Engineering student, will collaborate with CSIRO to enhance underwater camera systems. His focus will be on addressing challenges in rough seas and high drag conditions through innovative design and testing. Reuben aims to improve system performance, thereby advancing underwater imaging technology and contributing to advancements in deep-sea exploration. 

Patrick Quinlan  

Patrick specialises in Electronics/Mechatronics and will concentrate on improving underwater object detection using computer vision technology. His project entails implementing machine learning algorithms onto hardware for integration with autonomous underwater vehicles, aiming to optimize algorithm performance for enhanced underwater exploration and research. 

Fionn Banks-Gorton  

Fionn will collaborate with CSIRO bio-acousticians to enhance fishery stock assessment using recreational fish finder technology. His project focuses on developing calibration procedures for echosounders, aiming to unlock their scientific potential and benefit researchers worldwide conducting underwater studies. 

David Vonk  

David specialises in Seagoing Instrumentation and will focus on advancing edge computing and instrumentation interfacing for the CSIRO research vessel (RV) Investigator. His project aims to improve data collection and processing, enhancing scientific systems onboard to enable better data analysis during research expeditions. 

Anh Quan Doan 

Anh, specialising in Information and Data Centre, will concentrate on improving automated research data transfer and metadata creation processes. By creating software tools to enhance metadata handling, Anh seeks to simplify data delivery to researchers and improve the efficiency of information exchange. 

Nicolyn Kwok 

Nicolyn will be based in the Information and Data Centre where he will develop a GASLAB Tank Information static site to support atmospheric research. Her project includes creating a data generation pipeline, designing a user-friendly static website generator, and implementing a thorough testing and deployment process for efficient data access. 

Oban Cottier 

Oban will analyse data and create reports to evaluate the quality control standards used in-house. His project focuses on examining nutrient datasets to verify the reliability of these standards, with the potential to extend their application to other laboratories and offer valuable insights to clients. 

Ruby Fox 

Ruby will work with CSIRO’s Geophysical Survey and Mapping team to improve the way seabed mapping data is processed and shared. Using her computer science skills, Ruby plans to make the process more automatic and efficient, making it easier for the broader seabed mapping community to access important datasets. 

Charlie Cooper 

Charlie will be helping to develop software modules for data acquisition on the (RV) Investigator as part of the OpenRVDAS project. Working closely with the Data Acquisition and Processing team, his responsibilities will include creating new features, resolving issues, and conducting unit tests to improve the efficiency of data acquisition and management systems aboard the research vessel. 

David Vonk: image not supplied.

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