2019 Program


Engaging For Impact is FREE of charge as part of RMIT’s commitment to fostering greater collaboration between the University and the communities we serve.

A three day event with an exciting line-up of industry speakers across panels, interactive workshops, masterclasses, tours, fast pitches and installations.

Join us as we explore the event themes of Melbourne 8 Million, Empowering Health, Ethical Innovation & Industry Transformation and Collaborative Shared Futures.

We look forward to welcoming you to our city campus in February 2019!

Day 1 — Monday 18 Feb


7.30 AM
Registration Opens
9.00 AM
Welcome to Country
Wurundjeri Elder
EFI Opening Remarks
Martin Bean CBE,
Vice-Chancellor and President RMIT University
EFI Welcome
EFI Overview
Prof Calum Drummond,
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research & Innovation and Vice-President RMIT University
EFI Opening Keynote
10.30 AM
Morning Tea
11.00 AM
Melbourne 8 Million | Keynote Panel
12.30 PM
Lunch Sessions

Housing Victoria’s future panel

The current market provision of new housing as a combination of low density sprawl plus super-dense apartments is not the answer for Victoria’s housing future. We need a new model for housing growth that can turn around unsustainable urban development patterns. We also need to provide for the increasing number of households who are neither able to enter the housing market in an appropriate location, nor eligible for social housing, with viable, secure housing options. New design solutions, ways of financing development and strategies for managing growth are proposed. Working together, Victoria can become a leader in the global conversation about the future of cities and human habitation.

Transport@RMIT Network Launch fast pitches

The interdisciplinary nature of transport requires solutions that bring together expertise across a range of fields. In response, Transport@RMIT provides a university-wide network of transport researchers and educators to enhance, promote and deploy the university’s interdisciplinary capability in transport. Join us as we formerly launch the Transport@RMIT Network with a series of fast pitches by RMIT researchers in response to problems and issues faced by those in the transport industry. A panel of transport industry practitioners will judge the pitches, leading to future opportunities to shape and deliver research projects that respond to the needs of the transport industry.

Metropolitan Governance - the Victorian challenge panel

Industry and research professionals are investigating whether Victoria's model of metropolitan governance can effectively address Melbourne 8M. Effective metropolitan governance is at the heart of addressing the issues around population growth in the Melbourne 8M scenario and achieve sustainable development goals. Victoria has been at the forefront of experiments in metropolitan governance in Australia but where have we landed in the 21st century? We need to consider the four R's of transformative governance - rescaling, responsibility, roles and resources - in relation to Melbourne's key growth challenges.

Australia's next-generation smart power and energy systems panel

Australia’s energy industry is in transition as old paradigms are replaced by new technology. This fundamental transition poses a number of challenges for the energy industry that require collaboration with leading research institutes. Important topics to discuss include frequency regulation and control in power grids and applications of data analytics and machine learning in the energy industry. This dialogue between industry and the RMIT community will lead to fostered industry engagement and joint projects such as internships, scholarships, capstone projects and Australian Research Council Linkeage projects.

2.00 PM
Industry Engagement Activities

Crowd urbanism: A design thinking crash course in crowdsourcing panel

The complexity and interdependence of cities calls for input from the whole community to solve city challenges. New collaborative models are now providing new avenues for civic engagement and shifting the influence of citizens from participation and inclusion to active collaboration and empowerment. It's important to expand communications about research interests and opportunities in this area through collaborative design thinking. The results out of these discussions will inform creation of an online platform (Crowdsourcing Research Network) to provide a collaborative space for the participants and create a crowdsourced repository of best practices and future work in this field.

Urban greening and waterways: transformative research and policy panel

There is significant investment directed at transforming Melbourne’s waterways into biodiverse, healthy green spaces. These transformations offer new opportunities for driving positive socio-ecological outcomes through innovative research and policy making. Hear from a panel of industry partners and researchers involved in major urban water transformations currently underway in Melbourne as they share their insights, findings and future plans. A must-attend session for researchers and potential partners interested in future collaborations on urban waterway and greening transformations.

Simulating the city - implications for policy, practice, and the research agenda panel

Join us as we explore how new advances in large-scale urban simulation can be utilised to conduct policy-relevant research. Organisations such as Infrastructure Victoria are already making use of simulation, and there are significant opportunities to expand this work across government sectors in a broader analysis of policies. Through a large-scale urban simulation of Melbourne, participants will gain insights into the outcomes of a number of different policy scenarios and are invited to identify new opportunities to use simulation across government and industry.

Tackling energy hardship - Creating synergies with Ageing in Place initiatives panel

Home support and care enables 750,000 older Australians to live independently as they age. However, current services do not address the significant energy-related challenges they may face, due to a combination of poor housing, low incomes and rising energy prices. An innovative RMIT-funded project examined ways to better support the 280,000 older Australians experiencing energy poverty by integrating efficiency and affordability initiatives into the Care at Home system. Hear from industry partners and researchers as they reflect on their findings, explore upscaling opportunities and share their insights on how other multi-disciplinary efforts could reduce energy-related problems.

3.30 PM
Afternoon Tea
4.00 PM

Research & Innovation Showcase

A showcase of successful research translation and impact case studies, presented by a diverse and engaging group of outstanding research teams.

Speed Mentoring

Recognised as a highly effective tool for career and personal development, join us for a fast-paced, structured and fun speed mentoring session! Don’t miss this opportunity to make one-on-one industry connections with and gain exposure to senior leaders in a relaxed and social environment  Get advice on career development and challenges you face day-to-day as well as network with like-minded peers. Also included is a short panel discussion, registration essential.

5.00 PM

Research Awards Celebration

The RMIT Research Awards are an important event recognising and celebrating excellence achieved by research staff and Higher Degree by Research candidates.

Day 2 — Tuesday 19 Feb


8.00 AM
Registration Opens
9.00 AM
Empowering Health | Keynote panel
10.30 AM
Morning Tea
11.00 AM
Industry Engagement Activities

Designing for ageing well panel

How do we age well in a technology-driven world? As societies grapple with ageing populations that are living longer, the challenge of ageing well has become central. To find lasting solutions, we need human-centred and interdisciplinary approaches in technology design. Come and see the future at the Designing for Ageing Well Challenge. Discover the work of finalist teams as they unveil their ideas - solutions that lie at the intersection of Digital Health and Ageing Well. Presented in collaboration with Telstra.

Biomed Fast Pitches fast pitches

This quick fire session will showcase the diversity of impactful external engagement activities by RMIT researchers supported by the Biomedical and Health Innovation Enabling Capability Platform. From local collaborations to enhance Aboriginal athlete health, to cross-disciplinary research at the interphase of understanding brain development, engineering implantable brain scaffolds, to international engagement with our colleagues in complementary medicine and novel drug discovery in China - and many others - come listen and engage with us to help celebrate success and shape our Biomedical and Health Innovation future!

Code-switching Identities - curating gender, fluidity and multiplicity online workshop

Despite gender-diverse stories becoming increasingly visible in mainstream media and culture, many people remain confused about non-binary gender and pronouns and are afraid of asking questions that may cause offence. Meanwhile, non-binary gender issues still pose difficulties for the provision of education, health services and citizenship. Employers are increasingly expected to guarantee safe work-spaces and policies for gender-diverse staff and clients, while responding to the moral backlash against political correctness. This issue provides an opportunity to gain greater insight into both gender-diversity and the ways we all manage multiple self-representations for different audiences and contexts.

12.30 PM
Lunch Sessions

Gender lensing and sticky floors panel

Career progression and promotion, self-promotion and gender differences from economics, social and cultural perspectives. The multiple accounts of research presented focus on the particular behaviour imposed on (or adapted by) working females that lead to situations that impede their professional growth and constrain opportunities for progression and promotion. This session will present insights and expectations for institution and leadership teams to deal with the increasing issue of sticky floors and to develop frameworks to counter the growing issues related to gender inequality. Findings can be used by managers and industry leaders to design and implement effective policies and strategies to deal with the issue of increasing gender gap and may lead to new research partnerships.

Integrated technologies for point of care diagnosis and personalised treatment of cancer panel

Come and be part of our vision for a new multi-disciplinary approach to the diagnosis and rapid and effective personalised treatment of cancers. We will introduce the benchmark in cancer diagnosis and treatment, as well as identify major challenges and propose a selection of multi-disciplinary RMIT capabilities that could be harnessed to solve these problems. Through an interactive discussion with attendees, we will then explore how we can partner to further develop and translate our solution to continue meeting the needs for future care.

Biomolecules for biomed - from discovery to translation workshop

Discover the fascinating science behind self-assembling peptides and hear from the experts how they are being applied across a range of industries. The ability of some peptides to spontaneously form nanostructures has been the focus of intense research for the past decade. Although self-assembling peptides (SAP) have potential applications in multiple fields, to date, the most promising areas are in biomaterials and pharmaceutical formulations. Join the discussion to learn about the immense opportunities and the challenges in this growing field.

Blockbuster drug of the century - Engaging your patients in their own health care panel

Patient engagement in health care is considered “a blockbuster drug” of this century. Among other benefits, involving patients in the development of their management plans contributes to better health outcomes and reduced cost to the system. Join us to gain a clear understanding of the scope of patient engagement, be among the first to see a draft framework to enable research work in this space, and have your say in the future with the opportunity to contribute to the framework before its finalisation and distribution to stakeholders.

2.00 PM
Ethical Innovation & Industry Transformation | Keynote panel
3.30 PM
Afternoon Tea
4.00 PM
Industry Engagement Activities & Facility Tours

Understanding ourselves better via wearable technologies panel

The increase of reliable, wearable technologies has paved the way for novel and unobtrusive ways to measure physiological responses, collecting real time, moment to moment data without the problem of nonresponse or interpretive bias. Join us for a look into the data provided by these devices and how to approach the challenge of analysing it. This session invites participants to explore the use of wearable devices and examine their own data using commercially available software tools. Participants will walk away with a sense of curiosity about wearable technologies and their use for organisation studies.

Duty to care - An interactive presentation workshop

The rise of digital technology has deeply affected how we engage in every aspect of society, and not just through digital platforms. This change brings with it deep ethical challenges that we are only beginning to understand. Come together with researchers and industry to explore both the positive opportunities of digital and social innovation and the risks and shortcomings. Join the conversation as they raise questions about what ethics actually means, and how ethics are applied and practiced in a variety of digital and analog contexts.

Can robots and evolutionary computation help us survive and thrive? Technical and ethical challenges workshop

How can Robots and Evolutionary Computation help us survive and thrive? Join industry guests and a Data61 team as they outline basic principles in machine learning and neuro-evolution for an exciting panel discussion. Watch as the team use small robots are used to construct "thought experiments", demonstrating the principles of robot reproduction, and discuss the ethics of self-generating robotics systems in relation to long-term autonomy and task-based robotic design. Dr. Justine Lacey from CSIRO will also weigh in on the ethical, social and legal consequences of such disruptive science and technologies after which we’ll ask participants to synthesize their learnings and pitch some project ideas of their own.

Sensing space workshop

Recent years have seen an explosion in the availability and currency of sensor data about the geospatial world around us. From remotely sensed imagery and wireless sensor networks and various satelite positioning systems to low-cost environmental sensors to using humans as sensors through smart devices and social media. Expert insights into the latest innovations and trends in rich data sources as they relate to human activities such as emergency response, human mobility, security and defence can highlight the many opportunities for high impact research in the rapidly moving area of spatial sensoring.

Micro Nano Research Facility tour

The Micro Nano Research Facility (MNRF) has comprehensive facilities for the design, modelling, fabrication, packaging, and characterisation of micro and nano scale devices. Nine laboratories are housed within the 1,000 square metre facility. Join us for a tour to see how MNRF brings together diverse and high quality multidisciplinary micro and nano technology research into a single hub.

Uncovering Sustainability on Campus tour

Go behind the scenes and explore the social and environmental sustainability of RMIT's City campus: • Gain an understanding of the Indigenous significance of place and culture on campus through the experiences and stories of Naarm (Melbourne's) First People; • Learn the contemporary history associated with RMIT’s heritage-listed buildings; • Take a tour of new RMIT buildings, including state of the art sustainability features and fit outs; and • Learn about how RMIT is working towards a Carbon Neutral by 2030.

Virtual Experiences Laboratory Tour - Collaborative Robot tour

The Virtual Experiences Laboratory (VXLab) is a multi-disciplinary virtual laboratory connecting visualisation and automation facilities in RMIT and industry. It’s a space where industry and students can access advanced technology and expertise. The VXLab supports simulated components in the cloud, virtualisation and telepresence and enables users to explore collaborative experimental design, operation and testing of global cyber­physical systems. For virtual and annotated reality, the lab includes advanced gaming and visualisation devices. Join us for a tour of VXLab and see the results of student capstone programming projects in the School of Science involving Red, our collaborative robot.

Fielding Sounds for Human Wellbeing tour

Come and explore the role sound plays in the greening of urban spaces and how this can impact well-being in urban environments. Applying creative sound practices and landscape design principles to existing ecological research into urban green spaces expands our understanding of the critical role it plays in attracting biodiversity and improving well-being. This session will share the journey of Fielding Sounds, a co-designed and industry supported public art installation currently in residence at RMIT. Join us as we share the importance of interdisciplinarity to research projects and best practise tips on engaging with the right mix of external partners to provide a platform for speculative projects at a formative stage. Hear how this process can provide new opportunities, ideas and partnerships, which can be drawn on to strengthen and enrich collaborations between art, science and design to address the complex challenges faced in designing cites for well-being, when applied through a urban design, public art, and smart cities lens.

5.00 PM

Day 3 — Wednesday 20 Feb


8.00 AM
Registration Opens
9.00 AM
Collaborative Shared Futures | Keynote panel
10.30 AM
Morning Tea
11.00 AM
Professional Development Activities

Professoriate Series: Developing a culture of engaged leadership panel

The media landscape is changing. With more people consuming their news from non-traditional news channels and the era of 'fake news', there is a rapidly growing need for balanced input from credible sources. Academics are sought out by the public and the media as a vital and trusted source of news, and can help shape the public discourse. This calls for a better understanding of how to build and deliver media messages for use across different audiences and channels, and the impact that these messages can have. Further tools and training will also be shared as part of this discussion.

Growth mindset - tension between speed and quality masterclass

Industry can achieve faster user feedback loops through service design and human-centred research. We'll explore the conflict between the need for speed against the need for direction and quality - sometimes it is just as important to create an environment that breeds ideas. You'll walk away with rigorous truths, difficult questions and practical resources to apply immediately in your own work. The seminar will also look at how adopting a growth mindset creates momentum. RMIT staff can extend the learning from this workshop through developME.

More than cash: Why and how to work with end users/industry panel

We know that active engagement and collaboration between research and industry delivers better outcomes. Researchers who truly understand industry needs are able to ask the right research questions, design effective projects and provide relevant findings. However researchers, policy makers and practitioners still tend to operate in silos, resulting in continuing gaps between policy and practice needs and research evidence. So how do you create and maintain successful research-industry partnerships? Join us to hear from a panel of researchers and industry as they share case studies of successful collaborations, explore the shared benefits and outline pathways to real-world impact.

12.30 PM
Lunch Sessions

Future of research translation in manufacturing, materials and energy

Session 1: Building a collaborative future in digital manufacturing – Digitization of design and manufacturing is transforming how we build our world. Hear from three research teams as they present future visions and technology needs for industry 4.0 from technical and human resources perspectives, and in virtual design and testing of airframes.Exploring how we can collaboratively shape our future, the session will offer deep insights into these issues, generated from structured discourse within the university and with our industry partners.

Session 2: Nano-Micrometre materials and their fabrication – How can we harness and realise the immense opportunities of working at the nano and micro scale? Three teams will present their visions and directions for research in this rapidly developing area, drawn from close consultation with external partners. Find out the current status, future technological needs and potential of materials on the nano-micrometre scale, from the integration of photonics and microfluidics for better point of care diagnostics, to 3D printed biomaterials and the technological application of advanced optical materials. It’s a chance to discover where we are now – and shape where we head in the future.

Session 3: Transforming industry: Energy and Construction – In a carbon-constrained economy, the way we use, store and generate energy and the way we construct our infrastructure have to change. Three research teams will showcase their visions for the transformation of these two critical industries – energy and construction – developed from structured discourse within the university and with our partners. In the energy context, the focus is on portable power and catalytic processes, while for infrastructure the emphasis is on off-site manufacturing and information-driven assembly. Join the discussion on how we can bring about positive change, and help guide the future of research and collaboration in these major sectors.

Influencing policy through your research panel

How can research inform and influence government? Gain insights into how academic research is engaged and used by government in this panel session for researchers seeking to achieve policy impact. A panel of policy practitioners will discuss challenges and opportunities in engaging with university-generated research, including how researchers might best engage with policy makers to provide policy-relevant knowledge. Following presentations from the Panel, there will be a facilitated Q&A session in which the audience will have the opportunity the explore with policy practitioners, ways in which research can better inform policy.

Protect, publish, engage: research commercialisation fundamentals panel

Commercialising a great idea, innovation or piece of research can be a complex process that raises many questions. Join us for this informative session to understand the basics, from the benefits of commercialisation, to knowing when to publish, understanding who owns your idea and how to protect it, to how to find industry partners. This introduction to research commercialisation is essential for early career researchers and those new to the process of commercialisation and will equip participants with the essential knowledge to begin the next phase of their research journey!

Of care and ageing - towards a humane and relevant future panel

As our life spans increase, causing our aging population to expand, conversations about how to age well are more important than ever before. Join us as we use multiple lenses to explore complex biological, environmental and social aspects of an ageing population living with chronic conditions such as dementia. How can a human-centred and interdisciplinary approach allow us to design and provide future care for an ageing population? How does medical science inform us, technology provide the tools and design drive more human(e) and relevant care?

2.00 PM
Professional Development Activities

eResearch in action: building a community of digital research practice fast pitches

High-impact research is more reliant on the tools and techniques available from information and communication technology (ICT) than ever before. However, the knowledge of how to exploit these innovative tools tends to lie with individuals and small groups, away from the wider researcher community. Join RMIT researchers as they are presented technology success stories and discover how these new ideas can improve their own research practice. A set of lightning talks will be presented, with speakers focussing on the ICT tools and techniques they use in their research work and how they may apply to other research domains.

Social futures for art panel

At a time when funding for the arts is under pressure, this panel discussion explores innovative social futures for art. It will investigate how new research dialogues can promote the value of art for a shared future, as well as how community and industry engagement can enable new voices to narrate art’s histories and futures. Highlighting artistic and curatorial practices aimed at democratising art, we will showcase RMIT’s commitment to socially-engaged artistic research and invite potential new industry partnerships.

Innovating with purpose to reach the Sustainable Development Goals workshop

The global community has committed to pursuing seventeen ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Join us to be part of the conversation as we explore how to implement them, evaluate progress, and develop the capabilities, information, outlook and relationships needed across governments, business and NGOs/civil society. This session will navigate the establishment of a proposed industry-oriented RMIT SDG Innovation Hub to enable collaborative cross-scale, cross-sectoral linkages and social experimentation on SDG implementation. Researchers and industry partners are invited to come and discuss how it could incorporate their interests while pursuing genuine sustainable development.

The accounting ethics revolution panel

Training for business and professional ethics is challenging because we overestimate our own ethicality and objectivity and we are removed from the context which influences us. At work, we find that we do not always do what we believe we should, i.e. we behave against our own values. So how do we provide opportunities for professionals to develop and practice ethics? The School of Accounting, RMIT University developed a serious game on the code of ethics for the global accounting profession. Launched in November 2018 at the World Congress of Accountants, this serious game provides a three hour CPD offering that immerses learners in context and allows them to improve their moral awareness and safely and realistically experiment and practice ethics.

3.00 PM
Afternoon Tea
3.30 PM
Professional Development Activities

Humanitarian architecture - collaborating for a better future via the Australian Shelter Forum panel

Disaster response can be a complex, lengthy and unpredictable process and those working in the sector face many challenges. The humanitarian landscape in the Asia Pacific region alone is rapidly changing due to shrinking budgets, increasing prevalence of disasters and increasing complexities in response. In the face of changing conditions, how can Australian agencies, NGOs and universities work together to look at the global challenges posed by disasters in our own backyard? Come and be part of the establishment of the first ‘Australian Shelter Forum’, a university- industry network and digital platform to facilitate collaborative solutions to this pressing issue.

Living liveable: The lived experiences of life on the urban fringe panel

Research shows Melbourne’s fast-growing outer suburbs lag behind the rest of the city on a range of liveability measures. Home to 1.6 million people, the area is governed by a coalition of 10 municipalities, the Interface Councils. Join us as we highlight the issues on Melbourne’s fringe and launch “Living Liveable”, a short documentary film showcasing the lived experiences of residents in these outer suburbs. The film is followed by a panel discussion with documentary participants and local government representatives, exploring opportunities for research to support the coalition of Interface Councils in bridging the liveability gaps and inequalities across suburbs.

Dense and green cities? Towards social and cultural resilience panel

Making cities denser seems universally accepted as the way to increase infrastructural efficiency in the urban age. Yet density can cause also cause mental and physical stress. It is therefore important to explore urban greening approaches that support environmental, social and cultural resilience. It is also valuable to look at current strategies and leading examples from experts in the field to see what's already working. This will start important conversations between industry representatives and researchers that need to be had.

Creative ecologies campfire

What do creative communities across Australia need to thrive? Creativity and critical thinking are often cited as essential for the future of work, while participation in arts and culture is shown to have positive health impacts and play a critical role in building community resilience. So how do we foster these public goods? Join the conversation as we explore the conditions required to build thriving creative communities, their implementation and evaluation in this workshop. The outcome will contribute to the Creative Ecologies initiative, which is developing a framework and interactive tool for the sector.

4.30 PM

Who Should Attend

Policy makers, healthcare professionals, creative practitioners, disruptors, futurists, research-led innovators, academic scholars and business entrepreneurs. Engaging For Impact 2019 is FREE of charge as part of RMIT's commitment to fostering greater collaboration between the University and the communities we serve.

Register Now