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  4. Newcastle IoT Pioneers

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    December: The Rise of Things - Opportunities and Risks Our December event is on, usual time, usual place: 6:30pm, Thursday, December 7th, 2017. Stag & Hunter Hotel, Mayfield. Upstairs function room - look for the staircase in the middle of the pub. This month I'm honoured to welcome David Goad, Fellow at the University of Sydney, IoT Strategy Consultant and author of "The Internet of Things from a Directors Perspective". David has kindly offered to lend us a little of his extensive experience advising entrepreneurs and enterprises on their IoT strategy. David will talk about the potential changes in business strategy, business models and organisational resources that the IoT will bring and the issues that business leaders would need to consider when developing their IoT strategy. As usual, outside the main event there will be a news recap, plus plenty of opportunity to talk business and tech with like-minded folk from the local area. Feel free to bring up a drink from the bar downstairs or even order a meal from the restaurant, plus there'll be free finger food after the talks. All are welcome, but please RSVP so we can get the catering right.
  5. Project Management for IoT

    Introduction Management of an IoT project is likely to pose challenges for those used to stand-alone product development, as it combines detailed product and technology development and application with systems engineering. While recognising and overcoming technical risks is necessary for all projects, it can be particularly critical for project management of IoT applications because of the complexity of the technology used, which may include a broad range of technologies involving several layers of the IoT architecture. This can lead to project teams needing to seek assistance from suppliers, systems engineers, and expert consultants to understand unfamiliar technologies, their risks, how to specify technical requirements, and the best technologies for the solution being developed. Other important considerations are: identifying legal and regulatory requirements and how to comply with them determining what team skills and competencies are required reducing complexity by implementing a staged approach to development. Reducing complexity IoT projects can be complex compared with other engineering projects due to the range of technologies and architectural levels they encompass. Dividing the development project into discrete stages reduces the complexity of each of those stages, and allows for review points between the stages. The following development stages can help to reduce the complexity of IoT projects: Conceptualisation: What are we trying to do? What does the user want? Specification, planning, estimating: What is the scope, duration, cost? Design and development hardware: produce schematics and circuit boards, or integrate third-party modules firmware, software: connectivity, functionality Verification and validation: verification determines if the integrated hardware and software performs to specification, and validation tests whether the specification meets user requirements. In some cases, the specification may need to be changed to more accurately reflect requirements and the design, development, verification and validation repeated Regulatory compliance testing, certification: electromagnetic compatibility, electrical safety and product safety requirements as for other engineering projects and products, and specifically radio communications compliance Production engineering: determine if product is feasible to manufacture and test Manufacturing, deployment and maintenance. Technical specification, planning and estimating Specifying and documenting the user’s technical requirements in a technical specification needs to be completed before embarking on the the design stage of IoT projects, as if a product or system is developed without a well-documented and agreed technical specification, project cost and time can increase, and the relationship with the user can be adversely affected. A technical specification defines what the system needs to do in terms of high-level user requirements and functional requirements. There is often a difference between what the user asks for and what they actually need. IoT engineers need to interpret the user's non-technical requests and convert them into a meaningful technical specification that can be implemented in the project. The specification should include the following system characteristics: Function Performance Environmental: eg. is a waterproof enclosure required for an outdoor installation? Reliability: how long does the system need to operate, what maintenance is required, what downtime is allowable? Power and energy requirements: battery-life required to meet reliability and performance requirements for battery-powered systems. Also budget constraints, how power will be supplied, and the duty cycle. Once the required system characteristics are defined, the constraints directly affecting development, and their technical solutions should be specified. Key areas to be addressed include physical constraints such as size and weight of systems and devices, the complexity for the end user, and whether the system will be plug and play, or have other deployment requirements. Budget, time, quality restraints and regulatory and legal compliance also need to be addressed and documented. Useful tools for documenting timelines are work breakdown structures (WBS) and Gantt charts, as shown below. Diagram courtesy of Geoff Sizer, Genesys Electronics Design The WBS needs to be taken to a level of granularity that allows reasonable estimating to be done. In some cases, that might be down to a person week's worth of work. Sometimes it might be to a person day or even finer granularity to give clarity on what needs to be done and the interactions of the task. Budget estimates should include costs of standards, safety and regulatory compliance and safety testing, which can be of comparable cost to the technological development. For startups without a good understanding of the costs and timelines in the IoT space, it is a good idea to seek help from more experienced practitioners, or specialist consultants to ensure that estimates are reasonable and don't underestimate project complexity. Design, development and documentation The first step in the design and development stage is to identify the key technology elements required. For example, sensors, actuation, micro-controllers and energy source (eg. rechargeable/alkaline batteries, solar cells or mains power). The intelligence of the platform needs to be determined: for example, a complex or simple micro-controller. The next step is to determine what communication technologies will be used to connect to the IoT, perform data collection and data analytics, and select user interfaces, and data presentation for the user, which could include interactive analytics tools. Finally, deployment, commissioning, fault detection and maintenance need to be designed. All design decisions need to be documented in detail, to ensure that all aspects of the project are considered and nothing is missed. For example, at the conceptual phase, a project plan and a functional requirements specification might be produced, and during development, manuals might be developed for both hardware and software/firmware to document how the functional specification will be implemented. Through the life of the project, those documents evolve and have detail added to them, and ultimately become a design description for what's being developed or deployed. Other documentation could include: communications protocol specification, electromagnetic compatibility compliance plans, certification plans, test plans, and also deployment plans, and manufacturing documentation suites. It is good practice to recognise the documentation requirements upfront, and build them into the project plan. Then ensure that project team participants produce the documentation as they go along, to avoid issues with incomplete definition and a rush to produce documentation at project completion. Staying in control To maintain control during the course of the development project and the transition into manufacture and deployment into the field, it's important to establish configuration control. Software repository tools can be used to keep control of software releases and make sure that you have a firm definition of the software that you are testing and deploying. Document release and engineering change notification (ECN) procedures also need to be established for the initial documentation release and updates to maintain version control. This avoids problems such as providing out of date documentation to manufacturers. Issue tracking is also essential during the course of development, release and pilot trials, and through the manufacturing process. Several issue tracking systems are available, to track problems such as software bugs and suggested product improvements. Issue tracking systems should not be used as a substitute for properly updating the system specifications when changes are made. Effective and regular communication between team members is essential, and online, cloud-based collaboration tools are available to facilitate this, although they are only as good as the team who use them. Finally, a well-defined team leader is needed for the project, to make judgements and decisions about how the project proceeds. For the engineering team, this may be the lead engineer, who both project manages and is a technical participant in the project. Technical risks and standards In an IoT project, there are risks arising from the broad range of complex technologies used. Electrical safety, in particular shipping lithium ion batteries by air is an issue, as they can be barred from aeroplanes. Imported products may not meet local regulatory requirements, particularly in the case of electromagnetic and radio communications compliance. For instance they may not cover local frequency bands. As there are severe legal penalties for deploying non-compliant systems, this is an area which needs to be covered in the risk assessment. Resource capability is another risk. Does the project team have the depth and breadth of skills to do the job? Or are there some of the technology elements that are stretching team capability? Intellectual copyright and design security are particular concerns, and regulatory compliance requirements and licensing needs need to be identified. These areas are discussed in detail on the legal considerations for IoT page. One recommendation is to make sure that there is a copyright claim at the top of every file of your source code, along with any necessary the comments and descriptions. During the risk assessment, engineers are responsible for identifying and complying with the relevant standards for the specific project to ensure product safety. If the engineers need assistance with identifying relevant standards, specialist organisations (eg. OzTest and EMC Technologies) can provide consulting services to assist with this process. Quality management standards, including the general commercial standard ISO 9001, and specific quality management standards for product areas with more stringent quality requirements (such as ISO 13485 for medical devices) can be used as a tool to put in place consistent and effective project management methodology as described on this page. Team skills and competencies, when to seek expert advice IoT projects, like all others, require sound project management and team leadership is a given. A well-defined leader and project manager needs to be appointed and recognised by the team as being in control. Systems engineering expertise is also important. Because of the complexity of IoT projects, it requires skills beyond electronics and firmware. Electronics hardware design requirements can range from simple to quite complex, as can the software and software engineering skills required for individual projects. Other specialist knowledge required includes, but is not limited to: communications protocols, antenna design, wireless communications, embedded firmware, cloud-based server software and data analysis and processing, and App development for user interfaces. Security is also a major concern. Compliance testing, laboratory services, manufacturing services, deployment and logistics may also be outsourced if the skills and capacity are not available in-house. Most teams will be stretched in mustering all the skills in-house to be able to deal with everything they need to do. It is important to recognise these limitations upfront, and then supplement the project team with the required specialist consultants to do tasks outside of team expertise quickly and efficiently. If a company is involved in IoT technology development on an ongoing basis, the required skills should be brought into the team over time. There should also be team members with the responsibility of keeping abreast of developments in the rapidly evolving IoT technology space. The relationship between expert consultants and in-house project teams will vary depending on the knowledge and experience that the team has in the IoT area. If knowledge and experience is low, an expert consultant would guide and manage the staged project as described in the previous sections. Where knowledge levels are higher, the in-house team might do the high-level project management and control. Areas where there are skill gaps would be delegated to consultants. This is best done by delegating work packages (eg. for electronics hardware) and communicating regularly to make sure that consultants are keeping on track with overall system development. Ideally, an integrated and collaborative approach should be taken to avoid an “us-and-them” situation. Being an informed purchaser Given the complexity of IoT technology, it is difficult for clients adopting IoT to acquire the requisite knowledge to keep control of the project, and not just delegate the full ownership of the project to a sub-contractor. Seeking knowledge from online communities such as this one, or engaging an independent consultant or consulting engineer can be helpful in becoming an informed purchaser. The IoT Alliance Australia is another group which brings together companies in the IoT space and seeks to help them gain understanding of technologies. Project management and collaboration tools While tools should not be used as “crutches”, they can make project management and associated processes more efficient when used in conjunction with good practice. Gantt charts can be prepared in Microsoft Project, or a project management tool suite that has the capabilities needed to manage the project. Some available products are cloud-based. Software repositories for configuration control include Version and Github. Collaboration tools include Confluence and OurTeam for PC. JIRA is a cloud-based issue tracking and development tool which has been used in some IoT projects to record and deal with bugs and product improvements. Sources: Content on this page was primarily sourced from: Webinar titled ‘Project Management for the Internet of Things’ by Geoff Sizer, CEO Genesys Electronics Design
  6. Project Management for IoT

    To answer Steve's question on project management tools. We have assessed and just committed to a 24 month license for http://cammsproject.com/,for integrated project management across the company, with an integrated timesheet system which they are modifying to tuit our needs (for a fee). It provides some collaboration facilities. I will let the community know how it goes down the track. On JIRA, we use it is a number of ways. I would commend it to others - especially good as it it Australian-developed, wo we can support local industry. For software development, we have an inward-facing setup on our server for the developers ot track iissues and bugs. For software support, we have an outward-looking cloud based setup for each project, whicht he customer can access. We also use Jirafor ittue tracking for our ISO 13485 (medical) Quality Management System (like ISO9001 on sterouids). This has a customised work flow to magane issue trackingiun accrodance with ISO13485, including steps for risk managemt. We use this JIRA setup for Corrective and preventative Action management. The same work flowcan be used generally by omitting the medical product specific steps. We use Subversion for software configuration control, on the basis that it is the "least worst" - have looked at more modern systems but nothing much out there impresses. IMO best tool for all of these things is a sharp human brain. Without this, the tools generallty make things worse than doing nothing!
  7. Project Management for IoT

    Not a question. For reference, we also use JIRA for issue tracking and development. And Atlassian Confluence to control all our project documentation. Also we use Altium for pcb design.
  8. Project Management for IoT

    What resources would you direct potential new clients to if they are not currently uninformed purchasers of IoT but will need to get across it to unlock its benefits?
  9. Project Management for IoT

    Not to push any 3rd party product, but in conjunction to JIRA Atlassian also has a collaboration tool called Confluence. https://www.atlassian.com/software/confluence
  10. Project Management for IoT

    Regarding Intellectual property protection. How much weight does copyright carry in China whereby a number of manufacturers are making the same product for multiple OEMs. Is it worthwhile considering Patents in China?
  11. Project Management for IoT

    And how are you using JIRA?
  12. Project Management for IoT

    Many ICT projects are run under an Agile methodology. However, sometimes Agile can end up Fragile. Have you had any experience running IoT/IIoT projects under an Agile methodology? (You mentioned Jira during the webinar)
  13. Project Management for IoT

    Regarding project estimation, e.g. time and budget, where do you start if you were as a new start-up engineer and don’t have that past experience in the area to make a reasonable judgement/estimate? For example in the situation seeking grants or seed funding for new IoT idea
  14. Project Management for IoT

    What collaboration tools are you looking at? And what project management tools are Genesys considering?
  15. Project Management for IoT

    Type your questions for today's webinar in the comments to this post. The webinar is on Project Management for IoT. During the webinar, you might like to comment on any of the presenter's points, or share your own experiences managing IoT Projects.
  16. The ‘Smart Enough’ Factory.

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    This special event marking our 50th webinar and the end of year celebration. We will be holding a webinar combined with face-to-face meetings in several EA offices in: Sydney - Boardroom Melbourne - Leadership Hub Adelaide - Grant Hosking Room Hobart - Leadership Room Canberra - The Black Mountain Room Newcastle - Boardroom Title: The ‘Smart Enough’ Factory. A digital journey and IoT Case study on Sutton Tools Presenters: Dr Steve Dowey, Technology Manager, Sutton Tools Description: There are shared global challenges to the adoption of Industry 4.0 that affect businesses on all steps of the digital journey. These are cost of implementation, a shortage of skilled employees, and a concern about security. Although these problems are global, the solutions need to be local and targeted. The ‘Smart Enough’ concept uses a data driven manufacturing and management approach to enable the promised benefits of IoT and Industry 4.0 for companies that might be struggling with implementation. Dr Dowey will share and demonstrate the technology that is deployed at Sutton Tools for its take on Lean IoT. Takeaways: Smart Enough is: Management data driven - enables transparency and immediacy of processes. Lean. Leaves control and action to the experts and systems. Feedback loop is closed by the operator / manager. Uses micro-service architectures. Complements but doesn’t need an Enterprise Service Bus or SOA. Works with legacy systems. Applying a lightweight sensor network overlay onto existing systems, leveraging web technology, RAD tools and open source. Who should attend: The talk is for SME stakeholders, lean manufacturing practitioners and anyone with an interest in IoT in manufacturing. About the presenter: Dr Steve Dowey is the Technology Manager at Sutton Tools and a Senior Research Fellow at RMIT University working with the Australian Defence Materials Technology Centre. His current projects include ‘Additive Manufactured Tooling’, ‘Tooling for Robotic Applications’ and applied ‘Industry IoT’ in collaboration with DMTC. Steve’s Industry 4.0 focus is on the ‘The Smart Enough Factory’, where the issues of legacy systems (cost), security and STEM skills are addressed to ensure the benefits of Industry 4.0 can reach the Australian SME. When: 5:30pm AEST (Eastern Seaboard) for 6:00pm start on 12 December 2017 (4:30pm in Brisbane and 4:55pm in Adelaide). The presentation will last 30 minutes followed by question time and networking. Concludes at 7:30pm. Where: The presentation by both webinar and face-to-face in the following locations. After registering you will be sent details of how to logon if attending by webinar. Rooms and locations are below. Please RSVP if attending in person by emailing iotengineering@engineersaustralia.org.au Sydney – Boardroom, Level 3, 8 Thomas St, Chatswood. Victoria - Leadership Hub, Level 31, 600 Bourke Street, Melbourne South Australia - Grant Hosking Room, Level 11, 108 King William Street, Adelaide Tasmania - Leadership Room, Level 5, 188 Collins Street, Hobart Canberra - The Black Mountain Room, Engineering House, 11 National Circuit, Barton Newcastle – Boardroom, Suite 3, Tonella Commercial Centre, 125 Bull Street, Newcastle West Cost: This presentation is free to members of Engineers Australia (EA), the Australian Computer Society (ACS), the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and IEEE. Just provide your membership number during registration for the event. The cost for non-members is $30. How to register: Please register on the Engineers Australia event system, link above. Note, to register you need to have a free EA ID which you can get on the first screen of the registration page. Take note of your ID number for future events.
  17. Prisons and IoT

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    Title: The Internet of Incarceration: How IoT technologies could change the way prisons operate Presenters: Professor Dan Hunter, Foundation Dean, Swinburne Law School Description: Replacing prisons with high tech systems capable of detaining prisoners in their own homes and the use of artificial intelligence to predict and prevent imminent offenses may sound the stuff of science fiction, but rapid advances in technology surrounding the Internet of Thing makes such a vision a possibility worth discussing. Prof Hunter has been making news proposing just such a system, which revolves the around the use of electronic bracelets with electric shock capabilities. This effectively turn prisoners into internet nodes, capable of being monitored and controlled like any other IoT system. In this presentation, Prof Hunter will outline technology advances in prisons around the world and discusses the legal, social and engineering dimensions of making the vision a reality. About the presenter: Professor Dan Hunter is expert in internet law, intellectual property and cognitive science models of law. He holds a PhD from Cambridge on the nature of legal reasoning, as well as computer science and law degrees from Monash University and a Master of Laws by research from the University of Melbourne. Professor Hunter regularly publishes on the intersection of computers and law including using technology to make sentencing more efficient and fairer. His recent articles include recommendations for allowing prisoners to access the internet, making internet deprivation a new stand-alone criminal sanction and replacing prisons with technological incarceration. When: 12 midday in Sydney. If you are in a state with a different time zone from NSW, please determine your local time. The date is above. The presentation will last 30 minutes followed by question time. Where: The presentation is by webinar. After registering you will be sent details of how to logon. Cost: This presentation is free to members of Engineers Australia (EA), the Australian Computer Society (ACS), the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and IEEE. Just provide your membership number during registration for the event. The cost for non-members is $30. How to register: Please register on the Engineers Australia event system, link above. Note, to register you need to have a free EA ID which you can get on the first screen of the registration page. Take note of your ID number for future events.
  18. IoT_Reaper virus spreading

    According to news reports. See https://www.itnews.com.au/news/new-mirai-copycat-iot-botnet-spreading-475936
  19. Scaleable small data insights

    One of my colleagues, Hugh McCann, recently presented our company with an update on his data analytics work. He kicked off with a summary of his home energy usage. I knew he'd been tracking this, and I believe we talked on the day he accidentally deleted 3 months of data! Yep, he's a nerd's nerd and hadn't thought to protect the data because it was just a home project, so you can imagine how he felt. He's just published a more detailed description of how and why he did it here. What immediately strikes me is that what he's done isn't particularly complex and it appears to me that it could be commoditised / built into new constructions. This ties in with some other discussions on smart metering but gives some insight into what can be done across a broader range of domestic power usage, and a way to engage the home owner. It seems an obvious extension to add a degree of machine learning and mass energy usage collection for a whole variety of purposes.
  20. Scaleable small data insights

    One of my colleagues, Hugh McCann, recently presented our company with an update on his data analytics work. He kicked off with a summary of his home energy usage. I knew he'd been tracking this, and I believe we talked on the day he accidentally deleted 3 months of data! Yep, he's a nerd's nerd and hadn't thought to protect the data because it was just a home project, so you can imagine how he felt. He's just published a more detailed description of how and why he did it here. What immediately strikes me is that what he's done isn't particularly complex and it appears to me that it could be commoditised / built into new constructions. This ties in with some other discussions on smart metering but gives some insight into what can be done across a broader range of domestic power usage, and a way to engage the home owner. It seems an obvious extension to add a degree of machine learning and mass energy usage collection for a whole variety of purposes.
  21. In attendance: Arkady, Arthur, Geoff, Peter, Tim 1. Trial of Webcast Arrangement Arthur as organizer (with Peter) – able to successfully connect to a big screen Geoff as presenter, Tim as audience member, Akady as audience member Some fine tuning to do 2. Webinar Program - 2017 Unfilled slot 24-Oct – too late to do anything 7-Nov - Melb Cup day so do 14-Nov instead 14-Nov – Geoff 21-Nov or 28-Nov – Dan Hunter 12-Dec - Steve 3. Webinar Program - 2018 We will concentrate on 2018, and ensure that we have a robust process in place to fill the pipeline moving forwards. Process to date has been ad-hoc rather than structured; we have been using referrals via our networks. We can bring more structure by focussing on topic areas, then seeking speakers on topics rather than slotting in what comes along. TK does not think we are approaching the point of having picked the low-hanging fruit; ideally Tim would have staff support to facilitate the process. Core Member’s role should be as “theme leaders”, but not spending their time on the handle-cranking and logistics – desirably the task of finding speakers on particular topics would be delegated to a support resource. Arkady – try and create an environment where speakers are lining up to present, rather than us having to chase them – maybe some form of reward for speakers? Eg credits for CPEng? Credentials and prestige? Arthur – being EA in itself is a drawcard. Geoff – our track record, number of members, BOK in the form of Webinar recordings have or is reaching a threshold where we have substantial credibility and can do some chest beating Tim – Arkady is spot on – we will not get there overnight – we should focus intently in getting there. Best practice for community – typically takes 3 years for community to become self-sustaining. We have certainly crossed the “credibility threshold” and can now embark on a marketing campaign. Tim will also engage with vendors and academics to increase level of engagement. Arkady suggested going to the community audience to invite speakers who may wish to present. It is a year since we last did this. As an idea, invite presenters to seek expert opinion on their ideas. 4. Partnering with Others IoTAA, organisations such as Data61 – promote each other’s programs etc. 5. Ideas from Tim Use our database more: i.e. I have an excel spreadsheet of contacts. Publish calendar of vacant slots and ask them to speak. i.e. more bulk emails, less one on one chasing. Develop partnerships: i.e. with other organisations, have a joint program and ask each organisation to be responsible for filling slots.... We already have contacts with IEEE, IET, ACS and is free for members so we should drive those first and then develop other agreements as necessary. Utilise membership: Invite members to speak. Will be a low response rate. But may be able to innovate the format e.g. Present your IoT idea for free advice from our experts... Might need to try successive formats. Admin: Re the admin/email hastle, we would ideally have staff doing this . Communities have been included as a potentially key part of a membership growth strategy being discussed by EA but I have not visibility if this will be approved or tranlate into more resources in my area. So in the short term the only via way of addressing this is to have more volunteers spreading the workload. We should discuss next meeting how to pursue this.
  22. Project management for the IoT

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    Recording: This webinar has now passed. Members of Engineers Australia can view the recording for free on MyPortal. Logon and navigate to Practices > Project Management. Others can purchase the recording on EABooks. This webinar is an activity of EA’s Applied IoT Engineering Community. See http://iot.engineersaustralia.org.au/ for more information. Title: Project management for the Internet of Things. Description: Project management of IoT projects can pose special challenges, which arise from the range of complex technologies which are typically incorporated into an IoT system. Project teams will typically be challenged by technologies with which they are unfamiliar, and will need to seek assistance from suppliers and expert consultants. The presentation will identify these challenges, and provide practical strategies for overcoming them. What you will learn: How to specify IoT system technical requirements Identification and selection of technology solutions Recognising and overcoming technical risks Determination regulatory requirements and how to comply with them Team skills and competencies A staged approach to development Dealing with aspects where specialist assistance may be required About the presenter: Genesys founder and CEO Geoff Sizer has a lifelong passion for electronics and technology, and an ongoing commitment to the electronics engineering profession. He has more than 35 years experience in electronic product development ranging from complex systems to simple consumer goods for a diverse range of industries and applications. Geoff is a Fellow of Engineers Australia, a Chartered Professional Engineer and registered on the National Professional Engineers Register. As a former President of the IREE, Geoff was instrumental in the formation of the ITEE College in Engineers Australia and is a past chair. He has championed the formation of the Applied IOT Community of practice.. During his career Geoff has acted as a Director or Chief Technical Officer for several leading technology When: 12 midday AEST (Sydney) on 14 November 2017. The presentation will last 30 minutes followed by question time. Where: The presentation is by webinar. After registering you will be sent details of how to logon. Cost: This presentation is free to members of Engineers Australia (EA), the Australian Computer Society (ACS), the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and IEEE. Just provide your membership number during registration for the event. The cost for non-members is $30. How to register: Please register on the Engineers Australia event system, link above. Note, to register you need to have a free EA ID which you can get on the first screen of the registration page. Take note of your ID number for future events.
  23. 18 Oct "Apple and GE today announced a partnership to deliver powerful industrial apps designed to bring predictive data and analytics from Predix, GE’s industrial Internet of Things (IoT) platform, to iPhone and iPad. The two companies unveiled a new Predix software development kit (SDK) for iOS, which gives developers the tools to make their own powerful industrial IoT apps." More info https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2017/10/apple-and-ge-partner-to-bring-predix-industrial-apps-to-iphone-and-ipad/
  24. Smart Metering of Utilities

    Introduction Smart metering using IoT has the potential to increase efficient use of utilities and identify and resolve issues in supply infrastructure in the utility industry. One definition of smart metering is the collection of metering data on utility (electricity, water, gas) use, and the systems and processes that derive value from the data. It also enables two-way communications from the meter to utility providers and users, and involves intelligence and processing within the meter that differentiates it from simple automated meter-reading systems that send a reading at specified intervals. Smart metering is widely used in the electrical power industry, due to ready availability of power for IoT devices, however has proved more challenging in metering other utilities such as water. Smart meters enable users and suppliers to gain insights into the utility use of a particular site, piece of equipment, house: anything with a meter. It also gives electricity distribution or water network operators insights into the operation of the network. On the supply end of the meter, utility providers can start to understand what demand is on the network, and when and where there is demand. Smart metering solutions have the following key focus areas: sustainability: reducing the amount of resources that we consume and the energy required to treat or distribute the resource increasing labour efficiency (eg. installing a sensor rather than having a person check manually) increasing economic efficiency As with any IoT project, the cost of smart metering solutions needs to be offset by efficiency or cost savings driven by value extracted from the data collected. One key to increasing efficiency with smart metering is to provide customer friendly data visualisation, interactive analytics and data sharing to allow users to monitor and modify their utility usage. This may not be necessary for corporate users, who will require integration of smart metering data with their own business systems to drive economic and operational benefits. Enrichment of data with additional sources (such as weather and home automation data) also adds value, as does automating processes and work flows by feeding smart metering data or summaries into scheduling, reporting and service systems. Monitoring water use can also businesses predict future utility use for more informed financial planning. Smart metering of water The water industry has historically lacked economically IoT solutions for smart metering. Only around one percent of residential water meters (95% of the water market) are smart enabled. However the application of IoT technologies to high water users is now delivering significant results. Low cost, high volume remote sensing devices are using new low power wide area network (LPWAN) communication technologies and advanced data analytics to develop new business models for the management of water use. Users are more easily able to identify water leaks and consumption trends, to generate insights and facilitate smarter action. The key components of IoT in the water industry are similar to other vertical IoT solutions: · physical layer: low cost, low power remote sensors and devices · network layer: LPWAN, other connectivity · Cloud and edge computing · Data storage, analytics, machine learning · Integration with operational and business systems These components and their relation to each other are shown in the diagram below. Diagram courtesy of Rian Sullings, WaterGroup Pty Ltd Machine learning is used to improve the efficiency data analysis, especially for large data sets for cities rather than individual buildings. Integration of smart water metering systems with operational and business systems is a developing area, as historically they have been stand alone systems rolled out by water utilities with links to billing and some data analytics. Future developments are likely to include data connections to systems that schedule maintenance work, and automatic alerts to operators to resolve detected water leaks. Smart water meters distinguish baseflow (constant, steady flow) from leaks (steady or slightly fluctuating use of water which varies from the norm). Data analysis can inform other efficiencies including timing of air conditioning operation to maximise efficient use of cooling towers. Leak detection provides the greatest economic benefit of smart water metering. A recent project delivered water savings that covered the cost of smart meter installation in less than a year. The diagram below shows the increase in water usage (dark blue line) caused by a leak in the roof sprinklers during the new year’s break at a facility. An automatic alert sent by the smart metering system allowed the leak to be detected and fixed in a matter of days. Diagram courtesy of Rian Sullings, WaterGroup Pty Ltd Challenges Challenges to IoT smart metering solutions can be industry specific. For example, the water industry has infrastructure, such as underground pipes and meters, that are very difficult to access and successfully establish data communications with. This has historically made implementation of IoT and other electronic solutions (end-to-end telematics, SCADA) solutions challenging, as they require deployment of devices with access to power and communications channels. Prototypes are being developed for Sigfox smart metering devices outside North America and Europe, as the frequencies vary between regions, and smart metering devices have not been widely used outside these areas. There is also a limited amount of knowledge of developing smart metering applications for IoT, particularly in the water industry, so collaboration with professional organisations and between developers is important. Another challenge is educating utility users that installing a smart metering system will not increase sustainable resource use unless there are clearly defined goals and methods to store, analyse and feed data into decision making to change behaviour to maximise efficiency. To do this, smart metering systems need to be integrated with business or operational systems, which can be challenging as some utilities (eg. water), currently have limited standards to aid integration of IoT data. Security of smart metering systems is also a concern, particularly for government run systems. This can result in private servers being set up rather than hosting smart metering data in the cloud. Data ownership and privacy are also challenging, particularly for sharing of data collected from private homes. Suppliers and Innovators Australian smart metering company WaterGroup has formed a partnership with IoT communications provider Thinxstra to use the Sigfox LPWAN to allow high water users to detect leaks, and has received an award from the Australian communications industry for positive application of IoT technologies. Over the past few years, South East Water (SEW) in Victoria have been trialling a range of different Internet of Things (IOT) technologies with the goal of creating the most advanced water and waste water network in Australia. The trials are aimed at identifying an IOT platform that will allow the connection of around one million monitoring and controlling devices across SEW’s water and wastewater network using a low power wide area network. More information is contained in the case study page for this project. Standards The Australian national data standard standard for energy smart metering is NEM-12, administered by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). Standards for IoT-based smart metering of water are still being developed. There is no standard format data storage and transfer, so there are many different file types and formats, which are difficult to integrate. Middleware software can be used to convert data into a common format for integration. Other areas for development in IoT smart water metering data standards include reliability, communications protocols and security. IoT smart metering applications in Australia also use the Hypercat standard for cataloguing and storing IoT data. Sources The content in this page has been primarily sourced from: Webinar titled ‘Smart Metering for Water with the Internet of Things’ by Rian Sullings, Manager Smart Metering & IoT, WaterGroup Pty Ltd Further information Discussion of audience questions from Webinar titled ‘Smart Metering for Water with the Internet of Things’ by Rian Sullings, Manager Smart Metering & IoT, WaterGroup Pty Ltd
  25. Attendees: Tim, Arkady, Geoff Apoligies: Arthur, Peter 1. General Discussion Arkady reported from his trip that there is a big head of steam building for IoT in Europe. GS advised of a report on Everything IoT conference on ABC news 11-Oct-17 – including a brief comment from Frank Zeichner. GS advised on problems experienced by organisations seeking end-to-end solutions in finding a complete solution provider. 2. Background TK is launching two new communities - Risk Engineering BOK in the new year; and Energy Engineering (supported by electrical College) with a possible fourth – STEM – so TK’s ability to support IoT Community will ramp down – in particular the driving of the agenda – from Feb 2017 onwards. 3. Webinar Recording EA members can access video recordings on My Portal, and non EA members can purchase access. Videos are up on YouTube. Tim edits each video (about 3 hours work) and puts up within 24 hours. This role by Tim will persist into the future. EA benefits by building a BOK and CPD collateral; and the community benefits through having the webinar recordings available to its members. The Webinar editing arrangement is working well. In due course the current solution may be replaced by an EA-wide enterprise solution for webinars. 4. Marketing Now that the community is maturing and the webinar support system in place, Tim will move within EA to internal marketing and support. Why is EA not running conferences in the space? Opportunity with new person in place (located in EA office in Sydney) to adopt a more strategic view of conferences within EA. GS to establish linkage between Tim and Graham Town who is ITEEC Board member with conference portfolio from ITEEC perspective. Now we have something of substance to show, in particular via the portal, we can start to promote the community and gain synergistic benefits. Arkady identified Stuart Corner as active in running IoT blog, and having useful contacts in the industry and the media. Tim sees the main objective is providing greater visibility of the community. 5. Governance Tim is proposing that ownership of the IoT Community needs to transfer to the ITEE College, now that the pilot has proven successful and the online community model has been proven. Energy and Risk Engineering communities are being established based on a model whereby each community is supported by a unit of EA. Ideally, a similar relationship will be established with ITEE College. College Board can establish a subcommittee with responsibility for the community. The community needs to become a part of EA’s main stream, so as to maintain relevance. 6. Course Accreditation Universities are establishing IoT courses – EA has a course accreditation role, and logically will put in place measures for course accreditation. GS is participating in IoT Alliance activity in relation to education, and engagement with EA in this process. EA’s domain is the University and course accreditation area. EA and ACS currently jointly accredit software engineering courses, and IoT would be a natural complement to this. 7. Webinar Program To be a main topic of the next Core Members meeting
  26. IoT and STEM Outreach

    Yes, agree with pretty much all that. I would tend not to be too dismissive of the value of learning the principles of coding. At my daughter's age, the concepts of IF/THEN constructs and all the other coding principles are all very new and worthwhile I think. And primarily at this stage, I think my aim is just to get her enthusiastic about learning, so the scratch level programs have been great and she still has some way to run with it. However, I take your point that she will pretty quickly run out of runway to learn with just coding which is why I am already thinking about what next. Your point about teachers asking what will you drop is very valid. They don't teach this stuff in normal school time for that very reason. However, as a parent I have oodles of after school time and holidays to fill which I would like to be as enriching as possible, hence my interest in this. I'm not actually particularly focused on coding or even STEM. However, I did attend a DATA 61 event where one of the keynote speakers was 9 years old and was a little blown away by the potential of young people to create a future using data. As you say, its what you do with the data rather than coding as a skill that will make the difference. However, I think understanding how to manipulate data via coding will be \ a modern day skill that should sit alongside other skills like literacy and mathematics. But how to develop it over time in a reasonable fashion? I put up a proposal in EA about a year ago to launch a STEM Outreach Community, whereby deliverers of STEM education services such as yourself could collaborate and learn from each other. It hasn't got traction yet but I remain hopeful. Cheers Tim
  27. AIIA IoT MER: The Smart Mining Conference

    See https://www.aiia.com.au/events/upcoming-events/south-australia-events2/southaustralia/the-smart-mining-conference
  28. IoT and STEM Outreach

    Yes, Newcastle only at the moment. But now that we've run our first session the feedback has been very encouraging - we now have plans for expansion! Definitely supply and demand is a factor. Like all these trends the supply tends to overshoot the demand. But I think there's also a element of thin value. By which I mean the dominant marketing message is that coding = skill for the future and that code camps = coding competence. When you sell something predicated on those two shaky equivalences you only have a short period of time before people notice the emperor is wearing no clothes. So yes, experience with Scratch, using a screen to create rather than consume are very valuable. But I think you also need to get kids off computers and working with things and people. They're the human skills that will always be in demand, particularly in tech and engineering. I like your progression idea. I suppose the teachers would argue: sounds great, what are you going to give up to make room for it? I was on a webinar this morning with Jon Samuelson on this topic and it's amazing how often he aligned with these themes. For instance: Advice from game developers: don't worry about making things too hard. Kids disengage from school because it's too easy, not because it's too hard. The challenge is the attractive part. "Coding in isolation without connection to physical environment can be just game creation". He goes on to say boys will often go on for days into their own world creating games and learning nothing, while girls will get bored. "Structured play" is the best learning environment. A 21st century learner should strive to: create, empathise, persevere, communicate, envision, be patient, observe, explore, adapt, collaborate, etc. That is, human skills. For reference, the webinar url is: http://home.edweb.net/webinar/stem20171011/ and I've attached a couple of his slides. Those price points are interesting. We went with $159 for two days and $149 for five after school sessions, which seems pretty attractive. Main challenge is that we want to keep teacher:student ratio really high to provide great service so it's a balancing act.
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