Data solutions lead to Net Zero

Researchers from the Centre for Data Analytics and Cognition are helping La Trobe University to reduce its carbon emissions

Researchers from the Centre for Data Analytics and Cognition (CDAC) are advancing our understanding of Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning and data analytics – by developing practical solutions for government, industry and society.

“The Centre specialises in transforming academic research into AI and analytics platforms that enhance data-driven decision-making in organisations and industry, locally and internationally,” explains Director, Professor Damminda Alahakoon.

The CDAC team consists of a group of AI and data science experts with outstanding research achievements and industry experience. New innovations are developed by the team in the Centre’s world-class lab, featuring high-end computing and visualization facilities – including a state-of-the-art display wall.

The facility allows researchers to create technological solutions for government and industry – but there is a project closer to home that promises to be a game-changer for La Trobe.

The University is currently harnessing the Centre’s research and technology capability to reduce carbon emissions as part of its Net Zero project – a $75 million initiative spanning 20 projects that will ensure La Trobe has Net Zero emissions by 2029.

As part of this project, Centre experts are designing an energy analysis platform that monitors the consumption patterns and performance of around 50 University buildings. The platform will reduce energy consumption by making lighting, heating and cooling adjustments, in real time, across La Trobe’s Melbourne and regional campuses.

"Buildings and spaces display distinctive behaviours in energy consumption,” explains Nishan Mills, CDAC Technical Architect. “The new platform will use available data streams to capture this unique behavioural profile.”

This will allow the platform to detect, analyse and suggest corrective measures to achieve the most efficient energy consumption across the University.

“Data solutions promise to transform our world, offering us smarter, more sustainable ways of working and living,” add Mills. “The Centre for Data Analytics and Cognition is contributing to next-generation technology and solutions that will benefit us all.”