La Trobe Professor a Young Tall Poppy

La Trobe University Professor Ani Desai’s dedication to researching technological solutions to real world problems has been recognised by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science, who have named him a Victorian Tall Poppy for 2020.

The Young Tall Poppy Awards, officially announced at a virtual ceremony last night, recognises the achievements of Australia’s outstanding young scientific researchers and communicators.

Professor Desai is Director of La Trobe’s Centre for Technology Infusion, and one of only 12 Victorian scientists named in this year’s awards.

La Trobe Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Industry Engagement, Professor Susan Dodds congratulated him on the accolade.

“Professor Desai has developed an impressive profile of research excellence by developing and applying cutting-edge technology solutions to a range of problems facing transportation, smart farming, logistics and energy management systems,” Professor Dodds said.

“It’s fitting that such a creative, talented, pragmatic individual with a strong track record of developing and delivering practical, commercially relevant innovations to industry, Government, partners and clients should be leading La Trobe’s world-leading Centre for Technology Infusion.”

Professor Desai thanked the Australian Institute of Policy and Science for his award.

“I feel proud to receive this recognition for my work, and that of the team at the Centre for Technology Infusion where we are focused on maximising the potential for micro-nano electronics, wireless sensor networks, and artificial intelligence and data analytics to address global problems.”

Professor Desai’s projects have included:

  • Working with Victorian Government to deploy and test the state’s first autonomous vehicle (pictured) with end-users
  • Work developing smart internet-of-things microchip for condition-monitoring of produce from farm gate to shop front
  • Energy management technology for Australia’s first Zero Emission housing project
  • Digital vehicle identification technology trials for Victorian law enforcement and road authorities
  • Testing and validating race tracking and timing technology for thoroughbred racing
  • Applying smart wearable sensor technology to determine pedigree of sheep and the feeding behaviour and performance of cattle
  • Developing connected vehicle technology to improve safety at rail crossings
  • Applying smart connected AI technologies to improve tram signalling.

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