Swinburne Open Day 2014

Swinburne University of Technology would like to invite everyone to attend Open Day 2014. 

Open Day is an opportunity for prospective students to find out what Swinburne’s all about and have some fun while doing it.

Kicking off at 10am on Sunday, 3 August, this year’s Open Day itinerary is jam-packed! But before we tell you about that, let’s get the information Mum and Dad want to know out of the way…

Everything Mum and Dad want to know:

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  • Swinburne is ranked one of the world’s top 400 universities in Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU).
  • We have been awarded a five-star rating by the Good Universities Guide 2014 and for overall graduate satisfaction.
  • Swinburne offers a large range of multi-discipline, industry-relevant courses, world-class facilities, student accommodation and support services.
  • We provide high-quality education to enable students to be life-long learners and innovators, and achieve their potential.

Now that’s covered, let’s talk about the important (fun) stuff…

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On Open Day we’ll be putting our best foot forward and showing off our fancy 3D printers, teaching you how to fly in our helicopter simulator and showing you the galaxy with our 3D film.

For the main event, we will be blowing up fibre composite reinforced concrete pillars, (the same stuff we used to reinforce the Westgate Bridge) in our Smart Structures Laboratory.

We’ll also have live sport science motion capture event  featuring our National Institute of Circus Arts’ students. (watch out - they will want audience participation!), a Q& A event with past Swinburne film and TV students - including Home and Away star Isabella Giovinazzo she plays Phoebe. In a word… HOT!

And because we know that planning your future can be totally exhausting…

We’ll have more food trucks then you’ll know what to do with! Big shout out to our friends, and perhaps the most nouveau foodies around - Mr Burger and Taco Truck - who’ll be cooking up a storm on campus all day. Yes, you have our permission to skip breakfast and have a burger or two.

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Swinburne has dedicated teaching and support staff to help you achieve your goals. However because uni is not just about the education, we’d like to take a minute to point out that, for students, one of the great things about Swinburne is its location.

Swinburne’s Hawthorn campus is surrounded by cute cafes with amazing coffee, awesome food such as maple bacon, and boutique clothing stores.

Bonus points - it’s just 10 minutes by direct train to the Melbourne CBD.  Hello Friday night! (or Tuesday night… it’s uni, anything goes).

Discover all of this for yourself by coming to Swinburne’s Open Day, we’re looking forward to seeing you there. Check out our 3D Open Day website

Make sure you enter our Open Day competition, for your chance to win our ultimate study pack.

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Appointment of new Chancellor

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It is with both pride and much sadness that I announce my retirement as Chancellor of Swinburne University of Technology, but with great pleasure announce that Mr Graham Goldsmith is the incoming Chancellor.

I have been Chancellor since 2005. During that time I have watched Swinburne’s student numbers increase, seen Swinburne’s outstanding research achievements place it at as one of the top 400 universities in the world, and been proud of our significant investments in our infrastructure, teaching and learning.

During my nine years as Chancellor I have seen the University establish a new and exciting vision that sets it apart as a university dedicated to science, technology and innovation and witnessed the establishment of important new ventures such as Swinburne Online, which have significantly expanded the reach of Swinburne’s programs across Australia.

It is with great pleasure that I announce that Swinburne’s Council has appointed Mr Graham Goldsmith to the role of Chancellor for the next five years.

Graham has served as a Swinburne Council member since August 2010 and Deputy Chancellor since February 2014.

For Graham, this appointment marks a journey of over three decades with Swinburne since graduating from Swinburne Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) in 1983.

Graham has been committed to driving Swinburne forward towards its vision. He has played an important part in supporting Swinburne and has invested his time, leadership expertise and resources into developing this great institution.

Graham is an inspiring leader who brings to Swinburne many years of leadership and financial management expertise. In addition to his roles at Swinburne, he is a non-executive director of ASX listed companies Djerriwarrh Investments Limited and SEEK Limited, and NYSE listed Zhaopin Limited.

He is also president of the Bialik College School Council, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (FAICD), a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australia (FFin), and a CPA member of the Australian Society of Certified Practising Accountants (CPA).

I take this opportunity to thank the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Linda Kristjanson, the members of Swinburne Council, our executive leaders, the broader Swinburne community and you, our dedicated staff for what has been a wonderful journey.

I wish Swinburne a thriving future as a leading provider of transformational education and I know I leave Swinburne in the best hands to achieve this.

Bill Scales AO
Chancellor and Chair, University Council

How to have your travel cake and eat it too!

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Here are three all too familiar problems facing University students today:

  1. I want to travel overseas, but I’m stuck here because…
  2. Travel is way too expensive and I don’t have enough money right now; I just brought tickets to that music festival and last weekend was a BIG one.
  3. Going on a European soiree will mean I’ll have to extend my degree by at least six months, which means working HERE for at least six more months, in a word ewww!

Lesson 1: It’s all about perspective

When it comes to planning a trip it’s easy to get in one mind set, you know backpack across Europe, do a Contiki tour, or if you’re feeling adventurous, go it alone. However, by shifting perspective a little to the left and joining a study abroad program you can have your travel cake and eat it to.

Enter Molly Haddon-Bolger a recent graduate of Swinburne University, majoring in communications and advertising. During her second year of university, Molly decided it was about time that she went off and saw the world, so she undertook a six-month study abroad program at the University of Surrey in the UK.  

Talking to Molly today it quickly becomes apparent that this was, in her opinion, the best decision she has ever made.  So I asked her to share some tips about how she did it.

Lesson 2: Places to find the cash other then the back of the couch

Molly went to Surrey with less the $1000, but didn’t lose out on any travel, social or study opportunities. How I hear you ask?

Well for a start she was careful with her money, and didn’t buy everything in sight. However more importantly through doing a study abroad program she was eligible for scholarships, study grants, and OS help loans, and in addition, while overseas Molly continued to receive Centerlink support. All of this meant that Molly had some fantastic stories about late nights in Surrey, and backpacking around Europe on weekends and holidays.

Molly’s advice: “Don’t think money is a problem, there’s always some around, and as for my stories some of them may not be so appropriate to share, you’ll have to go make some for yourself.”

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Lesson 3: This is the part where we eat the cake

 Let’s revisit problem three, extending your degree to travel. The beauty of a study aboard program is that units of study that you undertake oversees count towards your degree; no time added to your University sentence and you get to see the world. FYI this is one of those win - win situations. 

The other thing you need to know is that being able to say that you studied overseas is a great thing to have on a resume. It shows independence, maturity and that you can adapt to new and challenging situations.  

Molly’s thoughts; “Regardless of your motivations for wanting to head overseas ‘DO IT’. Employers love that stuff, but more importantly being thrown into the deep end without your usual support network will force you to grow as a person, it’s hard, but totally worth it.”

Lesson 4: You’ve got to be in it to win it

Molly’s exchange experience taught her a lot of things. In her words “Studying abroad taught me just how immature I was before, and how in order to live my life I need to accept a lot more responsibility. It has given me independence, confidence, friends for life and a deep-seated appreciation of how great my mum is during the trials and tribulations of the morning after what was the night before. Most importantly it taught me that I can do this, which is why since completing my degree I have moved back to the UK and I’m now living it up in Liverpool.”

Her final and unsurprising piece of advice is that everyone should seize the opportunity that universities like Swinburne offer with their study abroad programs. Take the plunge and have a travel adventure.

Find out more about Swinburne Study Abroad here

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Check out the pop-up shop our students have designed

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Have you noticed that there seems to be more pop-up shops at your local Westfield Shopping Centre?

With retail stores around Australia seeing a growing trend in these types of shops, our Diploma of Visual Merchandising students have tackled this trend head on, by designing and constructing a retail pop-up shop at Swinburne’s Wantirna campus.

Why has there been an increase in pop-up shops? Swinburne Visual Merchandising teacher Di Matthews says this is because  people are choosing to buy their goods and clothing online.

“Over the last few years, we’ve seen a lot more people buying online and through social media sites, which has meant that traditional retail stores have had to improve their in-store merchandising to stay competitive.

“This is why we got our students to create a pop-up shop for one of their final year projects. It is important that we stay up to date with industry trends and make sure that our students are ready to go into jobs once they finish the 18 month course,” Ms Matthews said.

The store has been designed for client OH GINGER, which is a group of Melbourne-based designers who make handmade gifts.

As part of the students work on this project, they will be monitoring customer activity and interaction within the shop, so that they can learn more about how to design and construct an effective pop-up shop.

The shop will open to the general public on Wednesday 16 July, from 9am-2pm and we would love you to come and visit it!

Find out more about the pop-up shop here.

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You know you are from Melbourne when…


1. You have used an umbrella, scarf, sunglasses, sunscreen and thongs – all on the same day

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2. You see an AFL player and it is like seeing an A-Grade celebrity

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3. You have performed a hook turn and thought you were a genius

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4. You believe Melbourne’s coffee is superior to every other city in the world

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5. You have no idea whether to turn your clock back or forward when daylight saving arrives

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6. You believe Docklands will never be fetch

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7. You have been to Revolver and come out in daylight

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8. You believe you know the best burger place on Brunswick Street 

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9. You get stuck behind a tram at least three times a week

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10. You don’t understand why we have a public holiday for a horse race, but you think it’s brilliant

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11. You hate Sydney

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12. But you are jealous of Sydney’s weather and beaches

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13. You’ll pay exorbitant amounts for a fancy brunch, but no more than $7 for a kebab at 4am 

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14. You believe Melbourne is the sports capital of the world

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15. You think Federation Square looks like a normal building 

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16. You have created several email addresses to better your chances of getting tickets in the Falls Music Festival ballot

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17. You believe going to the other side of the West Gate Bridge is like going to Narnia

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18. You feel overwhelmed by all the gelati in Fitzroy

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19. You’re a little scared to go barefoot at St Kilda Beach

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20. You think Melbourne is the best city in Australia… but you still don’t understand the Myki system

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And, it’s a wrap!

Last week the Swinburne Design Factory’s Global ME310 program finished up their projects they had been working on since last year.

The final weeks were full of hard work and preparation for the two day EXPE event, which was held at Stanford University.

Day one of the event showcased global collaboration projects, which included students from universities around the globe. 

Swinburne students Adam Cochrane, Alex Graham and Sarah Halliday showcased their project they had worked on with students from Aalto University for an Australian company Visy. Team Visy showcased their final concept, PaintPac, an innovative packaging concept for DIY painters.

The other project involved Swinburne students John Eggleston, Colin Giang and Shelby Grainger collaborating with students from Stanford University and Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Colombia. The group worked on a project for a Colombian fashion company, Totto. The final concept they presented was a bag, that when moving around in the busy urban environment, reminds the user what he or she may have accidentally left behind.

Ever wondered how astronomers measure the temperature of distant objects in the Universe? 

Recently an international team, led by researchers from Swinburne University of Technology, found evidence that the Universe broke its rising ‘fever’ about 11 billion years ago.

To find this out, they measured the temperature of the Universe when it was 3 to 4 billion years old by studying the gas in between galaxies.  

But since scientists can’t travel to these far off places with a thermometer, how did they do it?

Swinburne’s Dr Alan Duffy explains what temperature is, and how we can measure it in space from here on earth.

Follow Alan Duffy on Twitter @astroduff 

The 20 stages of exams

Exams. We’ve all been there. *sigh*  

Realising exams are in a week, you make a plan

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But instead…

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You attempt to study, but fall asleep

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Realising you don’t have much time left to study, you panic

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You consult your friends about your exams

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You study intensely for five minutes

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Before getting distracted by your awesome study playlist

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You realise all your studying has been ineffective

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So you decide to pull an all-nighter

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Realising you may have to admit to defeat

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You walk into the exam hoping you somehow understand everything

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You read the first question…

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And realise…

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You somehow manage to get the one seat surrounded by people coughing

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You leave the multiple choice questions to last, thinking they will be easy. You were wrong!

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Walking out of the exam room…

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Your response to someone who asks how your exam went…

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Deep down you are feeling…

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Waiting for your results

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I passed!

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Advertising students pitch and score internships

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L to R: Anne Morton (Advertising Lecturer), Nathan Kerin, Mel Priestley, Carissa Tessier, David Reid (Advertising Lecturer)

Congratulations to three of our advertising students who have secured Media Federation of Australia internships, as part of the annual MFA internship program.  

Running in June and July, the four week, nationally competitive internship program will see Nathan Kerin working at Mindshare, Mel Priestley at Zenith Optimedia and Carissa Tessier at Maxus.

Swinburne Advertising Lecturer David Reid said the internships will help the students to make the transition to the professional job market.

“Industry internships are an excellent opportunity for students to gain invaluable on the job experience prior to employment,” Mr Reid said.

“The industry is changing rapidly and our students are developing a strong foundation of knowledge that prepares them for the jobs that are out there and available now.”

This weeks Swinning Style is brought to you by Film and Television student Amy Jeffries. 
Amy is wearing:
Black Milk hosiery
Lonely Kids Club sloth dress
Sparkly Doc Martens
Scarf from Thailand.
We love her cute sloth dress and her sparkly boots.
Share your awesome uni outfits at #swinningstyle on Instagram.

This weeks Swinning Style is brought to you by Film and Television student Amy Jeffries. 

Amy is wearing:

  • Black Milk hosiery
  • Lonely Kids Club sloth dress
  • Sparkly Doc Martens
  • Scarf from Thailand.

We love her cute sloth dress and her sparkly boots.

Share your awesome uni outfits at #swinningstyle on Instagram.

Shout out to the Events Management students who successfully organised this fun event as part of their course!

Science of Dr Who explored

Astrophysicist Dr Alan Duffy and comedian Rob Lloyd separate fact from fiction in a new stage show looking at the science behind the hit show.

Vietnam Sustainability Study Tour

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Swinburne student Jessie Spiteri undertook the Vietnam Sustainability Study Tour in January this year, where a group of Swinburne students visited Tra Vinh University, in the south of Vietnam. In this guest post, Jessie talks about what she enjoyed during the tour and why she would recommend it to others.

As a final year Journalism student, participating in an International Sustainability Project, I assumed I would be out of my depth. But through pre-departure meetings and Vietnamese themed lunches, I soon realized that the other students and tour leaders were from a range of different courses and backgrounds.

With some leaving Australia for the first time and others ticking another country off their to-do list, Vietnam welcomed us all with broad smiles, sincere conversations and a tremendous amount of respect. 

Working alongside student volunteers from Tra Vinh University, we were able to see firsthand how litter has impacted the environment. During a day trip to Ba Om Pond, a popular destination for locals, we picked up 152 kg of litter between us!

This ‘action speaks louder than words’ approach continued through all facets of the project, with the overall aim to develop a plan to make Tra Vinh University a more environmentally sustainable campus. We planted trees and assisted in a watermelon, peanut and corn harvests. We rode bikes through the town to do our shopping, taught an English Speaking club about being a global citizen and caring for our environment, sang karaoke and danced to deafening club music.

The tour taught us to live simply, appreciate the resources we have available and consider the effects our actions may have upon others. Living in a guesthouse on a Vietnamese university campus transformed my perception of learning and studying; working beside a farmer relying on the income generated by the harvest redefined a hard day at work; and travelling to a foreign country with other students exposed a university experience unlike any other. 

‘Applications for the 2015 Vietnam Sustainability Study Tour close on Friday 30 May. For more info on the tour and to apply for the tour, visit the Study Tour website

15 things you should never ask a uni student

1. What are you going to do after graduation?

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2. The job market is so bad right now. Are you worried?

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3. Do you take notes in class?

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4. How long are you planning to live at home?

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5. How is your timetable this semester?

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6. What are you going to do with your Arts degree?

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7. When is your assignment due?

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8. Do you have any savings?

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9. Have you done the readings?

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10. Did you get your assignment done?

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11. Isn’t that a tough industry to get into?

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12. How’s your group assignment going?

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13. Are you getting Centrelink payments this week?

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14. How was your 8.30am lecture?

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15. Did you study for the exam?

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This post was inspired by Mashable: 20 things you should never say to college grads

Swinburne IT students perform well in hacking competition

Deputy Chair, Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering, James Hamlyn-Harris, reviews the recent 24-hour Cyber Challenge.

Our four teams made a slow start, being overtaken early in the competition by universities including Monash and Deakin. By about eight hours into the 24-hour comp, we were coming last among Victorian universities. Melbourne, RMIT and FU were well ahead of us. 

But Swinburne students know how to pace themselves, and we kept gaining points throughout the remaining 16 hours, right up to the last minute. While many teams retired or burnt out (not solving puzzles for many hours on end), ours consistently maintained pressure on other universities, achieving ‘flags’ every hour, half-hour or even every 15 minutes. 

In the last hours our A-team fluctuated between 13th and 9th place, and when the dust settled, they were there: safely in the top 12. The only Victorian team that did better than ours was one of the Monash teams who ended up in sixth place. 

The winners (as usual) were the University of NSW in first, second and third place. Other top performers were University of Sydney, Flinders, ANU, Edith Cowan and Murdoch.

Our B-team was placed in the middle of the pack in 31st place, and our novice teams were placed 41st and 54th.

Our teams each included a range of skilled and unskilled students from different courses and sectors. We had Vocational Education students in three of our teams (including our A-team), and had students from most of our ICT courses including Business Information Systems, Internet Technology, Network Design and Security, Telecommunications, Computer Science, and even Certificate IV in Computer Systems Technology. 

Next year these students will become the veterans of the comp, and train themselves and new students to prepare for CySCA 2015 and other competitions. They will be strongly motivated to perform better next time by learning the skills needed to compete (and coincidentally excel in their studies). 

Overall we have maintained our position among the top 21 per cent of Australian university students in terms of hacking skills.

View the full ranking details 

Well done Swinburne!