JCU IoT

Sensory feast

By Carrie Bengston

A new degree at James Cook University will train future generations to master a growing network: the Internet of Things.

Drones hovering over a rainforest map the spread of invasive weeds. A buoy bobbing in the ocean near a reef measures sea temperature for climate change research. A tractor in a field uses GPS and soil sensors to tell farmers precisely where to sow for optimum crop yields.

Sensors and other devices are becoming more and more interconnected in what’s called the ‘Internet of Things’ – a network of drones, phones, smart electricity meters and all other devices, which, like computers, have an IP address.

By 2020, there will be 29.5 billion devices around the world connected to the internet. Tech analysis firm, International Data Corporation, forecasts that almost a third of these devices will be in the Asia–Pacific region. This growth stems mostly from government initiatives, particularly in China, and companies worldwide are eager to grab their share of the market.

James Cook University (JCU) in Queensland is responding by introducing a Bachelor of Engineering in Electronic Systems and Internet of Things in 2016. It’s the first degree of its kind in Australia, and one of the first in the world.

“We’re excited about this new degree,” says Rabin Tuladhar, senior lecturer and associate dean at JCU’s College of Science, Technology and Engineering. The program will combine engineering and business with technology, to train people in creating new internet-connected devices and managing the huge amounts of data they produce. “Our graduates will not just look for jobs – they’ll create them. They’ll be self-starters, problem-solvers and entrepreneurs,” says Rabin.

STEM Contributor

Author: STEM Contributor

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