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Michael Milford

Robotics expert

Michael Milford - Robotics Expert

Robotics expert Michael Milford uses data to fuel machine learning technology

Building the ‘brains’ of drones, robots and autonomous vehicles is all in a day’s work for engineer and robotics expert, Michael Milford. As joint director of QUT’s Centre for Robotics, Michael and his team harness the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to create real-world solutions for industry and government. Michael has worked on developing technology to help autonomous vehicles find their way underground at mining sites, for example. “People refer to AI as the new ‘electricity’ or ‘oil’ to indicate what a universal, game-changing technology it is,” says Michael.

Designing brainy machines is just one of the exciting career pathways that have emerged in our data-driven world. Jobs in data science grew by a massive 492% from 2015 to 2019 and are predicted to grow another 28% by 2026!

Data science + your passion = dream job

Working with numbers and data isn’t all spreadsheets and formulas: it can also fuel creativity and innovation. Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Creative Industries / Bachelor of Data Science program learn how to use data, too. Music and sound majors learn about algorithms in streaming platforms, while students majoring in fashion communication graduate with the skills to forecast market trends and analyse buyer behaviour.

Data science skills are also sought after in the healthcare industry, with the Bachelor of Health Information Management providing students with skills in health informatics and data management. The program offers plenty of opportunities to network and get to know the industry through work placements and visiting health information managers working at hospitals, not-for-profit organisations and government agencies.

Michael says that there are several pathways working with data, and the career opportunities are only going to keep growing. “There are lots of ways to end up in a career that is exciting and fulfilling,” he says. “Plus, many of the jobs in the future don’t even exist now!”

Michael’s study and career path

  • Bachelor of Mechanical and Space Engineering, University of Queensland
  • PhD in Robotics, University of Queensland
  • Founder, Maths Thrills
  • Professor of Robotics, QUT
  • Joint Director, Centre for Robotics, QUT

This article was created in partnership with QUT and originally appears in the QUT STEM Guide 2022.

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