The first podcast series ever produced by the University of Wollongong has gone live.

SMART stories for smart people tells the stories behind the research at the SMART Infrastructure Facility.

It’s been a big year for the facility, with the launch of the Digital Living Lab in May, and many of the podcast’s episodes tell the stories behind this ground-breaking project.

In Keep the Beer Flowing, we hear how Michael Burton converted his passion for craft beer into a world-beating idea to create smart kegs that record the location, temperature and age of craft beer.

In Chasing the Perfect Surfboard, we hear how Dr Marc in het Penhuis surfs at break of day every day, strapped into various monitors, all in the name of science and the search for the perfect, 3D printed surfboard fin.

And in Freedom on Wheels, we hear from a community of people in wheelchairs who are creating their own maps of areas, showing the ease or difficulty of routes for wheelchair-users.

The podcasts have been produced by award-winning audio journalist, William Verity, over a period of more than six months.

“It’s been an honour to hear the passion and commitment of SMART researchers to making the world a better place in so many ways,” he said.

“So often, academic researchers are so focused on their work, that they have no time to tell the world about their achievements.

“The aim of this series of short audio stories is to bring this work to life for a general audience, and perhaps inspire them to come up with their own projects.”

Professor Pascal Perez, director of the SMART Infrastructure Facility, said he was passionate about using expert knowledge to make real improvements to the liveability of cities, and to people’s lives.

“I would urge people to listen to these podcasts as a way to start learning what the future might hold, and how technology might be able to improve our lives,” he said.

“The Digital Living Lab is a public resource, provided by SMART and UOW for the people of the Illawarra, and I hope these podcasts will inspire people to come up with their own projects.”


SMART stories for smart people – a seven-part series by the SMART Infrastructure Facility, is available now on Apple Podcasts and SoundCloud.


SMART stories for smart people

Do you want to know what the future will look like? Open your mind and hear how researchers at Australia’s University of Wollongong SMART Infrastructure Facility are bringing together experts in fields such as transport, water, energy, economics and simulation to look at how things such as infrastructure and technology can make our lives better and our cities smarter. The future is now.

Episode 1 – The Digital Living Lab

There’s lots of talk these days about ‘smart cities’. Hear how one Australian city has joined the Internet of Things revolution.

Episode 2 – Keep the beer flowing

There’s nothing worse than running out of beer, or buying a beer that’s passed its prime. Smart kegs are very good news for people who enjoy an ale or two.

Episode 3 – Step into virtual reality

Imagine being able to inhabit any world you wish at the touch of the button? Explore the magic of virtual reality, and why it’s much more than gaming.

Episode 4 – Chasing the perfect surfboard

Surfers spend a lifetime chasing the perfect wave. But what about the perfect surfboard with the perfect, customized fins? Hear how 3D printing is revolutionizing the sport.

Episode 5 – Seconds save lives

When firefighters arrive at a fire, seconds count. So what happens when they can’t find the closest hydrant? That’s a problem that’s about to become part of the past.

Episode 6 – Slip, sliding away…

Landslides destroy property and kill. So what if you could detect landslides before they happen? That’s now possible with the Digital Living Lab.

Episode 7 – Freedom on wheels

Google Maps changed driving forever. There’s no need to get lost. But what about wheelchair users, arriving in a new place? How do they know about the stairs, the obstacles or the steep gradients? Hear about an app where the wheelchair community become their own Google cars.