On August 29, Jianjia Zhang, a UOW graduate and key member of the winning Smart Infrastructure Team from CSIRO’s Data61 were awarded the 2018 Eureka Award for Excellence in Data Science in recognition of their outstanding achievements in data science research and industry applications.Data61, Australia’s leading data innovation group was established in 2016 by Federal and State Governments, industry, university partners and CSIRO to foster an ecosystem of innovation and collaboration. By applying world-leading solutions to the data issues of the future, and in particular how to navigate Australia through digital disruption, they are addressing the growing need to renew current industries and create new opportunities for jobs and economic growth in areas such as cybersecurity, automated regulation and compliance, health and wellness, food security and smart cities.

The research carried out by this Eureka Award winning Smart Infrastructure Team effectively and economically assesses the condition of water pipes that would otherwise be an expensive and disruptive process with water utilities operators typically inspecting just one percent of network assets every year. The team has developed an analytical tool that makes intelligent predictions about failures, helping prioritise the selection of pipes for maintenance, reduce costs and minimise disruption to water supplies.

The Australian Museum Eureka Prizes reward excellence in the fields of research & innovation, leadership, science engagement and school science.

Jianjia Zhang graduated with a PhD in 2016 under the co-supervision of Associate Professors Lei Wang and Wanqing Li, and Dr Luping Zhou from UOW’s School of Computing and Information Technology (SCIT). He is currently working with the Smart Infrastructure Team in Data61, CSIRO.