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Industry and community projects

3000 level - projects and partners

COVID-19 update: 2021 projects will be delivered online

Student safety is our priority and due to the impacts of COVID-19, our intensives and semester-long ICPUs will be delivered in an online format, primarily through Zoom video conferencing.

As with face-to-face, you will still work collaboratively in interdisciplinary groups to solve a complex problem set by an industry partner. The partner will virtually engage and provide guidance throughout the project.

For Semester 1 and 2, some optional face-to-face learning options will be available. For students unable to attend face-to-face sessions, remote learning options will be provided as an alternative.

The following projects are 3000 level units. If you’re studying in a Bachelor of Advanced Studies, see information on our 4000 level projects

Because industry and community projects are run in collaboration with partners outside of the University, project partners and topics are subject to change prior to the start of teaching.

If you have any questions about the projects, you can email pvceducation.enquiries@sydney.edu.au

Availability of projects

Places in each project are limited so we encourage you to register early to avoid missing out. 

You will only see projects that are available for your enrolled shell unit and still have places available. If you can’t see a project when you register, you will need to select a different project. Project availability is subject to change.

Intensives

February intensives take place over 4 weeks from 25 January to 19 February 2021.

July intensives take place over 4 weeks from 28 June to 23 July 2021.

For intensive projects, students are expected to attend class Monday to Friday for the full day (exact timing to be determined by your project supervisor).

Find out how to enrol in an ICPU.

The demand for high quality fresh produce in Southeast Asia is increasing significantly. In light of the heightened focus on health and the growing upper-middle class segments that tend to purchase healthier, premium products. Coles is looking to scale its fresh produce sales into Southeast Asia to complement its sizeable meat portfolio. Students will research and provide recommendations on how Coles can scale its fresh produce sales into Southeast Asia, by exploring strategic initiatives, such as which stock keeping units or channels Coles should prioritise, what marketing activations Coles should undertake, how can Coles mitigate risk and strengthen brand confidence for its exported products and any technology investment that is appropriate.

KPMG - The impact of deglobalisation across australia

Humans have never been more connected: to each other, to our technology and to our beliefs and passions. We can feel as close with someone on the other side of the world, as someone on the other side of town. At the same time, the current pandemic has fractured our global world system, as we knew it and created a stronger focus on local and domestic needs. As we now shift away from recovery efforts to focus on renewal, it is time to consider what the pandemic has taught us. What are the impacts of de-globalisation? Where do we expect to see increasing localisation in Australia? What technology opportunities and changes in human behaviour can be harnessed to thrive in a new localised world? What do we need to be doing locally, to reconnect globally?  In this project, students will identify the considerations that governments, industries and businesses will need to navigate in line with emerging needs and demands over the next few years to succeed in a de-globalised world.

TAD– Using assistive technology to change lives

You are young, fit and in the prime of your life. One day at sports practice, you are doing a drill you have done a thousand times before. This time though, you slip and fall. This is what happened to Mark, a rugby league player seven years ago. In an instant, Mark’s life was changed forever; he was paralysed from the neck down. TAD changes the lives of people just like Mark living with a disability by providing personalised technology, equipment and services. TAD has over 100 volunteers who dedicate their time, skills and energy to produce life-changing solutions. New technologies such as microcontrollers, 3D printing and the internet are rapidly transforming solutions for people living with disabilities. TAD is working towards being a provider of innovative technology-based solutions; however, the majority of their volunteer workforce are inexperienced in this area. In this project, you will explore what new and emerging technologies will have the greatest impact on people living with a disability and explore how the changing nature of the volunteering industry can help to produce these solutions with a focus on regional NSW and VIC.

DIPEx International - Dosing the country to improve Australian pandemic resilience

Australia’s vaccine rollout has been criticised for being slow and confusing, with the country ranked 94th in the world for its efforts thus far. Then there are problems with vaccine types and side effects. Suddenly everyone is a pop-immunologists, calculating risks and benefits. This project asks students to stand back from these events and imagine what Australia can learn from the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of international trade, pharmaceutical sovereignty, health equity, and the damage to public confidence in vaccine regimes more generally.

Elizabeth Broderick & Co - Engaging men to be feminist allies

The movement for gender equality has historically been “a struggle for women by women.” The efforts of women’s rights organisations have been and continue to be largely responsible for progress. However, achieving gender equality requires the redistribution of power, which requires men to be engaged and accountable for change as feminist allies. Allyship is about men using their positions of power and influence – whether at work, in the community or in the family – to take action to achieve gender equality, standing in solidarity with women. In practice, there are many different approaches to allyship and efforts to engage men in gender equality with varying levels of success. What should feminist male allyship look like? What are the possibilities and pitfalls? What has the potential to create lasting change? The United Nations Working Group on Discrimination Against Women will be examining effective strategies to strengthen the role and accountability of men in driving change to achieve gender equality. Against this background, this project will involve examining effective approaches to engage and activate men as allies for gender equality, drawing insights from research and case studies of promising practices from across the globe.

KPMG - The future possibilities for the global space industry

In the next decade, the global space industry is predicted to double to almost 600 billion USD. Much of this predicted growth will be driven by the involvement of the private sector. This growth will drive innovation and have impact across industries, requiring businesses to modify their business models because of this growth in the space sector. The growth of the space sector will have implications across society and across all fields - from cyber and law to health and finance. What adjacent industries will emerge from the boom in space travel? How will tech innovations impact us on earth - what advancements and breakthroughs will be transferrable? How will this be regulated? In this project, students will explore the future possibilities for space and identify emerging opportunities to play in. Given all industries will be impacted by growth in the space industry, we encourage students from all disciplines to apply regardless of prior knowledge about space.

KPMG, Harris Farm Markets Ferrero and Illy - Food and health in a circular and sustainable economy

Food is central to family, cultural and community identity. It is essential to sustain life and food-related activities provide income and livelihoods for billions of people on earth. With the continuing rise in global food production and manufacturing to meet increasing demand, there is a pressing need to rethink food systems. In this project, teams made up of students from both Sydney and Padova representing unique mixes of disciplines will explore questions such as, how can we influence mass consumer food behaviours? What will be the role of growers, manufacturers, retailers and regulators? Which technologies and innovations (eg. smart foods, alternative proteins, and personalised nutrition) will be required to transform the food industry? Through research into these areas students will provide solutions on how we can rethink food systems for better health and sustainability. Students will be exposed to both the Australian and Italian food industry through engagement with a range of food companies and authorities.

This project will be run in conjunction with Padova University (Italy) and the class will be made up of half University of Sydney students and half Padova University students. Due to the involvement of Padova University students and Italian industry partners, this project is timetabled from 5pm – 8pm Monday to Friday over the July intensive period to accommodate the time differences.

Solve-TAD - Using assistive technology to change children’s lives

You are the parent of twin girls aged 5, Ella who has a disability and Louise who does not. You love to cycle together as a family, but Ella misses out because she cannot ride a standard bike. You are heartbroken that Ella may never experience an important part of growing up and the sense of accomplishment and freedom that comes with learning to ride a bike. Solve-TAD changes the lives of children just like Ella by providing personalised technology, equipment and services. We have over 200 volunteers who dedicate their time, skills and energy to produce life-changing solutions including Freedom Wheels bikes. Solve-TAD aspires to help everyone in the community regardless of location, cultural background and financial means. In this project, you will explore how Solve-TAD can increase its impact on children living with a disability to reduce barriers they may experience in home, school and play. Specifically, you will examine how Solve-TAD can navigate an increasingly complex operating environment – including changing technology, production processes, market landscape and volunteering industry – to help broaden its reach and impact.

The University of Sydney - Building a more sustainable university community

The world is waking up to its responsibilities towards sustainability on a scale never seen before and the need for collective climate change action has never been more pressing. Organisations across the world have a part to play in preventing climate change, not only through their operations, but also in the impact of their workforce as individuals. The University of Sydney is no different. In August 2020, the University launched its first Sustainability Strategy with ambitious targets for more sustainable operations across our campuses. The strategy also acknowledges that we cannot become more sustainable through our operations alone, the University community of staff and students has a large part to play too, both as individuals and through their research and education. How can the University work with its community of nearly 75,000 people to become more sustainable? For this project, you will explore the culture and values of the University community and what part sustainability plays. What is the balance between institutional support and individual responsibility? And how can areas of the University support our community to be more sustainable?

United Nations Association of Australia - Quality education for all

The United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all by 2030.  This project will focus on SDG 4: Quality Education, which aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. Education enables upward socioeconomic mobility and is a key to escaping poverty. Over the past decade, major progress has been made towards increasing access to education and school enrolment rates at all levels. However, around 260 million children were not in school in 2018 and more than half of all children and adolescents worldwide are not meeting minimum proficiency standards in reading and mathematics. In 2020, we also saw the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which bought temporary closure of schools, impacting more than 91 per cent of students worldwide. By April 2020, close to 1.6 billion children and youth were out of school. In this project, you will collaborate with the United Nations Association of Australia (NSW Division) and work in interdisciplinary groups to explore what methods of education have proven successful? And what can UNAA can do to achieve Quality Education by 2030? You will explore what kinds of educational programs UNAA must implement to improve individuals’ well-being and support individuals' flourishing.

Woolworths Supermarkets - The future of sustainability in retail

The world is radically evolving and sustainability is at the core of these changes. Issues such as climate change, resource scarcity crises, food insecurity, disruptive technologies, changing demographics or rising geopolitical uncertainty have a vast impact on society and the way that companies will operate in the coming decades. Companies have an enormous opportunity to encourage sustainable customer behaviour by the way they design or shape their offerings. As customers’ behaviours and expectations change, their demand for sustainable products and services increases. This “virtuous cycle” moves society in a more sustainable direction and builds market opportunities at the same time. Sustainability, at its core, is ensuring that our actions today do not impact the current and future generations' ability to live prosperously. At Woolworths, Sustainability is important to our customers, and is an intrinsic part of our business. We are continuing to lift our ambitions to drive the transformative change that is needed for future generations. We are no longer satisfied with simply limiting detrimental impacts.  In this project, you will investigate broad sustainability issues and deep dive across various sectors and organisations to provide a recommendation to Woolworths on how we might achieve our sustainability goals by 2025.

Semester-long projects

Semester 1 projects will be delivered online and will take place over the course of the semester, commencing 1 March 2021. Students are expected to attend scheduled class times for 3 hours per week. For students in Sydney, some face-to-face learning options will be available.

Find out how to enrol in an ICPU.

Adobe – Closing the digital skills gap

Technology is rapidly growing and transforming on a daily basis and organisations have been forced to be more dynamic, agile, and adaptable to survive in this changing environment. Much of this survival is hinged upon employing a versatile workforce with the necessary skills and experience required to address this technological revolution. However, industry is struggling to find talent with these required digital skills. How might this skills shortage be addressed and who is responsible for closing the digital skills gap? In this project, you will investigate the future of education and look to formulate creative and innovative ways that businesses, schools, universities, and governments can tackle industry skills shortages. You are encouraged to find tangible solutions that address the future of education so that human talent aligns with technological advancement.

Allianz – Mental health and well-being at work

Employee mental health and well-being is imperative for Allianz. As the next generation enters the workforce, a key enterprise-wide focus is on the various factors that affect employee mental health and their well-being at work. Traditionally, mental health focused on individuals and their immediate social, family and environmental sphere of influence. However, the ways in which young people connect, communicate and engage with the world around them has undergone rapid change. Furthermore, current and future generations of young people face increasing socio‐economic, political and environmental uncertainty on a global level. Students in this project will work in interdisciplinary teams to explore a wide range of influences on the next generation’s mental health at work and work to develop a future enterprise-wide strategy for Allianz that will administer a positive impact on the mental health and well-being of the next generation entering the workplace.

ANZ Bank – Data privacy and ethical design

The COVIDSafe app is a watershed moment in the widespread adoption of digital technologies by the Australian public. Millions of users downloaded the app in the weeks following its release. Yet experts were quick to examine the privacy and security risks associated with the app. Despite being designed with “Privacy By Design” principles and in compliance with the Privacy Act (1988), the app nevertheless asks us to reflect on data privacy. Long after Forbes declared that privacy was “completely and utterly dead”, citizens, including corporate citizens like ANZ, have privacy and the ethical use of data front of mind. In this project, your group will examine the corporate governance requirements of ANZ and propose principles for data ethics, as well as supporting processes and artefacts to create a Data Ethics framework that has the potential to do good. This would need to fit into an overarching enterprise data governance framework. As part of developing a data ethics framework, interdisciplinary teams can examine how ANZ can implement a data strategy that will avoid causing harm, increase freedom and equality, preserve individual rights and participate meaningfully in the democratic process.

Cochlear Australia - Improving access to healthcare using digital technologies

As the market leader in implantable hearing solutions, Cochlear is constantly looking for new ways to evolve the hearing care delivery model and make it easier for people with hearing loss to access our technology and get the best possible outcome once they receive an implantable hearing solution. Connected Care is a long-term initiative at Cochlear that aims to use software, mobile apps and other digital health tools to transform the care delivery model for cochlear implants and bone anchored hearing aids. In this project, students will explore the likely future trends of telemedicine and the impact of digital technology on the future access and delivery of healthcare. Cochlear is interested in working with groups of interdisciplinary student groups to explore the future of Connected Care and the potential implications for the Cochlear product and services pipeline.

Elizabeth Broderick and Co - The role of men in the gender equality movement

The movement for gender equality has historically been “a struggle for women by women.” The efforts of women’s rights organisations have been and continue to be largely responsible for progress. However, gender inequality is an issue that affects all people – socially, economically and politically. Further, men, whether in the family, community or in organisations hold significantly greater power and influence. Achieving gender equality requires men to use their power and influence to drive change, as well as the redistribution of power between women and men. Yet, men and boys largely remain missing in efforts to achieve gender equality. How can we better engage and build men’s accountability for driving change? The United Nations Working Group on Discrimination Against Women will be examining effective strategies to strengthen the role and accountability of men in driving change to achieve gender equality. Against this background, this project will involve exploring the key elements required for men to effectively support gender equality efforts, drawing insights from research and case studies of promising practices from the across the globe. Projects will make recommendations on actions to build men’s accountability for gender equality.

Ernst & Young – Resurgence after a global pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has had immediate impact on pretty much every aspect of our lives. We have seen entire cities in lockdown, industries come to a halt and significant changes to the way we live our lives. This unforeseen event has forced governments, businesses and individuals to rethink how we operate. As we shift away from recovery efforts to a focus on resurgence; assessing and adapting for the long term in the ‘New Normal’ will be key to success. In this project, students will identify the considerations that governments, industries and businesses will need to navigate in line with emerging needs and demands over the next few years. You can explore many industries such as Transport, Airlines, Health, Education – you can decide how the workforce you will be entering can be shaped or how changing customer needs will be fulfilled.

IBM Australia - Balancing AI decision-making and privacy in healthcare

As populations age, taxation income declines, and medical services costs increase, governments and health care providers are faced with the complex combination of increasing operating expenses against long term forecasts of reduced income. Governments and health care providers are turning to exponential technologies, such as artificial intelligence and robotics, to improve the productivity of health service provision. This includes over-servicing, improving the supply chain, and improving diagnosis and treatment capabilities. However, as policymakers and organisations start leveraging these insights for diagnosis, decisions, and treatment technologies, new challenges emerge as humans and technology collaborate both at the individual and community levels. New government policies and laws are needed to balance community health with cost reductions to accommodate the blended human and technology operating model. In this project, students will consider whether we, as a community, can or should rely on artificial intelligence to make decisions about our health. When ethics/values clash with cost-effectiveness, what are the primary principles the community can rely on? In addition, should an individual’s data be key to this new world? What is the balance between individual privacy and the need to share data to improve prevention and community outcomes?

Jacobs Engineering Group - Creating a smart systems approach for future cities

The ways that our cities will connect and operate in the future is unpredictable and complex. Cities such as Greater Sydney are growing at a rapid pace and many regions across NSW are trying to plan for this growth by thinking about how new communities in the future can connect and fit together to improve liveability. A smart systems approach applied to an entire city aerotropolis means technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) need to be well integrated with built transport infrastructure, key investment strategies, planning policy and legislation, among many other aspects. Jacobs is creating and shaping cities of the future through engineering technology. In this project, you will investigate how a smart systems approach can be used on a city-wide scale to improve the way we live now and many years into the future. You may choose to examine aspects such as how infrastructure in the future will be built to connect people and places, the economic and legislative policy implications of a smart precinct, the environmental and ecological impacts of city-building on greenfield land, or the ways that communities of the future can form new identities within a transformed space.

NSW Treasury Corporation - Climate resilience for NSW

In 2016, the NSW Government set out its intentions on climate change in the NSW Climate Change Policy Framework. The framework outlines long-term objectives to maximise the economic, social, and environmental wellbeing of the state in the context of a changing climate. NSW is making progress toward the 2050 target (the latest Australian greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory data shows 2017 GHG emissions in NSW were 18.2 per cent lower than 2005 levels). With GHG emissions in 2017 at 131.5 million tCO2-e, there needs to be committed action to achieve the 2050 target. Both private and public capital will need to be put to work to transform NSW into a net-zero emissions economy. Students will explore questions such as why is achieving net zero emissions important for NSW?  How do you attract private funding and investment into sustainable initiatives? What are the impediments to achieving the 2050 target? How do governments transition out of fossil fuels to renewables?  What are the key factors that contribute to resilience in the face of climate change? And how can the state derive maximum impact from the money invested through the NSW Climate Change Fund.

PTW Architects - Climate change and the cities of the future

Inaction on climate change poses significant threats to how we live. It is responsible for the increasing frequency and intensity of natural disasters and is expected to cause unprecedented poverty, famine and mass migration. Our built environment - our homes, our schools, our places of work - and the villages, towns and cities of which they are a part of are contributing to this climate crisis. PTW Architects have joined a worldwide effort to mitigate climate change through sustainable design. In this project, you will examine the role of architecture in developing the cities of the future. You may choose to identify local, regional or global environmental challenges and their impact on European and Asian cities, examine trends in sustainable design, propose a just transition plan, examine the technological advancements that will bring us closer to harmonious solutions or consider the legal and regulatory barriers that prevent more radical change to our built environments.

Tata Power India - Powering the next generation of energy across india

Tata Power is the largest power generation company in India, the second largest country in the world, where a quickly developing population of 1.4 billion people is demanding more and more energy. The Indian energy sector is in a rapid transition. 65 percent of the country’s electrical power is currently generated from coal. The Indian government has pledged to increase the share of power-generation capacity that does not use fossil fuels to 40 percent by 2030 and to reduce carbon emissions by 33 to 35 percent by 2030. At the same time, renewable energy technologies are reaching a maturation stage where India is well placed to expand its energy production sustainably. With India’s costs among the lowest in the world, it is at the cusp of an age of truly competitive, unsubsidised clean energy. In this project with Tata Power students will explore opportunities for accelerating the growth in India’s renewable energy market. Research topics could include innovative energy services or products, international trends and developments, deeper insights into the changing demands across the Indian population and solutions on how to provide renewable energy reliably to millions of rural homes.

The Matilda Centre - Mental health in the digital world

The rise of the ‘tech age’, has significantly transformed how people develop and relate to each other globally. During the global COVID-19 pandemic, restrictions on mobility in the physical world have only fuelled the growth of an increasingly digital world. Digital technology now pervades our lives from a young age; from the phenomenon of the ‘screen babysitter’ and the world of online ‘play’, to adolescents who grow up seeing their world, both public and private, through the digital eyes of their peers. While the digital medium provides an opportunity for young people in particular to stay socially connected, we have also witnessed the growth of online education and work, and increasing integration across the built and digital environment. However, in what ways is technology influencing young people’s mental wellbeing across arenas like home, education, work and community the decisions they make around socialisation and how they connect with each other and the world around them? As more of our lives are lived digitally, interdisciplinary teams spanning specialities as diverse as education, music, architecture, business, engineering, health, and psychology, are asked to develop insights or solutions as to how digital technologies can be leveraged for good.

Universities Admission Centre - Reimagining university admissions for wider access to higher education

Currently university admission is predominantly a numbers game and the personal attributes of an applicant – critical thinking, digital literacy, problem solving etc. are generally inferred from academic qualifications rather than specifically assessed as part of admissions. However, there is now a strong push for universities to admit students on broader criteria, while still ensuring that students are well prepared academically for university study. In this project, students may wish to consider how the current ATAR-based admission system works and how the key characteristics and attributes can be improved. Exploration of alternative models and frameworks used in other countries may be useful in determining the aspects of the current system that are worth retaining. Students are encouraged to propose new models including whether any new technologies can be leveraged to improve outcomes. Students must consider the implications of any recommended changes to the equitable allocation of university places, ensuring no group is significantly advantaged or disadvantaged.

Wandiyali Environa Wildlife Sanctuary - Building a collaborative conservation and restoration future

Across Australia, 95% of Box Gum Grassy Woodlands have been cleared for agriculture and development. This Australian ecological community of 400+ species is now critically endangered and at risk of becoming extinct. Wandiyali-Environa Wildlife Sanctuary, located in southern NSW at the intersection of Ngambri, Ngarigo, Ngunnawal and Ngunawal country, has been established to restore and conserve four hundred hectares of Woodlands. However, the sanctuary is only as strong as the community engagement and support it receives. How can the sanctuary build its connection with local residents, the regional council, local schools and tertiary education providers, traditional land custodians, local businesses, and the new Poplars innovation and technology precinct developers? What facilities, programs and services should be developed to foster engagement? How can we increase funding support for the sanctuary’s mission? Essentially, how might we continue to reimagine our local built and natural environment to develop and achieve shared sustainable conservation goals across a diversity of stakeholders? This project provides students from disciplines such as architecture, education, engineering, sociology, marketing and beyond with the opportunity to develop insights or innovative approaches to strengthen the future of this local ecological community.

Westmead Health Precinct - Using innovative technologies to improve clinical education

Health professionals working in busy clinical areas want their education and training to be accessible, relevant and engaging. Traditional clinical education tends to be didactic in-service sessions, bedside teaching, pre-reading and handouts. Whilst in some contexts this is appropriate and effective, the rapid acceleration and development of innovative technologies has created the possibility to expand traditional methods of clinical education. To expand the educational capacity, clinical educators must be equipped with the best possible tools to address identified educational deficits. These could include but are not limited to Gamification, Virtual/Augmented Reality and E-Learning. However, the number of available technologies, limited clinical time for development and limited funding availability can create a barrier to the effective implementation of potential solutions. Students in this project will explore innovative educational technologies, with consideration made to cost-effectiveness, usability and implementation in the context of clinical education.

Westpac Banking Corporation - Using digital technologies to improve user experience 

Westpac is Australia’s oldest bank and company, they provide a broad range of banking and financial services. Westpac is focused on helping Australians succeed, ensuring customers can save and invest with confidence, to helping with the financial needs of small businesses, multi-national corporates, institutional and government clients, Westpac put customers at the centre of everything they do. Westpac want to ensure the experiences for their customers and staff are quick and effortless, using technology to improve productivity, whilst focussing on user experience. In this project you will work in mixed disciplinary groups to explore solutions that take advantage of ways in which digital technologies can be used to deliver superior personalised service for customers or staff, to help put customers in control of their finances and to better understand and anticipate customer or staff needs. At the end of the project, you will pitch an innovative idea to help Westpac improve productivity or the experience of customers or staff in their branches, contact centres, corporate offices or in digital channels.

Accenture - Sustainable decision making

Sustainability is fast becoming a key choice and policy platform for many individuals, organisations and Governments. There is a strong push towards electrification, renewable energy and sustainable choices in products or services (either in how they are manufactured or through offsets). These solutions will no doubt over time begin to present challenges themselves. Some of these challenges are upon us today, such as renewable energy requiring some sort of firming technology (like gas or batteries) for periods when generation is low, there are many reports of the climate cost of producing batteries and what to do with them once they reach end of life, this will be exacerbated as more of us start to adopt electric vehicles? Can we effectively recycle solar panels? And how long do those big wind turbines last and what do we do with them once they reach end of life? For this project you will explore how sustainable some of these green solutions are, what can Government or the private sector be doing to manage the whole of life impact of these technologies and how can consumers become more informed about their sustainability decision making. 

AGL - Creating a renewable energy future

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges our planet faces. What needs to change to get to zero greenhouse gas emissions? Currently two-thirds of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions come from our electricity and transport sectors. So how do we ensure our energy systems meet the needs of society whilst not being reliant on fossil fuels? What energy projects may be possible in the future, that were once thought science fiction? Will current electricity and transport infrastructure meet our future needs? What planning needs to happen to ensure industries and communities reliant on existing energy supply chains are not left behind? Working in groups with students from different faculties and backgrounds, you will design your own project to help make a renewable energy future a reality.

ANZ Banking Group - Data privacy and ethical design

The impacts of data are enormous, delivering recommendations about what to watch on television, suggestions about what to study, insights into our health and wellbeing, and information about tailored product offerings. Yet these innovations, which can vastly improve our quality of life, present challenges and invite moral deliberation. In some cases, innovations cause unintended harm, violate informational privacy or result in discrimination. Long after Forbes declared that privacy was “completely and utterly dead”, citizens, including corporate citizens like ANZ, have privacy and the ethical use of data front of mind. In this project, your group will examine and propose principles of data ethics, as well as supporting processes and artefacts to create a data ethics framework that has the potential to do good. As part of developing a data ethics framework, interdisciplinary teams can examine how ANZ can implement a data strategy that will mitigate the risk of unintended harm, increase freedom of choice and equity, and preserve individual rights.

Elizabeth Broderick and Co - Building men’s accountability for ending violence against women

Violence against women and girls persists at alarming rates as a universal problem affecting women in all countries, across all socio-economic groups, locations and education levels. What is the role of men in ending violence against women and girls? The collective efforts of women’s rights organisations have been and continue to be largely responsible for advocating for laws, services and prevention responses to address violence against women. However, without men’s engagement and accountability for change – in fostering equal and respectful relationships, challenging violence and abuse, and fostering social norms of respect and equality - efforts to reduce and prevent violence against women will not succeed. What are effective and promising approaches to engage and build men’s accountability for driving change? The United Nations Working Group on Discrimination Against Women will be examining effective strategies to strengthen the role and accountability of men in driving change to achieve gender equality, including ending violence against women and girls. Against this background, this project will involve exploring ‘what works’ to build men’s engagement and accountability for ending violence against women and girls, focusing on insights from research and case studies of promising practices from across the globe and highlighting leading practice examples.

Ernst and Young Australia - Reframe our future

The global pandemic is accelerating the pace of change, from fast-tracking the adoption and use of technology and new ways of working, to the need to pivot quickly to keep up with changing markets and consumer expectations. The new landscape forces reinvention, and at EY, we see transformation as evermore critical to long-term value creation. So, how can an organisation reframe its future? Where are the as-yet-unseen opportunities that will generate future growth? How can an organisation rebuild and operate, not for business as usual, but for business that builds a better working world? In this project, students will explore how to transform the future of an organisation or sector such as Education, Government, Transport, Health, and Retail through the power of people, technology and innovation. Students will identify an untapped human need as a result of the pandemic and design and develop a proposed solution which creates long-term value for all stakeholders.

Fetch TV - Beyond the algorithms

Society is experiencing a new "Golden Age" with technology facilitating easy access to more information, opinions, entertainment, and experiences than ever before. The Home Entertainment industry is just one of many examples where we are seeing ongoing disruption of traditional markets, the emergence of multiple new direct-to-consumer content providers, and a proliferation of content creation from a multitude of sources. Each day we are faced with an overwhelming number of options about where to go for our information and entertainment, and what to consume when we get there. We navigate these choices by relying on recommendations from friends and family; trusted commentators and reviewers; rankings of what's new, trending or popular; and increasingly algorithms that surface content based on what we, or people like us, have engaged with previously. What happens as a result of trusting the algorithms to guide the news and entertainment we consume? What is the ongoing role of non-algorithmic recommendations in preventing ever narrowing suggestions and echo chambers? In this project, you’ll work with Fetch TV to push beyond the algorithms in exploring how entertainment platforms can retain engagement and diversity in the content they provide, and in the viewing recommendations made to individual users.

IBM Australia - Balancing AI decision-making and privacy in healthcare

As populations age, taxation income declines, and medical services costs increase, governments and health care providers are faced with the complex combination of increasing operating expenses against long term forecasts of reduced income. Governments and health care providers are turning to exponential technologies, such as artificial intelligence and robotics, to improve the productivity of health service provision. This includes over-servicing, improving the supply chain, and improving diagnosis and treatment capabilities. However, as policymakers and organisations start leveraging these insights for diagnosis, decisions, and treatment technologies, new challenges emerge as humans and technology collaborate both at the individual and community levels. New government policies and laws are needed to balance community health with cost reductions to accommodate the blended human and technology operating model. In this project, students will consider whether we, as a community, can or should rely on artificial intelligence to make decisions about our health. When ethics/values clash with cost-effectiveness, what are the primary principles the community can rely on? In addition, should an individual’s data be key to this new world? What is the balance between individual privacy and the need to share data to improve prevention and community outcomes?

KPMG - Effectively responding to cyber attacks and data breaches

One of the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic has been the move to online working and learning and the acceleration of digital transformation across organisations, which is happening in the context of the ongoing move to data driven enterprise. This has increased the risk of cyber attacks and data breaches, in particular from ransomware, with potentially catastrophic consequences from both a human and financial perspective. Ransomware is becoming more sophisticated, indiscriminate and profitable. Threat actors’ ransom demands are increasing and their motivations can be varied and may include financial gain or have geo-political objectives. Data security is not the same as privacy, but is one critical aspect of privacy. Organisations spend time and resources securing their data and responding to data breaches. However, is this the right approach? In this project, within interdisciplinary groups you will investigate and report on how Australian governments, business and community can effectively and lawfully respond to the impacts of cyber attacks and data breaches and protect privacy, including researching what models, technology and other tools can be leveraged.

Randstad - Humanising AI in the recruitment process

AI and technology, in general, have the potential to deliver tremendous benefits, as well as new challenges for the recruitment sector. As a global leader in HR services, we invest in combining the power of today’s technology with our passion for people. Today, investment in, development, and use of AI has skyrocketed and enabled automation of many steps in our recruitment activities. The questions you will explore are how can automation provide a more human experience?  The concerns about AI-powered solutions and their implications for privacy, job security, control, and trust have grown. Will we allow our social media profiles, our psychometric tests, behavioural predictions and other items, to reduce us to a series of data points and run them through a potentially biased system? What are the ethical questions on using a machine to match people into a job? Will we accept machines computing the match? What happens to the role of the recruiter? In what part of the process is the human touch still key? How can AI or Machine learning improve our clients and job seekers experience?

PTW Architects - Climate change and the cities of the future

Inaction on climate change poses significant threats to how we live. It is responsible for the increasing frequency and intensity of natural disasters and is expected to cause unprecedented destruction of plant and animal life, as well as widespread poverty, famine and mass migration. Our built environment - our homes, schools, places of work - and the villages, towns and cities that they are a part of, contribute to this climate crisis. PTW Architects have joined a worldwide effort to mitigate climate change through sustainable design. In this project, you will examine the role of architecture in building sustainable cities of the future. You may also consider intersecting and emerging complexities. How might sustainable design reimagine the abandoned office building and parking lots as a result of COVID-19? Can sustainable design directly contribute to environmental education, conservation and restoration work? In groups you may choose to identify local, regional or global environmental challenges and their impact on European and Asian cities, examine trends in sustainable design, propose a just transition plan, consider legal and regulatory barriers that prevent more radical change, or consider the technological advancements that bring us closer to harmonious solutions for a sustainable future.

TAL Insurance - Protecting gig economy workers

TAL is Australia’s largest life insurer, last year alone paying over 2.6 billion in claims. One of the world’s fastest growing job titles is “freelancer” or “gig worker". The challenge for these workers is being ready when life’s challenges impact their earning capacity. Many people in this category do not have income protection or life insurance and this puts them at risk. This kind of work allows for independence and flexibility, but also can come with a lack of social interaction, an unpredictable schedule and financial anxiety without the cover and support from a ‘traditional’ employer. If suddenly unwell or injured, without income protection this group may not be able to financially support themselves and their families. Within Australia, there are significant gaps in protection for these kinds of workers. In this project, TAL is interested in hearing from students in interdisciplinary groups how best to protect and support gig economy workers. How could companies think differently about gig workers by providing flexible support and protection with insurance, superannuation or financial security?

Universities Admission Centre - Reimagining university admissions for wider access to higher education

Currently university admission is predominantly a numbers game and the personal attributes of an applicant – critical thinking, digital literacy, problem solving etc. are generally inferred from academic qualifications rather than specifically assessed as part of admissions. However, there is now a strong push for universities to admit students on broader criteria, while still ensuring that students are well prepared academically for university study. In this project, students may wish to consider how the current ATAR-based admission system works and how the key characteristics and attributes can be improved. Exploration of alternative models and frameworks used in other countries may be useful in determining the aspects of the current system that are worth retaining. Students are encouraged to propose new models including whether any new technologies can be leveraged to improve outcomes. Students must consider the implications of any recommended changes to the equitable allocation of university places, ensuring no group is significantly advantaged or disadvantaged.

Westpac Banking Corporation - Using digital technologies to improve user experience

Westpac is Australia’s oldest bank and company; they provide a broad range of banking and financial services. Westpac is focused on helping Australians succeed, ensuring customers can save and invest with confidence, to helping with the financial needs of small businesses, multi-national corporates, institutional and government clients, Westpac put customers at the centre of everything they do. Westpac want to ensure the experiences for their customers and staff are quick and effortless, using technology to improve productivity, whilst focussing on user experience. In this project you will work in mixed disciplinary groups to explore solutions that take advantage of ways in which digital technologies can be used to deliver superior personalised service for customers or staff, to help put customers in control of their finances and to better understand and anticipate customer or staff needs. At the end of the project, you will pitch an innovative idea to help Westpac improve productivity or the experience of customers or staff in their branches, contact centres, corporate offices or in digital channels.

Semester 2, 2021 3000 level project timetable

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Intensive project sample timetable

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Last updated: 18 May 2021

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