Home Deals Curtin pursues ‘smart university’ vision with Hitachi IoT deployment

Curtin pursues ‘smart university’ vision with Hitachi IoT deployment

Curtin University is deploying an Internet of things (IoT) solution from Hitachi as part of its “smart university” plans to enhance the student experience, improve classroom learning and to attract more industry to collaborate on data-driven research.

Under the deal, the university is working with Hitachi to co-create solutions that harness IoT data through advanced analytics to provide insight into the daily running and utilisation of the campus.

Ian Callahan, chief operating officer of Curtin, says that, ultimately, the data insights allow the university to generate contextual information about the lifecycle of the student, the day-to-day reality of a staff member, the activity pattern of a lecture theatre, and the dynamics and environmental health of a library.

“Understanding our campus operations and building utilisation has become a major factor in Curtin’s smart campus initiative.

“With the Hitachi IoT solution, we can collect data using a variety of sensors to gather information on building trends, study patterns, and course attendance that can ultimately be used to improve student experience and enhance learning.

“We are effectively creating a living laboratory that is an open invitation to our own researchers and scientists from other universities to use our campus to discover and innovate with data-driven research. Hitachi demonstrated not only technology leadership but approached us with a very open mind, to participate in that living environment and collaborate with others.”

Curtin University has more than 60,000 students and 4000 staff and is Western Australia’s largest and “most culturally diverse” university with one of Australia’s largest international student populations.

Mark Jules, vice-president of public safety and smart city solutions at Hitachi Insight Group, says that with the Hitachi solution, the university will be able to combine video data with operational data across its campus facilities to provide analytics that support a smart campus.

The deployment involves the integration of Hitachi Visualistion Suite, Video Analytics, Pentaho, Live Face Matching and Hitachi Data Systems infrastructure and compute.  

Jules says the single analytics dashboard provides the real-time knowledge the university needs to make informed decisions about classes, operations and future requirements.

“Curtin University is a prime example of forward-thinking organisations that have challenged Hitachi to develop its video analytics solutions to go beyond surveillance and public safety,” Jules says.

“They are effectively pioneers of digital transformation. We’re excited to be co-creating a comprehensive IoT-enabled solution with them and we look forward to working with Curtin University and their research partners to accelerate future innovation through our ongoing collaboration.”


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).