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What's Inside

Directors Message

Member Achievements

Feature Story

Events - Past and Coming Up

New Faces

Behind the Scenes

Member Publications

Feature Story

Directors Message

This is my first newsletter as Acting Joint Director, a role I look forward to filling while Peter is on secondment.   

I want to start by congratulating Aaron McFadyen for winning the 2022 Batterham Medal for Engineering Excellence from the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. This is a great recognition of Aaron’s impactful work around regulations and faster approval processes for safe UAV operations. 
Congratulations to Michael for having been elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. This is an outstanding achievement, demonstrating Michael’s recognition as a leader in our field. 

I had the great joy of spending 5 days at a workshop on the topic of “Structured representations for efficient learning in brains and machines”, organised by the ELLIS “Natural Intelligence” program in Crete. Together with Michael, Krishan, Therese and Ming, I learned a lot about the latest neuroscience research, but we also presented our Centre and the work we are doing here. Many of the neuroscientists at the event have a strong understanding of machine learning, and some of their research questions (e.g. around continuous learning) are highly relevant in both neuroscience and machine learning – we can get some inspiration from there. I got a renewed appreciation about how incredibly difficult it is to understand an enormously complex system like the brain from the very limited means of probing selected neurons, even though the underlying technology is making rapid progress (just check out if you are interested). 

A big delegation from QCR attended IROS (IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems) last week in Kyoto. Well done everyone who presented their work to the international community and represented QCR at one of the biggest international conferences in robotics. Unfortunately, I had to isolate in a hotel room for the whole week, a reminder that even though international travel is possible again, there is a decent chance of last-minute disruptions to all planned travel and events. 

As this semester comes to an end, I want to take the opportunity to thank everyone who is involved in teaching, especially our tutors and sessional staff without whom we could not deliver the units we are teaching. An equally big thank you to our Ambassadors who are shouldering so much work representing our Centre to internal and external visitors. 

Enjoy the October issue of the QCR Newsletter! 


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Member Achievements

Paper Accepted

Paper accepted to NeurIPS 2022: 

“Robust Graph Structure Learning over Images via Multiple Statistical Tests” 

By Fangyi Zhang with his colleagues at Alibaba 


Paper Accepted

Big congrats to Tobi and Michael for having their paper "How Many Events do You Need? Event-based Visual Place Recognition Using Sparse But Varying Pixels" accepted to the journal IEEE Robotics and Automation & presentation at ICRA2023 



Md Mostafizur Rahman Komol completed an HDR Internship Program last September on Machine Learning at Motor Accident Insurance Commission and National Injury Insurance Scheme, Queensland. He solved a Sentiment Analysis problem of Business participant data using Machine Learning (GAN-Bert). Recently, he has received a Certificate and Recommendation letter. 


QCR Mission (Retreat feedback)

Mission statement updated  

image available on the wiki via the Promoting QCR page


Comms/Marketing Updates

Please note there are new QCR branded items on the wiki. Please ensure you use these updated files moving forward. New logo and flyer as well. 

See here: 

Branding and Templates - link here
Promoting QCR - resources for talks, presentations and industry meetings - link here 

Please contact Ilana if you have any queries or if you need something specific. 


New Digital Notice Board

We have a new method to communicate information to each other! Yay, more information :P 

Go to to find more information include how to add your own media. 


QCR Events Calendar

Ilana has developed a calendar which is viewable in Outlook and can be “invited” to any events via the Outlook address book. The email to add to your invite is  

This development was based on retreat feedback. 

Visit the wiki instructions here 


New Books

Based on retreat feedback we have started ordering new books for the bookshelf (next to the ag and drone lab).  

Thanks to the HDR and postdoc reps who have collated these lists 


Student Volunteer

Student volunteers are being sort to be involved in the ACRA 2022 conference.  The job of a student volunteer is to help the conference run smoothly by staffing the registration desk, assisting with Q&A sesions during paper sessions and generally assisting people at the conference to find where they need to go etc.

It's a great way to become familiar with how conferences work and learn more about the latest research being done in Robotics and Automation in Australia.

Please contact Jared: or Will: if interested

Robotics Vision Summer School 2023


Work on the 2023 edition of the Robotic Vision Summer School has started. It will be held between 6 and 10 February at the Kioloa Coastal Campus, a beautiful and secluded patch of land on the NSW coast. 

If you want to be involved, please get in touch with Niko. 



Our Women in Robotics list turns 10 this year and we are delighted to introduce you to another amazing “50 women in robotics you need to know about” as we also celebrate Ada Lovelace Day.We have now profiled more than 300 women AND non-binary people making important contributions to robotics since the list began in 2013.  


Feature Story

Prestigious Appointment

Congratulations to Michael Milford on his prestigious appointment as Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences & Engineering (ATSE). 


Coming Up

Three upcoming events in November

Academic leads for these events are:

RAS Gateway Launch - Kate Devitt  - link here

Drone Transport Growth & Management - Qld - Aaron McFadyen - link here

Brisbane Space Sundowner event - Thierry Peynot - link here

Past Events

Peter Corke, Dorian Tsai and other colleagues helped run a high school workshop on robotics and automation for reef restoration as part of the Future You Internship programme at QUT 

New Faces

Welcome to Kate Devitt

Dr Kate Devitt begins a role with QCR as an Adjunct Professor. She is also the Chief Scientist of the Trusted Autonomous Systems Defence CRC. 

She is one of ‘50 Women in Robotics You need to know About 2021’ by the Robots Association Switzerland. Dr. Devitt is part of the TTCP AI Strategic Challenge for Ethics & Law, member of NATO's S&T research working group ‘Human Systems Integration for Meaningful Human Control over AI-based systems’, contributor to UNIDIR regarding human control of robotics and autonomous systems.  

She is associate editor of AI & Society, reviewer for IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society and review committee member of AAAI/ACM AI, Ethics and Society Conference 2021. 


Welcome to Katherine Christensen

Katherine is the new Centre Admin Officer working with Merryn.  Katherine replaces Sophia Power and will be working Mondays and Tuesdays each week.


Welcome to Keerthinathan Pirunthan


Keerthinathan is a new PhD student supervised by Felipe Gonzalez.  He graduated from Faculty of Engineering – University of Moratuwa with first class honours specialized in Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering.


New Role

Krishan Rana started a new role as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in October.   He will be working with Niko and Ian Reid (Adelaide) on a Discovery Project funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC) on the topic of Learning Robotic Navigation and Interaction from Object-Based Semantic Maps. 
Behind the Scenes

… with Aaron McFadyen

What do you do in the Centre and what are you currently working on? 

I work with real air traffic data to better understand and model how airspace is used, then use these findings to create real systems that support or enable drone operations in Australia. We work extensively with industry and authorities, which helps with my engagement role within QCR. 

What’s on your desk? 

Pens, notepad, mints and a coffee mug – boring but minimal! 

How would you describe your work to a child?  

I figure out where and how drones can fly safely in our skies – we want to avoid aircraft collisions! 

Three words to describe your work? 

Real, collaborative and rewarding 

What’s your dream travel destination? 

Earth 2.0 – somewhere in space! 

Please finish these sentences: 

I’m currently reading children’s books to my daughter (That’s not my giraffe is a hit!). 

And currently wishing to going snowboard asap! 

My last meal would be nothing – I would use that time to reflect! 

Final question!  Tea, coffee or no caffeine? Coffee 

Member Publications

Uncertainty-Aware Lidar Place Recognition in Novel Environments 

K Mason, J Knights, M Ramezani, P Moghadam, Dimity Miller arXiv preprint arXiv …, 2022 


Merging Classification Predictions with Sequential Information for Lightweight Visual Place Recognition in Changing Environments 

B Arcanjo, B Ferrarini, M Milford, KD McDonald-Maier… - arXiv preprint arXiv …, 2022 


GDIP: Gated Differentiable Image Processing for Object-Detection in Adverse Conditions 

S Kalwar, D Patel, A Aanegola, KR Konda, S Garg… - arXiv preprint arXiv …, 2022 


Boosting Performance of a Baseline Visual Place Recognition Technique by Predicting the Maximally Complementary Technique 

C Malone, S Hausler, T Fischer, M Milford - arXiv preprint arXiv:2210.07509, 2022 


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