Electrical and Computer Engineering

A scalable, high availability, source-independent IoT platform designed using commercial cloud services from Amazon AWS


Dr Kevin Wang / Akshat Bisht

Faculty of Engineering

Project code: ENG017

Modern IoT (Internet of Things) technology and devices suffer from the issue of compatibility, interoperability and scalability. Cloud technology offers a unique platform to aggregate distributed devices and heterogeneous data to provide more intelligent, highly available services to the end users. This project seeks to make use of the commercial AWS cloud platform and aggregate commercial and research gadgets to form a scalable IoT platform. Knowledge in web programming is required, and experience in cloud computing and database systems is highly preferred for this project.

Interacting with Data: improving accessibility to public data


Dr Kevin Wang / Andrew Chen

Faculty of Engineering

Project code: ENG018

The public sector produces a lot of data, but the majority of the public has little to no understanding about that data. Visualisation can be a meaningful tool for helping communicate public data. Using the budget as a case study, the student working on this project will create an interactive data visualisation, also allowing users to adjust and modify values, and create feedback on their preferred vision for policy. Data can then be analysed and visualised further to lead to direct democratic outputs to the public sector. Knowledge of Javascript is required, experience with web development and databases would be helpful.

Development of a Benchmark Wireless Grid Interface for Electric Vehicle


Dr Duleepa Thrimawithana

Faculty of Engineering

Project code: ENG019

Over the last decade, Inductive Power Transfer (IPT) technology has been increasingly utilised in numerous industrial and consumer applications that require wireless  power transfer, mainly due to its ability to provide high levels of power transfer, in a safe, reliable and convenient manner. Such applications include powering automated guided vehicles (AGV); materials handling; charging of portable electronic devices and powering biomedical devices. However, the most notable application of IPT to-date is Electric Vehicle (EV) charging and Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) systems. EV charging and V2G systems, as well as many other IPT system, derive energy from the utility grid and utilise power electronic converters to generate a high-frequency signal to drive a transmitter coil. A coil together with a power electronics converter are utilised in the EV (receiver) side to extract power wirelessly from the transmitter. As such, multiple power converter stages are used in wireless EV charging and V2G systems, and the front-end of a traditional system typically composes of a grid-tied reversible rectifier or a power factor correction (PFC) stage to derive a DC voltage from the AC grid while conforming with IEC61000-3-2. This DC voltage is used as an input to the following stage, which is typically a Voltage Source Inverter (VSI) that generates a high-frequency voltage to drive the transmitter coil through a compensation network.

This summer project involves the development of an IPT system suitable for charging EVs as per WPT1 and Z2 specifications highlighted in SAE-J2954. The IPT system, thus, should be able to transfer 3.7 kW when operated with a 140-210 mm air-gap. The suitable front-end reversible rectifier is to be designed and implemented during the project to derive a 450 V DC voltage from a single-phase 230 Vac utility grid. A voltage sourced inverter, that is fed by the 450 V DC, will be developed to drive an LCL-tuned transmitter coil at 85 kHz to transfer power wirelessly to a load attached to the receiver, emulating a charging EV. The student will use hardware systems developed by the power electronics research group at the University of Auckland (may require some modifications and assembly), and develop suitable closed loop controllers for these power converters. During the final stages of this project, the system will be used to benchmark performance of novel grid-tied converter topologies developed by the research group.

The student is expected to have experience in developing embedded C programs for ARM processors as the controllers will be implemented using STM32 microcontrollers. Student should also have some knowledge of power electronics as well as closed loop controllers and have experience in circuit assembly. This will be an ideal opportunity for the student to work in an internationally recognised dynamic team to gain experience in designing and developing wireless power transfer systems.

Model based approach for the design of phrenic pacemakers


Assoc. Prof. Partha Roop

Faculty of Engineering

Project code: ENG020

Model-based approaches are used in the design of safety-critical control systems in automotive and aerospace. Here, high-level formal models are first subjected to rigorous analysis for soundness. Subsequently, compilers generate code automatically from such formal models.

In this project we will explore such techniques in a bio-medical application. In particular, the project will explore the design of phrenic pacemakers used with chronic respiratory insufficiency. This work will follow a similar approach used in our group for the design of cardiac pacemakers and their validation. You may see more details at the BioEmulation Research Group website.

Tools for automatic detection of software requirements


Dr Kelly Blincoe

Faculty of Engineering

Project code: ENG021

This project investigates ways to automatically detect new software requirements by analysing user text. The project could involve a mix of data analysis and tool development. An interest in machine learning and natural language processing desired. Excellent communication skills required.