La Trobe University has today revealed plans to launch an Australian-first Masters degree specialising in the internet of things (IoT), using the city of Bendigo as a “living lab” to field test the technology.
Dr Simon Egerton, head of the university’s Technology Innovation Lab, said the course was developed to cater to growing demand in a sector predicted to be worth upwards of $200 billion by 2030.
The first cohort of students will start the program next year, exploring the applications of IoT technology across a range of industries and studying the various platforms in which the technologies operate, along with social robotics, open source technology and prototyping.
Courses will also involve programming, systems design skills, and how to defend networks that sometimes contain thousands of devices - often with very limited security capabilities - that are constantly transmitting data.
A number of organisations in the regional city have partnered with the university to support the program, including Bendigo Bank, the City of Greater Bendigo, Bendigo Health, and Coliban Water.
The program partners will be available for students to implement different projects, with the city council in particular proving its appetite for IoT through its deployment of a long-range IoT network that’s been tested by its garbage trucks.
The city previously partnered with the university to roll out real-time weather sensors on the network to gain more granular insights into Bendigo’s climate and how it impacts on residents.
La Trobe has also approached several multinational organisations to provide mentors, travel scholarships, field trips and work placement opportunities.
“The course will be highly workplace-focused, and will teach students to be creative, clever and adaptable to industry need,” Egerton said.
“The internet of things is in demand by all types of industry at the moment – it is undergoing exponential growth on a global scale. Organisations are realising the enormous potential of the Internet of things to make them more productive and efficient by giving them what they most need – information.
“However, from talking to them, we know that there is a major shortage of experts who are skilled in this space, and that’s why we have developed this course.”