CRIN has emerged out of the natural convergence of a number of disparate research areas which, over the last 5 years have converged. The members of CRIN have a common focus on the application of various ICT technologies (ranging from Web systems to telecommunications, from software architectures to data management) to physical application domains. This history of applied research emerges naturally out of the UTS ethos and the resulting emphasis on industry engagement.
Individually, whilst the group members have had strong foci on engineering-based systems, this was somewhat dispersed previously. The emergence of CRIN is facilitating a much stronger cohesion and allows the building of links both between the researchers within the centre and with other UTS research centres.
The application-oriented focus of CRIN can be clearly seen in the history of industry connection which characterises the researchers in the Centre. Researchers have formed strong collaborations either individually or collectively with Alcatel, Thales, RTA, Cisco, Cradle, Intersystems, amongst many others. We have also been a key member of the CRC for Satellite Systems.
Whilst many of the different research areas emerged independently, the recent history of the research which will now fall under the CRIN umbrella can be characterised by a growing convergence. For example, the real-time web-based research which is now emerging as a core focus can be seen as the convergence of various threads of previous work - that by Prof Lowe into Web development and software engineering; by Dr. Kong's expertise in Web systems; and Murray's work in Web-based access to remote laboratory infrastructure.
A number of the core members of CRIN also have an outstanding history of international impact. Prof Lowe is an international leader in his field - having been the Program Chair for the leading conference in his field in 2005, and being a managing editor of one of the primary research Journals, as well as the foundation Vice-President of the International Society for Web Engineering.
Distinctive Aspects of the Centre:
The Centre achieves a rare balance of strong cohesiveness and outstanding connections to other groups. The research agendas of CRIN, which focus on real-time information networks, naturally map into applications domains represented by other research centres at UTS. The research projects of the Centre will have natural connections to applications (and hence research centres) in health technologies (CHT), resource management (IWERM), and robotics and intelligent systems (CAS), as well as the other associated ICT research centres, amongst others.
These connections allow for the development of applied research outcomes which will inherently have high impact. For example, the development of a wireless real-time information network to collect patient monitoring data within hospitals has the potential for substantial collaborations, and significant adoption possibilities. A similar outcome would be possible for Web-based monitoring of traffic flows, or integration of data from multiple sensors in a threatened water environment.
A number of significant ICT-oriented research centres exist elsewhere (NICTA, CSIRO ICT, Monash e-Research, TITR Wollongong, ITR UniSA, etc). None of these, however, focus either specifically or in significant part on the application of ICT to Engineering applications - i.e. real-time embedded systems, networked applications and sensor networks. It is this particular focus which will open up crucial application domains for CRIN, and hence key sources of collaborations and a clear national and international impact.