Data engineers build the hardware and software infrastructure and systems that drive data collection, transmission, storage, and analysis.
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What will I learn?
This infrastructure, which ranges from the Internet of Things to cloud storage and computation, enables organisations to innovate and optimise their services using broadband networking and powerful computing. It affects transport, healthcare, e-commerce, finance, environment and defence management.
In the Data Engineering major you will learn the theoretical foundations, entrepreneurial values and professional skills required to build secure data platforms of all sizes. You will develop skills in research and advanced practice, gain in-depth knowledge in one or more areas of specialisation, and learn to embrace innovation in order to achieve excellence in engineering.
The current specialisations offered in the Data Engineering major include: cybersecurity, data analytics, real-time systems (internet of things), networks, and image processing, multimedia and pattern recognition.
- Data Engineer
- Data Scientist
- Data Analyst
- Data Architect
- Business Analyst
- Visualisation Analyst
- Developer, Big Data Platform
- Data Network Engineer
- Software and Systems Operations
What is the 'Internet of Things'?
The Internet of Things (IoT) is predicted to have 50 billion 'things' connected to the net by 2020. These 'things' include mobile phones, home appliances, healthcare devices, lights, wearable devices, engines and machinery, all of which include sensors, software and electronics that can receive and push data.
The value generated from the IoT comes from the management and analysis of the data coming from these devices.
For example, athletic clothing can record biometric readings including heart rate, calories burned, activity level and depth of breathing. This data can be connected to a fitness tracking device e.g. watch or phone to record all activities and generate daily/weekly/monthly reports on fitness levels.
In agriculture, an IOT based smart farm can monitor the crop through sensors to track light, humidity, temperature, soil moisture etc and automate the irrigation system. This allows the owner to monitor conditions, increase efficiency and manage resources.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is an ecosystem of technologies that supports and enables the transformation of industry and the increasing automation and new business models that can come out of that. It involves multiple technical disciplines including device management, device design, connectivity, data management, data analytics, user interface, security: all of these are technical components of an end to end IOT system but in addition it’s the application of those technologies and those concepts to industry to solve problems that is where it becomes very very powerful and very interesting.
There is a concept called Big Data that’s been floating around which is more or less mine the data that you have. The IoT goes in a much more sophisticated direction, it is, use the data you need and then work on that. There is no point looking for a needle in the hay stack; let’s look at what the problem is, what data you need, collect it, then do the analysis - way more powerful concept. The skills that you need for the IoT include the technology and maths skills definitely, but, generally they’re necessary but not sufficient to really make an impact. It’s the marriage of technical skills that are necessary plus an area of interest in industry whether that’s the environment, whether that’s in water management, whether that’s in transport, or smart cities: the application is where the innovation and where the interest and where the values lies.
We are going to see services that are much more aligned to the resources we have, smarter methodologies and ways in which we can align the use of those resources with how people do things. Behavioural changes that will happen as a result of understanding how people interact with their environment, how they use energy, how they use air, how we share things. That will also be encased with a security framework that we are going to have to learn to work with which is; how can we share all of this information in a secure way that still protects our own privacy but actually allows all these new things to happen. How that actually will go I can’t predict but I am hoping that we are going to come up with a formula that is one that we can all trust and that will be of benefit to us all.
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