PERTH, WA, July 2021

WA student gets their big break, with support from AIRO and UWA

Vanessa Ma portrait
Ms Vanessa Ma
BPhil (Hons)
Computer Science and Software Engineering, UWA

In the world of tertiary studies, the CEED Scholarship is a big deal. It stands for Cooperative Education for Enterprise Development (CEED) and is a formal program designed to link the skills and ambitions of university students with the research and development needs of progressive organisations in the wider WA community.

The Australian Institute of Robotic Orthopaedics (AIRO) has partnered with the University of Western Australia to appoint Miss Vanessa Ma as a CEEDWA Scholar for 2021/22. Vanessa is a final year Computer Science and Software Engineering Honours student with a keen interest in Artificial Intelligence. She’ll be using advanced deep learning methods to develop an Intelligent Osteocyte Viability Tool with human-level accuracy to make the results of robot-assisted surgery even better for patients everywhere.

“I am really grateful for the opportunity AIRO and CEED has provided me for my honours project. It is super rewarding to know that my research on deep learning models will lead to real-world improvements in patient outcomes.” said Vanessa. “It’s also amazing to see the innovative technology AIRO is currently working with here in WA. I am learning so much more about medical research, surgical robotics and high-powered lasers than I could have imagined.”

According to the head of the UWA School of Physics, Mathematics and Computing, Professor Mark Reynolds, the project builds on a long-established working relationship between AIRO and UWA.

“Vanessa’s project is a great example of effective cross-collaboration between academia and industry.” said Professor Reynolds, “Her project sees the application of innovative technology to address real-world challenges. This is exactly what the CEEDWA program was designed for”.

Along with the AIRO engineering and surgical team, Vanessa will be working side-by-side with UWA patho histologists Associate Professor Nathan Pavlos and Dr Jacob Kenny from the Department of Biomedical Sciences under the supervision of Professor Mark Reynolds and Dr Du Huynh from the UWA School of Computer Science and Software Engineering.

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