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Celebrating Australian excellence

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Australia has some of the world’s most talented electronics design engineers.

Engineers working for leading companies such as Lucent, Bosch, Cochlear, Codan and British Aerospace, and scores of smaller firms with less familiar names, are working on projects which are the envy of their compatriots in San Jose, Munich, Beijing or Bangalore. And yet, these skilled individuals are anonymous.

Electronics News believes its place in our industry is to be an advocate for Australian electronics’ ingenuity and innovation; to let everyone know that our hi-tech industry is as good as any in the world.

Consequently, we have collaborated with the Australian Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association (AEEMA), the Adelaide-based Electronics Industries Association (EIA), and leading suppliers to the electronics industry, National Instruments , Altium , Agilent Technologies , Braemac , Adilam , Soanar and Arrow , to launch the EDN Innovation Awards.

The best of Australian design

The EDN Innovation Awards are a unique initiative for Australian electronics. They are brought to you by test & measurement company National Instruments, and organised by EDN - The Design Magazine of the Electronics Industry. Reed Electronics Group’s EDN is recognised as the premier electronics design magazine globally as is read by over 240,000 design professionals. EDN Australia, sister title to Electronics News, is the local version, and bestows the inaugural Awards with the highest credibility.

AEEMA has endorsed the Awards, recognising them as a good initiative for the national industry.

“The EDN Innovation Awards will provide a great opportunity for Australia’s talented engineers to draw attention to their creativity,” says AEEMA Chief Executive Angus M Robinson. (See this issue front cover.)

The EDN Innovation Awards will culminate in a prestigious dinner event held in conjunction with the EIA’s Technology Futures Conference, in Adelaide on 12 and 13 May 2005. The Technology Futures Conference has established itself as the premier national electronics forum and Electronics News is proud to be a Gold Sponsor of next year’s event, with EDN Australia sponsoring the Awards dinner.

The EDN Innovation Awards brought to you by National Instruments provide an opportunity to recognise excellence in all facets of electronics design, including a special Award for the best undergraduate project.

The Awards will be judged by three people with renowned industry experience, who will be totally independent of AEEMA, EIA, National Instruments and the Award category sponsors. There will also be an overall Award for the best project from the six categories, presented by National Instruments.

Best student project - Sponsored by Altium

This category provides an opportunity for Australia’s next generation of electronics engineers to receive recognition for their University projects.

The judges will particularly be looking for teamwork, innovation, effective use of resources and methodology in this category. The project must be completed during the 2004 academic year and the entry must be authorised by the supervising tutor.

In a bonus for the winning entry, Electronics News will present a bursary to the winning institution consisting of the entry fee money from all the participants in the EDN Innovation Awards. This category is generously sponsored by EDA vendor Altium.

Best application of benchtop test instrumentation - Sponsored by Agilent Technologies

This category is designed to recognise innovative test engineering in either a design or manufacturing environment. The project may be based on a modest oscilloscope or the latest 3G test rig, as what the judges will really be looking for is how the engineer has used the equipment to solve their data acquisition, analysis or test problem.

The judges will be looking for evidence of skilled methodology, maximum use of the equipment’s capabilities and how the test function has helped in the product development. This category is generously sponsored by test & measurement vendor Agilent Technologies.

Best application of a microcontroller - Sponsored by Braemac

Microcontrollers lie at the heart of some of the most innovative products designed in Australia today. Whether they are 8-, 16- or 32bit devices these versatile chips offer an extremely cost-effective method of introducing product differentiation into a new product.

Again, the judges are interested in the application, particularly how the engineer has used the power of silicon as an enabler for an industrial or consumer project. The judges will also take into account the work that as gone into the software development of the project. This category is generously sponsored by distributor Braemac.

Best wireless design or application - Sponsored by Adilam

The world is turning wireless, and in virtually every issue Electronics News reports on a new wireless standard, chip, or technology. But now that the market is maturing this Award is designed to recognise how Australian engineers are capitalising on the power of RF-based silicon.

It may be a project based on a short range, low data rate technology such as ZigBee, or the application may encompass faster, longer range standards such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. But most of all, the judges will be looking at the application, and how the engineer has used the benefits of RF technology to solve their design challenge. This category is generously sponsored by distributor Adilam.

Best PCB-based power supply design - Sponsored by Soanar

Power supply designers are the unsung heroes of electronics design. A single board could easily comprise chips that require four or even five voltage levels from a reliable, robust supply.

And yet, no one beyond the power supply designer recognises the magnitude of the challenge. This Award is designed to put that right.

The judges will be looking for evidence of design skill in innovative use of DC-to-DC converters, multi-voltage supply lines and isolation in judging this entry. This category is generously sponsored by distributor Soanar.

Best Analogue Design or Application - Sponsored by Arrow

With the emphasis on digital electronics its easy to forget that most designs hinge on the analogue element. Whether it concerns the simplest amplifier, or a fickle high-frequency mixed signal device, analogue design is a highly skilled discipline, and this category plans to celebrate the band of individuals whose talent verges on art. Again the judges will be looking for skill, innovation and ingenuity in analogue elements of a design. This category is generously sponsored by distributor Arrow.

How to enter

The Awards are open for entry now, with nominations closing on 11 February 2005. The entry fee is $150, and this will be put towards the bursary for the institution of the winner in the best student project category. Entry forms are available by e-mailing kylie.woodward@reedbusiness.com.au.

Please note that entry forms will be treated in the strictest confidence, and only project summaries approved by finalists (which will NOT include any proprietary or company sensitive information) will be published.

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