Monash University students win Telstra M2M challenge

Media Release, 30 July 2014

Telstra announced Monash University as the winner of its annual Machine to Machine Challenge for their development of On Track, a new app that allows customers to view up-to-date information about their train service, including its location and how much space is left in each carriage.

Monash Team Captain, Ami Pasricha, said the students were very excited to have won and enjoyed competing in the Machine to Machine (M2M) Challenge.

“The Challenge was a very educational experience for the whole team; it is rare that students of inter-related faculties get the opportunity to collaborate on a project,” Ami said.

“The challenge pushed us in new directions and encouraged collaboration and cooperation to successfully develop a finished product, while balancing the time commitments of our own studies.

“We developed our product in a way that more closely models the process undertaken within industry, with a group of passionate people coming together to pool their specialised knowledge and experience to create a feasible, realistic and marketable solution. The experience gained from this process will be very valuable to all members of the team in their future careers,” Ami added.

An original field of 16 teams from universities across Australia took part in the 10 week Telstra M2M Challenge, during which they had access to experts and engineers from across Telstra’s Networks and Product teams along with those of our sponsors Netgear, Ericsson and Cisco. Teams from Monash, RMIT and the Queensland University of Technology were selected as finalists to present their finished product to a judging panel comprising Telstra executives alongside senior leaders from two of the Challenge sponsors, Ericsson and Cisco.

The winning team from Monash will receive a grant of $10,000 for their University and each winning team member will be given a HTC One 4G smartphone. The team will also receive coaching and mentoring from Telstra executives over the coming months and will be fast-tracked to the top 50 interviews for entry into the bootcamp program of Telstra’s innovation incubator, muru-D.

Group Managing Director Networks Mike Wright, said the Challenge taps into the growth of machine to machine technology and unlocks new thinking and innovation for this developing technology.

“We are only just starting to explore the possibilities of machine to machine communication and the opportunities are endless as we consider what can happen when we fit SIM cards into everyday objects,” Mr Wright said.

“This Challenge is very important for Telstra because it fosters innovation in Australia and get some of our best and brightest young minds involved in imagining and developing products that use technology to provide creative solutions to some of our modern needs,” Mike said.

“It is also a great way for Telstra to stay connected to the next generation of talent and have them consider us as an employer of choice.”

“We had many excellent entries this year and I’m pleased we found a winner that developed an app that addresses a consumer need as well as drive commercial benefits while taking advantage of Telstra’s mobile network.”

“We are also looking at how we can support our other two finalists, the teams from QUT and RMIT, to help develop their ideas which will include some workshops with our top engineering and innovation executives.”

The Challenge is already attracting the top students to Telstra, with two students from the winning La Trobe team in the 2013 Challenge recently accepting offers for the 2015 Telstra Graduate Program.

The Telstra University Challenge will run again in 2015 and details will be available closer to the date.