NTDC Technician Development Fund Winner Dr. Tosin Famakinwa Discusses His Vision

By 6th January 2022 Blog, News
Dr. Tosin Famakinwa was the winner of our ‘Technicians using Digital Technology in the post-Covid world’ development fund. His plan is to develop a visual dashboard that monitors technical equipment in order to check maintenance requirements and usages. In this blog, we grabbed a few minutes with Tosin to discuss his vision. 

Tell us a bit about yourself, how did you end up as a Cluster Manager at Western Sydney University? 

I was born in Lagos, Nigeria. I completed my PhD in Electrical Engineering at Chubu University, Aichi, Japan in 2006. I then joined Western Sydney University as a technical officer in February 2010. In 2010 I was appointed to the position of technical supervisor then in 2012 and I progressed to managing an engineering team of technical officers. Western Sydney University introduced shared services in 2018, which included relocating non-academic support teams outside of schools. I was appointed in 2018 to manage non-IT technical support services for 3 schools as the Cluster Manager. Currently, two of the three schools have merged, and I manage non-IT technical support for two schools focussing on Engineering, Design and the Built Environment. Even though I am not part of the academic staff, I still actively contribute to research activities across the university and have an active interest in emerging technologies and their possible applications in engineering.

What was your proposal for the NTDC Technician Development Fund and what inspired it?

My proposal for the NTDC Technician Development Fund is the project:  “Equipment Monitoring through Visual Dashboard”. With leadership changes within the schools I support and a constrained financial position, I found myself having to justify maintenance expenses in supporting the technical needs of the school. I had a Eureka moment when I needed used my car dashboard mileage to justify differing servicing my car at the dealership. Due to the COVID-19 lockdown in Sydney my car was not driven for almost 3 months. I called the car dealership to advise them that I had not travelled the recommended mileage within a set time- and as a result we agreed that the car maintenance could be pushed back until the mileage milestone was met. At that moment, I thought that If I had a similar dashboard, university leadership could view the usage of machinery- I wouldn’t need to write lengthy justifications for maintenance calls and expenses.

What do you hope to achieve by the end of this funding?

The aim of this project is to design and create a dashboard of equipment usage data in the Advanced Manufacturing Precinct of Western Sydney University that will provide answers to the following questions:

  1. How do I get visibility on equipment utilization to improve uptime and availability?
  2. When do we need to make maintenance calls in addition to the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations?
  3. How can we communicate the equipment status and performance to stakeholders and enhance the user experience?

How did you hear about the Technician Development Fund?

I heard about the fund through the NTDC monthly newsletter.

Thanks so much for chatting Tosin. We can’t wait to hear how you get on.  

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