Morphear aka Dr Eva Cheng

Being a lecturer means that I am also able to help students, and it is very rewarding to see a student do well, understand something new or land that dream job after graduation.  I could be lecturing to a big class of 300 students or teaching a tutorial or laboratory class of about 30 students.  These include courses in programming, speech/audio signal processing, and even a course that includes project work with the Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Challenge.  It’s definitely a perk of the job that travelling is involved; to conferences, research visits, leading students on study tours, and even to teach in other countries.

I'm a Senior Lecturer at UTS, Deputy Director, Women in Engineering and IT

It’s great that my workdays are never the same, there’s always something different happening.  An academic wears a lot of different ‘hats’; teacher, mentor, researcher, writer, supervisor, administrator, traveller and even student camp leader! 

As a researcher in multimedia signal processing, I work with a variety of people and fun equipment.  From surround sound speakers to 3D video cameras and even biosignal sensors that record people’s brainwaves (EEG) to give us cognitive feedback.  Working on cross-disciplinary collaborative research projects is fun – great ideas can come from people of different backgrounds with overlapping interests. I’ve collaborated with musicians, composers, film producers, sound designers and visual artists!

Music: I’m a classically trained pianist but have recently taken a liking to jazz piano.  I love listening to, and playing, Chopin and Mendelssohn, and Astor Piazzolla!  (Yes, Morphear and I really do wear headphones a lot).

Audio technology: My interests in music and technology are what led me towards research in speech and audio signal processing.  Similar to hobby photographers, I am a hobby field (sound) recordist, recording interesting auditory scenes like ‘sound photos’, especially when travelling!  There’s nothing like the sound of a bustling market to accompany that colourful photo.

New media art I love unusual but fun applications of technology, driving some of the research collaborations with musicians, composers and visual artists.  My favourite contemporary art gallery in Australia would have to be GOMA in Brisbane :) 

Social justice and sustainable community development I regularly volunteer for Oxfam Australia and collaborate with Engineers Without Borders Australia and social enterprise Laika Academy on various social impact education programs.

You can hear more about my work with Engineers Without Borders in an interview I had with Angry Beanie

Reading I love a good book, nothing like a good novel to escape into - never leave home without a good book in hand!

Travelling places that I’m very curious to visit include Mongolia, Central Asia, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and South America.  I'd love to go back to Berlin, Laos, Myanmar and our local Tassie!

Food I like to eat and try new things… and this goes really well with the travelling!