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Latest News From Nova Systems

Nova Systems Insight - Systems Thinking, Defining the Digital Transformation Era

Nov 30, 2018

Today, companies are witnessing an increase in global competition  against the backdrop of growing, and somewhat chaotic, uncertainty.

Jason Coleman, Systems Engineer and Jon Sciortino, Mining Sector Lead – Co-Lead Authors


Faced with this multi-dimensional challenge, coupled with an extraordinarily large and ever-increasing number of interdependencies, these organisations are grappling with more than just considering whether or not they should act; companies are under pressure to take immediate action.

In order to stay competitive in an increasingly complex market, organisations need to become more adaptable, more agile… they need to Transform.


“In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.



Transformation, however, is daunting.

In this new digital era, organisations need to think differently – not just look to how things have always been done, but to create a vision on how it can be moving forward. They need to seize new opportunities that a fast-paced technology curve presents, whilst concurrently preserving value and managing risk in the transformation of their organisations.

Peter Drucker, lauded as the ‘father of management thinking’ noted that “… the best way to predict your future is to create it.” This statement resonates in industries today as organisations attempt not only to exist, but to thrive. The landscape is coloured by complex problems and solutions – speed of technology, robotics, big data, digital safety, cloud, autonomous, digital twin, augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI), management of assets – as well as the need to navigate the changing economic and business landscapes, ensure continued value delivery for shareholders and manage the organisation’s most valued asset: their workforce.

As a consequence, it is not uncommon for leaders to wonder: “How on earth do we even begin our transformation campaign… let alone be assured of success and sustained value in doing so?”

So, how do we harness the opportunities provided by emerging and evolving technologies whilst managing the challenges or risks these introductions may present? How do we manage our own success?

This is an inflection point for industry; integrated cyber-physical systems are going to create both enormous opportunities and complicated challenges. Businesses need to be agile and adapt structures and processes whilst engaging their workforce throughout the journey.


“In today’s era of volatility, there is no other way but to re-invent. The only sustainable advantage you can have over others is agility – that’s it. Because nothing else is sustainable; everything else you create, somebody else will replicate.”

Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO


Through the application of systems thinking, adapted from the aerospace industry, this challenge can be divided into manageable pieces, or “themes”, which are the foundation building blocks for a successful transformation campaign, as highlighted in Figure 1.


Figure 1: Transformation Excellence


In order to achieve excellence in transformation, an organisation must assure integrity of each of these themes in harmonious conjunction with all others. That is, they must integrate these themes to achieve the desired result. Leaders must understand the fundamental objective of each theme, the value it brings to the transformation journey and, importantly, the impact if it is not fulfilled.

Achieving that understanding brings new questions requiring answers: How do we ensure that each theme is considered adequately? How do we ensure that these themes work together in a symphony of success?

No one domain expert or organisation can navigate this in isolation. Rather, it is the coordinated effort and expertise of an organisation and its collaboration partners alike, which will truly unlock the capacity to succeed.

Figure 2: Collaborative Partners


The interaction of these themes, and the transformation journey itself, is a quintessential “system of systems” which can be managed through agile systems thinking – again, by drawing upon long-standing learnings and success case examples in the aerospace industry.

Key for organisations to thrive is to understand each of these themes, to be more efficient and continue to operate safely, and to continue adding value to stakeholders.

Nova Systems Insights will be released in the coming months that identify the core objective of each theme identified above, its place in the transformation journey, the expertise required to support its success and how that theme interacts with all other themes.

These Insights will highlight how applying systems thinking frameworks through different lenses – strategic thinking, program management, asset management, business change, just to name a few – can enable management each part of the transformation life cycle.


The above Insight has been published from Nova Systems’ Energy & Resources program. For further information regarding Autonomous Mining Excellence, contact Tim Anderson, Program Manager – Energy & Resources


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Nova Systems Supporting 6th South Australia Space Forum

Nov 27, 2018

Nova Systems is supporting the 6th South Australia Space Forum being held in Adelaide, South Australia on Wednesday 5 December 2018.

Supported by the Australian Space Agency and the Space Industry Association of Australia, this biannual forum provides the perfect opportunity to stimulate ideas, share information about emerging technologies and discuss industry trends. The forum continues to attract growing interest in the space sector, locally, nationally and internationally. The forum has grown from 110 participants at the first forum in May 2016 to more than 300 at the last event in April this year.

With the new Australian Space Agency formally established on 1 July 2018, there has never been a more important time to get involved in space industry engagement activity.

Facilitated by Nicola Sasanelli AM, Director of the South Australian Space Industry Centre, this event is for all involved in space-related industry, educational organisations, researchers and space associations. The event will include a variety of speakers on the following topics:

  • National space policy and regulation
  • Space end users
  • Space technology


Nova Systems has a strategic interest in solving problems of national interest through enabling satellite communications, next generation ground stations and space situational technologies. Nova Systems is specifically focusing on supporting the following areas:

  • Future satellite communications, through the development of a combined commercial, research and development, and training and simulation ground station;
  • Tackling the predictive and interpretation aspects of space situational awareness for the nation’s space-based infrastructure, while also improving the user-data interface;
  • Specialist training and support to Australian industry and government in negotiating the certification and regulation of space systems;
  • Provision of capability assurance services to enable Australasian space launch; and
  • Student internships to support the development of Australia’s future space engineers.


Peter Nikoloff, Director of the Nova Group (Nova Systems parent company) and Professor Andy Koronios, Dean Industry & Expertise at University of South Australia are presenting on SmartSatCRC Research and innovation for a space-enabled Australia. The envisioned research centre would be a collaborative effort that would provide enhanced connectivity, navigation and monitoring capability of Australia and its resources by solving major satellite system and advanced communications challenges.

Visit us at table 5 to learn more. 

6th Australia Space Forum


SmartSat CRC

The SmartSat CRC is a collaborative effort to solve major satellite system and advanced communications challenges that will provide enhanced connectivity, navigation and monitoring of our country and its resources.  

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Nova Systems Announces Family and Domestic Violence Policy

Nov 23, 2018

Today, Nova Systems is pleased to announce the introduction of their Family and Domestic Violence Policy.

Nova Systems is committed to providing a Great Place to Work and are dedicated to creating a culture of diversity, inclusion and equality and providing an environment free from all forms of discrimination, harassment, vilification and victimisation.

Nova Systems’ Family and Domestic Violence Policy will apply to all Nova Systems Australian employees to grant access to the entitlements for all. The policy provides up to 5 days of unpaid leave each year and access to flexible working arrangements to enable employees to manage the impact of Family and Domestic Violence.

In the instance of Family and Domestic Violence, Nova Systems will provide the most beneficial support arrangement for their circumstance, maintain a safe working environment for them, and support them in arranging external support from relevant agencies.

The Fair Work Commission has updated all industry and occupation awards to include a new clause about family and domestic violence leave, taking effect from 1 August 2018.

Family and Domestic Violence Support

Confidential information, counselling and support for people impacted by FDV is available at 1800 RESPECT.

Nova employees and their immediate families also have access to AccessEAP for free and confidential counselling services.

Fair Work Australia

Fair Work Australia want to support Australian workplaces so they can be compliant, productive and inclusive. Our vision is that the community values the work that we do.

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Nova Systems Insights - Autonomous Mining Excellence

Nov 22, 2018

In today’s complex mining landscape, companies are exploring many ways to manage increased production targets and reduce risk to their employees whilst continuing to deliver sustained value to their stakeholders.

Steve Ashfield, Senior Technical Advisor, & Jason Coleman, System Engineer – Co-Lead Authors

Mining companies are looking toward autonomous (data enabled, smart and automated) solutions to manage this challenge and take control of their complete value chain.

Autonomous mining excellence means the following:

Autonomous mining – The integration of both intelligent and automated systems. Data enabled intelligent systems managing automated activities to deliver maximal value.

Excellence – Habitually ensuring that safety, quality and success surpass the highest standards.

There is substantial benefit for those mining companies that are successful in achieving true autonomous mining excellence:

  • Removing people from significant hazards.
  • Increasing predictability and decreasing variability.
  • Achieving productivity headroom.
  • Unlocking potential to measure, analyse and control the holistic value chain.
  • Shifting from automated systems assisting people, to people optimising autonomous systems[1].
  • Creating durable stakeholder value.
  • Ensuring attractive operating metrics compared to the competition.


“…We have initiatives to integrate and automate operations to improve safety, unlock resources and create growth options”

Andrew Mackenzie, BHP Chief Executive Officer – December 2017


Since the inception of the third industrial revolution, mining companies have experienced the benefit of significant advancements in automated electro-mechanical technology. Manual activities have become mechanised, operational scale has increased, and some mass movement activities have become automated (haul trucks, trains, process plant).

Moving beyond the automation of activities, the next step is high-technology and intelligent systems, to more effectively gather and leverage operations data and information. These systems make the solution autonomous (smart), and not just automated.


“I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that digital and data will be the fundamental game changer in our industry”

JS Jacques, Rio Tinto Chief Executive Officer – October 2018


To achieve the benefits that autonomous mining excellence affords, automated mining methods must be connected and integrated to intelligent systems – in doing so however, this significant opportunity is also paired with new challenges.

Building an autonomous mining platform requires the deliberate and forensic management of the complex interdependencies between many vendors and technologies whilst ensuring regulatory, safety and cyber security considerations are met. Human elements must be considered, from user experience to task allocation (roles, responsibilities and authorisation) between operators and the system. In short, many problems require complex solutions with no direct 1-1 relationships.

With such complexity, interrelated moving parts and interdependencies, the solution space can be considered a “system of systems”.  Achieving excellence in autonomous mining operations therefore mandates a different way of thinking… “systems thinking”, the approach which holistically examines both problem and solution spaces for the best overall outcomes. By drawing on experiences across multiple industries, mining companies can:

  • Adopt a system engineering approach, incorporating a Specify-Design-Test-Implement-Operate-Maintain methodology, which aims to help ensure both safety and productivity of autonomous mining.
  • Implement an aerospace-styled safety approach to complement mining safety methods – with a focus on safety by design and enhancing system and process safety.
  • Engage an Autonomous Mining Strategy, including a strategic roadmap, as a tool to drive change, integration and detailed planning.
  • Develop an Autonomous Mining Operational Concept to prescribe how mining will work at each stage of automation, including the baseline state and successive capability wave implementations to manage change.
  • Support vendor independent requirements as a basis for assessing vendor products and services as being fit for purpose.
  • Focus on autonomous mining excellence key objectives to ensure the business transformation program gets the right outcomes from automation.


[1] At Nova Systems we call this “the human element” of automation


The above Insight has been published from Nova Systems Energy & Resources program. For further information regarding Autonomous Mining Excellence, contact Tim Anderson, Program Manager – Energy & Resources


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Media Release | Unique cyber security training solution launched in Canberra

Nov 19, 2018

In a national first, a collaborative training solution to the cyber security skills shortage has been launched today, with a new Training Security Operations Centre (TSOC) and tech-collab space opening at Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT).

The $1.1million project includes a virtual classroom with a cloud-based security operations centre simulating real cyber threats, giving students the chance to work through real scenarios to gain nationally-accredited qualifications.

Industry has been critical since the inception of the TSOC to ensure the right skills are being taught to fuel the demand in this fast-growing sector.

Tony Marceddo of Vault Cloud and Co-Chair of AustCyber ACT Node Advisory Board said, “CIT is leading the way with implementing education and training pathways to help address the critical issue of growing and upskilling our cyber security workforce.”

Owen Pierce of the Industry Growth Centre AustCyber says CIT is providing leadership in cyber security training and workforce development which is being recognised by the number of students enrolled and seeking to enrol in CIT’s cyber security programs.

“CIT has demonstrated their willingness to work with broad section of TAFEs nationally to ensure that they are collectively training the future-ready cyber security workforce that Australian employers need. AustCyber is a proud supporter of CIT and is thrilled to be involved in the development of their Training Security Operations Centre,” Mr Pierce said.

CIT has seen 168 enrolments in cyber security courses since March 2018. Students have travelled to Singapore on an outbound VET mobility program and some are also involved in virtual mentoring, where industry-based cyber experts mentor students.

The TSOC has been funded by AustCyber and the ACT Government and is a collaboration between CIT, Nova Systems, Fifth Domain and ANU.


View the original release here.

CIT Media Contact:

Lauren Hall       T (02) 6205 2059      M  0421 871 880    E

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