Milorad Cerovac – Melbourne RoboCats
Go Girl Topic: FIRST Robotics Program (Co-presenting with Dr Therese Keane) Under strict rules, limited resources and with the guidance of some of Australia’s best engineers and technology experts, teams of high school students from around the world have just six weeks to build and program their robots to compete in the most exciting challenge of its kind. Welcome to the world of FIRST and to the Melbourne RoboCats, which brings together a community of young ladies from high schools all over Victoria. Working together in the only all-girl Victorian team, students learn to solder, connect the robot electronics, fabricate metal, hook-up a pneumatics system and program a 50 to 60 kilogram robot to compete in an alliance of three robots against an opposing alliance’s three robots in a crazy sporting-based challenge, such as the ultimate game of basketball.
Milorad Cerovac is a senior high school teacher at The King David School and a Lead Mentor on the Melbourne RoboCats team. Milorad graduated from Monash University with an Honours Degree in Materials Engineering Science and spent his initial working life as a research assistant at the Telecom Australia Research Labs, as they were then known, before he joined the IT industry. He occupied numerous technical and management roles working for companies as diverse as V/Line, Hong Kong Telecom, IBM and Fujitsu Australia. But his passion was always in education. In 2004 he commenced his 3rd career as a teacher, where he is driven by a desire to reverse the decline in students engaging with the Sciences beyond Year 10. As part of this endeavour he has developed and implemented a series of robotics and space-based programs such as CanSat, which has provided students with opportunities to participate on the world stage. In 2011 Milorad was recognised with a NEiTA ASG Inspirational Teaching Award, and in 2013 he was the recipient of the Australian Institute of Physics (Vic Branch) Travelling Scholarship. He has previously occupied the role of Tournament Director of the FIRST LEGO League Victorian Championships from 2012-14.
What is the most awesome thing about having a career in tech for you?
Change! Life is never boring.
As a child, did you dream of a career in tech?
Yes and no. I loved tinkering with electronics but wasn’t a big fan of programming. Now I do both.
What’s the coolest thing you’ve done, both personally and professionally?
Participated in the International CanSat (i.e. satellite in a soda can) competition held on a French missile testing facility.
Why are you passionate about diversity in technology?
It provides opportunities for amazing new ideas to be developed.
What would your advice be to your 15 year old self?
Never let anyone try and put you off your dreams. But always have a backup plan.