Mechatronic engineering applied to agriculture
University of Southern Queensland
Dr McCarthy’s leads research projects that are focussed on developing new technologies to make Australian agriculture more sustainable, in particular for crop protection issues and biosecurity. Her research involves developing new robotic tools and technologies for agriculture, so that farmers can better manage their crops and optimise resource usage like labour, energy, water and chemicals. She is involved in the development of a precision weed spot spray system to reduce reliance on herbicides in agriculture and is leading research to assist farmers with early detection of weeds, pests and diseases using automatic surveillance of crops from Remotely Piloted Aircraft (drones).
Developing new technologies in consultation with industry representatives, she ensures her research meets industry needs, and is committed to developing technologies that can be adopted by farmers in the short-term, so farmers gain immediate access to benefits from new technology.
Cheryl is aware that her work has real results for farmers both now and into the future and she spends time presenting at regional, state and national industry forums. She has also been featured in mainstream media across the country, particularly in rural and regional areas. She has given numerous research demonstrations for Members of Parliament and political science advisors as well as sharing her experiences school students.