Edhem Eddie Čustović (31), a Bosnian who has been living in Australia for the past twenty years, found his way among the successful Bosnians and Herzegovinians. The war events forced him and his family to leave the homeland and go to Switzerland first, where they stayed for three years before settling on the address in the land of kangaroos, where he went to school, found a job, and where he is now lining one success after another.
Today, Edhem is an active member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the largest professional organization in the world counting 425.000 members in more than 160 countries, including the most successful professors from the top universities in the world, engineers and computer scientists who work for companies such as Google, Siemens, Tesla Motors, etc. In this institute, Čustović is the editor of the publication IMPACT, president of IEEE for the state of Victoria in Australia, and vice-president for IEEE Young Professionals on global level. He is also a professor at the renowned La Trobe University, where he was once a student.
“Although I left BiH when I was seven years old, I am a huge patriot, I love my country and I am proud of the achievements of our people around the world. Except for my parents and brother who are in Australia, the rest of my family is still in Tuzla and Sarajevo. I visit often because I travel the world five to six times a year for business purposes,” Čustović said.
Čustović is the author of revolutionary inventions such as the Countakick and Tiger-3 digital radar. Countakick is a wearable device in the form of a belt that uses a combination of microphones and sensors to monitor the movement of the baby during the last few months of pregnancy, which significantly reduced the number of stillborn children in Australia. Along with Countakick, in cooperation with his colleagues he also designed a mobile app which records the movement of the baby. The mother can track those movements herself and forward that information to her gynecologist for further monitoring, in order to timely react to possible anomalies.
“TIGER-3 digital over-horizontal high-frequency radar worth $1.7 million turned out to be a very successful project. It is located near Adelaide in South Australia. It consists of three linear array antennae 250 meters long whose digital transceiver provides us with a complete overview of the field of vision that extends some 5.000 kilometers from the mainland. The radar is used for the study of space time, which has a great impact on navigation and monitoring of systems for aviation and shipping, as well as for the GPS systems. I would mention another one of my projects, which is actually much greater than Countakick and TIGER-3 radar and it is related to the biology of plants. It is a multispectral, three-dimensional high transient phenotype system (MS3D-HTTPS). This study will fill an important technological gap that exists between plant genomics and plant phenology, allowing the full potential and investment in plant genomics to be realized. Other projects are in the fields of food industry, supporting technology and analytics for monitoring athletes with high performances, projects with the German Space Center, SmartMed project for home care patients, and others. Basically, I’m dealing with the application of engineering and computer science,” explained Čustović.
The secret of his success, as he explains, is in persistence and effort with sacrifice, and the desire to show how a child from BiH can positively contribute to the world we live in. Love for books and science was born in his early childhood because he comes from a mostly high-educated family.
“Only in my close family I have a doctor and an engineer, and my grandmother was a math professor. When you are surrounded with such knowledge, then you are interested in everything as of the earliest age. Our house was always full of books. Countries like Australia, as well as numerous other western countries, provide many opportunities for young people to become successful. Those opportunities have to be seized, and that is what I did. My parents insisted that my brother and I educate ourselves. I grew up in a suburb of Melbourne where the population is mostly working class. I attended one very low-rank high school because my parents could not send me to a private school. However, that did not diminish my desire for science and knowledge. With the ultimate results achieved, I was able to enroll into one of the leading Australian universities, La Trobe. While I was still studying and doing my PhD thesis, I was connected with three or four different project apart from my PhD thesis. Those projects attracted the attention of the dean, who offered me a job as a university professor, along with doing why I know how to do very well – research in partnership with large companies,” Čustović said.