“The Cardax
system is rapidly developing into an outstanding product. Believe me, I have
worked with many access control systems in the past and it beats everything out
there”

UNIVERSITIES
challenge access control systems, integrators and end users. The combination of
massive cardholder numbers and enormous physical size makes system selection
vital and that’s something La Trobe University had a handle on when it selected
Cardax FT.

The flexible and
future-proof design of Cardax FT provides extensive system expansion and
integration options that make it ideal for an application like La Trobe
University. Importantly, Cardax has a history of supporting large educational
institutions and the flexibility and scalability of Cardax FT make it well
suited to a fluid university environment.

Make no mistake
about this – La Trobe University is a challenging site. It covers a vast 330
hectares and incorporates 60 buildings across several campuses in regional
Victoria – in Bendigo, Albury-Wodonga, Shepparton, Mildura and Beechworth. It
enormous size makes it arguably the largest university in Australia.

Making things
more complicated from a security perspective, the main campus of La Trobe
University in Melbourne (Bundoora) is situated in spacious parkland and
includes a Wildlife Reserve. This metropolitan campus also houses the main
research and teaching facilities of the University, including the Research and
Development Park, a world renowned library, multi-media facilities and a
hospital including student medical services.

It goes without
saying that in the competitive educational environment, successful university
management must be at the forefront of safety and security. La Trobe University
prides itself on applying forward thinking to accommodate all the needs of
staff and students now and in the future with security considerations being no
exception.

According to La
Trobe University’s security manager – Building and Grounds Division, Security
and Traffic Unit, Wayne Aldous, security on site is comprised of guards, an
extensive CCTV camera system and a Cardax access control with integrated
intruder alarms system upon which the security department relies heavily.

The Cardax system
was installed in 1998 and originally controlled 6 doors in the Eastern lecture
theatre. Since then Cardax has been installed throughout many of the
University’s buildings and campuses and a steady technology migration to the
latest Cardax FT platform has taken place.

“The Cardax
system is rapidly developing into an outstanding product. Believe me, I have
worked with many access control systems in the past and it beats everything out
there,” says Aldous, who has weighed up the leading access control systems on
the market and is confident in La Trobe University’s choice.

“With ongoing
software releases and system enhancements, the Cardax system is getting better
all the time,” he says.

The Cardax access
control system now protects a wide range of facilities including the Physical
and Health Sciences precincts, Law and Management buildings, Administration,
Computer Science labs, and Student Accommodation. Cardax FT provides a full
audit trail of events for reference in the event of criminal activity and
OH&S matters.

“We find the
reports powerful and look forward to future developments in this area,” Wayne
says. “La Trobe University creates reports from Cardax FT and includes these,
plus time stamped video footage as part of incident reports for police as
required.”

Currently the
University has 20 operators with workstation licenses – these operators manage
day to day cardholder access requirements in their respective departments. The
Computer Science labs and Library for instance, manage access control of their
own areas independently.

“One of the most
beneficial features regarding Cardax FT is the access group time and date
expiry – it means that access can be granted and denied to specific areas in
advance of when it is required”

The introduction
of Version 5 of Cardax FT has provided La Trobe University staff with
significant flexibility and independence in terms of cardholder management and
access control. Different areas of the university, for example student
accommodation, can independently manage access outside their relevant divisions
based on cardholder’s needs.

“One of the most
beneficial features regarding Cardax FT is the access group time and date
expiry – it’s brilliant,” Aldous enthuses. “It means that access can be granted
and denied to specific areas in advance of when it is required.

“We can check
whether the access status of students to different areas is enabled, pending,
or expired. The ability to provide temporary access means staff do not have to
manage access requirements in real time. It’s proving very useful.”

La Trobe
University is currently considering installing Cardax FT UltraSec to protect
and monitor areas where high consequence substances are stored. Cardax FT
UltraSec is a high security variant of Cardax FT. It achieves superior security
through very high levels of system data encryption and monitored
communications, using encryption key lengths of 128 bits and 168 bits.

Importantly,
Cardax FT UltraSec meets high security requirements determined by the
Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (a Federal Government
agency charged with responsibility for protecting the health and safety of
people, and the environment, from the harmful effects of ionizing and
non-ionizing radiation).

Interfaces
between a range of third party systems and Cardax FT have been established
including interfaces to La Trobe University’s Digital Video Recording system
and its energy management system. The University has its own power generation
capacity and it on-sells the excess energy it generates to the grid.

University
management is also looking to upgrade the big educator’s CCTV system to one
which incorporates artificial intelligence that will alert security staff to suspicious
activity. They plan to implement the product this year as a standalone system
and if it is rolled out further it will be interfaced to Cardax FT.

There is also
opportunity to integrate the University’s Syllabus Plus resource scheduling
system to Cardax FT via the Cardax FT Syllabus Plus Interface. This will
facilitate cost savings and improve efficiencies in resource management.

“The segregation
of fundamental components of security is over,” Aldous explains. “Today,
security systems are integrated – you have intrusion detection, door latch
monitoring, key position monitoring – the list goes on. Cardax is proving an
ideal integration platform.”

Further enhancing
integration potential, La Trobe University uses Mifare smartcards providing the
ability to implement cashless car parking, and student photocopier and print
services in the future. For Aldous, the support of Cardax dealer Base 10
Communications is an integral part of the wider Cardax offering. Base 10 has
more than 30 years experience in Cardax systems – an invaluable resource in
terms of utilizing the Cardax system to its full advantage.