Tag Archives: researchers

Early Career Researchers

Early career researchers take the stage

The Showcasing Early Career Researchers Competition celebrates good research that is well communicated. Entrants were asked to submit a 30-second video conveying the aim of their research. Five finalists were selected from 41 entrants to attend the 2017 CRC Association Annual Conference in Canberra, to give a 5-minute presentation. An audience vote at the Collaborate Innovate conference determined the winner. 

Meet the five Showcasing Early Career Researchers finalists and see a 30 second snapshot of their work. 

WINNER 2017

JULIE BEADLE – The HEARing CRC

HEARING LOSS IN OLDER ADULTS

early career researchers

Many older adults struggle to understand speech in everyday noisy situations, even when they perform well on traditional hearing tests. For my PhD, I am investigating how age-related changes in cognitive functioning contribute to this all too common situation. I aim to develop a listening test that is reflective of communication in real life and examine how age and cognitive skills like attention and memory are related to performance on this test.

Watch Julie’s video

FINALISTS 2017 

JACQUILINE DEN HOUTING – Autism CRC

TOO ANXIOUS TO ACHIEVE

early career researchers

Around 40% of autistic people experience anxiety, and autistic people also tend to underperform academically. In the non-autistic population, a link between these two issues has been found.

In my research, I am using assessments of anxiety and academic achievement with a group of autistic students, to identify whether the same link exists within the autistic community. These findings could inform support options for autistic students, allowing for improved mental health and academic outcomes.

Watch Jacquiline’s video

DORIS GROSSE – Space Environment Research Centre

MANAGING SPACE DEBRIS

early career researchers

Several 100,000 space debris objects orbiting Earth are threatening to collide with and destroy our satellites networks. To prevent those collisions, a ground based laser can be aimed at the debris objects moving them out of the way with the help of photon pressure. The atmosphere, however, distorts the laser beam. The Adaptive Optics system that I am building compensates for those distortions so that the laser beam can be focused correctly on the object in space and hence preventing collisions.

Watch Doris’s video

TOMAS REMENYI – Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems CRC

TACKLING CLIMATE CHANGE

Early career researchers

The Climate Futures Team translates fine-scale, regional climate model output into useful, usable tools that are used by decision makers in industries across Australia. Our focus is on working closely with industry during research design, and throughout the process, to ensure the outputs of our research are directly relevant to our stakeholders and align with their decision making frameworks.

Watch Tomas’s video

MELISSA SCOTT – Autism CRC

WORKPLACES FOR ALL

Early career researchers

Despite people with autism having high levels of skills and the desire to work, they remain unemployed. Many employers are hesitant to hire people with autism due to their lack of confidence and knowledge about autism. To assist employers to better understand autism and their specific needs in the workplace, the Integrated Employment Success Tool (IEST) has been developed. The IEST is a practical “tool kit” with strategies to help employers tailor the workplace for success for people with autism.

Watch Melissa’s video

This article on the Showcasing Early Career Researchers Competition was first published by the CRC Association. Read the original article here.

young innovators

Young innovators from Australia honoured in MIT awards

Featured image above: young innovators from Australasia. Top (L-R): Angela Wu, Dawn Tan, Wang Gang, John Ho and Prateek Saxena. Bottom (L-R): Simon Gross, Sumeet Walia, Yong Lin Kong, Zhi Weh Seh and Dhesi Raja. Credit: MIT Technology Review

EmTech Asia, in association with MIT Technology Review, today announced the top 10 young innovators under the age of 35 in the region. The 10 ‘Innovators Under 35’ are given tribute annually at MIT Technology Review’s EmTech Asia conference.

The list recognises the development of new technology and the creative application of existing technologies to solve global problems in industries such as biomedicine, computing, communications, energy, materials, web, and transportation.

EmTech Asia’s Disruptive Innovation Partner, SGInnovate, will host the ‘Innovators Under 35’ segment, where its Founding Chief Executive Officer, Steve Leonard, will present the young innovators with their award. 

“We want to encourage and support innovators who have the courage to embrace risk, and the vision to do important work on difficult challenges,” says Leonard.

“Our hope is these amazing young innovators will want to see their science and technology-based work increase its positive impact through active commercialisation efforts with teams such as SGInnovate.”

Now in its fourth edition, Asia received nominations from researchers, inventors and entrepreneurs across nine countries (Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand) to be considered for the 2017 list. This year, the list of 10 brilliant researchers and entrepreneurs come from Singapore, Malaysia and Australia. 

Young innovators from Australasia

  1. Dawn Tan, 33, Assistant Professor, Engineering Product Development, Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), SINGAPORE. Dawn receives the award for developing complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) nonlinear optical devices for unprecedented nonlinear photon efficiencies in multi-wavelength sources. Her research brings cheaper light sources to the chip, enabling 100X better bandwidth capacity in the transmission of data.
  1. Gang Wang, 34, Associate Professor, School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering & Associate Director of the ROSE Lab at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), SINGAPORE. Gang is recognised for his work in artificial intelligence and deep learning that will benefit industries such as mobile, virtual/augmented reality and self-driving cars. He founded Ultramind, which provides core artificial intelligence technologies including object detection, optical character recognition (OCR), and action recognition.
  1. John Ho, 27, Assistant Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, National University of Singapore (NUS), SINGAPORE. John is awarded for his pioneering research on developing wireless technologies for bioelectronic systems that can be used to help treat intractable diseases like cancer and diabetes. By enabling smaller and deeper bioelectronic devices, these technologies could one day enable doctors to prescribe a tiny, wireless device instead of a pill.
  1. Prateek Saxena, 33, Dean’s Chair Assistant Professor, School of Computing, National University of Singapore (NUS), SINGAPORE. Prateek’s expertise is in cybersecurity. His work on symbolic tracing has being used to discover security flaws in Microsoft’s largest web product and his work on auto-sanitization of web programs to make them robust against attacks has already been adopted in Google Chrome’s extension platform and Google’s web compilation infrastructure.
  1. Zhi Wei Seh, 30, Research Scientist, Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), SINGAPORE. Zhi Wei receives the award for designing advanced materials for clean energy storage and conversion. His pioneering design of sulfur-titanium dioxide yolk-shell structures for lithium-sulfur batteries, have five times the energy density of lithium-ion batteries today.
  1. Yong Lin Kong, 29, Postdoctoral Associate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), MALAYSIA. Yong Lin was nominated for his work on developing next-generation ingestible electronic devices that could improve the quality of life for patients with diseases that require long-term on-demand drug administration.
  1. Dhesi Raja, 32, Cofounder, Artificial Intelligence in Medical Epidemiology (AIME), MALAYSIA. Dhesi receives the award for his work in artificial intelligence in medicine. His AIME platform has the capability of identifying dengue and Zika outbreaks up to three months in advance.
  1. Angela Wu, 31, Founding Member and Scientific Advisor, Agenovir Corporation, AUSTRALIA. Angela was instrumental in launching Agenovir, which uses genome editing technologies to cure chronic viral infections. Using genome editing technologies to target destruction of viral DNA instead of human DNA, Agenovir’s future products will be able to remove these viruses from the cell, resulting in a permanent cure.
  1. Simon Gross, 33, ARC DECRA Research Fellow, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Macquarie University, AUSTRALIA. Simon is recognised for his work in integrated optics. He developed a fabrication process that enables integrated optics access to the third dimension, using a laser to sculpt optical circuits embedded in a block of glass, a process similar to 3D printing, which is being used to develop the next generation of ultra-high bandwidth optical communication networks.
  1. Sumeet Walia, 28, Lecturer, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), AUSTRALIA. Sumeet is noted for his work in nanoelectronics. He specialises in the use of metal oxides for the next-generation of high performance electronic devices and systems.

The 10 honourees will give elevator pitches about their work at EmTech Asia, which will be held from 14–15 February 2017 in Singapore.

The 10 also automatically qualify for consideration on the global MIT Technology Review magazine ’35 Innovators Under 35 List’. MIT Technology Review will showcase these 35 innovators in the September/October 2017 issue. 

This information was first shared by MIT Technology Review on 7th December 2016. View previous years’ Innovators under 35 here.

women in STEM

Everywoman: the modern scientist

I’ve always been a strong proponent and active promoter of women in all fields of endeavour, but for about a decade now my focus has been on promoting the stories of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). So I was somewhat horrified when I took a Harvard University-designed online test designed to detect unconscious gender bias in STEM and found that, when it came to science and technology, I very slightly and subconsciously favoured men.

How could this be? Deep-seated societal programming and a lifetime of hearing ‘he’ as the default is very difficult to undo. Children’s toys and characters in books are often automatically ‘he’: we have to think twice to designate a character as ‘she’. Growing up surrounded by assumptions, words and images that constantly reinforce gender stereotypes, we have our work cut out for us. And when it comes to STEM, those stereotypes are so embedded that even people like me, who actively work against gender stereotypes, unconsciously assume scientists are men.

That’s a tough thing to admit, but I believe it’s important. If I recognise the problem, I can start to do something about it.

There are many important and worthwhile programs aimed at changing the systemic barriers to the retention and advancement of women in STEM. I am so heartened by the rapidly growing volume of excellent work being done in this arena. It’s a significant and meaningful step towards building true equality.

As well as changing the systems in which we work, I believe we also must create new stereotypes. To do that, we need to significantly elevate the visibility of women in STEM, and in particular the visibility of heroines of STEM. We must tell our stories; we must tell them loudly, we must tell them often, and we must tell them in many different ways.


“Changing a stereotype can take generations, and different audiences respond to different story-telling techniques and platforms, so the more people telling success stories of women in STEM at all career stages, the merrier.”


I’m a woman in STEM, but I’m not a researcher or entrepreneur. Instead, my work is to support and elevate scientists and people working in technology. My background is in communication, and my focus has been to find and publicise our success stories. This is not an exclusive or competitive endeavour. Changing a stereotype can take generations, and different audiences respond to different storytelling techniques and platforms, so – as far as I’m concerned – the more people telling success stories of women in STEM at all career stages, the merrier.

We need children’s books featuring women engineers, scientists and technology gurus. We need to celebrate and include women in STEM on social media, in magazines, on daytime TV, on talkback radio, in soapies and the news. We need to see women equally represented on stage at public and private events. We need them on websites, in advertising, and on blogs.

I know the first reference source for many students is Wikipedia, so a few years ago I created the first ‘Women of Science Wikibomb’, with the dual purpose of increasing the (woefully low) percentage of women Wikipedia editors, and increasing the number of Australian women scientists celebrated with their own page on Wikipedia. About 150 science enthusiasts – most of them women – participated all over Australia. Between us, on a single day during National Science Week we created 117 new Wikipedia pages about Australian women scientists. The model has since been replicated by research institutions, museums, governments and big corporations, and the number of Australian women in STEM featured on Wikipedia continues to grow.

I’ve organised nationally broadcast women in STEM events at the National Press Club, supported an outstanding woman scientist to create a Boyer lecture series on Radio National, contributed to creating a national award for women in STEM, and created and produced more than 30 public events featuring women doing extraordinary and fascinating work across the breadth of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

I’ve also coordinated exclusive interviews in the news media and extensive social media campaigns highlighting the vast range of stories, work and motivations of Australian women in STEM at all levels. Science & Technology Australia will keep adding to that work, but it’s just a small drop in a very large ocean. We need lots and lots more drops (some fabulously clever woman could probably tell me exactly how many drops there are in any given ocean). We need to permanently dislodge the ‘pale, male, and stale’ STEM stereotype and recast the modern scientist as everywoman as well as everyman. We need to normalise the idea of women in STEM so completely that the unconscious bias test becomes obsolete.

The good news is, my nine-year-old daughter counts doctor and engineer among her career aspirations (along with rock star and veterinarian). And my 11-year-old son names among his role models geneticist Professor Suzanne Cory and physicist Professor Tanya Monro. Why? Because they’ve both met a number of women working in science and technology, including those two high-achieving professors. Because they have shelves full of books and games featuring women scientists, engineers and maths whizzes as lead characters. Because their parents routinely show them true stories featuring women working in STEM – as researchers, lab assistants, teachers, policy-makers, entrepreneurs and communicators. Because, for them, the stereotypical scientist is just as likely to be a woman as they are a man.

Kylie Walker

Chief Executive Officer, Science & Technology Australia

Read next: Pip Marlow, Managing Director of Microsoft Australia, on encouraging girls in STEM and the value of maths to future careers.

People and careers: Meet women who’ve paved brilliant careers in STEM here, find further success stories here and explore your own career options at postgradfutures.com.

Spread the word: Help Australian women achieve successful careers in STEM! Share this piece on women in STEM using the social media buttons below.

More Thought Leaders: Click here to go back to the Thought Leadership Series homepage, or start reading the Graduate Futures Thought Leadership Series here.

commercialisation

Commercialisation boost for businesses

The Turnbull Government has announced that twenty businesses across Australia will be offered $11.3 million in Entrepreneurs’ Programme grants to help boost commercialisation and break into new international markets.

A 3-D printed jaw joint replacement, termite-proof building materials and a safer way to store grain outdoors are amongst the diverse products and services that will be fast-tracked.

The grants range from $213,000 to $1 million and are matched dollar-for-dollar by recipients.

So far, the Government has invested $78.1 million since commencement of this initiative – helping 146 Australian businesses to get their products off the ground.

The grants help businesses to undertake development and commercialisation activities like product trials, licensing, and manufacturing scale-up—essential and often challenging steps in taking new products to market.

Projects supported by today’s grant offers will address problems and meet needs in key industries including food and agribusiness, mining, advanced manufacturing and medical technologies.

The 20 projects to receive commercialisation support include:

  • a safer, cheaper and more efficient outdoor grain storage solution for the agricultural industry
  • recycling technology for fats, oils and greases from restaurants that will save money and reduce pollution
  • a lighter, stronger and more flexible concrete product
  • an anti-theft automated security system for the retail fuel industry
  • a cheaper, faster and safer decontamination process for mine drainage
  • smaller, cheaper and more patient-friendly MRI technology used for medical diagnostics
  • a 3-D printed medical device for jaw joint replacements that reduces surgery risk and improves patient quality-of-life
  • insect and termite-proof expansion joint foam for the building industry, combining a two-step process into a single product.

The Entrepreneurs’ Programme commercialisation grants help Australian entrepreneurs, researchers and small and medium businesses find commercialisation solutions.

It aims to:

• accelerate the commercialisation of novel intellectual property in the form of new products, processes and services;
• support new businesses based on novel intellectual property with high growth potential; and
• generate greater commercial and economic returns from both public and private sector research and facilitate investment to drive business growth and competitiveness.

This information was first shared by the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science on 17 August 2016.