Category Archives: UA

Outreach at Concordia College

16 August 2017:

Students from Concordia College got the low-down on STEM careers—as well as learnt more about lasers, laboratories and the life of a scientist at a school outreach event organised and run by CNBP researchers from the University of Adelaide.

The event, celebrating National Science Week, saw a team of CNBP scientists and researchers visit Concordia College and present a variety of talks, DIY laboratory videos and science demonstrations, to over 150 Year 9 students with an interest in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

CNBP’s Dr Hannah Brown, present on the day, sees outreach as a key responsibility for the science community.

“Getting high school students interested and engaged in STEM subjects is critical—not only to inspire future generations of young scientists but also in supporting the Australian economy more generally. What we hope to do with our outreach efforts is to show that science and technology can be fun and exciting, and potentially rewarding as a future career choice as well.”

Following the event, feedback from both students and teachers present was hugely positive with the CNBP team also gaining a great deal of satisfaction from their interactions and demonstration efforts.

Below: CNBP researchers Hannah Brown, Georgios Tsiminis, Patrick Capon and Aimee Horsfall with students, at the conclusion of a successful session of science outreach at Concordia College.

New CNBP research assistant

16 August 2017:

CNBP would like to welcome Robyn Kievit to the team. Located at the University of Adelaide, Robyn has joined the CNBP as a research assistant. She will primarily work within the Origins of Sensing biological challenges group (understanding the role of brain immune signals in the creation of chronic pain) with Dr Sanam Mustafa. Robyn will also set-up standard sensor validation protocols for testing of novel sensors being developed by Prof Andrew Abell’s team.

It’s great to have you on board Robyn!

Cambridge visit furthers research

10 August 2017:

After successfully receiving an ANN Overseas Travel Fellowship, CNBP researcher Dr Peipei Jia has arrived back at the University of Adelaide after a two month visit to the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) in Cambridge, UK.

While there, Peipei had the opportunity to test both techniques and potential application for his work on the fabrication of large-area freestanding gold nanomembranes.

More specifically, tests undertaken while at Cambridge showed that the gold membrane had the size, quality and robustness  for the critical application of resolving molecular structures in Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM).

Work continues but the nanophotonics structure is expected to have significant impact on both structural biology and electron microscopy.

Australian-French Entrepreneur Challenge

13 July 2017:

PhD team ‘ReMind’, which includes CNBP researcher Vicky Staikopoulos as CFO, has won the  Australian-French Entrepreneur Challenge held in Adelaide over two days, 11th-12th July, 2017.

The challenge (with 49 invited PhD students from all over Australia) required students to work continuously for 24 hours in teams of six, to come up with an idea and to then pitch it to a panel of judges containing some of Australia’s top entrepreneurs.

Team ‘ReMind’ presented their idea for a tactile gaming device for helping the elderly improve their balance and co-ordination to help prevent falls. The device utilised ultrasound waves to create a holographic touch screen.

Sixteen judges, including Susan Close MP (The Minister for Education & Child Development and Higher Education & Skills) as well as the new French Ambassador to Australia (His Excellency Mr Christophe Penot) were all part of the judging panel.

As winning team, ‘ReMind’ members have won a trip to France for two weeks with the opportunity to be mentored by experienced entrepreneurs.

Further information on the award and the team’s success can be found in an article on the ABC website.

Below – The ReMind Team hard at work during the challenge.

CNBP researcher at ICMAT and in China

5 July 2017:

CNBP Researcher, Dr Yu, from the University of Adelaide, presented recent findings on “Gating Electron Transfer in Peptides Towards Molecular Switches” at the International Conference on Materials for Advanced Technologies, commonly known as ICMAT 2017, held in Singapore, 18-24 June. It attracted more than 2,500 delegates from all over the world.

Following the ICMAT 2017, Dr Yu made a trip to Chongqing University, one of 985 project Universities in China. An invited lecture was given to the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and he met with Professors Xiaohua Chen, Yi Xu, and Lingjie Li.

While in Chongqing, he also made a visit to the microfabrication facilities, including the MEMS, Wafer Lithography and clean room at the Centre of MicroFabrication and MicroSystems, Chongqing University. Networking provided a number of possible future collaborations.

Below – Dr Yu presenting CNBP science at Chongqing University.

Superstars of STEM

3 July 2017:

Congratulations to CNBP’s Dr Hannah Brown and Dr Sanam Mustafa, both from the University of Adelaide and both selected to participate in the inaugural 2017 Superstars of STEM program.

The program, implemented by ‘Science and Technology Australia’, supports 30 women employed in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to become highly visible public role models.

All participants will be trained in public speaking, media, and communicating with influence, with the objective of inspiring and encouraging young women in their STEM related education and study.

Opportunities provided by the program will include mainstream media interviews, speaker slots at public, corporate and Government events as well as support for local high school visits.

“This program will directly encourage young women and girls to study and stay in STEM – by speaking with them in their schools and workplaces, and by providing prominent public role models for them to aspire to,” STA CEO Kylie Walker said.

The program was launched today by Professor Emma Johnston (STA President-Elect) and Senator the Hon Arthur Sindodinos, Minister for Industry, Innovation & Science.

 

Neurophotonics Summer School

21 June 2017:

This years Neurophotonics Summer School held in Quebec, Canada, June 11-21, was attended by three CNBP members – Vicky Staikopoulos (University of Adelaide, pictured), Antony Orth (RMIT University) and Varun Sreenivasan (UNSW).

The school focuses on teaching physics and biology and how they can merge, and runs for 10 days and includes 14 lectures from world class speakers and 10 workshops that teach the latest technology in the bio-imaging of the central nervous system.

For the last 4 days of the summer school, students are given a project to participate in for direct hands-on experience which is then presented on the last day,  with prizes awarded for the top 3 presentations.

This year, equal second prize was given to Vicky Staikopoulos for her work on Digital Holographic Microscopy in red blood cells.

 

Success in wool innovation competition

16 June 2017:

CNBP’s Ben Pullen (pictured) and Vicky Staikopoulos have been awarded a runner up prize as part of the University of Adelaide’s ‘Tech eChallenge Wool Innovation‘ competition.

There were 8 teams competing in the wool stream finals. First prize won $20,000 with 5x $10,000 prizes also on offer.

“We entered the competition to learn about marketing and entrepreneurial thinking and with only two weeks to go before the end of the workshop program we stumbled, by chance onto an idea as to how to help wool growers better manage their flock,” says Ben.

“Vicky Staikopoulos and I were awarded a runner up prize of $10,000 for our efforts. We plan to pursue this project and develop the idea into a working product.”

Women’s research excellence award

13 June 2017:

Congratulations to Dr Jiawen Li, CNBP researcher at the University of Adelaide, who recently won a Women’s Research Excellence award.

Jiawen’s work is focused on the development of highly novel dual-modality ultrasound/optical coherence tomography imaging probes for diagnosis of disease and for use in surgical applications.

She will be using the award to assist with travel to RMIT and Hong Kong Polytechnic University, where she hopes to build on existing collaborations.

CNBP participates in LEA outreach event

7 June 2017:

With a focus on STEM learning and the need for innovative outreach approaches, Learning Environments Australia (SA chapter) have coordinated a forum at the University of Adelaide, 7 June 2017, which saw significant support from the CNBP.

Prof Mark Hutchinson (CNBP Director), Tony Crawshaw (CNBP Communications and Outreach Coordinator) and Dr Sabrina Heng (CNBP Researcher, pictured) all participated in the LEA forum, providing talks and answering questions as to the Centre’s successful approach to engaging with schools and students and inspiring the next generation of young scientist.

Joanne Rogers, Head of Science, Concordia College who has been closely involved with CNBP outreach activity, talked about the real life changes experienced by her students, resulting from engagement with CNBP scientists. Students she said, had picked up additional science subjects on the back of CNBP school and laboratory visits.

Other University of Adelaide presenters at the event included Kiri Hagenus, Director, Children’s University; Dr Claudia Szabo, Associate Dean, Faculty of ECMS – MOOC in digital literacy for teachers; and Science’s Prof Bob Hill, who discussed successful Faculty outreach initiatives.