The Trailblazer competition was developed to reward innovative ideas and early-stage research that has the potential to benefit the community, industry or business.
Fifteen UTAS finalists pitched their concepts to judges.
University Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Rathjen, said UTAS sees research as “epitomising what great universities do”.
“Research will help us to contribute to the social, economic and environmental objectives of our island.
“If you look at our strategic plan, Open to Talent, research is one of the three key priorities identified.
“We want to create new ideas and knowledge. We want to develop innovative ideas and approaches that matter. And we want to make sure the innovations created here at the university are meaningful and done with an eye to helping the community,” Prof Rathjen said.
“It is important we have initiatives like Trailblazer; they signify the fact that we find innovation important.”
The Student Winner was Belinda Chapman, Agricultural Science, for her concept CLS-coated Nanodiamonds to Kill Bacteria.
“My idea came out of my PhD studies- I just submitted my PhD three weeks ago.
“The idea is around a new idea to kill bacteria, particularly resistant and persistent bacteria which are in food factory surfaces, hospital surfaces and also in our bodies.
“I’m really excited to have this acknowledgement of the idea and really looking forward to taking it forward in the next few months.”
The Open Winner was Leigh Parker, Medicine, for her concept The Vital Sign Simulator.
“My concept is looking at using high fidelity simulation using a mannequin and then high fidelity simulation using an actor, or even a student, and creating a technology that merges the two, that enables the student to be completely focused on the actor they’re interacting with,” she said.
“My hope with that product is that we start to grow, develop and strengthen our patient nurse/doctor/paramedic communication.”
Belinda and Leigh were both awarded $6000 in cash and were invited to represent UTAS at the Trailblazer Grand Finals in Queensland in early September.
An iPad, generously donated by Griffith Hack IP lawyers, went to lucky recipient and finalist, Gabrielle Robin.
Other sponsors included Davies Collison Cave, Fisher Adams Kelly, Campus Travel, NRG solutions and Redback Conferencing.
The Trailblazer Competition is an initiative of UniQuest.
Additional Award winners:
- Pitching Excellence: Dr Arko Lucieer and team, Geography and Environmental Sciences
- Student Highly Commended: Michelle Somerton, School of Education
- Open Highly Commended: Assoc Prof Greg Dicinoski and team, ACROSS
- Student Runner Up: Sebastian Beswick, School of Computing & Information Systems
- Open Runner Up: Dr Arko Lucieer and team, Geography and Environmental Sciences
Trailblazer finalists who pitched:
- Dr Arko Lucieer and team, SET
- Mr Marcos Gogolin, Education
- Mr Alex McKeown, IMOS
- Ms Gabrielle Robin, Arts
- Ms Leigh Parker, Health Science
- Ms Nichole Harbottle, Education
- Mr Sebastian Beswick, SET
- A/Prof Greg Dicinoski and team, ACROSS
- Ms Lynne Schmidt, Education
- Mr Kevin Redd, SET
- Ms Belinda Chapman, TIAR
- Ms Janelle White, Health Science
- Ms Michelle Somerton, Education
- Ms Robin Krabbe, Arts
- Ms Erin Bowe, SET
Image: Student Winner Belinda Chapman (left) with VC Professor Peter Rathjen and Open Winner Leigh Parker (right).