Western Australia’s innovation, entrepreneurship and research expertise was celebrated last night at The University of Western Australia’s inaugural IQ Awards, held at Crawley's historic Masonic Hall. The event saw three very different projects awarded for their impact and ingenuity.
Professor Jo McDonald, Director of the Centre for Rock Art Research and Management, was named UWA's Innovation Champion for her commitment to promoting a culture of innovation and engagement between the Indigenous community and industry in her work on heritage management and preserving rock art in the Pilbara.
There was a strong field of nominations for the Research Innovation and Enterprise Award, which included Nobel laureate Barry Marshall's Noisy Guts project and Dr Andrew Sunderland's use of airborne electromagnetic systems to detect mineral resources deep underground.
However, the Award went to the project team of Professor Tim Inglis, Kieran Mulroney, Jarrad Hall, Xio Huang and Elin Turnbull who developed a screening test for antibiotic resistance that shaves about 21 hours off the international standard for this process.
Following a successful pitch to the judging panel, Student Startup of the Year Award went to Tom Maclaurin from the UWA Business School for his creation of an affordable Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) called ‘Swift.’
The MAE Swift UAV project addresses the massive cost of aerial beach and shark surveillance and aerial mustering. Swift has four times the flight time and is half the cost of what is currently on the market.
It is expected to disrupt the manned aerial surveillance industry and could ultimately lead to a world where the majority of manned aircraft monitoring can be automated and managed remotely.
Deputy Vice Chancellor of Community and Engagement Professor Kent Anderson sat on the judging panel and said UWA had a diverse group of staff and students which provided the right environment for innovative ideas.
“While creating an innovative ecosystem is a good idea, it is not enough. We must encourage learning and be prepared to fail and fail again. This allows us to take risks, then improve and celebrate success,” Professor Anderson said.
UWA librarian Jill Benn also received an Honourable Mention for her role reconceptualising the University’s Reid Library. The model continues the trend of providing innovative, client-focused spaces for the benefit of the UWA community.
Photo caption (L-R) : Tom Maclaurin MAE Swift UAV, Professor Kent Anderson UWA DVC Community and Engagement, Kate Griffiths EY R&D and Technology, Shannon Ziegelaar Boston Consulting Group, Haweya Ismail MUD & MUSK, Charlie Gunningham WA Business News, Andy Sadler HUMM Technologies
David Stacey (UWA Media and Public Relations Manager) (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 32 637 716