Research & Innovation

2020 NSW Environment, Energy and Science (DPIE) Eureka Prize for Applied Environmental Research

2020 AM Eureka Prizes - Finalists
Finalist - 2020 NSW Environment, Energy and Science (DPIE) Eureka Prize for Applied Environmental Research. Team name: Rebuilding Australia’s Lost Shellfish Reefs Caption: Ben Cleveland finds evidence of former oyster reefs off Dromana. Hero image. Image: Simon Branigan TNC
© Simon Branigan TNC

Rebuilding Australia’s Lost Shellfish Reefs, The Nature Conservancy; James Cook University; University of Adelaide; and University of Tasmania

Shellfish reefs, once common across the temperate bays and estuaries of southern Australia, have been overexploited to near extinction. This research has documented the decline and provided the knowledge required to successfully commence restoring them and their vital ecosystem services, such as cleaner water, more fish and protected shorelines.



2020 University of Technology Sydney Eureka Prize for Excellence in Data Science

2020 AM Eureka Prizes - Finalists
Finalist - 2020 University of Technology Sydney Eureka Prize for Excellence in Data Science. Finalist name: Professor Dacheng Tao, University of Sydney Hero image. Image: University of Sydney
© University of Sydney

Professor Dacheng Tao, University of Sydney

Deep learning has been shown to reduce human bias, however practical challenges — such as accidents caused by driverless cars — have lowered society’s trust in artificial intelligence. Professor Dacheng Tao has advanced deep learning theory and technologies, enabling the design of innovative algorithms for tasks that include object detection and image enhancement.



2020 UNSW Eureka Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research

2020 AM Eureka Prizes - Finalists
Finalist - 2020 UNSW Eureka Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research. Finalist name: Social-Ecological Research Frontiers, James Cook University; University of Tasmania; Macquarie University; University of Technology Sydney; Australia Institute of Marine Science; Western Australia Department of Biodiversity, Conservation, and Attractions; and The Nature Conservancy Caption: Spear fisher on a coral reef. Papua New Guinea Hero image. Image: Dean Miller
© Dean Miller

Social-Ecological Research Frontiers, James Cook University; University of Tasmania; Macquarie University; University of Technology Sydney; Australia Institute of Marine Science; Western Australia Department of Biodiversity, Conservation, and Attractions; and The Nature Conservancy

Coral reefs that are thriving despite human and environmental pressures can provide novel insights into confronting complex problems. The Social-Ecological Research Frontiers team assembled the largest dataset of its type on conditions in over 6,000 reefs across 46 countries, allowing them to locate and learn from these coral reef 'bright spots’.



2020 Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre Eureka Prize for Infectious Diseases Research

2020 AM Eureka Prizes - Finalists
Finalist - 2020 Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre Eureka Prize for Infectious Diseases Research. Finalist name: Professor Gregory Dore, Kirby Institute Hero image. Image: Richard Freeman/ UNSW
© Richard Freeman/ UNSW

Professor Gregory Dore, Kirby Institute

People who inject drugs are a key population affected by hepatitis C, but often excluded from therapy trials due to perceived poor compliance. Professor Gregory Dore has led the first international trials to include a range of study populations from this marginalised group. His research informs clinical practices and improves these groups' access to hepatitis C therapy globally.



2020 ANSTO Eureka Prize for Innovative Use of Technology

2020 AM Eureka Prizes - Finalists
Finalist - 2020 ANSTO Eureka Prize for Innovative Use of Technology. Finalist name: Monash Pharmaceutical Milkshake Team, Monash University and ANSTO Caption: Dr Malinda Salim and Professor Ben Boyd Hero image. Image: Monash University
© Monash University

Monash Pharmaceutical Milkshake Team, Monash University and ANSTO

The Monash Milk Team has developed novel synchrotron-based methods for studying the interaction of milk and milk-like systems, with drugs. Their work has potential applications across a wide range of drug classes and diseases, and has already advanced the development of safe and effective drug formulations for children, including the first single dose cure for malaria.



2020 Macquarie University Eureka Prize for Outstanding Early Career Researcher

2020 AM Eureka Prizes - Finalists
Finalist - 2020 Macquarie University Eureka Prize for Outstanding Early Career Researcher Finalist name: Dr Qilin Wang, University of Technology Sydney Caption: Dr Qilin Wang's technology would represent a revolutionary change to the century-old sewage treatment practice, and save taxpayers money by reducing the financial burden of sewage treatment. Photo taken in Environmental Engineering Laboratories at UTS. Hero image. Image: Kevin Anastacio
© University of Technology Sydney

Dr Qilin Wang, University of Technology Sydney

Dr Qilin Wang has developed a technology that would transform energy-consuming, high-emission sewage treatment plants into energy-producing, low-emission plants. This transformation is achieved by utilising a by-product of the sewerage treatment process, creating a closed-loop system. His technology, which is being commercialised globally, could provide major benefits for water utilities and communities worldwide.



2020 Defence Science and Technology Eureka Prize for Outstanding Science in Safeguarding Australia

2020 AM Eureka Prizes - Finalists
Finalist - 2020 Department of Defence Eureka Prize for Outstanding Science in Safeguarding Australia Finalist name: Professor Benjamin Eggleton, Dr Eric Mägi, Dr Moritz Merklein, Dr Alvaro Casas Bedoya and Dr Yang Liu, University of Sydney and Associate Professor Stephen Madden, Australian National University Hero image. Image: Not provided
© Australian Museum

Professor Benjamin Eggleton, Dr Eric Mägi, Dr Moritz Merklein, Dr Alvaro Casas Bedoya and Dr Yang Liu and Associate Professor Stephen Madden, University of Sydney and Australian National University

By harnessing the delicate interaction between light and sound, Professor Benjamin Eggleton and his team have produced a microchip that provides a unique advantage for defence platforms. With prototypes already developed in Australia and internationally, this compact technology heralds a new era in microwave signal processing and represents real gains in performance, efficiency and cost.



2020 UNSW Eureka Prize for Scientific Research

2020 AM Eureka Prizes - Finalists
Finalist - 2020 UNSW Eureka Prize for Scientific Research Finalist name: Professor Mark Febbraio, Monash University Hero image. Image: Not provided
© Monash University

Professor Mark Febbraio, Monash University

Despite the existence of several established treatments for type 2 diabetes, a drug that halts or reverses disease progression is not yet available. Through his metabolic disease research, Professor Mark Febbraio has discovered that a compound called IC7Fc could improve glucose metabolism, progressing new drug therapies for people living with diabetes.



Leadership

2020 3M Eureka Prize for Emerging Leader in Science

2020 AM Eureka Prizes - Finalists
Finalist - 2020 3M Eureka Prize for Emerging Leader in Science Finalist name: Associate Professor Asha Bowen, Wesfarmers Centre of Vaccines and Infectious Diseases, Telethon Kids Institute Caption: Associate Professor Asha Bowen, Head of Skin Health at the Wesfarmers Centre of Vaccines and Infectious Diseases, based at Telethon Kids Institute. Hero image. Image: Telethon Kids Institute
© Telethon Kids Institute

Associate Professor Asha Bowen, Wesfarmers Centre of Vaccines and Infectious Diseases, Telethon Kids Institute

Regarded as one of the brightest clinician-scientists of her generation, Associate Professor Asha Bowen is a world-class early career researcher and rising leader in infectious disease research. Her passion for ending skin disease has driven breakthrough knowledge and policy change that is reducing the burden of skin infections for Aboriginal children living in remote communities.



2020 CSIRO Eureka Prize for Leadership in Innovation and Science

2020 AM Eureka Prizes - Finalists
Finalist - 2020 CSIRO Eureka Prize for Leadership in Innovation and Science Finalist name: Professor Robert F. Park, University of Sydney Hero image. Image: Not provided
© University of Sydney

Professor Robert F. Park, University of Sydney

For nearly two decades, Professor Robert F. Park has led world-class efforts to develop cereal varieties with inbuilt genetic disease resistance. He is one of the few plant pathologists who has successfully translated their biological discoveries to the real world, his research having a sustained global impact on the economic viability of cereal production and food security.



2020 University of Technology Sydney Eureka Prize for Outstanding Mentor of Young Researchers

2020 AM Eureka Prizes - Finalists
Finalist - 2020 University of Technology Sydney Eureka Prize for Outstanding Mentor of Young Researchers Finalist name: Professor Carol Armour AM, Woolcock Institute of Medical Research and University of Sydney Hero image. Image: University of Sydney/Stefanie Zingsheim
© University of Sydney/Stefanie Zingsheim

Professor Carol Armour AM, Woolcock Institute of Medical Research and University of Sydney

Professor Carol Armour has devoted the past 20 years of her academic career to enhancing Australia’s research capacity. Harnessing her passion for mentoring and career development, she has created transformative programs and unique opportunities that are advancing the careers of Australia’s next generation of researchers.



Science Engagement

2020 Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources Eureka Prize for Innovation in Citizen Science

2020 AM Eureka Prizes - Finalists
Finalist - 2020 Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources Eureka Prize for Innovation in Citizen Science Finalist name: Victorian Coastal Monitoring Program, University of Melbourne; Deakin University; Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning; and Propeller Aerobotics Caption: Team member Karina Sorrell. Hero image. Image: David Kennedy
© David Kennedy

Victorian Coastal Monitoring Program, University of Melbourne; Deakin University; Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning; and Propeller Aerobotics

A world-first initiative, the Victorian Coastal Monitoring Program is empowering local communities to predict how beaches respond to storms and rising sea levels. Using lightweight drones, citizen scientists produce 3D models that precisely measure shoreline change. The open-source data informs coastal management and policy decisions.



2020 Finkel Foundation Eureka Prize for Long-Form Science Journalism

2020 AM Eureka Prizes - Finalists
Finalist - 2020 Finkel Foundation Eureka Prize for Long-Form Science Journalism Finalist name: Ceridwen Dovey Hero image. Image: Not provided
© Ceridwen Dovey

Ceridwen Dovey

In Mining the Moon, Ceridwen Dovey questions the headlong rush among private industry to commercialise space activities and normalise the idea of mining the moon. She provides a detailed analysis of Australia's proud, yet little known, history as a leader in space diplomacy and sustainability, and suggests it could continue to advocate for internationally binding protections for the moon.

Published in The Monthly, 1 July 2019



2020 Celestino Eureka Prize for Promoting Understanding of Science

2020 AM Eureka Prizes - Finalists
Finalist - 2020 Celestino Eureka Prize for Promoting Understanding of Science Finalist name: Associate Professor Alice Motion, University of Sydney Hero image. Image: Not provided
© University of Sydney

Associate Professor Alice Motion, University of Sydney

Associate Professor Alice Motion is a chemistry researcher, educator and public communicator of science who is committed to engaging new and underrepresented audiences. An important voice for the popularisation of science, she has reached millions of Australians through a range of methods that include original podcasts, musical festivals, television appearances and social media.



2020 Australian Museum Eureka Prize for Science Journalism

2020 AM Eureka Prizes - Finalists
Finalist - 2020 Australian Museum Eureka Prize for Science Journalism Finalist name: Tegan Taylor, Dr Norman Swan and Will Ockenden, Australian Broadcasting Corporation Caption: Coronacast co-hosts Tegan Taylor and Dr Norman Swan in the ABC’s Brisbane office. Hero image. Image: April Chan
© Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Tegan Taylor, Dr Norman Swan and Will Ockenden, Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Coronacast is a podcast that breaks down the latest news and research to help listeners understand how the world is living through a pandemic. Hosted by physician Dr Norman Swan and health reporter Tegan Taylor, it gives evidence-based answers to audience questions and has emerged to become many Australians’ primary source of trusted information about the coronavirus pandemic.

Episodes submitted for this prize were published by ABC on 16, 26 and 27 March; and 8 and 17 April 2020



2020 Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources Eureka Prize for STEM Inclusion

2020 AM Eureka Prizes - Finalists
Finalist - Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources Eureka Prize for STEM Inclusion Finalist name: CSIRO Indigenous STEM Education Project Caption: Students discovering STEM pathways through hands-on experiences and mentorship provided by the ASSETS Summer School Hero image. Image: Not provided
© CSIRO

CSIRO Indigenous STEM Education Project

CSIRO’s Indigenous STEM Education Project is an evidence-based, national initiative that improves Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student aspiration, achievement and participation in STEM. The project has reached beyond the walls of classrooms to increase the skills, capability and ambition of whole communities. For some, the program has been life changing



School Science

2020 University of Sydney Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize - Primary

2020 AM Eureka Prizes - Finalists
Finalist - 2020 University of Sydney Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize – Primary Finalist name: Scarlett P and Scarlett O, Oak Flats Primary School, NSW For their film "Super Cooled Science". Hero image. Image: Not provided
© Australian Museum

Scarlett P. and Scarlett O., Oak Flats Primary School, NSW

Super Cooled Science examines how water turns into ice and explains ‘supercooling’, the process of chilling a liquid below its freezing point, without it becoming solid. Using claymation and dance, Scarlett and Scarlett illustrate the role that energy plays in this transformation and describe one of the ways supercooled water is being used by scientists.



2020 University of Sydney Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize - Secondary

2020 AM Eureka Prizes - Finalists
Finalist - 2020 University of Sydney Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize - Secondary Finalist name: Himalaya J, Balwyn High School, Vic Short film: The Secret Life of Droplets Hero image. Image: Anil Joshi
© Australian Museum

Himalaya J., Balwyn High School, Vic

Look at your windowpane on a rainy day and you’ll almost certainly see tiny water droplets move closer together until they merge. In The Secret Life of Droplets, Himalaya uses a lively combination of song and animation to explain the science behind this phenomenon.