Tuesday, 29 May 2018 12:05

RMIT creator of 'électronic skin’ nominee for APEC science award

By
RMIT Associate Professor Madhu Bhaskaran RMIT Associate Professor Madhu Bhaskaran

A scientist at Victoria’s RMIT University — Associate Professor Madhu Bhaskaran — has been selected as Australia’s 2018 nominee for the prestigious APEC Science Prize for Innovation, Research and Education for her development of a form of “electronic skin”.

The “electronic skin” monitors the environment and the human body and Bhaskaran’s work developing stretchable electronics and sensors has applications such as detecting dangerous gases in mines; reducing skin cancer with widespread use of UV sensors; or smart contact lenses that can analyse tears for biomarkers.

The award is valued at US$25,000 and Bhaskaran has been nominated by the Australian Academy of Science.

ASPIRE recognises young scientists from Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation countries who have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in innovation, research and education.

The Academy also recognised the work of two runners up — Professor Michael Milford from the Queensland University of Technology and Professor Igor Aharonovich from the University of Technology Sydney.

Milford’s research covers robotics, neuroscience and computer vision, and his work looks at how the brain performs tasks like navigation and perception, with his findings leading to applications across intelligent transport, mining and space exploration.

Aharonovich’s breakthrough research on next generation technologies spans healthcare, energy, communications and information, and his work on atomically thin materials will support the development of revolutionary techniques to enable early detection of many diseases.

Jobs and Innovation Minister Michaelia Cash said Bhaskaran’s nomination was another example of “why it is vital we continue to encourage more women in science, technology, engineering and maths”.

“Associate Professor Bhaskaran has developed technology that has the potential to improve the lives of thousands of people in Australia and across the world,” Cash said.

The selection of Australia’s nominee was a competitive process organised by the Australian Academy of Science with support from the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

The award ceremony will take place at the 10th APEC Policy Partnership for Science, Technology and Innovation meeting in Papua New Guinea later this year.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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