Tasmania’s top innovators recognised at STEM Excellence awards – Premier of Tasmania

19 November 2023

Madeleine Ogilvie,

Minister for Science and Technology

World leading agricultural sustainability, ground-breaking disease prevention, and 3D printing breakthroughs are some of the remarkable successes of this year’s Tasmanian STEM Excellence Awards winners.

Speaking from the ceremony in Hobart today, Minister for Science and Technology, Madeleine Ogilvie, said the awards showcased the crucial contribution of science, research and innovation to Tasmania’s industries and economy.

“These awards recognise the outstanding achievements of our foremost scientists, researchers, communicators, innovators and teachers,” Minister Ogilvie said.

“Amongst our finalists today were world renowned researchers working on transformative medical breakthroughs, scientists at the forefront of tracking the changing global climate system and adapting our traditional industries, and innovators developing new technologies across numerous applications.

“The remarkable stories of endeavour and discovery from our finalists and winners will be the stories that write the future of our state and inspire the next generation.”

Since 2016, the STEM awards have become a valued annual celebration of the diversity of science being undertaken in Tasmania.

This year’s awards featured 19 finalists across six different categories including primary and secondary teacher of the year, communicator of the year, innovation of the year, early career researcher of the year and the $10,000 Tasmanian STEM Researcher of the Year.

Minister Ogilvie said the Rockliff Liberal Government is committed to supporting the science research sector.

“Tasmania has areas of deep scientific capability at numerous research institutions across the state, as well as the research and development that is being done across Government and the private sector,” she said.

“To ensure all Tasmanians have the jobs, health and security they deserve we need our local STEM industry to continue to grow and be globally competitive.

“The Awards today are an example of government and research institutions working together to recognise the impact and develop the potential of STEM in our community.”

For more information on the Tasmanian STEM Excellence Awards or winners contact Inspiring.Tasmania@utas.edu.au

Tasmanian STEM Excellence Awards 2023 winners:

Premier’s Tasmanian STEM Researcher of the Year

Associate Professor Matthew Harrison, Director of the Carbon Storage Partnership at the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture, for his world leading achievements in agricultural sustainability, climate change adaptation and greenhouse gas mitigation.

Tasmanian STEM Early Career Researcher of the Year

Dr Vipul Gupta from the School of Natural Sciences at the University of Tasmania for his research developing new 3D printed materials and microfluidic analytical systems.

The Minister’s STEM Innovation of the Year

Potato Pathology Team at the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture for their ground-breaking product inhibiting powdery scab disease in potato crops.

The Tasmanian STEM Communicator of the Year

Mars Buttfield-Addison, Freelancer and PhD Candidate at UTAS and CSIRO, for her extensive STEM engagement and outreach.

Tasmanian STEM Primary Teacher of the Year

Kawajit Kaur of St Helens District School for her dedication to engaging students in STEM including integrating STEM units, setting up the STEM for Girls Club and introduction of a Solar Car Challenge for years 5 and 6.

Tasmanian STEM Secondary Teacher of the Year

Patrick Cooley of Bayview Secondary College for innovative methods to encourage students into STEM including development of two new courses: Learning by Doing for Grades 9 and 10; and Agricultural Enterprise 2 for Grades 11 and 12.

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