The winners of the 2022 Tasmanian STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Excellence Awards were announced this week at a celebratory event at a ceremony at the University Club in Hobart. Congratulations to all winners for their outstanding contributions.
This year Professor David Bowman from the University of Tasmania was awarded the Premier’s Tasmanian STEM Researcher of the Year prize for his globally-recognised research focussing on the ecological effects of landscape fire on the landscape over time. Professor Bowman has established the Fire Centre Research Hub whose mission is to enable place-based solutions to the emerging global landscape fire crisis through community engagement and the creation and dissemination of research, education, outreach, and practitioner tools. He also established the nationally important ‘pyrotron’ laboratory at the university to undertake studies of plant flammability.
Dr Megan Verdon from the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture received the Tasmanian STEM Early Career Researcher of the Year award for her research supporting the sustainability of Tasmania’s dairy industry and leadership within the animal production and welfare research area. Dr Megan Verdon established and now leads TIA’s ‘Animal production and welfare’ research group which consists of 10 scientists, technical, development and extension officers, in addition to supervising four PhD students. As Tasmania’s first animal welfare scientist she has worked diligently to develop and subsequently lead TIA’s research capabilities in this novel discipline. Read more about this research in a previous post here.
Brittany Trubody, founder of TastroFest, was awarded the Tasmanian STEM Communicator of the Year award for her ability to translate complex scientific principles into understandable content for all ages. In addition to her role creating Australia’s largest Astronomy Festival, Brittany Trubody was also employed as the Subject Matter Expert at the Central Coast Council and developed the internal design and content for the $10.6 million Ulverstone Cultural Precinct – known as The Hive.
David Titherley of Waimea Heights Primary School and Ekong Uko of Launceston College received the Tasmanian STEM Primary Teacher of the Year and Secondary Teacher of the Year awards respectively, for their use of innovative and creative approaches to inspire their students’ passion for STEM.
The Minister’s STEM Innovation of the Year Award was awarded to Scoot Boot for their fully-adjustable ‘Enduro’ hoof boot, designed to fit horses that don’t conform to the usual hoof shape of short toes and heels. The archaic practice of nailing iron onto a horse’s hoof causes long-term damage to the horse’s overall health and compromises the integrity of the hoof structure. Scoot Boot has revolutionised the way horses move and perform. With Scoot Boots, horses can be kept barefoot 24/7 and are protected when travelling long distances and over rough terrain.
The Tasmanian STEM Excellence Awards highlight the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – STEM – in our economy and our community. The finalists acknowledged are leaders in their fields and their innovative achievements will inspire others and help chart the future for Tasmania. The Tasmanian Government’s STEM Excellence Awards have been presented since 2016 to celebrate the outstanding achievements of our foremost scientists, researchers, communicators, innovators and teachers.
The Tasmanian STEM Excellence Awards are supported by the Tasmanian Government, Inspiring Tasmania and the University of Tasmania.