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UOW’s Big Ideas Festival is back

Registrations open for free community event. 

Turning body heat into electricity, the future of bushfires and lighting up the ancient human past are some of the ideas that will be discussed when the University of Wollongong’s (UOW) Big Ideas Festival returns later this year.

Registrations for the 2017 Big Ideas Festival, a free event for anyone in the community to attend, open today (Tuesday 20 June). The Festival will be held in University Hall on the main Wollongong campus on Wednesday 4 October.

Twelve of the University’s professors, representing a variety of disciplines, will present 10-minute talks about the big ideas behind their work, with the aim of both entertaining and challenging the audience.

Renowned environmentalist Professor Tim Flannery will be the Festival’s guest speaker, presenting a talk on “a carbon negative future”.

The event will also include interactive research stalls, so visitors can get up-close and personal with new equipment and technologies.

Live music, entertainment, food and drinks will be on offer throughout the evening, which will include the opportunity to network.

The event will also be live-streamed for those who are unable to attend on the night (#uowbigideas). Members of the public can register for the 2017 UOW Big Ideas Festival at Eventbrite.


  • Professor Jun Chen, Wearable tech: turning body heat into electricity
  • Senior Professor Paul Cooper, Living Buildings: Towards a Restorative Future
  • Professor Barbara Meyer, The fishy business of pregnancy
  • Professor Nadia Solowij, Slender in the Grass: A scientist caught in the maelstrom
  • Professor Zenobia Jacobs, Lighting up the ancient human past
  • Professor Valerie Linton, IF…? The future of intelligent fabrication
  • Professor Pauline McGuirk, How smart are smart cities?
  • Professor Maarten de Laat, Using Social analytics to change learning landscapes
  • Senior Professor Ross Bradstock, The future of Bushfires: Are we ready for the big burn?
  • Professor Nick Zwar, Playing hide and seek: why does it matter in health care?
  • Professor Fiona Probyn-Rapsey, Extinct & Eradicated: Animal states of Australia
  • Professor Paul Gollan, Unheard voices: the need to be heard