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ACES teams named as finalists in Australia’s leading science awards

Biopen Team and Invisible Catalyst Team in the running for the prestigious Australian Museum Eureka Prizes

The ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES), headquartered at the University of Wollongong (UOW), is delighted to announce two of its research teams have been named as finalists for the prestigious Australian Museum Eureka Prizes.

The team behind the Biopen, made up of researchers from ACES at UOW, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne and the University of Melbourne Department of Surgery, has been selected as a finalist for the UNSW Eureka Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research for their cutting-edge handheld 3D printing device.

The Invisible Catalyst Team, led by ACES Chief Investigator Michelle Coote (ANU) in partnership with Curtin University’s Simone Ciampi and Nadim Darwish, has been named as a finalist in the UNSW Eureka Prize for Scientific Research for their investigation into using electrical fields to catalyse chemical reactions to enable greener and safer methods for fabricating materials.

ACES Director Professor Gordon Wallace said he was proud of the acknowledgement of the Centre’s multi-disciplinary research teams and their many years of hard work at Australia’s leading science awards.

“Our collaborations at ACES draw upon the diverse skills of scientists, engineers and clinicians to bring about real, tangible advances in science to tackle significant medical challenges,” Gordon said.

“The Biopen, which is a handheld 3D printer used in surgery to repair damaged cartilage, has the ability to make a material difference in preventing osteoarthritis and will have a significant impact on those suffering from the debilitating and painful condition,” Gordon said.

“The Invisible Catalyst Team’s work is expanding our understanding of chemical reactions in using electrical fields as clean, cheap and invisible catalysts as an alternative to the often expensive and toxic traditional catalysts that often contaminate the final product. This opens up an exciting world of possibility in a range of important fields, from drugs to plastics.”

The Australian Museum Eureka Prizes, considered the ‘Oscars’ of Australian Science, reward excellence across four categories of science – Research and Innovation; Leadership; Science Engagement; and School Engagement.

The 2018 Australian Museum Prizes will be announced at a gala award dinner at Sydney Town Hall on the evening of Wednesday 29 August 2018.

Picture: Researchers Dr Stephen Beirne and Professor Gordon Wallace from the ACES Biopen Team