QUT shines at Women in Technology Awards

QUT has scooped the pool at the 25th Women In Technology Awards, winning seven out of 14 awards at the event, including the Employer of Choice Enterprise/Corporate.

QUT was presented with the following awards:

  • Employer of Choice Enterprise/Corporate;
  • Distinguished Professor Kerrie Mengersen: Technologist of the Year Award;
  • QUT Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor Kerrie Wilson (Sustainability): Research Leader Science Award;
  • Professor Peta Wyeth: Professional Technology Leadership Award;
  • Dr Marie-Luise Wille: Rising Star Science Award;
  • Dr Muge Belek Fialho Teixeira: Digital Mover and Shaker Award;
  • QUT student Michele Pikunic: Community Impact Award.

The awards, which were announced on Friday night, are one of the biggest and longest-running recognition programs for women in STEM in Australia and this year’s competition attracted a record 500 nominations across 14 categories.

QUT Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Sheil said QUT was one of Australia’s most visionary and purpose-driven universities.

“As the university for the real world, we are dedicated to fast-tracking real, measurable change, fuelling the career ambitions of students and researchers from all over the world, through practical, industry-aligned collaborations and work-integrated learning.

“Congratulations to all of our people who were awarded on Friday. It’s a testament to their outstanding effort and passion they have for their work,” Professor Sheil said.

Technologist of the Year, Distinguished Professor Kerrie Mengersen, is a professor of statistics at QUT.

Distinguished Professor Kerrie Mengersen
Distinguished Professor Kerrie Mengersen

Her work takes her to Southern Africa, Indonesia and the Great Barrier Reef to help conservation agencies save cheetahs, orangutans and corals; inside an operating theatre and cancer wards to help doctors treat patients with Parkinson’s Disease and cancer.

She has also worked at Barrow Island, the insides of an abattoir and tannery, and downtown Brisbane to help industries do business better.

Dr Muge Belek Fialho Teixeira won the Digital Mover and Shaker Award for her work in design robotics, advanced manufacturing, and parametric design.

She has led cutting-edge research projects funded by QUT’s Centre for a Waste Free World, presented in many industry events, and participated in the CareFactor 2020 entrepreneurship program.

QUT Pro-Vice Chancellor (Sustainability and Research Integrity) Professor Kerrie Wilson, was awarded the Research Leader Science Award. She is an internationally regarded environmental scientist.

Professor Kerrie Wilson

Her research program has delivered novel insights and tools to identify where maintaining or restoring natural ecosystems will support conservation. It has produced ground-breaking approaches for planning in conservation and agricultural landscapes. She is particularly interested in applied resource allocation programs.

QUT Professor Peta Wyeth, Deputy Dean, Faculty of Science, won the Professional Technology Leadership award for her work in making technology engaging, creative and healthy for children and people with disabilities.

She is chief investigator in the $65m ARC Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child which is a joint government, industry and university initiative to guide safe technology use for children.

Professor Peta Wyeth

Rising Star Science Award Winner Dr Marie-Luise Wille specialises in medical physics and biomedical engineering. She has designed the world’s largest biodegradable tibia bone implant for an Australian patients.

She is expert in medical imaging, 3D printing and software development and is the deputy director of the ARC Training Centre for Multiscale 3D Imaging, Modelling and Manufacturing.

QUT student Michele Pikunic is studying a Master of Education at QUT and is a STEM teacher at Worongary State School. She has introduced many engaging and innovative programs which have increased student engagement and participation in STEM.

She is also working in partnership with the Queensland Museum to empower students to participate in Project DIG and undertake scientific enquiry to explore megafauna from Queensland’s past.

WiT Chair Iyari Cevallos said this year’s awards theme, Writing the Future, was a tribute to the contribution women are making to help define, shape and grow the digital economy.

“As we celebrate and reflect on 25 years of WiT it is as important to focus on the future,” she said.

“I believe we have the ability and responsibility to dream big, to visualise achievements for the women still to come, to continue to increase our energy and momentum in leading and motivating current and future generations of women.”

For a list of all awardees, visit https://wit.org.au/awards/2022-award-winners/

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