The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering recently hosted an exceptional evening to celebrate excellence in research and innovation – the 2019 Innovation Dinner. Innovations ranging from accelerating solar cells manufacturing to the development of synthetic skin, were amongst the achievements honoured at the gala event in Sydney last week.A number of industry leaders and their PhD student mentees in the Industry Mentoring Network in STEM joined the esteemed Academy Fellowship at the 2019 Innovation Dinner to see the presentation of the Clunies Ross Awards, the Batterham Medal and several other honorifics. This year’s Award winners are detailed and acknowledged here.
A highlight of the evening was an inspiring Keynote delivered by Distinguished Professor Genevieve Bell FTSE, Director of the 3A Institute (3Ai) and the first Florence Violet McKenzie Chair at Australian National University, a position named after Australia’s first woman electrical engineer. Professor Bell is also a Vice President and Senior Fellow at Intel Corporation.Professor Bell shared six inspiring journeys of innovation in Australia and around the world emphasising, “Every one of us is part of innovation”. She also said “Innovation means leaving ourselves room to sometimes get it wrong, and then pick ourselves up again” and “Sometimes, it takes moving sideways to make innovation count.”
IMNIS mentors and mentees also had the opportunity to meet the Hon. Karen Andrews MP, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology. During her talk Minister Andrews shared the Australian Government’s strategic plan to support innovation in technology, and also shared that at the end of her Mechanical Engineering degree at Queensland University of Technology, she was one of only two women to graduate.The Academy thanks IMNIS mentors Laura Issa and Amy Moore from Abbvie, Brad Brad Walsh from Minomics, and Julia Hill at Children’s Medical Research Institute for hosting their PhD student mentees.
All students were grateful for the opportunity to attend and put their networking skills into action. Shivani Sachdev and Adam Johnston (both at Macquarie University), Carolyne Njue (University of Technology Sydney) and Harriet Swearman (University of Sydney) all agreed the Innovation Dinner, including the Award presentations and connecting with high level STEM leaders, was an excellent experience.