Institute for Future


30 October 2017

QUT’s Steven Charlesworth has won the Science in Focus Image Competition with a photograph capturing the movement of a virus along the veins of a plant using fluorescent protein under UV light.

Judges unanimously chose the image for first place, commenting that it was not just visually stunning, but perfectly captured the science in action providing vivid insight into the research process.

Second place went to David Forrestal for his vibrant image of a 3D printed lattice structure being developed to help bones heal.

The people’s choice award was won by Long Bai receiving more than 600 votes for his image “Erythrocyte and Fibers.”

Judges struggled to choose between more than 120 original entries. So much so that they awarded an “Honourable mention” prize for the first time. Chloe van der Burg won the special award for her image “Exaiptasia pallida regenerating tentacles.” Judges described the image as a fantasy land under the sea and said they were fascinated by the story it tells about the regeneration ability of a species.

Winners were announced at a finalist exhibition and award ceremony in The Cube on Friday 27 October. 

View the finalists

The top 10 finalists included (in alphabetical order by first name):

Science in Focus judging

Entries from QUT students and staff were judged on visual impact, creativity and originality, technical proficiency and the significance of the research. The finalists included a microscopic view of gecko toes, a 3D model of prostate cancer and a wasp wing.

2017 Judging Panel

Dr Trudi Collet
IHBI member, Leader, Indigenous Medicines Group, Senior Lecturer in Pharmacy, Faculty of Health, QUT
Dr Trudi Collet has expertise in wound healing, immunology, pharmacology, complementary medicines and molecular microbiology and uses it to conduct research into compounds found in native plants. She is collaborating with industry partner Health Focus Products Australia with the aim of developing therapeutics for infections and diseases and together, they have discovered a compound from an Australian native plant that can totally kill the Zika virus. The partnership also shows great potential in improving the lives of people with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, chronic wounds and antibiotic-resistant infections as they have also discovered a novel compound derived from another Australian native plant that has broad-spectrum antibiotic activity.

Dr Collet’s research draws on IHBI strengths in tissue repair and regeneration, infectious disease and chronic disease and ageing. Her Indigenous Medicines Group aims to bridge the gap between science and healthcare, with researchers focusing on understanding the properties of native plants, how they can be used in manufacturing and distributed to people to improve their lives.

Dr Jared Donovan
Senior Lecturer in Interaction Design, Creative Industries Faculty, QUT
Dr Jared Donovan has an educational background in Illustration and Information Technology. His main research interests are in the areas of gestural and embodied interaction, participatory design, design robotics and performance robotics. The main aim of his research is to find better ways for people to be able to interact with new interactive technologies. He is also interested in finding better ways to involve people in the design process, such as by employing ‘provotypes’ (provocative prototypes) to spark discussion and debate.

Dr Graham Baker
President, Queensland Academy of Arts and Sciences
Graham spent the first six years of his career in engineering practice, in the UK, Oman and Nepal, before embarking on a 30-year career in academe.

After teaching and research at Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh, the University of Queensland, and then Warwick University, he returned to Australia as Dean of Engineering and for seven years as Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Southern Queensland. In that role he sponsored research from Public Memory, through climate change and systems biology, to fibre composite materials.

In addition to his role in the Queensland Academy, Graham runs his own consultancy in strategy & innovation. He has held governance positions with Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation and AINSE, and is currently Board Chair of a primary health organisation.

Professor Roger Wepf
Director, Center for Microscopy and Microanalysis (CMM), UQ
Prof Roger Wepf is an eminent electron microscopist who joined the Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis (CMM) as Director in 2016. The CMM is an interdisciplinary research, teaching and service centre that actively supports microscopy and microanalysis related research at the University of Queensland. Prof Wepf has a broad scientific background which includes cell biology, biophysics and materials science. His research interests are focused on developing advanced methods for imaging, sample preparation and correlative microscopies. Currently his research direction leads to developing tools for integrative imaging and spectroscopy to explore new frontiers in structure research. Roger also currently serves as President of the European Microscopy Society (EMS).

Adam Harper
Communication Manager, Science and Engineering Faculty, QUT
Adam is a PR and communication professional with nearly 20 years’ experience in telling and selling stories through visual communication and editorial. With a background in television journalism, and public relations, both at agencies and in house for large organisations in Scotland and Australia, Adam understands the impact imagery can have on raising awareness, creating emotion and changing behaviour. In 2014, a campaign developed by Adam, using photography and video, won a Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA) Golden Target Award as well as won its category in the International Public Relations Association’s (IPRA) Golden World Awards.

He is currently the Communication Manager for the Science and Engineering Faculty at QUT, a photographer and video producer. His role involves promoting the Science and Engineering Faculty to industry, government, prospective students and academia to showcase QUT as the partner of choice for research and education.

QUT Institute for Future Environments

First place: The power of fluorescent proteins by Steven Charlesworth

Second place: Cells in a biodegradable lattice by David Forrestal

Honourable mention: Exaiptasia pallida regenerating tentacles by Chloe van der Burg

Erythrocyte and Fibers by Long Bai

QUT Science in Focus Image Competition in The Cube


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