2020 QUT Science in Focus winners revealed

16th October 2020

A striking and colourful image of nanostructures by materials science expert Dr Jun Mei has taken out the 2020 QUT Science in Focus Competition.

The winning image illustrates how zinc oxide nanostructures show promise in efficiently converting light into energy, in a similar way to plant photosynthesis. Judges were impressed by both the visual appeal and technical proficiency of this image, which was also awarded the inaugural QUT Centre for Materials Science prize.

Science in Focus is an annual competition hosted by QUT’s Institute for Future Environments that has been uncovering the most surprising, beautiful and technically innovative visuals of important QUT research since 2014. Entries offer insight into the unique research processes and objects used by QUT researchers in their pursuit of new knowledge.

Second place was awarded to Melina Celik for her striking video called Audio reactive geometry, which interprets evolutionary biology through 3D models of Australian marsupial bone structures.

Screenshot of Audio reactive geometry by Melina Celik – view video

Due to the high standard of entries this year, the judges decided to award two highly commended prizes. These went to:

  • Robert Emo for his image Xenolith which depicts a thin section mosaic of a deeply-sourced rock found in central Queensland.
  • Brett Lewis for his video of a 3D model that provides insights into the role of coral autofluorescence at a micro-scale.

Xenolith by Robert Emo

Screenshot from The third dimension by Brett Lewis - view video

The People’s Choice winner was Eleonore Bolle for her image titled The very hungry macrophages. This image shows macrophages, a cell type from the immune system, consuming antibiotic-loaded microspheres.

The very hungry macrophages by Eleonore Bolle

Congratulations to our 2020 winners and finalists

View the 2020 top 10 finalists

Science in Focus prize pool:

  • First prize: $1000
  • Second prize: $500
  • Highly commended award: $250
  • People’s choice award: $250
  • QUT Centre for Materials Science prize: $750

2020 judging panel

The judging panel was made up of QUT experts representing nanotechnology, cell and tissue engineering, biomedical science, electron microscopy, and visual and interactive design.

  • Professor Dmitri Goldberg, School of Chemistry & Physics
  • Dr Laura Bray, School of Mechanical Medical & Process Engineering
  • Dr Jamie Riches, Central Analytical Research Facility
  • Ms Sarah Quijano, Visualisation and e-Research Facility.

Entries were judged on visual impact, creativity and originality, technical proficiency, and the significance of the research.

See these amazing images on the Sphere and the Cube

Look out for an exhibition of amazing Science in Focus images during October on The Sphere at Kelvin Grove, playing 8-10am and 4-6pm daily. You can also catch them on The Cube at Gardens Point at selected times.

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