The pitch it clever competition asked early career researchers to tell the story of their research work and its impact on the broader Australian community.
Edith Cowan University researcher Kazi Yasin Islam won the Vice Chancellors’ Award for his idea to develop innovative wireless technology that can be used underwater.
“The realisation that a wide range of research fields can benefit from my own research which can help unpack the mysteries of the underwater world in a sustainable way has inspired me to pursue research in energy-efficient underwater wireless communications,” he said.
Dr Kristyn Sommer Griffith University was thrilled to win the Universities Australia Award for her research on how robot design and programming impacts children’s learning.
“I am ecstatic to be awarded a pitch it clever prize for my research,” said Dr Sommer who uses TikTok to break down complex scientific problems for her more than 400,000 followers.
“I spent my childhood engrossed in different technologies and learnt to read while playing a millennial rite of passage – Pokémon.”
“My passions for technology and learning never waned and I somehow stumbled my way into a PhD exploring children’s learning from social robots and never looked back.”
Swinburne University of Technology researcher Nirmal Madhavanpillai Sajeevkumar’s pitch to make steelmaking more sustainable won the People’s Choice Award, attracting more than 2,000 votes from across the community.
“Undertaking this PhD has been a truly life-changing experience for me,” he said.
“The effect of global warming is hitting us and as a researcher, ways to decarburize the steel industry is the need of the hour.
“My research sought to understand the energy aspects of the oxygen steelmaking process which helped us to tackle most of the pressing problems that the industry faces at the moment.”
Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson congratulated the three winners who were presented with their award by the Minister for Education the Hon. Jason Clare MP on Wednesday evening.
“Competitions like pitch it clever showcase the bright ideas, knowledge and initiative that often starts on our university campuses,” Ms Jackson said.
“We’re extremely pleased to help share this important work with everyday Australians and highlight the value of university research in solving the nation’s biggest challenges and changing lives.”
Watch the winning pitch videos here: