Women in STEMM stand out

Experts in Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine (STEMM) from Flinders University excelled at this year’s SA Winnovation (Women in Innovation) Awards.

Dr Marissa Bond, left, Dr Dhani Dharmaprani and Professor Harmer at the Winnovation Awards.

Physics Professor Sarah Harmer (Science), postgraduate cardiac electrophysiology research associate and Flinders biomedical engineer graduate Dr Dhani Dharmaprani (Mathematics) and fellow Flinders PhD graduate Dr Marissa Bond (Technology) won three of the 10 Winnovation Awards.

Flinders graduates Anna Kennett (LLB/LP(GradEntry) ‘06) and Rebecca Starling (GradCertEd(SpecEd) ‘18) joined Dr Bond (BEd(JP/P),BSc ’09, BSc(Hons) ’10, PhD(Comp) ‘18) among this year’s finalists.

Currently the founding director of the Flinders Microscopy and Microanalysis Laboratory, and deputy director of the Flinders Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology, Professor Harmer says she is “humbled and honoured to have won the award”.

“There are amazing and talented women in South Australia in a diverse range of fields.

“With the consistently low number of women physicists in Australia, I hope that young science students and researchers can see there is a path to a rewarding career in physics here in SA.”

Professor Harmer, Winnovation Awards MC Ali Clarke and Professor Lenehan at the award ceremony.

Professor Harmer’s research is focusing on developing a more sustainable bio-flotation method to use in mineral processing which relies on the use of harmful chemical reagents such as cyanide.

Almost a decade of progress has attracted around $10 million in CRC TIME funding, supported by the mining industry and Federal Government, to assess and remediate mine waste behaviour at the mesoscale (1-2 tonnes).

Many industry players are using the Flinders Microscopy and Microanalysis Lab, which houses equipment valued at more than $13 million in the National Infrastructure program.

With a Hospital Research Foundation grant, Dr Dharmaprani is working with leading researchers at King’s College London and Queen Mary University London to translate advanced mathematical models to transform the treatment of cardiac fibrillation.

Professor of Neuroscience Fiona Kerr opened the awards ceremony by outlining how her extensive research program is built on creativity, collaboration and innovation.

Professor Claire Lenehan, from Flinders University’s College of Science and Engineering, presented the award for Social Impact, sponsored by Flinders.

Entries are invited for the 2023 awards next year. Visit the Women in Innovation website for more details.

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