Surfboards in spotlight at Research Week seminar

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Surfboards in spotlight at Research Week seminar

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Published on 1 July 2015

The sustainability of the region’s surfboard-making industry will be in the spotlight at one of three special public seminars during the University of the Sunshine Coast’s annual Research Week from 13-16 July.

Former Californian professional surfer and renowned surfboard shaper Tom Wegener will discuss his research into what the future holds for local surfboard shapers in his presentation ‘Surfboard artisans: Creating a sustainable industry on the Sunshine Coast’ on Wednesday 15 July from 6-7.30pm.

The other free seminars will focus on USC research in nursing and midwifery (Tuesday 14 July, 5.30-7.30pm) and the future growth and design of the Sunshine Coast over the next 15 years (Thursday 16 July, 6-7.30pm).

Tom Wegener, who started a PhD on the future of the surfboard industry at USC in 2013, said his public seminar would explore how and why the local board-making sector was continuing to ride a wave of success, despite competing in a highly globalised market.

"Despite the influx of cheaper, imported surfboards in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis, it appears that Sunshine Coast surfboard makers have proved to be resilient and the industry is sustainable in the long term," he said.

On Tuesday 14 July, Professor of Nursing Marianne Wallis will present "Drips, drains and wounds – how can nurses stop hospitals hurting people" and Professor of Nursing Jeanine Young will outline the advances in research involving safe sleeping guidelines for babies.

On Thursday 16 July, five of the University’s leading researchers will hold a seminar entitled ‘The Sunshine Coast in 2030: Designing the cities of the future through trans-disciplinary research and practice’.

Professor Paul Salmon, Professor Tim Smith, Associate Professor Christian Jones, Associate Professor Mathew Summers and Dr Nicholas Stevens will address the question, ‘How do we design future cities to maximise liveability, productivity, sustainability, safety and public health, and wellbeing?’.

Each event at USC’s Innovation Centre auditorium is expected to attract a large crowd.

The theme for the 2015 Research Week program is "integrate innovate inspire" and will include keynote addresses from eminent scientist and bio-entrepreneur Emeritus Professor Peter Andrews AO and Australian Research Council Professor CEO Aidan Byrne.

— Megan Woodward

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