Diverse speakers to inspire at USC Research Week

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Diverse speakers to inspire at USC Research Week


27 June 2013

A social innovator who has provided expertise around the world on transport and urban planning will discuss the nature of creativity when he speaks at the University of the Sunshine Coast’s annual Research Week next week (1-5 July).

Artist, thinker and communicator Dr David Engwicht is the founder of Creative Communities International, which aims to empower citizens to create vibrant neighbourhoods and public spaces and fix issues such as traffic or anti-social behaviour.

Dr Engwicht’s presentation to the USC conference, to be held at the USC Innovation Centre auditorium, will focus on the ecology of creativity.

“We are all creative geniuses but we unconsciously limit our creativity by strapping lead boots to our feet,” he said. “This talk will expose some of those lead boots, and how we can kick them off and begin thinking outside the box.”

Another key guest speaker on the first day of USC’s Research Week on Monday 1 July will be Queensland Chief Scientist Dr Geoff Garrett AO.

A former academic and scientist with a Cambridge University doctorate in metallurgy, Dr Garrett was appointed to his current position in 2011 after working as Chief Executive of Australia’s CSIRO.

Both speakers will join Oregon State University Professor of Forest Engineering Dr Loren Kellogg and USC Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill for a panel discussion, a new feature of the week based on the theme of ‘Collaborate or Perish’.

USC Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Roland De Marco said the 2013 University Research Week would showcase dozens of presentations on diverse topics being researched at USC.

One of the new events will be the Art in Research exhibition, part of an expanded Research Expo to be held on Monday afternoon.

“This new exhibition will feature a mix of innovative artworks produced by our researchers in relation to their area of expertise,” he said.

Examples include a digital print displaying cultured human cells; a bamboo, wool and wood artwork representing a literary journey; and an interactive digital artwork called The People’s Garden.

On Tuesday 2 July, 40 research presentations from the Faculty of Science, Health, Education and Engineering will range from “Size does matter! Culturing the Queensland grouper” to “Antibiotic resistance bacteria in hospital wastewater”.

On Wednesday 3 July, 34 presentations from the Faculty of Arts and Business will range from “Fat versus Fit: How parents can make the difference” to “3D Printing – the Promise and the Product”.

Professor De Marco said the week would culminate in two exciting competitions and the announcement of award winners on Friday 5 July.

“The popular Three-Minute Thesis competition final, to be held from 10am, will give seven researchers the chance to explain their concepts in just three minutes,” he said.

“This will be followed by our new competition, ‘A Minute to Win It – My Research in 60 Seconds’ at 11am, where researchers have to summarise their investigations in even less time. Both will be challenging and entertaining.”

He said USC had secured substantial grants and funding for research already in 2013, demonstrating its growing reputation across a range of fields.

“There is a buzz in research around the campus as we foster Collaborative Research Networks, the appointment of USC Research Fellows, the recruitment of doctoral students and expanded partnerships and industry links.”

Julie Schomberg

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