IQ Awards 2018

A celebration of UWA innovation

The IQ Awards recognise UWA researchers, staff and students who are developing creative solutions to real-world problems.

We're celebrating UWA innovation – the thinkers, the dreamers, the doers, the makers and the creators. Some are inventing new technologies or launching startup companies. Others are working to transform the University or strengthen connections with our community. All are united by a passion to make things better.

Research Innovation and Enterprise Award

The Research Innovation and Enterprise Award recognises a UWA researcher who has applied learning from their scholarship to develop an innovative solution to a real-world problem. It seeks to celebrate knowledge translation through research enterprise, entrepreneurship and/or industry engagement.


Looking at leukaemia through a new lens

Immuno-flowFISH (fluorescence in situ hybridisation) is a new diagnostic tool that will significantly improve the ability to identify genetic changes in leukaemia cancer cells.

More than 20,000 cells can be studied in one test, a vast improvement on current methods, which only assess a few hundred cells (and much more slowly).

Team members

Professor Wendy Erber, Dr Kathy Fuller, and PhD student Henry Hui, from UWA’s Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.

Professor Wendy Erber, Dr Kathy Fuller, and PhD student Henry Hui, from UWA’s Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.


Test for real-time detection of resistance in weeds

Dr Roberto Busi, Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Roberto developed a tool to assist in the planning and implementation of weed control on large farms. This simple and rapid detector of herbicide resistance in weeds is a world-first portable test.

A new surgical treatment for glaucoma

Professor Dao-Yi Yu, Physiology and Pharmacology Research Group, Centre for Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Lions Eye Institute

The team at the Lions Eye Institute has invented a new surgical treatment for glaucoma: a microfistula tube, about the size of an eyelash, implanted in the white of the eye to drain excess fluid in the eye and help relieve pressure.

UWA Innovation Champion Award

The UWA Innovation Champion Award recognises a researcher or staff member who has demonstrated a sustained commitment to promoting a culture of innovation, enterprise and industry engagement at UWA.


Assoc. Professor Kevin Pfleger, researcher, Health and Medical Sciences, and Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research

Kevin has a wide range of achievements and involvement with medical research, and has developed strong links with industry over the last decade, particularly with Dimerix, when he was Chief Scientific Officer from 2008 to 2014, and where he continues as Chief Scientific Advisor now the company has been ASX-listed.

He has been granted patents for both a platform technology (Receptor-HIT) and a combination therapy for chronic kidney disease, which form the basis of Dimerix.

He has also worked with numerous biotech and large pharmaceutical companies, resulting in world-first technology developments, and has been published in journals such as Nature Methods.


Professor Melinda Hodkiewicz, researcher, Faculty of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, Mechanical and Chemical Engineering

Melinda has inspired her students and colleagues to succeed at building valuable industry relationships through effective leadership and mentoring.

This has helped UWA engineering students to be involved in real-world research projects, preparing them to be ready for the workforce.

Professor Liang Cheng, researcher, Faculty of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, Civil, Mining and Environmental Engineering

Under Liang’s direction, his research team has developed an international reputation in offshore engineering, and continues to produce world-leading research, including the use of field measurements to infer pipeline stability and the development of novel sensors and devices to improve engineering design.

Assoc. Professor Adrian Keating, researcher, Faculty of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, Mechanical Engineering (UWA Makers)

Dedicated to improving the student experience, Adrian has been an champion for the creation of a culture of hands-on learning and practical engineering at UWA.

He has fully supported student-led innovation through the UWA Makers, including projects like 3D printing, CAD modelling and assembly and laser cutting.

UWA Student Startup of the Year

The Student Startup of the Year Award recognises and celebrates innovative enterprises launched by WA student entrepreneurs.


Conor McLaughlin, Business School

Conor McLaughlin has developed Futuristic: Skills of the Future, a platform to help students better prepare for life after university. It addresses the gap between skills learned at school and those required for the workforce of the future.

Ten skills identified as being most critical include: social-media branding; cross-cultural awareness; adaptability; creative thinking; enterprise skills; modern literacy; critical thinking; emotional intelligence; ICT capability; and problem solving.


Taj Dutton, arts/business student

UneARThed: Empowering through Expression is run by student volunteers from Enactus UWA, the University’s social entrepreneurship club.

It partners with homeless shelters to facilitate art groups that provide disadvantaged people a safe space to express themselves through art. The artwork is then promoted through uneARThed events and pop-up galleries.

Kishaini Baskararao, medical science student

I Can and I Will aims to provide quality education to rural international students, helping lift them out of poverty through increased opportunities for education and employment.

The IQ Awards are a celebration of creativity and ambition, showing our commitment to fostering enterprise and entrepreneurship at UWA. Through this platform we are helping great ideas to grow and collaborations to thrive, ensuring cutting-edge research results in real-world impact.
Professor Dawn FreshwaterVice-Chancellor

2017 winners and finalists

Congratulations to last years winners and finalists.

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