The UTS Trailblazer team has received highly commended awards in both the staff and student categories at the 2012 UniQuest Trailblazer Grand Final.
PhD student Samantha Khoury received the honour for her research into the development a personalised prognostic tool for people living with oral cancer. The tool assists doctors and patients in choosing the most appropriate therapy.
Associate Professor Jianchun Li, competing in the open category, was recognised for his smart seismic base isolator, which uses novel engineering practices to protect people and infrastructure from earthquakes.
"This is a great result," said UTS Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research), Professor Attila Brungs.
"I'm pleased to see UTS's research capabilities are being showcased in such a public forum. At UTS we pride ourselves on applied research with the potential to impact industry and the community, and Trailblazer is the perfect forum for our researchers to showcase their skills and innovations with this goal in mind. "
Trailblazer is an ideas competition that encourages innovation through the development of marketable research concepts. Students and research staff pitch their best ideas to a panel of intellectual property and commercialisation experts, vying for cash prizes and the opportunity to see their work begin the commercialisation journey.
The awards capped off another very successful Trailblazer campaign for UTS; in 2011, the UTS team took first place in the open category and runner up in the student category at the grand final.
The honourable mention was also the latest in a swag of awards for standout student Samantha Khoury. Samantha was the runner up in the student category at the 2011 UTS Trailblazer competition and the 2011 Trailblazer Grand Final, as well as the winner of the 2012 UTS competition, also in the student category, and the recipient of the 2012 pitching excellence award.
UniQuest Managing Director, David Henderson, praised the quality of the competition.
"Our Trailblazer grand finalists this year included undergraduate students and internationally renowned academics," he said. "Although there was a mix of pitching experience, they all shared a tremendous passion for their research aims, and that came across very clearly in both the panel-judged pitches and the People's Choice Awards.
"We congratulate the winners and finalists from this year's Trailblazer competition, and thank them for sharing their ideas and vision with us."
The Trailblazer Grand Final sponsors were - Series sponsor: patent attorney firms Davies Collison Cave and Fisher Adams Kelly; Travel sponsor: Campus Travel; Pitching Skills sponsor: Corporate training company NRG Solutions; Incentive sponsor: patent and trade mark attorneys and IP lawyers Griffith Hack; and Webcast sponsor: Redback Conferencing.