Two researchers at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) have been named as finalists in the 2017 Australian Museum Eureka Prizes.
Distinguished Professor Jie Lu, of the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, is a finalist in the new category of Excellence in Data Science, for her work on data-driven prediction and decision-making, especially in fast-changing environments or where data is limited.
Professor Lu’s research pioneered the integration of fuzzy techniques into machine learning to establish new models, algorithms and methodologies of fuzzy transfer learning, concept drift detection and fuzzy recommender systems, which has been advancing data driven-decision making.
NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer Mary O’Kane, who supported Professor Lu’s nomination, says the research has a “tremendous capacity” to benefit society and the economy with its application in large and complex corporations.
Associate Professor Igor Aharonovich, of the Faculty of Science, is a finalist in the category of Outstanding Early Career Researcher for his work creating ultra-bright pulses of light to make computing, communication and sensing technology that is faster, less expensive and completely secure.
Associate Professor Aharonovich, winner of the 2017 Pawsey medal in physics from the Australian Academy of Science, has made significant contributions towards harnessing defects in atomically thin materials such as hexagonal boron nitride to create light sources for photonic quantum technologies and quantum-based computing. The innovative materials engineered by Aharonovich can also detect extremely weak signals, with potential for new diagnostic tools.
“We are very proud to have finalists represented in two categories at this year’s Eureka Prizes,” said Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Glenn Wightwick. “Data science is a key focus area for UTS, as data is increasingly underpinning every field of human endeavour.
“Also, the recognition of an early career researcher, such as Associate Professor Aharonovich, is crucial to our trajectory of becoming a world-leading university.
“The recognition of our people in these categories is especially pleasing and, on behalf of UTS, I would like to congratulate Distinguished Professor Jie Lu and Associate Professor Igor Aharonovich on their achievements.”
The Eureka Prizes have been awarded annually since 1990 to recognise outstanding achievements in Australian science and science communication.
The new prize for Excellence in Data Science is sponsored by UTS to encourage and motivate researchers and practitioners to make breakthrough discoveries in data science or a significant impact with their research.
The award for Outstanding Early Career Researcher is sponsored by Macquarie University for outstanding scientific research conducted by an individual or teams of early career researchers.
For the full list of 2017 finalists, click here. The winners will be announced at an awards dinner at Sydney Town Hall on Wednesday 30 August.