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Media Release

August 21 2007

Young engineer's Eureka moment

Nick PalousisYoung UniSA PhD student Nick Palousis has been recognised for changing the way engineers deal with climate change and sustainability.

The 2006 Young South Australian of the Year tonight won the $10,000 British Council Eureka Prize for Young Leaders in Environmental Issues and Climate Change at the prestigious Australian Museum Eureka Prizes.

Palousis, 27, received the award for his impressive range of activities in the development, implementation and communication of sustainable engineering and business solutions.

"Nick's innovative and entrepreneurial work demonstrates how engineering is a dynamic and exciting profession," UniSA Pro Vice Chancellor of the Division of Information Technology, Engineering and the Environment Professor Andrew Parfitt says.

"The University is extremely proud of Nick's achievements and congratulates him on winning this distinguished award. It also demonstrates how UniSA is working to tackle issues like climate change through sustainable manufacturing processes.”

With European car makers, Palousis recently developed software that compels engineers to consider sustainability issues at every stage of car design. The program has enormous potential beyond the car industry.

“Engineers need to think about making products like cars in a whole new light,” Palousis says.

“Energy efficiency, CO2 emissions, environmental impact and disposal issues such as toxicity and landfill are all on the agenda. These are now strategic considerations to minimise business risk.”

The inaugural winner of the $105,000 William T Southcott Scholarship at UniSA, Palousis was a co-founder of the influential sustainability think-tank, The Natural Edge Project, and is an Associate at Sustainable Business Practices.

He was recognised by Engineers Australia as one of the 30 Most Inspiring Young Engineers in 2005, received an SA Government Award of Recognition for Volunteerism, was a sub-committee member of SA Premier’s Round Table on Sustainability and a former President of Young Engineers South Australia.

Australian Museum Director Frank Howarth says the Eureka Prize recognises Palousis’ impressive work and leadership.

“He has constantly challenged traditional norms of engineering and business strategy to develop more sustainable solutions. His work on strategic product design is groundbreaking and he’s a very active young professional who is constantly engage with community initiatives, “ Howarth says.

The British Council Eureka Prize for Young Leaders in Environmental Issues and Climate Change is awarded to a young Australian aged 21-30 for scientific or technological leadership in response to the challenges that threaten our environment and our climate. The prize is a $10,000 study tour to the UK.

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