A common misconception about video gaming is that it’s dominated by solo gamers who play just for fun. But that stereotype was challenged when the Australian gaming community came together for the 2017 Speedrunning Marathon at UniSA’s Magill campus in July.
This year’s Australian Speedrunning Marathon (a form of video gaming where participants aim to complete the game as fast as they can) was a continuous 35-hour event with 24 live ‘speedruns’. This involved ‘runners’ from all over Australia playing classic video games, raising money for mental health charity, Beyond Blue.
As crowds gathered in the Magill campus TV Studio to watch gamers play and show off their skills, the feed was also live streamed online by Twitch TV reaching audiences across the globe, connecting the gamer community for a good cause.
Event coordinator Alex Westgarth told ABC News the marathon was a great way to bring together fellow gamers and video game fans and tackle some of the stigma associated with the sport, while raising money for an important cause.
“It's good to have these events to show gaming isn't just all about sitting down and vegging out for a weekend," he said.
“We can actually work towards something important.”
UniSA Head of the School of Communication, International Studies & Languages Professor Jason Bainbridge says the event was an enormous success, raising more than $3300 for Beyond Blue.
“The 2017 Australian Speedrunning Marathon was a terrific event and had a wonderful outcome – great work to everyone involved,” he says.
A design for a new enclosed but adaptable section of Rome’s Tiber River has earned two UniSA students an honourable mention in an international design competition.
UniSA Master of Architecture students earned the accolade in the ‘Rome17' International Design Competition. Their design, Tiber Two, proposes a new ‘in-between’ space in the Tiber River, transforming one section into a feathered and sculptural multi-use plaza.
Jacqueline says it was pleasing to receive
“The competition really helped contextualise our work on a larger scale and made for a very humbling experience,” she says.
Cameron says submitting work in a competition, rather than to a studio, was a unique experience.
“There was a lot of good work exhibited – it’s nice to see how we contributed a different idea to this brief,” he says.
They say the key to their design is attracting people, drawing them into a sanctuary, a sunken retreat from the urban chaos and an escape from the bustle of the city.
“The intervention is interactive and brings into the city a shallow, public pool of water,” their design states. “Whether the water is used to dip your feet into, for children to swim in, or to maintain the romanticised separation of the city, the water is rejuvenating and is cleansing for users and city alike.”
Jacqueline and Cameron say they’re already looking ahead to the next challenge.
“We'd love to one day have another go at a competition,” Cameron says. “It's a great way to be totally creative and test your ideas against others around the world.”
See their design on the Eleven Magazine website.
The ground-breaking work of three UniSA researchers has been recognised through the Young Tall Poppy Science Awards.
The Young Tall Poppy Science Awards recognise achievements by outstanding young scientific researchers and communicators. This year six UniSA researchers were nominated, with three taking home an award.
Former winner of the Channel Nine Young Achiever of the Year Award, Dr Kate Fennell (Research Fellow, Sansom Institute for Health Research and Clinical Psychologist) was nominated by Professor Ian Olver for her research on rural health and wellbeing.
Dr Fennell’s research has resulted in improved scientific understanding of the health and mental health needs of rural communities, in the delivery of previously unavailable support services and also in wider awareness of the unique needs of this disadvantaged group.
“I love my work, particularly when it allows me to go out into rural communities and speak to the sort of people my research aims to help,” she says.
Dr Zlatko Kopecki was named 2016 Young Investigator of the Year and specialises in wound healing and skin blistering diseases with 28 peer-reviewed papers in top international journals under his belt.
“With my colleagues at the Future Industries Institute at UniSA, I have developed a therapy to neutralise the activity of this protein leading to improved healing, reduced blistering, wound infection and decreased incidence of skin cancer,” Dr Kopecki says.
“A better understanding of scientific challenges and engagement with the community is vital in gaining momentum and support for future research discoveries that will lead to improved quality of life for many Australians.”
National Health and Medical Research Centre – Australia Research Council (NHMRC-ARC) Dementia Research Development Fellow, Dr Ashleigh Smith, was nominated by Pro Vice Chancellor Professor Robert Vink with outcomes from her research already making a difference.
UniSA lecturer Shivvaan Sathasilvam has been recognised for his outstanding service in teaching and encouraging the next generation of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students.
Based at UniSA’s Whyalla Campus in the School of Engineering for the past seven years, Sathasilvam played a large part in the recent establishment of the Science and Engineering Challenge, bringing schools from across the region to Whyalla to participate in challenges relating to STEM.
The event, supported by Rotary and UniSA, provides the winner with the finances to travel to Adelaide for the state competition.
Sathasilvam, who is the regional chair for the Rotary Science and Engineering Challenge, has recently been awarded the Certificate of Honorary Rotarian for his commitment to the community. Honorary membership is awarded in exceptional cases to someone who furthers Rotary ideals and demonstrates great service.
“I did not know I was nominated and when I received the award, I was truly humbled,” Sathasilvam says. “I was just doing my part as I think any other person would and to be recognised for it was indeed humbling.”
Sathasilvam says he enjoys his role in Whyalla, especially having an impact on the community.
In 2015 he helped secure funding for and develop the Engineering Teaching and Learning Centre at UniSA’s Whyalla Campus.
“The best part about my role is having the ability to have a direct and immediate impact on the community,” he says.
“It is great to see the impact of the projects that I have been a part of. At the 2015 Science and Engineering Challenge, a senior (aged) volunteer told me how great it was to see all the kids so enthusiastic. Even he learned something that day. He gave me a big hug and said thank you.”
Sathasilvam says his role in the community is an important one.
“We give the community and industry a single point of access to be able to talk to someone and access the University.
“I am here for people to casually knock on the door and have a conversation with. This reassures people that we are here to help and give them access to research, education and great programs.”
UniSA PhD graduate Dr Joel Fuller has
received the PhD Research Excellence Award at
South Australian Science Excellence Awards
earlier this month.
The award recognises recent PhD graduates with outstanding early-career achievement in their field.
Dr Fuller says he never thought he’d be where he is now.
“It was an honour to be nominated as a finalist and be announced as the winner,” he says.
“I could have never imagined that my PhD journey would bring me to this point. I’m incredibly grateful for all the support I’ve received along the way from my supervisors, lab mates, and of course my family.”
Six category winners were announced at the event.
Including Dr Fuller, were five UniSA researchers and staff were nominated for an award:
South Australian Scientist of the Year
Professor Sharad Kumar
STEM Educator of the Year – Tertiary Teaching
Dr Maurizio Costabile
School of Nursing and Midwifery Associate Professor Jane Warland was presented the 2017 Stillbirth Research Award by the Star Legacy Foundation at the recent Stillbirth Summit in Minneapolis.
The Star Legacy Foundation is a US not-for-profit organisation dedicated to pregnancy research, education, awareness, advocacy and family support while also recognising individuals, groups and organisations who are making a difference in pregnancy and infant loss.
The Stillbirth Research Award is the only Star Legacy Foundation award open to international researchers with criteria including, demonstrating dedication to stillbirth prevention or care of bereaved families; and work representing an understanding of the issues important to families with preference given to those who engage in collaborative efforts and emerging ideas.
Asoc Prof Warland says she was proud to receive the award.
“I was extremely honoured to receive this award especially given the calibre of my fellow nominees including Prof Vicki Flenady (Australia), Prof Alex Heazell and Prof Baskaran Thilaganathan (UK).”
UniSA Head of School: Engineering Professor Duncan Campbell has become a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society.
The Royal Aeronautical Society, based in London, is the world’s only professional body dedicated to the aerospace community, and aims to further the advancement of aeronautical art, science and engineering around the world.
Fellowship (FRAeS) is the highest grade attainable and is only bestowed upon those in the profession of aeronautics or aerospace.
Fellows must meet one or more of the following criteria:
Have made outstanding contributions in the profession of aeronautics
Attained a position of high responsibility in the profession of aeronautics
Have had long experience of high quality in the profession of aeronautics
Professor Campbell will officially be named a Fellow at an event at the Royal Aeronautical Society’s headquarters in September.
Professor John Argue from the School of Natural and Built Environments has been awarded a prestigious Honorary Fellowship Award by Engineers Australia.
Honorary Fellow awardees are distinguished persons who have rendered conspicuous service to the profession of engineering and are eminent in the field of engineering or an allied science.
At the same ceremony held earlier this year, engineering student Chelsea Matthews was awarded the 2016 Keith Johinke University medal in recognition of her academic excellence, character and leadership.