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Young Aussie innovators shine at Science and Engineering Awards

Young Aussie innovators shine at Science and Engineering Awards

Two teens' health apps win at BHP and CSIRO's awards

Two Aussie teenagers have taken out top awards at BHP Billiton's Science and Engineering Awards in Melbourne.

Dhruv Verma, a 14 year old from Scotch College in Melbourne took out first place in the engineering category for his PROTEGO app. PROTEGO is an amalgram of 'PROactive Technology for Elderly on the GO'. The app utilises a tiny sensor worn by an elderly person which connects to wireless antennas placed around the home - which then connects to an app that carers can use to track the elderly person's movements in the home. This means if they have a spill, the app will respond to get assistance.

"I created PROTEGO because I want to use science to help as many elderly people as I could in the global community," Verma said.

The winner in the investigations category was 17-year-old Jackson Huang from the Queensland Academy for Science, Mathematics and Technology in Brisbane. His work involved testing heartburn medications to see whether certain additives in the drugs reduced their effectiveness.

The awards are a partnership between BHP Billiton, CSIRO and the Australian Science Teachers Association.

BHP Billiton's head of technology, geoscience and engineering, Bryan Quinn, was proud of the results.

"Science and Engineering are vital to our industry. They support the innovation and technology that enhance our productivity, meaning we can extract resources safely and sustainably, seeking always to improve industry best practice," he said.

CSIRO board member, Professor Tom Spurling, said the awards reward young people who have undertaken practical research projects, which demonstrate innovative approaches and thorough scientific or engineering procedures.

"I've been really impressed by the variety and quality of the finalists. These young students are tackling issues in high school that researchers are tackling in prominent scientific institutions around the world.

"They've taken on challenges such as cyclone resistance and recovery, pollution and our ageing population. They inspire us with their ingenuity and creativity."

WINNERS - INVESTIGATIONS

First Place Jackson Huang. QLD - Queensland Academy for Science, Mathematics and Technology

Second Place Melissa Gerwin. TAS - Hellyer College

Third Place Benjamin Grace. QLD - Trinity Anglican School

WINNERS - ENGINEERING

First Place Dhruv Verma. VIC - Scotch College

Second Place Conroy Cheers. VIC - John Monash Science School

Third Place Somya Mehra. VIC - Balwyn High School

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Tags software developmentBryan QuinninnovationscienceDhruv VermaengineeringBHP BillitonintelCSIROTom SpurlingApp DevelopmentAustralian Science Teachers Associationsmartphones

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