CUDOS Students awarded prizes at the Annual Workshop

The 11th Annual CUDOS Workshop was held at the Shoal Bay Spa & Resort, in Shoal Bay NSW, on 31 January to 3 February. As in previous years, students were invited to submit entries for cash prizes in the Student Poster, Student Outreach and Student Entrepreneurship Competitions, which were all hotly contested!

Student Poster Competition

The Student Poster Competition aims to acknowledge outstanding posters created and presented by CUDOS students and provides them with an opportunity to share scholarly work as a visual display, to practice presenting (one minute!) and to interact with colleagues.

Cash prizes are awarded to the top three posters as determined by a panel of judges. This year’s panel comprised a group of pre-eminent, world leading researchers in photonics and included Prof David Miller (Stanford) as Chair, Dr Igal Brener (Sandia National Laboratories), Prof Shanhui Fan (Stanford), Prof Ortwin Hess (Imperial College London) and Prof Thomas Kraus (The University of St Andrews).

The committee was very impressed by the high international standard of the research represented in the posters and by the presentation and quality of the posters themselves. They also greatly enjoyed the students’ one minute talks. Prof Miller said “clearly and succinctly communicating your work and its importance is crucial for any scientist or engineer today, and all the students rose to this challenge! “

The Prize Winners are:

Equal first Prize: Nick Cvetojevic, Macquarie and Mark Turner, Swinburne University
Third Prize: Wei Liu, Nonlinear Physics Centre, ANU
Most Innovative Poster design: Ben Cumming, Swinburne

Student Poster Competition Prize

Nick Cvetojevic, David Miller and Mark Turner

Student Outreach Competition

For The Student Outreach Competition, individuals or groups were invited to make a presentation on an Outreach event they had organised in 2011. Entries were submitted by the OSA Student Chapters at both Macquarie and Sydney University. Diverse events covered included a two week roadshow to regional NSW high schools involving presentations on fibre optics research to kids in years 9 – 11; a Laser Tag Social event organised for over 120 local and international students attending the CLEO/IQEC Conference in Sydney, providing an opportunity for vital networking ; and demonstrations to over 2000 people, during various Macquarie University Open Days and school visits, using a suite of laser tools designed to enhance public understanding of photonics and its applications.

The Judging Panel consisted of members of the CUDOS Education & Outreach Committee which selected the winning entry by considering factors such as reach, impact and entertainment value.

The Prize Winners are:

First Prize: Bjorn Sturmberg & Owen Brasier (OSA Chapter Sydney University) – Optics in the Outback
Second Prize: OSA Chapter Macquarie University – Information on a light Beam
Third Prize: OSA Chapter Sydney University – Laser Tag at IQEC/CLEO Pacific Rim

Student Outreach Competition

Bjorn Sturmberg and Judith Dawes

Student Entrepreneurship Competition

The Student Entrepreneurship Competition challenged students to create an advertisement for an imaginary or potential product based on a CUDOS project. The challenge saw a great resonance with 8 submissions, all of exceptional quality making the judging process extremely hard for the panel chaired by Simon Poole, Director, New Business Ventures, Finisar Australia, with Michaël Roelens (also Finisar Australia) and Andrew Kennedy (Smart Digital Optics) as co-judges.
The entries were judged based on originality, professionalism, reaching the target audience and effectiveness and after some debate a clear winner emerged with 4 entries being awarded equal second prize.

This competition was regarded by many as the highlight of the 2012 CUDOS Workshop showcasing the engagement, creativity and skills of CUDOS students. Michaël Roelens said “all three of us (judges) found the overall level of submissions great! The students have definitely set themselves a new standard in this year's competition. In particular, the (winning) Q-link ad and white paper stood out because it just ticked all the boxes: very professional video with good links to the white paper, with a convincing message, and a good call to action at the end.”

The Prize Winners are:

First Prize: Matt Collins, Sydney University – Q-Link, a new paradigm in information security
Equal Second Prize: Tomonori Hu, Sydney University; Yvan Paquot, Sydney University; Mark Turner, Ben Cumming & Han Lin, Swinburne University; Alessandro Tuniz, Sydney University.

Student Entrepreneurship Competition

Matt Collins and Michael Roelens