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Ruben Meerman

Ruben Meerman

Ruben Meerman Bio

Ruben studied physics at the Queensland University of Technology. He graduated in 1993 and worked at Laserdyne Technologies Pty Ltd on the Gold Coast designing and manufacturing thin film, multilayer optical coatings and using physical vapour deposition (evaporative and electron beam)
techniques for gas and solid state laser applications .

Ruben launched the “surfing scientist” school program on the Gold Coast in 1997 with support from Griffith University’s  School of Environmental Science, where he enrolled for a Ph.D. He has been visiting schools as
the “surfing scientist” ever since.

While trawling the literature for his Ph.D, Ruben also taught primary science education in Griffith University’s School of Education and Professional Studies. To address a distinct lack of self confidence he noticed about teaching science, Ruben decided to design and run a hands-on 'whodunit' competition with the Gold Coast Mayor playing the “victim” and local celebrities the “suspects”. In 1999, with a National Science Week grant,he launched “Who Stole the Mayor’s New Malibu?” . More than 5000 kids analysed crime scene “evidence” in their classrooms and the culprit was brought to justice at a public court case argued by Griffith University law students and presided over by a former high court judge.

Upon his return to Australia, Ruben took up an exciting offer to write science education materials for ABC Science Online. The Surfing Scientist website was launched in 2004 and Ruben is still writing new content for it to this day.

In 2007, Ruben accepted an offer to write a children’s science book. He went on to publish three more books and is currently working on a fifth. 


Stuart White

Stuart White Bio

Professor Stuart White is Director of the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology Sydney. In 2012 he was awarded the Australian Museum Eureka Prize for Environmental Research. Stuart has advised developers and the government on green buildings, including leading the development of the sustainability strategy for Central Park in Sydney, winner of the ‘Best Tall Building in the World’ in 2014.

Presentation Title: 'A tale of two sustainable precincts: Central Park and UTS'

The Central Park development in Sydney, which occupies the historic Kent Brewery site in Chippendale, is an exemplar for sustainable precincts in addition to forming an eye-catching new southern gateway to the CBD with the revitalized UTS campus. Both Central Park and the UTS Campus Master Plan have incorporated significant and novel sustainability dimensions in the combined $3 billion worth of development activity. This presentation will describe the background and highlights of the process and the outcome for these initiatives.


Aaron Coutts

Aaron Coutts Bio

Aaron is a Professor in Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). He has published more than 130 scientific papers which focus on improving our understanding of the factors that affect performance in team sports. He has specific interest in conducting applied research and providing evidence-based recommendations for athlete monitoring, performance analysis and training design. Aaron currently consults to several top-level professional sporting teams and is a member of International Advisory Board for the Nike Performance Council. He has also been the recipient of an Australian Teaching and Learning Citation for outstanding contributions to student learning in sport and exercise sciences. He is currently an Associate Editor for the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance and the Journal of Sports Sciences: Science and Medicine in Football. Aaron is also a practising accredited Sport Scientist and a Director of Exercise and Sport Science Australia (ESSA).

Presentation Title: 'From Research to Practice: Improving athlete preparation through integrating sport science research in professional sports'

This presentation will demonstrate how sport science research has been integrated into professional sporting clubs to improve athlete preparation.  Specific examples will be provided to demonstrate how microtechnology has been applied to improve the control of the training process and also understand the factors that best relate to improved performance. 

 Marie Johnson

Marie Johnson Bio

Marie Johnson is the Head of the Technology Authority for the National Disability Insurance Agency, overseeing the technology strategy and technology implementation for the NDIS in partnership with the Department of Human Services. The NDIS is the most significant social reform in Australia since the introduction of Medicare. An experienced public entrepreneur and technologist, Marie has delivered significant technology, innovation and digital services transformation programs across taxation, business, social services, payments and immigration operations in the Australian Government. Marie was the Chief Technology Architect of the Australian Government Health and Human Services Access Card program. At Microsoft, Marie was the Worldwide Executive Director of Public Services and eGovernment based in Redmond USA. In 2006-2007, Marie was named “Innovative CIO of the Year – Australia”. In 2013, Marie was named one of Australia’s “100 Women of Influence”.

Marie is sought after internationally as a speaker, thought leader and trusted advisor to governments on topics such as digital disruption, digital identity, egovernment, transformation and innovation. Marie is the Managing Director and Chief Digital Officer of the Centre for Digital Business; Board Director of the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA). An advocate of STEM and women’s empowerment, Marie is Co-Chair of the Digital Careers Program. In 2014 Marie was appointed to the NSW Government ICT Advisory Panel which advises on transformation and ICT strategic directions for the NSW Government, and to the NSW Accelerating Digital Government Taskforce.

 Professor Shari Forbes

Shari Forbes

Professor Shari Forbes Bio

Professor Shari Forbes completed a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Applied Chemistry and Forensic Science and a PhD (Forensic Chemistry) at the University of Technology Sydney. In 2005, she moved to Canada as the founding Director of the Forensic Science program at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT). Prof. Forbes spent seven years at UOIT where she also held a Canada Research Chair in Decomposition Chemistry. In 2012, she returned to UTS as a Professor and ARC Future Fellow in the Centre for Forensic Science. Her research focuses on identifying an accurate chemical profile of decomposition odour using advanced analytical instrumentation. She is regularly consulted on forensic casework and assists police to search for and locate human remains using police dogs and geophysical equipment.

 Allison McInnes

Allison McInnes Bio

Allison McInnes is an ARC research fellow at the University of Technology Sydney and a member of C3’s Aquatic Process Group and COAST. She has extensive field and flow cytometry experience and is now combining these areas in facilitating the usage of the MicroCSI aboard the RV Investigator. Together they led a team of researchers aboard the RV Investigator this past June in the first sea trial of the MicroCSI facility.

 Associate Professor Martina Doblin

Martina Doblin

Associate Professor Martina Doblin Bio

Martina Doblin is internationally recognised as a marine ecology and aquatic biochemistry expert. She is an Associate Professor at the University of Technology Sydney and a core member of C3’s Aquatic Process Group, leading the Coastal Oceanography and Algal research Team (COAST) group. She has broad oceanographic expertise and led the grant and development of the Microbial Cell Sorting and Imaging facility (MicroCSI)—a transportable containerised laboratory for rapid cell sorting and high-resolution bioimaging of living aquatic microbes in field locations.