Flinders University staff Dr Daniel Tune and Karen Burke da Silva have been recognised for their contributions to science in this year’s South Australian Science Excellence Awards, announced at a gala event on Friday (August 8).
Dr Tune, based in the Flinders Centre for NanoScale Science and Technology, received the award for PhD Research Excellence in Physical Sciences, Mathematics and Engineering for his work to develop a new generation of environmentally friendly solar cells using carbon nanotubes.
Unlike other alternatives to the silicon commonly used in rooftop solar panels, Dr Tune’s research has shown that carbon is non-toxic and not limited in supply.
Ms Burke da Silva, based in the School of Biological Sciences, was named Early Career STEM Educator of the Year in Tertiary Teaching for her instrumental role in developing an integrated teaching environment that fosters interaction between teaching and research across multiple STEM areas.
Using innovative techniques to stimulate, motivate and improve science literacy of all students, Ms Burke da Silva has reduced student withdrawal rates and produced highly engaged and enthusiastic students.
The title of South Australian Scientist of the Year for 2014 went to Flinders honours and PhD graduate Professor Tony Thomas, who currently works at the University of Adelaide. Flinders University staff members biochemical engineer Professor Karen Reynolds and cancer researcher Professor Graeme Young won the major award in 2012 and 2013 respectively.