How fabrics can change our future

By Global Challenges Travel Scholar Syamak Farajikhah,

In mid-November 2017, I had the opportunity to stay in Melbourne for a week to do a lab visit at RMIT University School of Fashion and Textiles and initiate some collaboration.

The Global Challenges Travel Scholarship provided my funding and facilitated my trip to Melbourne. I am currently a PhD student at UOW’s Intelligent Polymer Research Institute (IPRI) working on producing different fibers and textile-based microfluidic devices. Visiting RMIT University and having access to their fascinating textile fabrication facilities, provided me the opportunity to make different textile designs as low cost templates for textile-based microfluidic devices.

RMIT School of Fashion and Textiles

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Postcard from Ubud

By Global Challenges Scholar Hayley Scrivenor

“It was a Greek word, of course: ἔλλειψις, élleipsis, meaning ‘omission’ or ‘falling short’: ‘An ellipsis could indicate an unfinished thought… or at the beginning of a sentence, a trailing off into silence… which could also be indicated by a long dash known as an em dash—which was known as aposiopesis…

[Aposiopesis] according to The Dictionary of Rhetorical Terms meant ‘becoming silent’ and indicated ‘the inability or unwillingness to continue.”

Wilson, Josephine (2017), Extinctions, University of Western Australia Press, Perth.

Janet DeNeefe, Founder and Director of the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival (UWRF), addressing festival attendees at the UWRF Festival Welcome on 26 October 2017.

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Post Card from Portugal…searching for inspiration from sky and coast


By Global Challenges PhD Scholar, Thomas Doyle

Most fourth year PhD students spend majority of their time stressing over writing a thesis and submitting that thesis in time before funding runs out… while I also had these problems… I was lucky enough to be able to do this in Portugal (Fig. 1)… where at this time of the year, it was sunny, warm and full of happy people!

Figure 1: Statue of Christ, Lisbon.

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Postcard from Boston

By Global Challenges Travel Scholar, Lisa Belfiore

This year I attended the Controlled Release Society Annual Meeting & Exposition in Boston. I had the opportunity to present a poster on my PhD research and listen to a range of interesting talks addressing the broad theme of improving drug delivery in a variety of health and medical applications. At the conference, I was able to meet leading researchers in drug delivery science, including the plenary speaker, Professor Robert Langer – a highly distinguished researcher in the field; a chemical engineer, scientist, entrepreneur and inventor. In addition to his plenary speech, Professor Langer also presented a smaller, more informal talk for PhD students and post-docs, and gave some useful advice for achieving success in science.

Opening session of the Controlled Release Society Annual Meeting & Exposition

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Postcard from Boston

by Global Challenges Travel Scholar, Malachy Maher

In March 2017, I travelled to Boston, Massachusetts, to attend the third annual BioEngineering: BioMEMS, 3D-BioPrinting & Synthetic Biology conference, and what an experience it was!

I am currently studying a double masters in Biofabrication, which combines 3D printing and tissue engineering. I have worked on projects for articular cartilage regeneration, biomaterial development and creating heart patches for cardiac muscle regeneration. This conference however, focused on another branch of Biofabrication, specifically organ-on-a-chip and microfluidics. These two topics aim to model the functions of organs, allowing for advances in tissue regeneration, drug discovery and toxicology testing. Needless to say, I was very excited to attend this conference and expand my knowledge in this multi-disciplinary field.

I am currently on exchange in Utrecht, the Netherlands, so I departed from Amsterdam and travelled to Boston. There was a large storm in Boston the day before I arrived which cancelled many planes, but I arrived smoothly to a snow-covered city which was looked beautiful.

Remaining snow in Boston after the big storm

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Postcard from Melbourne: 15th World Congress on Public Health

By Amy Carrad, Global Challenges PhD Scholar

Melbourne Sunset on the Yarra River

During the first week of April I had the fortune of sharing my work at the 15th World Congress on Public Health. It was a week of all things public health, in Melbourne, the most liveable city in the world, as all the locals were keen to remind us.

Themes included sexual and reproductive health, media and social marketing, gambling, health promotion, vaccination, violence, Indigenous and First Nations’ health, road safety, equity in health, mental health, health care, ageing, workplace health, health literacy…the list goes on!  Public health is NOT all about obesity.

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Postcard from Dubrovnik: Summer School by the Adriatic Sea

By Global Challenges PhD Scholar & Travel Scholar, Rachelle Balez

Every couple of years I get itchy feet. Not in the literal sense, but rather that impulse to travel will begin as a tingle in my toes and adventure will start to play on my mind. I had begun to feel the itch again when I found out I was a fortunate recipient of the UOW Global Challenges Program travel scholarship. The only problem was I had nowhere to go – yet.

A couple of months later I found myself in a meeting, sitting across from my PhD supervisor who had just returned from Europe. My supervisor had one question for me – would I like to undertake a 3-month research exchange to Maastricht University in the Netherlands? There was however, a catch; I would need to attend a week long summer school on Mass Spectrometry in Biotechnology and Medicine (MSBM) in Dubrovnik, Croatia before arriving in the Netherlands. Needless to say, I couldn’t say ‘yes’ fast enough, I had already begun packing in my mind!

Rachelle, as a baby with the Dutch grandmother

Rachelle, as a baby with the Dutch grandmother

Apart from being the perfect cure for my itchy feet and a fantastic learning, research and networking opportunity, the chance to work in the Netherlands was also significant on a personal level. My mother’s family came from the Netherlands, immigrating to Australia at the end of World War II. Unfortunately I was unable to share this exciting news with my Oma (Dutch for grandma), as she is suffering from the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease.  Continue reading

Postcard from Cuba: Supply Chain Management and POMS

By Global Challenges Scholar Emily Ryan

Author, Emily Ryan attending the 2016 POMS conference in Cuba

Author, Emily Ryan attending the 2016 POMS conference in Cuba

Starting my PhD I had no idea where I would find myself along the journey, turns out Cuba would be on the list of stops… but I’m getting ahead of myself. My name is Emily Ryan and I’m a Global Challenges Scholar in the area of Manufacturing Innovation. I’m not a Scientist or an Engineer but I do want to connect these people with each other to foster manufacturing innovation and that is where my research comes in. From a Business background, majoring in Supply Chain Management, I understand that when everyone in an industry works together through collaboration there is an opportunity to boost the whole industry, this is why I am looking at supply chain clusters. My research aims to understand the forces that drive supply chain cluster development within the sustainable buildings industry, particularly in the Illawarra. As this research falls in the production and operations field I was very fortunate to attend the 5th World Conference of Production and Operations Management (POMS) which was held in Havana, Cuba in September 2016. Continue reading

Postcard from Turkey: Mentoring Program for Novice Teachers in Indonesia

By Global Challenges Travel Scholar, Siti Nurul Hidayah, Candidate of Doctor of Education, Faculty of Social Sciences

As a 2015 global challenge travel scholarship winner, I was given the opportunity to publish my research findings internationally, meet many experts from around the globe and visit many beautiful places!

The author, Siti meeting a local in traditional Turkish costume

The author, Siti, meeting a local in traditional Turkish costume

In late May 2016, I participated in the International Conference on Research in Education and Science (ICRES) which took place in the coastal town of Bodrum, Turkey. Choosing this conference was not an easy process. It was such a dilemma. At that time, Turkey had a political conflict and security issues. Further, at that time, I was in the final stages of my study. However, I chose this conference because I could meet many scholars, students, and administrators from around the world to discuss theoretical and practical issues in all fields of Education and Science.

The feedback from some experts who attended in this conference suggested it would be useful to strengthen my research findings later. After getting involved in a long discussion with my supervisors and checking the real situation in Turkey with some friends, I finally came to a decision to attend this conference.

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