2018 veski fast smarts - Working

 

Innovators

veski fast smarts Innovators represent all that is cutting edge about Melbourne, such as our diversity, energy and wide-ranging passions. 

Working Innovators: 

Chris Sounness - CEO, Birchip Cropping Group

Chris Sounness has twenty years’ experience on the development and extension of innovation and research on the farm. Birchip Cropping Group is hosting the veski Sustainable Agricultural Fellow Terry Griffin from Kansas State University focusing on agricultural technology and big data to transform farming practices.

Since 1992 Chris has worked in the Wimmera Mallee of Victoria. First he worked in Private Breeding Canola research and then a long stint in the Government continuing his work with farmers and their advisers to increase uptake of agricultural research particularly through building farmer’s knowledge and skills in agronomy and seasonal climate risk.

Since 2014 he has been CEO of Birchip Cropping Group. His passion is to create opportunities for farmers to evaluate and adapt the research that the farming community, Government and private sector all invest in. It has to makes sense and creates value.

The Ag tech challenge and the disruption it may cause is now front of mind for Chris and he is keen to ensure farmers get a better slice of the value that digital is bringing to all industries.

 

Prof Sarah Bekessy - RMIT

Professor Sarah Bekessy has been teaching and conducting research in sustainability and environmental studies at RMIT University in Australia since 2004. Using her background in conservation biology and 10 years of experience in the social sciences, Sarah has established a successful research team that seeks to engage in high impact, interdisciplinary and collaborative research to find solutions to applied environmental problems (ICON Science iconscience.org).

In recent years, Sarah’s research has focussed on establishing an evidence base and developing tools for nature-based solutions in cities, including a measurable protocol for ‘Biodiversity Sensitive Urban Design”. She was funded by the Myer Foundation to undertake a research project titled “Reimagining the suburb: biodiversity planning in the urban fringe” and has worked with all levels of government to establish novel mechanisms for protecting and promoting nature in cities.

In 2014, Sarah was awarded an ARC Future Fellowship titled ‘Socio-ecological models for environmental decision making’. Sarah leads research themes within the Australian Research Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions and the National Environment Research Program Clean Air and Urban Landscapes Hub and Threatened Species Recovery Hub.

 

Dr. Carmine Onofrillo & Dr. Serena Duchi - Research Fellows, BioFab3D

 

Dr. Carmine Onofrillo and Dr. Serena Duchi are cellular biologists working as part of the multidisciplinary Cartilage regeneration program led by Prof Peter Choong at BioFab3D, St Vincents Hospital Melbourne. The program is centred on the use of advanced 3D printing technologies, including surgical 3D printing of stem cells, for the regeneration of healthy articular cartilage.

Carmine graduated from the University of Bologna, Italy with a Bachelors Degree in Biology, a masters degree in Molecular Biology and a Phd in Oncology and Experimental Pathology. His work at the BioFab3D facility at St Vincents is on based on the characterization of cartilage differentiation of human stem cells in a 3D bioprinted environment by a novel hand held medical device - the “Biopen”. Dr Onofrillo’s scientific contribution is addressing the depth of molecular characterization of human stem cells in a 3D bioprinted environment with the goal to regenerate damaged tissues. 

Serena graduated in Biology in 2004, also from the University of Bologna, and subsequently obtained her PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology in 2009 through an international program between University of Bologna and Medical University of South Carolina, USA. Her speciality is in human stem cells isolation and characterization, 3D bioprinting and cultivation of samples for cartilage tissue regeneration, and advanced imaging techniques (confocal and time-lapse microscopy, TIRF, Light-Sheet).

 

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