ANU scientist wins Eureka Prize

11 September 2014

Dr Steve Lee says it was a pleasant surprise to win a Eureka Prize for inventing a cheap lens that can convert a smart phone into a microscope.

Dr Lee, from the Research School of Engineering, won the ANSTO Eureka Prize for Innovative Use of Technology, alongside collaborator Dr Tri Phan from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research.

“We didn’t expect to win. So it was wonderful and pleasant surprise,” Dr Lee said.

The lenses are made by using the natural shape of liquid droplets. The invention promises a revolution in science and medicine in developing countries and remote areas, where they could be used for remote medical diagnosis.

Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Margaret Harding, said Dr Lee’s award was well deserved.

“Congratulations to Steve and his team for this wonderful and practical application of technology,” Professor Harding said.

Read more about the droplet lens here, or view a video about the lens here.

Charles Tambiah from the Research School of Earth Sciences, who was a finalist for the New Scientist Eureka Prize for Science Photography for his striking image of a basket star, Gorgonocephalus sp.

Presented annually by the Australian Museum, the Eureka Prizes reward excellence in research and innovation, leadership, science communication and journalism, and school science.