Scientists shortlisted for Eureka Prizes

8 August 2014

Congratulations to Dr Steve Lee from the Research School of Engineering and PhD student Charles Tambiah from the Research School of Earth Sciences, who have been nominated as finalists for the 2014 Eureka Prizes for science.

Dr Lee is nominated in the Innovative Use of Technology category, alongside collaborator Dr Tri Phan from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, for inventing a droplet lens that can convert a smart phone into a microscope.

Costing less than a cent, 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.

Mr Tambiah is one of three finalists in the 2014 New Scientist Eureka Prize for Science Photography.

Mr Tambiah’s striking image of a basket star, Gorgonocephalus sp, has been composed by ‘painting’ with micro-light to peel back layers of science.

Utilising the full breadth of tools within imaging software, and fibre-optics for lighting hidden spaces, he has painted multiple layers of information out of blackness, unravelling a simple, yet complex, marine invertebrate.

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

This year’s winners will be announced at an award dinner on Wednesday 10 September at Sydney Town Hall.

Read more about the droplet lens here.

View a video about the lens here.