Showcasing Early Career Researchers 2017 Finalists

Showcasing Early Career Researchers celebrates good research, communicated well.

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Entrants were asked to submit a 30-second video demonstrating that they could convey the aim of their research clearly and effectively. Forty-one video entries were received and from those, five finalists were chosen to attend the CRC Association conference in Canberra, Collaborate | Innovate | 2017, from 23–25 May and give a five-minute oral presentation about their research. The judges were looking for entrants who demonstrate excellent oral presentation skills.

Ms Julie Beadle was selected as the overall winner by an audience vote at the conference.


Ms Julie Beadle, The HEARing CRC

We hear with our ears, but we listen with our brain: Cognitive ageing and understanding speech in noise

Many older adults struggle to understand speech in everyday noisy situations, even when they perform well on traditional hearing tests. For my PhD, I am investigating how age-related changes in cognitive functioning contribute to this all too common situation. I aim to develop a listening test that is reflective of communication in real life and examine how age and cognitive skills like attention and memory are related to performance on this test.


Ms Jacquiline den Houting, CRC for Living with Autism

Too anxious to achieve? A quantitative investigation of anxiety and academic achievement in autistic students.

Around 40% of autistic people experience anxiety, and autistic people also tend to underperform academically. In the non-autistic population, a link between these two issues has been found. In my research, I am using assessments of anxiety and academic achievement with a group of autistic students, to identify whether the same link exists within the autistic community. These findings could inform support options for autistic students, allowing for improved mental health and academic outcomes.

Dr Doris Grosse, Space Environment Research Centre

Adaptive Optics for Earth based space debris manoeuvres

Several 100,000 space debris objects orbiting Earth are threatening to collide with and destroy our satellites networks. To prevent those collisions, a ground based laser can be aimed at the debris objects moving them out of the way with the help of photon pressure. The atmosphere however distorts the laser beam. The Adaptive Optics system that I am building compensates for those distortions so that the laser beam can be focused correctly on the object in space and hence preventing collisions.

Dr Tomas Remenyi, Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems (ACE) CRC

Climate Futures Project – Translating climate data into usable decision making inputs

The Climate Futures Team translates fine-scale, regional climate model output into useful, usable tools that are used by decision makers in industries across Australia. Our focus is on working closely with industry during research design, and throughout the process, to ensure the outputs of our research are directly relevant to our stakeholders and align with their decision making frameworks.

Ms Melissa Scott, CRC for Living with Autism

Understanding Successful Employment for Adults with High Functioning Autism/Asperger Syndrome: Development of the Integrated Employment Success Tool

Despite people with autism having high levels of skills and the desire to work, they remain unemployed. Many employers are hesitant to hire people with autism due to their lack of confidence and knowledge about autism. To assist employers to better understand autism and their specific needs in the workplace, the Integrated Employment Success Tool (IEST) has been developed. The IEST is a practical “tool kit” with strategies to help employers tailor the workplace for success for people with autism.

Other entries

See the other entries for the Showcasing Early Career Researchers competition for 2017.