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Q and A with 2015 Eureka Prize winners Professors Dayong Jin and Bradley Walsh

By: Vanessa Gardos, Category: Science, Date: 26 Feb 2016

Read about their Eureka experience

Professors Dayong Jin (centre) and Bradley Walsh (right) with Professor Les Field (left)

Professors Dayong Jin (centre) and Bradley Walsh (right) with Professor Les Field (left)
Photographer: Daniel O'Doherty © Australian Museum

For the first in our series of Q&A with the 2015 Eureka Prize winners, we asked winners of the UNSW Eureka Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research, Professor Dayong Jin and Professor Bradley Walsh, about their experience as a Eureka Prize winner and their advice for those considering entering this year.

Eureka Prizes: Tell us a bit about your Eureka Prizes experience.
Professor Jin: It is a life and career-changing event. My neighbours, friends, schoolmates and colleagues havestarted to understand more what kind of research we are doing and how it is impacting the world.

Eureka Prizes: How did it feel when your team was announced the winner?
Professor Walsh: It was a wonderful surprise – we were very confident about what we do but know that competition is fierce, so hearing your name when they say “and the winner is…” is still a great feeling.

Eureka Prizes: What has been the most surprising thing about being a Eureka Prize winner?
Professor Walsh: Recognition from colleagues around the world – in London to New York to South Carolina!
Professor Jin: The international impact! As a Chinese Australian, the good news has been broadly promoted by the Chinese community in Australia and abroad. My guest at the Award Dinner, Professor Wang who was visiting from Sun Yat-sen University, wrote a blog article following our win that attracted more than 20,000 hits within two weeks.

Eureka Prizes: How has the win impacted on your work and the work of your team?
Professor Walsh: The prestige and recognition of the award is of use in my company’s (Minomic International Ltd) fundraising efforts.
Professor Jin: My employer, University of Technology Sydney (UTS), highly promoted the success. Our work on SuperDots, as a result of the interdisciplinary, international and industry collaborations, has now become an example for cross-disciplinary research and we have recently further developed a new research consortium of UTS, University of South Australia and six Australian companies to transform advances in nanotechnology, sensing, photonics and biomolecular technologies and build the integrated portable devices for rapid point of care diagnostics.

Eureka Prizes: Do you have any tips for those entering the Eureka Prizes in 2016?
Professor Jin: Carefully choose your assessors, with tangible assessment letters that address the selection criteria.

Eureka Prizes: And finally…where do you keep your trophy?
Professor Walsh: In the company boardroom where our visitors can see it.
Professor Jin: I kept it with my family for a while before now keeping it in my office so my visitors and collaborators can see it shining on the shelf.

For more information on the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes visit australianmuseum.net.au/eureka

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