28/08/2014 - 15:42

Gold saving device 2014's top innovation: Curtin

28/08/2014 - 15:42

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A device designed to reduce the amount of gold lost through the extraction process has won the top prize at Curtin University's commercial innovation awards.

The awards, which aim to identify new technologies, products or services arising from research at Curtin University, awarded a total of $35,000 in cash and commercialisation services.

First prize went to Bill Staunton and his team at Curtin Western Australian School of Mines for creating a carbon measuring device that can reduce the amount of gold lost in the industry’s widely used carbon-in-pulp extraction process.

The Curtin Business School prize went to Peter Dell and his team from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry for creating an improved recruitment system which allows industry to headhunt students with desired specific attributes in a much more differentiated model than job search sites such as Seek.

The health sciences prize went to Janet Howieson and Abacus Fisheries owner Peter Jecks for developing a more sustainable process to design and produce products from the waste created from processing seafood.

The innovation in education prize was claimed by Dr Janet Beilby for her empathy simulator which helps students in the health field prepare for situations such as breaking bad news to patients.

The science and engineering prize was awarded to associate professor Anton Kepic and his team who developed a small drilling device mineral exploration teams can use to access geological data in less time and with reduced costs. 

Curtin IP Commercialisation director Rohan McDougall said in a statement this year’s winners showed serious focus on increasing productivity.

He said the carbon meter used to optimise the gold extraction process was being trialled in Victoria and the technology could be marketed to gold mines worldwide in the near future.

The winning business prize presented a very different approach to productivity, he said.

The winning health sciences project which helped create gourmet fishcakes from processed crab waste had plans to create meals for hospitals and aged care facilities, he said.

The winning science and engineering device provided incredible value by collecting high quality data previously only available with expensive and specialised equipment, he said

While the empathy simulator was also a stand out training tool because of its cost-effectiveness and ability to help students master tricky interpersonal skills, he said.

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