BHP Billiton CEO Andrew Mackenzie today called on students to “back themselves” in forging a career in science and engineering by furthering their studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Speaking at the BHP Billiton Science and Engineering Awards Ceremony in Melbourne, Mr Mackenzie said young people who were supported in their choice to study STEM went on to turn their interest into a career and lifelong passion.
The BHP Billiton Science and Engineering Awards started 35 years ago and are a partnership between BHP Billiton, CSIRO and the Australian Science Teachers’ Association, aiming to increase the number of students taking their science and engineering study to a tertiary level.
Mr Mackenzie said he was energised by the quality and diversity of the fantastic projects on display at the Awards Ceremony.
“At BHP Billiton we believe in the future, in innovation. It’s so important to Australia’s future success and our Company’s as well,” Mr Mackenzie said.
“Through the BHP Billiton Foundation we are thrilled to support bright, young future scientists and engineers and those teachers who dedicate themselves to educating them. I’m very proud of the Awards which encourage students to explore, research and delight in the study of science, and to challenge their understanding of the world around them.
“Great inventions and new ideas have been part of our Company since we started back in Broken Hill - new ways of mining, wireless tracking technology, navigation systems and new mining designs are a small sample of what we’ve implemented.
“In the future we’re going to be asking people like our finalists here today to tell us how to run our mines better - to come up with even more ways to be more sustainable, to think outside the square.
“So it’s important to make sure we nurture the very people who will come up with these new ideas and to invest in their education.”
In the past 18 months the BHP Billiton Foundation has invested A$55 million in STEM education, and these awards are part of that commitment. In closing, Mr Mackenzie told the students to be proud of what they have accomplished.
“Take risks, be determined. Keep being imaginative. And remember to back yourself.”
CSIRO Chairman David Thodey said the awards showed the inventiveness and excellence of the future scientific and engineering leaders of Australia.
“We have 26 students who have applied their creativity and skills to solve some real problems for Australia and the world,” Mr Thodey said.
2016 BHP Billiton Science and Engineering Awards Winners
First Place Investigations
Hannah Sutton, Elizabeth College, TAS
“Caerin 1.9 – A possible treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease? Investigating the effects of Caerin 1.9 on Aẞ aggregation and microglial phagocytosis”
Second Place Investigations
Jade Moxey, Sapphire Coast Anglican College, NSW
“The spread of seeds through cattle”
Third Place Investigations
Madeleine Maloof, Presbyterian Ladies’ College Sydney, NSW
“Dental whitening and enamel loss”
First Place Engineering
Macinley Butson, The Illawarra Grammar School, NSW
“The Solar system”
Second Place Engineering
Samuel Kantor, Moriah College, NSW
“Eye Connect: Using computer vision to create low-cost assistive technology”
Third Place Engineering
Lachlan Wilson and Terence Johnson, Daramalan College, ACT
“The correlation between rising sea levels and water loss from Antarctica and Greenland”
Innovator to Market Prize
Hugh McKay, Rose Bay High School, TAS
Danielle Spencer, Mitchelton State School, QLD
For more information, please see our News Release.
Further information on the BHP Billiton Science and Engineering Awards can be found at: www.csiro.au/en/Education/Programs/Science-awards