Tim Warren and the autonomous submarine for which he has designed an automatic water sampler.
Student’s snazzy sub sampler may lead to patent
CSIRO summer scholarship student, Tim Warren, has developed an automated water sampler of such high quality it is now being considered for a provisional patent.
One of 85 students whose scholarship culminates this week with a ‘CSIRO Big Day In’ meeting in Sydney, Mr Warren has spent the summer working on CSIRO’s Tasmanian Marine Analysis Network.
“This has wirelessly connected sensor nodes monitoring the health of the Derwent estuary and D’Entrecasteaux channel,” Mr Warren, from the University of Tasmania, said. “Nodes are moored in strategic locations and our small autonomous submarine, Searise, travels between them filling in gaps in the data.
”The water sampler I developed collects samples for testing in laboratory instruments that are too big to fit on Searise. It could really broaden the range of research we do because we can do a lot of things in the lab that can't easily be done in-situ, such as studies of sparse microbial populations and trace metal analysis."
“This has wirelessly connected sensor nodes monitoring the health of the Derwent estuary and D’Entrecasteaux channel,”
Mr Warren, from the University of Tasmania, said.
Under the scholarship program students work for CSIRO on real research projects in maths, ICT and materials science. They will share their experiences at a meeting in Sydney at the end of this week.
Other students involved include:
A biomedical engineering student from Melbourne University, Kathy Li, who has been testing targeted ultrasound contrast agents.
Ordinary ultrasound contrast agents are tiny bubbles that make soft structures like blood vessels as clear as if they were bone. Targeted contrast agents are bubbles with antibodies on their surface so they bind to, for example, diseased tissue.
“I’ve been using a flow chamber to test if the coated bubbles will stay stuck to diseased tissue in a blood vessel while blood is passing by trying to wash them off,” she said.
A science/economics student at the University of Queensland, Hien Nguyen, who has been using statistical modelling to determine if the genetic differences between sugar cane plants are enough to explain the variation in physical characteristics seen in a massive field trial.
“I’m using mixed linear modelling to try and separate the effects of the environment on things like yield, sugar content and disease resistance from those due to the plant’s genes,” he said.
If genes are responsible it means it might be possible to create improved plant varieties.
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