It is estimated that by 2030, 40 per cent of current Australian jobs probably won’t exist as we know them and that the pathway to the careers of the future will mostly come from a STEM education.

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Twenty-six Australian teenagers, selected as finalists in the BHP Billiton Science and Engineering Awards, have proven themselves to be STEM leaders of the future by producing work that has solved real-world problems with innovative inventions and ambitious scientific investigations.

A beach-side rip warning system, a laser system to keep cyclists safe on roads, and research into treatments for diabetes and antibiotic resistant bacteria are just some of the projects that have been chosen for the finals of the 2017 BHP Billiton Science and Engineering Awards.

At a ceremony in Melbourne today, attended by CSIRO Chief Executive Larry Marshall, BHP Billiton Foundation Director Pat Risner and Australian Science Teachers Association (ASTA) Treasurer Jenny Weber, the winners of the 2017 BHP Billiton Science and Engineering Awards were announced.

They are:

1st Place Engineering Award:  Justin Mitchell from Victoria
1st Place Investigations Award: Jade Moxey from New South Wales
Winner of the Innovation to Market Award: Amber Kraczkowska from South Australia
Winner of the Teacher Award: Hamish Gibson from Western Australia
2nd Place Engineering Award: Callum & Declan Predavec from New South Wales
2nd Place Investigations Award: Amy Zhou from Queensland
3rd Place Engineering Award: Dylan Sanusi-Goh from Victoria
3rd Place Investigations Award: Rebekah Kang from New South Wales

Selected finalists will represent Australia at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) in the United States in May 2017.

Karen Wood, Chairman of the BHP Billiton Foundation, said the Foundation was thrilled to support bright, young future scientists and engineers.

"I'm very proud of what the Awards aim to achieve in encouraging students to explore, research and delight in the study of science, and challenge their understanding of the world around them," Ms Wood said.

The Awards, which have been running since 1981, reward young people who have undertaken practical research projects that demonstrate innovative approaches and thorough scientific or engineering procedures.

CSIRO Chief Executive Larry Marshall said it was critical to support and promote STEM for students.

"STEM drives innovation globally but in Australia the participation and engagement in STEM subjects by school students is declining," Dr Marshall said.

"These Awards are an innovative and inspiring way to connect with future STEM professionals and encourage them to join us in tackling the challenges of tomorrow.

"The work that these students have done is truly inspiring and I have high hopes for the future of Australia."

The Awards are a partnership between the BHP Billiton Foundation (a charity funded by BHP Billiton), CSIRO and ASTA. They are supported by the BHP Billiton Foundation and managed by CSIRO.

To arrange interviews with the finalists, please contact Megan Golding on 0401 675 379. For more information on the Awards visit BHP Billiton Science & Engineering Awards .

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