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12 May 2015 News Release

Dhruv Verma from Scotch College in Victoria was the first place winner in the engineering category of the awards for his smartphone app to help the elderly live independently in their own homes. 

“I was happy and excited to win the prestigious BHP Billiton Science and Engineering Awards. It has given me the opportunity to participate in the amazing INTEL ISEF and has validated the fact that there is a need for my solution in the global community and that it is solving a real world problem,” Dhruv said.

First place getter in the science category, Jackson Huang from the Queensland Academy for Science, Maths and Technology, is also heading to the internationally-recognised event.

“I’m very excited to meet other young scientists from around the world who are also passionate about finding solutions to real-world problems. 

“I am looking forward to seeing other amazing projects and also the opportunity to travel to the United States for my first time,” Jackson said.

Melissa Gerwin from Tasmania, Ben Grace from far north Queensland and Somya Mehra from Victoria are the other teen innovators lucky enough to attend along with 2015 teacher winner Philippa Miller from New South Wales.

The students will be joined by around 1800 other high school students from around the globe presenting their research projects at the Intel ISEF to compete for a range of awards and scholarships.

It’s not easy to get a spot at this event – around 7 million students from all over the world participate in local science competitions for a chance to attend.

The BHP Billiton Science and Engineering Awards is one of the only Australian competitions that give students the opportunity to present Intel ISEF.

The BHP Billiton Science and Engineering Awards are Australia's most prestigious school science awards and are a partnership between BHP Billiton, CSIRO and the Australian Science Teachers Association.

Intel Australia is also a supporter of the awards and assists financially for the winning Australian students to attend Intel ISEF every year.


Dhruv Verma from Victoria developed a smartphone app that helps the elderly live independently for longer in their own homes called PROTEGO.
Somya Mehra, from Victoria, developed a microbial fuel cell that can produce both bioelectricity and bioethanol from the same substrate. ©  © 2014 Nick Pitsas
Jackson Huang, from Brisbane QLD, won a prize at the BHP Billiton Science and Engineering Awards for cracking a 30-year mystery about how chemicals in different heartburn drugs can reduce their effectiveness. ©  © 2014 Nick Pitsas
Benjamin Grace, from Cairns QLD, project was to create a swing that could be used by disabled people who ordinarily couldn't use a playground swing without assistance. ©  © 2014 Nick Pitsas

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