Minister for Science visits world-class research facilities at UWS


Date: 28/05/2002

Nanotechnology, skin genetics and futuristic food research highlighted a recent visit to the University of Western Sydney by the Commonwealth Minister for Science, the Hon. Peter McGauran, MP.

Mr McGauran visited University Research Centres and met with the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Janice Reid, researchers and students on Thursday, May 23, 2002.

"Mr McGauran is knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the science of the future and he was impressed with the quality of the research and the industry linkages at UWS," Professor Janice Reid said.

The Dean of Science, Technology and Environment, Professor Mick Wilson, discussed several research areas with Mr McGauran.

"We have internationally competitive research and the Minister was very keen to see what we do at UWS," Professor Wilson said.

"Mr McGauran was impressed with the bright science researchers working in exciting new areas such as artificial intelligence, ecotourism, genetic engineering of natural animal and plant production, robotics and satellite telecommunications.

"Nanotechnology research at UWS is creating a host of possibilities that may one day allow us to build tiny machines out of atoms which have the shape of things that we use on a major scale. We could build electric motors made out of atoms which have the structure of the electric motor.

"Mr McGauran was also very interested in our food research programs," Professor Wilson said.

"Foods of the future won't just be a slice of bread, foods of the future will also have 'good bugs' that help digest and maximize the nutritional value from the food. UWS food researchers are now working on encapsulation techniques for good bacteria to protect them from the acids of the stomach.

"Mr McGauran also met researchers who are creating new horticultural crops for the Japanese market."

Mr McGauran visited several key research facilities including the world-class robotics facility which provides training, education and research opportunities to engineering students and the Centre for Horticulture and Plant Sciences, a Major Australian Research Facility.

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Media contact: Suzie Vlaming, 9678 7429 or 0414 308 701, email s.vlaming@uws.edu.au

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