Sunshine Coast resident Dr Elke Hacker has won the prestigious Sue Wickenden Innovation in Science award at tonight’s 2020 Women in Technology (WiT) Awards.
Dr Hacker was part of a record field of 440 nominations across 14 categories.
The prestigious WiT Awards recognise outstanding talent and achievement, building support for women working in science and technology, and inspiring the next generation of leaders by showing what is possible.
For the first time, the WiT Awards showcased three new categories with one specifically focused on celebrating women who are working in Queensland's regional, rural and remote locations.
Dr Hacker, from the Mooloolah Valley, is a world-leading postdoctoral researcher in the skin cancer field at the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation at the Queensland University of Technology.
Over the past 10 years, she has expanded her research from invitro lab models to human clinical studies, which have generated results that improve understanding of the relationship between sun exposure, genetic-susceptibility, and skin cancer risk.
Dr Hacker's extensive research portfolio has led to the development of various smartphone apps and other devices that reliably collect UVR exposure data to measure sunburn risk, ensure sunscreen supplies in public locations are replenished and remind people when it is time to take precautions.
Through various partnerships, Dr Hacker continues to utilise technology to make headway in preventing skin cancer, a prominent issue experienced by many Australians.
Women in Technology (WiT) President Dr Claudia Giurgiuman said although 2020 had been a challenging year, 'the show had to go on'.
"This year has been a year of change for everyone, including WiT, so we decided to create an online celebration to champion the State's remarkable women in science and technology," she said.
"Our virtual 2020 WiT Awards were bigger and better than ever with the ABC's celebrity scientist Joel Gilmore as the event's MC, alongside our distinguished keynote Australia's Chief Defence Scientist Professor Tanya Monro.
"With the devastating economic impact of COVID-19, harnessing our female talent and skill has never been more crucial, so this year, more than ever, the awards show had to go on.
"Many women are doing amazing work, and these awards are about giving them the recognition they deserve."
Although the 2020 WiT Awards presentation were online this year, attendees were encouraged to dress to excess or extreme comfort as the event was brought live to their living rooms. Although the event was virtual, attendees had the same opportunity to network, mingle and support the work done by these incredible finalists through the online event platform.
To see the full list of winners, head to the WiT Awards website: https://wit.org.au/page-1860761