This year I’m on the team to organise the Pint of Science Brisbane technology-themed events.  The events invite researchers to speak more casually about their work in the pub, over a pint.  I’m a big fan of making local research more accessible to the general public – We’ve got so much cutting edge, amazing stuff happening in our own backyards with real people for you to engage with.  Disappointingly, we’ve only sold around five tickets per night so far and have a capacity of 70.  We’d love to see you there to make our efforts worthwhile!

My Pint of Science Team will be running three nights of events from the 23rd – 25th of May (Mon-Wed) at the Normanby at Kelvin Grove.   This includes a Robotics, Electric Vehicles and Big Data themed nights.  See below for each event synopsis, featuring two researchers per night.  Take your pick!  Tickets: $5, purchase online at www.pintofscience.com.au
The Future of Electricity

MONDAY 23rd MAY 2016
DOORS OPEN 6.30PM, EVENT 7PM-10PM

Gerard Ledwich: Powered by the Sun

We have had a rapid uptake of solar panels in Australia and with the prospective price drops for batteries there is likely to be a similar sudden change in the way energy is delivered. The opportunities for peer to peer energy trading would be opening up potentially facilitated by a third party such as how Airbnb facilitates for rooms. The potential is for cheaper and more reliable power but there are impediments to the vision to be discussed.

Geoffrey Walker: Powered by the Sun

Dr Geoff Walker joined the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Electrical Power Engineering group as an Associate Professor in 2013. His current research interests lie in applying power electronics to applications in renewable energy (especially PV), power systems, and electric vehicles. From 2008 to 2013, he worked as a senior electrical engineering consultant in Aurecon’s Transmission and Distribution group, Brisbane, across various areas including rail traction, earthing studies, electricity transmission planning, and renewable energy project design and review.

Data Date Night
TUESDAY 24th MAY 2016
DOORS OPEN 6.30PM, EVENT 7PM-10PM

Xue Li: Big Data: does it have anything to do with me?

Information is now available everywhere from the Web, sensor networks, social networks, and the mobile phone networks. Consequently, big data is making big impact on our lives. This talk will introduce some impending big data applications and their implications. Professor Xue Li will also give insight into the big data issues and introduce the current research activities in the big data analytics and his research group in the University of Queensland.

Ginny Barbour: Medical research; better than any thriller

We are in the middle of huge advances in science and medical research. How does Zika affect unborn babies, are there bugs that can really eat plastic, did we really just detect gravitational waves? All of these are new pieces of science that we should all be able to read – but often can’t for commercial reasons. The good news is that we have technology to do this; we now need to make it happen.

 

Robot Rescue
WEDNESDAY 25th MAY 2016
DOORS OPEN 6.30PM, EVENT 7PM-10PM

Jonathan Roberts: Are Robots Better than Surgeons?

Can robots help surgeons improve outcomes for patients, reduce the cost of operations and help increase the efficiency of hospitals? We think so and we are developing new techniques and technology to show how robot assistants can help in minimally invasive orthopedic surgery. We are developing new robots that can see.

Ross Crawford: Paging Dr Robot.

Surgeons are highly trained over many years but they remain human. Surgery is about judgement, technical skills and empathy. Robots are rapidly getting better than humans in all these fields so when is the day you would have your operation done or your diagnosis made by a robot.