The front of the Australian Institute of Innovative Materials at Innovation Campus is pictured, with a tree in the foreground. Photo: Paul Jones

Bill Wheeler Symposium to showcase the power and potential of tissue regeneration

Bill Wheeler Symposium to showcase the power and potential of tissue regeneration

Annual award to recognise social impact of PhD research

The Intelligent Polymer Research Institute (IPRI) at the University of Wollongong (UOW) will celebrate the power and innovation of science with a series of events during National Science Week (13-21 August 2022).

The Bill Wheeler Symposium, hosted by IPRI, will highlight the incredible PhD research underway at the University and feature a presentation from Professor Jonathan Clark, a renowned surgeon. The event will be held on Tuesday, 16 August, at the Australian Institute of Innovation Materials (AIIM) at UOW’s Innovation Campus.

Professor Clark, a head and neck ablative and reconstructive surgeon at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, will deliver the annual Bill Wheeler Address, focusing on the latest research into tissue regeneration. Professor Clark’s clinical expertise and research focus are centred on salivary gland tumours, oral cancer, digital planning for precision jaw reconstruction and dental rehabilitation, facial nerve reconstruction, advanced skin cancer, and transoral robotic surgery.

He is a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) and an Honorary Member of the Australian Society of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery for his contributions to head and neck surgery.

The Bill Wheeler Award, which was established in 2009, will also be presented during the event. A prize of $2,000 is awarded to the student who best communicates the social impact of their research and how the prize will benefit their work. PhD students will be given the opportunity to discuss their research with a focus on its social impact.

Bill Wheeler was an active member of the Illawarra community with a strong interest in new bionics research at UOW. After meeting Professor Graeme Clark, who invented the Cochlear Impact, Mr Wheeler spearheaded a fundraiser for bionics research.

Sadly, Mr Wheeler passed away in 2007, but his legacy and his love for bionics research live on in the annual Bill Wheeler Symposium and Award. The symposium is further supported by Kiama Rotary.

Tickets for the 2022 Bill Wheeler Symposium are available via Eventbrite.  

As part of National Science Week, IPRI will also host an Open Day on Wednesday (17 August), showcasing how the next generation of smart materials will have a tangible and positive impact on people’s lives.

The IPRI labs will be open to the local community, enabling people from across the Illawarra to learn more about the groundbreaking research underway in Wollongong. 

While on the tour, participants will hear about the discovery of new materials; advanced fabrication, including 3D printing; advances in energy systems; and advances in biomedical engineering.

All tours will be led by PhD researchers between 9 am and 4 pm, and will run for 30 minutes. Register to attend the IPRI Open Day via Eventbrite