Dr Maggie Davidson wins Research Impact Competition

Dr Maggie Davidson from the School of Science has been named the winner of this year’s Research Impact Competition for her vital work to raise awareness for the respiratory health risks associated with the processing of artificial stone.

As part of Research Week, the annual Research Impact Competition invites rising Western Sydney University academics to present their innovative research in under three minutes to a panel of esteemed judges.

“I was really surprised. It is a highly competitive event, and the calibre of the researchers and their presentations was inspiring. The support and encouragement from Dr Shantala Mohan, Director, Research Impact and Integrity and her team was outstanding. Their advice and guidance helped us succeed in communicating the significance of our research, and I look forward to helping encourage others in the future,” said Dr Davidson.

Dr Davidson’s ground-breaking research, which she undertakes as part of a team and in collaboration with industry and health partners, is making important contributions to make the processing of artificial stone safer.

“Our research has identified the respiratory health risks associated with the processing of artificial stone, and other chemicals, such as solvents and volatile organic compounds associated with the work, and physical hazards, such as noise and vibration, that may add to the burden of disease for stoneworkers,” she explained.

“The importance of translating and sharing research with communities is huge. As an occupational hygienist and environmental health practitioner, I find that the best and most practicable solutions come from workers and communities, so my role is to translate potential health risks into a format that makes sense to them, so that we can work together to create sustainable changes to the industry.”

Dr Davidson will use the prize money awarded to complete additional monitoring of volatile aldehydes – substances that may be released from stone and epoxy resins during the manufacture and installation of synthetic stone products.

The judging panel named Dr Katherine Kent, School of Health Sciences, runner up for her presentation, ‘Purple food for thought’.

Dr Lynde Tan, School of Education, received the People’s Choice award for her presentation, ‘Improving Literacy Teaching and Learning with Augmented Reality’.

ENDS

11 November 2021

Media Team