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About

Vijisha Venkatram (Founder) 

An Educational and Cultural Ambassador for children, Vijisha Venkatram started her journey as the Operations Manager for Space Kidz India (SKI). Currently, she serves as Volunteer for their overseas Young Scientist program.

SKI is the proud host of the popular annual contest called the “Young Scientist”, a unique avenue to promote innovations in the field of Science and Technology.

Vijisha has always taken a keen interest in children’s education. Apart from her duties for SKI, Vijisha Venkatram is an active member of the Wyndham community engagement programs.

Following the successful completion of a community leadership program, Vijisha now looks forward to replicate the SKI model and spearhead the Young Scientist Program for the budding minds of Wyndham.

Madhuri Vasa (Event Co-ordinator)

Madhu Vasa is Educational Professional who is a core coordinator and committee member for Young Scientist of Wyndham. Madhu has Bachelor degree in Science and Masters Degree in Business Administration and Diploma in Fine Arts. Madhu teaches, mentors many students within Wyndham Community in the fields of Science and Technology.

PANEL OF JUDGES

Dr. Muthu Pannirselvam

Dr. Muthu Pannirselvam has over five years of research experience (academic and industries), four years of process industrial experience, over five years of teaching experience (full time and part time between 2001 and 2014), and nine years of laboratory (academic and industries) management experience. He believes in being a full time citizen rather than a part time volunteer in the community where he lives. Muthu volunteers 10 to 12 hours per week in his other roles:

1. Building Blocks Wyndham City Council,

2. Volunteer Coordinator HelpOUT Volunteering Victoria,

3. Education Chair Society of Plastic Engineers Australia New Zealand section.

He is an avid researcher that is always keen to bridge the gap between industries and academia. He is also inventor of three products including Waffle pod testing that is currently used as an industry standard in a Victorian manufacturing company. He is author and co-author of over 150 confidential industrial reports (Alcoa, AllWater, Amcor, Astrazeneca, BHPBilliton, Bauer, Bristol Myer Squibb, International Specialty Products, Coffey mining, CSIRO, Nestlé, Gippsland food company, Peerless Jal, Qenos, Ramset, Rio Tinto, Tritech, Unipod). Dr Pannirselvam is author and co-author of ten journal articles, over twenty five peer reviewed conference proceedings, two book chapters and a recent book focused on water scarcity and future smart cities.

Professor Vasso Apostolopoulos

Prof Apostolopoulos has over 20 years experience in research and training in the area of vaccine formulations development for chronic diseases with translational focus. In addition, her extensive clinical research background, translating research to clinical trials to commercialisation of products, and expertise with consulting and being on the board of pharmaceutical companies, she has excellent skills on the commercialisation side of drug development and clinical research. Her research has been multidisciplinary in the areas of, immunology, medicinal chemistry, biochemistry, crystallography, neurology, exercise physiology, human nutrition, clinical research, community health, epidemiology, drug development and commercialisation. She has undertaken work at the Austin Research Institute, Burnet Institute, Mater Institute, Australian National University – Australia and at Oxford University UK and Scripps Institute USA. She was involved in the development of the worlds first breast and ovarian cancer vaccines which are in commercialisation stage and has develop a vaccine for MS which will begin clinical trials by the end of 2018. Prof Apostolopoulos has received >100 awards/honours for her achievements. Most notable are the Premiers Award for Medical Research, Young Australian of the Year (Vic), Channel 10/Herald Sun Young Achiever of the Year, Victorian Tall Poppy, inductee into the Victorian Honour roll of Women, Greek Australian of the Year as well as being named Woman of the Year. Prof Apostolopoulos was an Australia Day Ambassador and is a Patron of Womens Health Network. She has published >330 papers and books and is an inventor on 16 patents. She is an editor, on the board and a regular reviewer for a number of journals. Her current interests are in chronic disease prevention and treatment (diabetes, mental health, autoimmune diseases, cancer, cardiovascular diseases) with an immunological focus. Vasso currently leads the Mechanisms and Interventions in Health and Disease Program within the Institute for Health and Sport at Victoria University, Australia.

Fiona Stevenson

Fiona Stevenson holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Environmental) (Hons) and has over 15 years experience in the environment field in both consulting and local government. Her experience includes Environmental Engineer at Coomes Consulting; Sustainability Officer at the Cities of Hume and Maribyrnong and most recently as Team Leader Sustainability at Wyndham City.  Fiona is passionate about reducing greenhouse gas emission, addressing the climate crisis and helping people to make simple changes to live more sustainably.

PAST JUDGES

JB Bhalia

Mr. JB Bhalia is a dad, an Instrument, Controls & Automation engineer, technology specialist and has been in the engineering industry for more than 14 years. Mr. JB has started STEM education franchise in the western suburbs of Melbourne known as ‘e2 Young Engineers Western Suburbs Melbourne’ (YOUNG ENGINEERS), at Young Engineers he carefully combines all these attributes to inspire change within Young minds. He feels very privileged that he has been given the opportunity to play an important part in the lives of so many children in Melbourne.

Volunteers