UNSW Engineering alumni, Siddharth Doshi, has been awarded the ‘Engineers Australia Young Biomedical Engineer Prize’ at the Australian Biomedical Engineering Conference (ABEC) in Sydney earlier this month.
The prize was awarded for the best oral paper presentation by a student or biomedical engineer under the age of 35. The posters were judged on delivery and presentation style, technical content, originality, relevance to biomedical engineering, use of visual aids and the presenter’s ability to answer questions.
It was really rewarding starting from an idea based on an offhand discussion and then working through all the problems to finally get a working device. Hopefully people find ways to make use of the platform in the future
Doshi, who graduated UNSW last year with a Bachelor of Engineering (Materials Engineering) and a Masters of Biomedical Engineering now working as an Assistant Product Developer at Shriro Australia, presented his student project to a panel of judges.
His presentation, entitled ‘A low cost surface plasmon resonance device for DIY science’, looked at developing a cheaper ‘build-it-yourself’ platform to detect biomolecules in solutions. Currently, such devices typically cost at least $50,000, putting them out of reach for many.
The device works by analysing a solution and then outputting a signal based on the refractive index of the solution near a strip of gold film. If the target proteins were to be present, they will bind to the gold film, which can then be measured.
Doshi’s benchtop device focusses on developing a platform for users to assemble their own low cost device using accessible, off-the-shelf components or customise to their own requirements by substituting higher end parts, for example better quality lasers.
Although this project is currently still in the early stages of development, Doshi said that it was nice to know that other scientists see the value in his work and that the award money would go towards developing it further.
“It was really rewarding starting from an idea based on an offhand discussion and then working through all the problems to finally get a working device. Hopefully people find ways to make use of the platform in the future,” Doshi said.
The project started as a hobby with another undergraduate peer, Chong Yew Chang, and received support from the Michael Crouch Innovation Centre, Australian National Fabrication Facility NSW Node, UNSW Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering and School of Physics.
The annual ABEC, brings together clinical engineers, biomedical engineering technicians, rehabilitation engineers, academic staff and students from manufacturing industries to hear from leading experts in the field. The theme of this year’s conference was ‘challenging the boundaries’.