STUDENT NEWS

MONDAY 15 JUNE

Record gift puts Uni at forefront of medicinal cannabinoid research 

A $33.7 million gift to the University of Sydney places Australia at the forefront of medicinal cannabinoid research. “Our vision is to make Australia a world-leader in researching how to realise the powerful medical potential of the cannabis plant,” said Barry Lambert, who together with his wife Joy funded the Lambert Initiative, which was announced last week by Vice-Chancellor Michael Spence and NSW Premier Mike Baird.
A $33.7 million gift to the University of Sydney places Australia at the forefront of medicinal cannabinoid research. “Our vision is to make Australia a world-leader in researching how to realise the powerful medical potential of the cannabis plant,” said Barry Lambert, who together with his wife Joy funded the Lambert Initiative, which was announced last week by Vice-Chancellor Michael Spence and NSW Premier Mike Baird. 

The donation is the largest ever made to the University of Sydney’s INSPIRED campaign and will put researchers from the Faculty of Science and Sydney Medical School in the driving seat of important area of investigation. Find out more
 

Students shoot for out-of-this-world selfies

A team of undergraduate rocket engineers are aiming to take the selfie game to the next level – upper atmosphere level, no less. As part of the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition held in Utah later this month, students Harrison Steel and Michel Fathallah will aim to launch a 3D-printed ‘selfie satellite’ into the skies, developed to allow people to have a selfie taken of themselves high in space, with planet Earth and the stars as a glorious backdrop.
A team of undergraduate rocket engineers are aiming to take the selfie game to the next level – upper atmosphere level, no less. As part of the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition held in Utah later this month, students Harrison Steel and Michel Fathallah will aim to launch a 3D-printed ‘selfie satellite’ into the skies, developed to allow people to have a selfie taken of themselves high in space, with planet Earth and the stars as a glorious backdrop.

No spacesuits are required; LEONIDAS, as the satellite is known (short for Low Earth Orbit Network Imaging and Data Acquisition Satellite), will display your picture on an external screen and snap the selfie with a camera mounted on a boom, sending it back to you to blow away your friends on Instagram.

“This all started with coursework where we had to make it for less than $1000 within a semester, so we've really tried to build it from the ground up ourselves. This means we have 3D-printed a structure which is quite cheap,”  says Harrison Steel (centre of picture) from the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering.

LEONIDAS's appropriately Spartan cost is a mere fraction of the multi-million dollar budgets NASA have to play with – and none of their projects is as cool as a selfie satellite – not that it’s the only function.

“First and foremost it's an open source technology demonstrator whereby people can put in their own code and see what they can do in space. It's a really exciting thing to get involved in," explains Harrison.

"Imagine a high school student getting to program a satellite to rotate or take a picture or sense the temperature or something in its environment.”

It will be the tenth year of the competition, and around 40 teams from around the world are expected participate.

“The goal this year is to launch a 4.5kg payload to as close to 25,000ft (7.6km) as possible and return it safely to the ground. LEONIDAS will be mounted to a rocket capable of reaching Mach 1.5, and the launch will provide a stress-test of its electronic systems and structure,” says Michel Fathallah (right of picture).

Whether or not LEONIDAS succeeds in its mission this time around, the project itself has been a unique and valuable learning experience for the full team of students involved.

“A big difference is that in many courses students aren't really allowed to take the lead,” says Harrison.

“Only in very rare cases do students actually get to take the leadership role, and we managed a project, we design everything, and we have the final say. If anything goes wrong, it's up to us to fix it. So that teaches us more of what it's like to be an actual engineer or a scientist.”

Read Harrison’s full interview with the ABC here.

PhD student on collision course for discovery

University of Sydney PhD student, Curtis Black knows he couldn’t be researching in a more exciting field than particle physics at the moment with the recommencement of experiments at one of the most ambitious and exciting research centres in the world – CERN’s Large Hadron Collider facility.
University of Sydney PhD student, Curtis Black knows he couldn’t be researching in a more exciting field than particle physics at the moment with the recommencement of experiments at one of the most ambitious and exciting research centres in the world – CERN’s Large Hadron Collider facility.

As part of the ATLAS project through the ARC Centre of Excellence for Particle Physics at the Terascale (CoEPP), Curtis is on his way to the enormous facility in Switzerland to research the way that the recently discovered Higgs boson interacts with tau leptons (heavier versions of electrons). His work will put him at the heart of a herculean effort of experiments seeking to unlock the big mysteries in physics.

The Large Hadron Collider resumed operation two weeks ago after nearly two years of planned repairs and maintenance. 

The two-year hiatus allowed engineers to beef-up the particle collider’s capability as it moves into what CERN calls Run 2, carrying high hopes of huge discoveries about exotic particles and extra dimensions.

“The increased energy of the proton collisions compared to Run 1 means we can create Higgs bosons much more frequently,” says Curtis. 

In fact, the number of collisions is set to hit astronomical heights with CERN predicting up to 1 billion collisions every second. 

If those numbers boggle your mind, don’t worry – you’re not the only one. Even CERN’s supercomputers have suffered moments of overload, with upgrades being required to lessen the impact of “pile-up” (too much happening at once) before the resumption.

It’s a good thing, too, as Curtis notes Run 2 is likely to generate more data than the first time around and, with it, more precise measurement and a greater possibility of game-changing discoveries.

“Looking towards Run 2, what most excites me is the possibility of discovering more new particles, should they exist,” says Curtis.

“In particular, there are predictions of much more massive particles which may be possible dark matter candidates. It would be amazing to see something like that discovered,”

Genesis of genius

Once again, the Business School’s Sydney Genesis Start Up Program was abuzz with business ideas from young entrepreneurs across the University. Thirty-one teams enrolled in the Semester 1 program and last month, seven finalists pitched their ideas before a panel of judges. There was great diversity in the pitches, with personal admin services, language programs, health apps and drug education packages all presented.
Once again, the Business School’s Sydney Genesis Start Up Program was abuzz with business ideas from young entrepreneurs across the University. Thirty-one teams enrolled in the Semester 1 program and last month, seven finalists pitched their ideas before a panel of judges. There was great diversity in the pitches, with personal admin services, language programs, health apps and drug education packages all presented.

Ultimately, it was a smart keyboard design by Sonder and an accessible bilingual education program for kids and parents called Bonjour Babies that impressed the judges the most, earning the founders $2000 and six months Virtual Office membership from Servcorp, valued at $2200.

For all the teams, the experience of the program was itself a major reward, providing ample opportunities to develop their ideas through workshops, mentoring and networking.

Jennifer Debenham and Mina Askovik, who took out both the Best Woman Leader and People’s Choice Award with their drug education program ‘Illicit’, said Sydney Genesis was a rewarding learning experience.

“We can't believe how much support we have received towards our business – something that without Genesis probably would have stayed as nothing more than ideas,” they said.

“The mentors we met through the program taught more than any textbook about the power of effective communication, storytelling and collaborating.”

The program, which has been running since 2008, fires up again in Semester 2, and all students (including alumni) are invited to apply to Sydney Genesis to get a chance to present their ideas in its first international Final Pitch.

Online applications are open from 1 July to 19 August. Find out more

2015 Semester 1 winners:

Most Disruptive Enterprise Award
Felipe Serra-Martins – Sonder

Business School Prize for the Best Business Plan
Hayes Montgomery – Bonjour Babies

Best Woman Leader and Best Business Idea (People’s Choice Award)
Jennifer Debenham and Mina Askovik – Illicit

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STUDENT LIFE

Good luck in your exams!

We wish you all the best with your exams over the next fortnight. Remember, there are plenty of resources available for you if needed – check out the Learning Centre and Counselling and Psychology Services (CAPS) websites for helpful advice.

Update: Due to wet weather, the CAPS Exam Oasis has been moved to next week - but don't worry, you'll still have a chance to hop on the jumping castle and warm up with some hot chocolate under the umbrella heaters. Find it on the Anderson Stuart lawns, Eastern Avenue at 11am–3pm from Tuesday 22 to Thursday 25 June.

SydPay coming in Semester 2

Finally, there shall be one card to rule them all. In Semester 2, we're untangling the mess of numerous copy card accounts and making printing, laundry and other small payments a whole lot more convenient. It's called SydPay, and all you need is your student card.

Find out more about SydPay and what you need to do for a smooth transition to the new system.
Queen Mary Building and Abercrombie Accommodation: apply now for Semester 2
Our brand-new, on-campus student accommodation hubs are open for Semester 2 applications. Be one of the first to enjoy the features of the Queen Mary Building and Abercrombie Student Accommodation, including fantastic onsite facilities, 24-hour support and an exciting residential life program. Find out more
Personal Training at Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness
Each individual is different and that's how Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness approaches personal training.  Whatever your fitness goal they have a personal trainer who will guide and motivate you to help you stay on track, especially during the colder months. Find out more

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GET INVOLVED

Postgraduate study: Semester 2 applications close 30 June

Is staying on at university to do postgraduate study worth the time, money and commitment? If you’re keen to take your career to a new level, pursue your passion or challenge yourself - then the answer is yes.
Is staying on at university to do postgraduate study worth the time, money and commitment? If you’re keen to take your career to a new level, pursue your passion or challenge yourself - then the answer is yes.

Unemployment for postgrads is as low as 3.5 percent according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, while the University’s 2013 Graduate Destination report found median full-time salaries for postgraduates in areas of science, health and arts was around $20,000 higher than undergraduates. 

“Postgraduate degrees add value to a person’s ambitions in two ways,’’ says Professor Duncan Ivison, Dean of Arts and Social Sciences. ‘‘First, they allow for a person with a bachelor degree to have another layer of specialisation that companies are looking for; second, a postgraduate qualification can be a way of making a big career change.”

The University of Sydney’s postgraduate community is the largest in Australia, with more than 450 courses to choose from. Find the right postgraduate course for you and don’t forget to apply by 30 June to start in Semester 2 2015

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NOTICES

Exam timetables
You can now access your finalised exam timetable by logging in to your Sydney Student portal using your UniKey (go to ‘My studies’, then ‘Assessments').

The complete timetable is also available here.
Semester 1 results
Reults for Semester 1 Units of Study (marks and grades) will be released on Tuesday 14 July. Find out more about results.

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EVENTS

 16 JUN  | Films at Fisher: La Grande Illusion

 18 JUN  | Australian Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology Community Day

The Australian Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology (AINST) is the newest interdisciplinary research and education initiative at the University of Sydney, bringing together a broad, vibrant community of experts in nanoscale science and technology.


We invite the research community at the university to attend the next AINST Community Day, where lead investigators will present on Accelerator Projects. We will also give an update on AINST Program Development, including core facilities and research strategy.

When: Thursday 18 June, from 1.45pm
Where: School of IT, "Wintergarden" Lecture Theatre, Level 1

Please RSVP to Trudy Fernan (trudy.fernan@sydney.edu.au) if you are planning to attend.

 23–25 JUN  | Exam Oasis

When: 23, 24, 25 June, 11am–3pm
Where: Anderson Stuart lawns, Eastern Avenue

 23 JUN  | Films at Fisher: Forty Thousand Horsemen

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