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Meg on a mission to reduce roadkill

A HOBART student’s tech-savvy idea for reducing roadkill and keeping drivers safer has won her a major national competition.

Meg Phillips was recently named as the winner of Samsung Electronics Australia’s Solve for Tomorrow competition, for her innovative system which uses radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology to warn animals about approaching cars.

Designed to drive awareness of STEM learning and encourage more young people to consider studying STEM subjects, Solve for Tomorrow challenges Australia’s next generation of innovators to get creative and help solve an issue they are passionate about.

Australians aged 18-24 were invited to upload a video or submit a written entry explaining how they would use STEM skills to fix an issue in their community that matters to them.

Judges took into account each entry’s relevance, creativity, feasibility, application of STEM and overall presentation, with Meg winning the overall first prize.

Meg, who is completing her Honours degree at the University of Tasmania, received $10,000 to further develop her idea.

RFID uses electromagnetic fields to identify and track tags attached to objects. In this case, tags in approaching cars trigger roadside devices to send out a signal warning nearby animals of the impending danger.

“I’ve lived in Tasmania my whole life so it’s no surprise that I am an animal lover,” Meg said.

“Working with wireless communication led me to applying RFID between cars and animals.

“It feels so rewarding to have my years of hard work empower me to make functional and viable solutions to real-world problems.

“The prize money will go towards developing an improved prototype and working on feasibility. Watch this space!”

Two runners-up, both from Newcastle in NSW, each won $5,000: The MedMakers, who created an air-purifying respirator for COVID frontline workers; and the makers of Hilife, a mobile application for remote healthcare consultations.

 

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About the Author: Hobart Observer

The Hobart Observer is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 24,000 homes and businesses in and around the City of Hobart. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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