Engineering and medicine experts named exceptional NSW women

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Sydney academics nominated for 2018 NSW Women of the Year awards
Academics from the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies and Sydney Medical School have been recognised by the NSW government for their outstanding contribution to industry, communities and society.

Now in their seventh year, the NSW Women of the Year Awards recognise and celebrate the outstanding contribution made by women across NSW.

Pioneering biomaterials and tissue engineer Professor Hala Zreiqat is a finalist for the NSW Premier’s Award for Woman of the Year.

Professor Zreiqat is recognised for her outstanding research achievements pioneering the invention of new biomaterials and biomedical devices.

She was also nominated for her dedication to being a strong role model for other women – as a mentor and supervisor of almost 70 PhD, Masters and Honours students, as well as through her many leadership roles. These include heading up the University of Sydney’s Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials Research Unit , being the first female president of the Australian and New Zealand Orthopaedic Research Society, and founding IDEAL Society, an international network dedicated to improving opportunities and recognition for women around the world.

A Senior Research Fellow of the National Health and Medical Research Council for the last 10 years, Professor Zreiqat was also the first person in NSW to receive a prestigious Radcliffe Fellowship from Harvard University.

Professor Zreiqat will led the Australian Research Council Training Centre for Innovative Bioengineering, being launched later this year. The centre will provide the next generation of graduates skilled at addressing challenges in biomedical engineering, giving rise to improved health outcomes, economic benefits, and a skilled workforce able to advance this important field.

Dr Cathy Zhao, a Clinical Lecturer from Sydney Medical School and Westmead Clinical School, is a finalist for the Harvey Norman Young Woman of the Year Award.

Dr Zhao is recognised for her significant contribution to the community and her research in dermatology, especially of metastatic melanoma treatments on the skin, a highly relevant topic in Australia.

In addition to her academic work, she has volunteered her time to help organisations including the Cancer Council of NSW, Can-Teen, and Australasian Blistering Diseases Foundation.

University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor and Principal Dr Michael Spence congratulated Professor Zreiqat and Dr Zhao on their nominations.

“This success reflects Professor Zreiqat and Dr Zhao’s outstanding career achievements, as well as their tireless efforts to inspire and empower other women to break down barriers and follow their passions. We are privileged to count these two academics as leaders in our University community,” he said.

The 2018 NSW Women of the Year Awards will be presented at a ceremony in Sydney on the morning of International Women’s Day, Thursday 8 March.

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