The Waite community has featured among the finalists for the 2020 South Australian Science Excellence Awards, which recognise and reward outstanding scientific endeavour and application in industry and the advancement of science and mathematics education.

Congratulations to Professor Kerry Wilkinson and Dr Markus Herderich, who are finalists in the STEM Educator of the year (university) and Excellence in Science and Industry Collaboration categories respectively.

Kerry Wilkinson is a Professor of Oenology at The University of Adelaide. Kerry completed her PhD in wine science and analytical chemistry at Flinders University and The Australian Wine Research Institute. Her main research interests revolve around the chemistry of flavour relating to grapes and wine.

Kerry has made it to the finals due to her outstanding contribution to wine education through the development of Wine101x World of Wine: from grape to glass, an award-winning Massive Open Online Course that spans the grape-to-wine value chain. To date, this course has engaged more than 80,000 learners from around the world in the art and science of winemaking.

Her leadership of Communities of Practice and scholarly research have enhanced learning and teaching practices at the University of Adelaide and in the higher education sector more broadly; while her involvement in science communication and outreach have promoted an understanding of the importance of STEMM in food and wine production.

She champions online learning, demonstrating creative ways in which digital technologies can be used to enrich the learning experience.

Dr Markus Herderich originally completed his Phd at the university of Würzburg, Germany. His collaboration “Out of the Smoke” works with grape growers, winemakers, industry and research organisations, and government agencies, they performed research on the Cudlee Creek bushfire of December 2019 to assist the wine industry in South Australia.

 “Out of the Smoke” saw the design and implementation for a program that could deliver individually tailored results for each grape grower across the Adelaide Hills region, assessing the impacted vineyards to determine how they may still be used to produce wine. Markus is nominated with collaborators Mr Peter Leske and Mr Alex Sas.

Congratulations to both Kerry and Markus. The winners of the 2020 SA Science Excellence and Innovation Awards will be announced at an event later in the year.

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