Here are the winners from the BHP Foundation Science and Engineering Awards 2019

The winners of the BHP Foundation Science and Engineering Awards 2019 have been announced. This year’s best projects includes a SMART device designed to reduce excess dosage and side effects of radiotherapy in breast cancer patients, a sticker that checks whether solar disinfected water is biologically safe to drink, and a fall-detecting smart watch designed to monitor the wellbeing of elderly patients in nursing care.

The awards are a collaboration between the CSIRO, BHP Foundation and the Australian Science Teachers Association (ASTA). The awards have three categories; Investigations, Engineering, and Innovator to Market. To qualify for the awards, students must first win an ASTA competition, such as the Young Scientist Awards for NSW.

Each category awards a first place winner, who will receive a prize of $4000. These three first place winners, one from each category, will have the chance to later compete in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) in the USA in May.

Meet the winners

Macinley Buston, The Illawarra Grammar School

Winner of the Investigations category for ‘The SMART System’, and winner of the Innovator to Market category for ‘The SODIS Sticker’.

Macinley entered two projects into the awards this year; A SMART system of two devices working together to reduce excess dosage of radiotherapy delivered to the body during cancer treatment, and the SODIS (short for solar disinfection) sticker, which measures the levels of UV used in this popular water sanitisation process to determine whether the end result is biologically safe for drinking.

Read more about Macinley Butson’s winning projects.

Macinley Butson smiles wearing the red BHP Science and Engineering Awards t shirt

Isaac Brain, Launceston College and Mitchell Torok, Rosny college

Winners of the Engineering category for ‘aWear’

Mitchell and Isaac banded together to create the ‘aWear’ watch, which is designed to prevent hospitalisations and alert nursing staff about falls for elderly residents in aged care homes and assisted living. The watch features an accelerometer used to detect falls, an emergency button for convenient alerts, and an SMS messaging system that alerts staff to health status and the location of residents in real time.

Read more about Isaac Brain.

Read more about Mitchell Torok.

List of winners and runners up in the BHP Foundation Science and Engineering Awards 2019


Winner: Macinley Butson, The Illawarra Grammar School, NSW, The SMART System
Second: Tiarra Meier and Anne Zimmerman, Home School Elsmore, NSW, Soil Biology: The Missing Link in Pasture Production?
Third: Josiah Cheng, Queensland Academy for Science, Mathematics and Technology, QLD, An in vitro study on the effects of carbohydrate-derived substances on bacterial growth.


Winner: Isaac Brain, Launceston College, TAS and Mitchell Torok, Rosny College, TAS, aWear
Second: Lucy Lake, Barker College, NSW, Phase3
Third: James Casey-Brown, Barker College, NSW, Surf Safe

Innovator to Market

Winner: Macinley Butson, The Illawarra Grammar School, NSW, The SODIS Sticker


Winner: Allan Alipio, CAPS Coolgardie, WA

For more information go to

Photos: CSIRO and BHP Foundation Science and Engineering Awards

Eliza Brockwell

Author: Eliza Brockwell

Eliza is passionate about creating content that encourages diversity of representation in STEM.


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