Innovative researcher wins Wine Australia Award
Congratulations to research associate Dr Cheryl Suwen Law who has received the Wine Australia Award at the recent 2021 Science and Innovation Awards.
The Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry is a prestigious grants program that provides funding for innovative research projects to assist primary producers to develop more competitive, productive and self-reliant industries through the uptake of science, innovation and technology in Australia’s rural industries.
Wine Australia supports a prosperous Australian grape and wine community by investing in research, development and adoption projects in order to drive the continued innovation and competitiveness of Australia’s grapegrowers, winemakers and Australian wine businesses.
Dr Law's project will support Australian grapegrowers and winemakers by tailoring an existing ‘lab-on-a-chip’ sensing technology for rapid detection and quantification of (i) smoke exposure in the vineyard; and (ii) smoke taint in grape juice and wine. These sensors will enable industry to make more informed decisions during growing seasons affected by bushfires, delivering financial benefit to industry.
Congratulations again to Dr Law!
About Dr Cheryl Suwen Law
Dr Cheryl Suwen Law is a research associate with the School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials. Her work focuses on engineering of photonics and plasmonic structures for optical chemo-and biosensing applications.
Dr Law's objective is to advance both fundamental understanding and applied knowledge on the sensing performance of these structures by engineering their geometry, chemistry, and optical properties at the nanoscale to harness light–matter interactions, and integrate them into fully functional and marketable analytical tools for real-life medical, environmental, industrial and defence applications.
As an alumna of the University of Adelaide, Dr Law realised that Adelaide is not only the wine capital of Australia but also one of the nine Great Wine Capitals of the World. The increasing frequency of bushfires in South Australia associated with hot and dry weather, and longer and more severe heat waves driven by climate change have resulted in extended vineyard exposure to bushfire smoke.
This is an ongoing threat to the sustainability and profitability of Australia’s wine industry, since these chemicals affect both taste and quality of wines. Motivated by this problem and interfacing with the expertise of Dr Abel Santos (School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials) and Prof Kerry Wilkinson (School of Agriculture, Food and Wine), her research aims to provide innovative, cutting-edge technological solutions to address this critically growing problem for one of the key industries of our state, and also benefit other affected regions around the world. The University of Adelaide is an outstanding research environment with world-class research facilities and expertise to perform this research.