His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd), Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia and Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley visited ANSTO’s Lucas Heights campus earlier this week.
The official party was welcomed by Board Chair the Hon Dr Annabelle Bennett AC SC and CEO Shaun Jenkinson before touring nandin, the OPAL multi-purpose reactor, Australian Centre for Neutron Scattering and the Centre for Accelerator Science.
His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd), Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia and Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley were escorted by Pamela Naidoo Ameglio, Group Executive Nuclear Operations and Nuclear Medicine on a visit to the control room above the OPAL reactor.
The visit was requested after their excellencies learnt of the ANSTO/nandin win in the NASA SpaceApps COVID 19 Challenge.
Team leader Associate Professor Mitra Safavi Naeini, hosted the official party on their tour of the centre, where the award-winning technology Elavo is now based.
“I was honoured to be contacted by their excellencies about Elavo, and have the opportunity to introduce the talented team that I worked with on the challenge,” said Safavi-Naeini.
“COVID-19 has had an enormous impact, but science is showing us the way to manage the challenges it poses.”
The Governor-General and his wife met the ANSTO/nandin team, which comprised Safavi-Naeini, a principal physicist and research leader at ANSTO; Jay Flack, founder and CEO of a medical technology start-up Hyron Scientific based at nandin, Amy McIntosh, an environmental researcher associated with ANSTO’s Graduate Institute, ShanShan Wang, Founder & CEO at Roam Technologies based at nandin and former ANSTO employee Nathan Burke during the visit.
The ANSTO/nandin team were awarded the prize for Best Use of Technology, competing against more than 1400 teams with an air monitoring and purification system designed using NASA resources under the competition theme of “purify the air supply”.
The technology, known as Elavo, prevents COVID-19 infection in buildings or vehicles using NASA technology for the inactivation of pathogens in small, shared spaces. It combines a catalytic air purification and biological decontamination system with a UVC light sterilisation process to apply to surfaces.
Elavo includes thermal cameras to see if anyone in the train car or elevator has a temperature, and acoustic sensors to detect coughing. A thorough ultraviolet-light cleaning would take place when there are no passengers inside, with increased ventilation and disinfection occurring in real-time during travel if risks are detected.
Elavo is now a member of the nandin Innovation Centre where it continues to be developed into a commercial enterprise.
The nandin Innovation Centre is the flagship facility in the ANSTO Innovation Precinct and a catalyst for industry creation, attraction and growth in NSW. The Facility was opened by then-Premier of NSW, The Hon Gladys Berejiklian, on 16 June 2021.