A new Center for Engineering Innovation: Agricultural and Ecological Restoration has been officially opened at the University of Western Australia by the state’s Innovation Minister, Stephen Dawson.
The multidisciplinary center (CEI:AgER) offers expertise in the fields of engineering, plant biology, agronomy, animal production and ecosystem restoration and aims to improve the social and economic value and sustainability of agricultural and environmental resources.
It was founded in 2021 within the UWA School of Engineering, with the endorsement of the UWA School of Agriculture and Environment, by the multi-award-winning engineering innovator and Theme Leader for the UWA Institute of Agriculture, Dr. Andrew Guzzomi.
Image: Dr Andrew Guzzomi at the opening.
Dr. Guzzomi has twice been named WA Innovator of the Year in the emerging category – in 2016 for the Seed Flamer, a tool that makes it easier to manipulate native seeds; and in 2019 for the Weed Chipper, a revolutionary alternative to the use of herbicides for weeding fallow land.
In 2018, Dr. Guzzomi won a Tall Poppy Award from the Australian Institute of Policy and Science and a 40Under40 Award for building UWA’s agricultural engineering research strength.
“The center comes from the fact that UWA has built strong relationships with innovative farmers and industry groups and from our sustained experience in solving the interdisciplinary challenges facing the agricultural and environmental sectors,” said the director of the center. , Dr. Guzzomi.
“At CEI:AgER, we leverage existing interdisciplinary partnerships and build new ones between UWA, industry, government, farmers and scientists across Australia and increasingly internationally. Using Western Australia’s unique agricultural and ecological systems as a testing ground, CEI:AgER’s efforts are helping us achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Research and development areas will focus on sustainable agricultural systems and environmental rehabilitation through the development and use of new design methodologies and practical solutions to real-world problems.
“CIS:AgER is located 7 km from the UWA Crawley Campus at UWA Shenton Park Field Station, with facilities including a seed-flaming laboratory, prototyping workshop, rainfed and irrigated plots, netting areas, greenhouses and temperature-controlled spaces perfect for field trials and de-risking technical innovations in semi-realistic environments to develop commercially adoptable solutions,” said Dr. Guzzomi.
“Our team includes a number of dedicated and highly qualified academic staff, postdoctoral research fellows, research assistants, research officers, postgraduate candidates and locally based support staff. “
CEI:AgER will present at the 2022 UWA Shenton Park Field Station Open House on September 23. All members of the public are invited to register to attend via Eventbrite.