Congratulations to all of our 2018 Finalists on a job well done!


On Wednesday the 31st of October, St John’s Anglican College proudly hosted the Second Annual Australian Conrad  Challenge. From 100 participating students, nearly 50  students came to the Innovation Summit to pitch their innovative product ideas to a panel of industry leaders: Nimrod Klayman, Director of the UQ Idea Hub, Fiona Carter, Aerospace Engineer, NOVA Systems, Don Cook, Avionics Engineer, NOVA Systems, Dale Reece, Operations Manager, NOVA Systems, Gerard Murtagh, MD, Mould Men, Dr Sue Keay, Australian Centre for Robotic Vision, Andrew Dean, Assistant Manager for Accelerating Commercialisation and Incubator Support, Lisa Shaw, Program Manager Transformer, Bond University, Safraz Marakar, CEO and Founder of OMREA and Scott Millar, Founder BOP Industries.


Additionally, students had their work graded by judges from across four continents: George H. Edwards, Certified Professional Geologist, Dr Gloria Silva, Bio-organic Chemist, Jennifer Harcourt, Ph.D., Microbiologist, Hongzhi Song, PhD, Computer Scientist, James Connor, Earth and Environmental scientist, Joe Anello Director of Products, Modern Robotics INC, Dr Richard D. Craven, PhD Chemistry, Dr Sathish Lageshetty, Radiochemistry, Suresh Veeramani, PhD, Immunology and Cancer Biologist, Dr Mohammadreza Meymanat, General Physician, Alice Klein, New Scientist Editor and Abhi Pattanayak, Molecular Biology, Computer Scientist.


Through the generous support of The University of Queensland and community support from the UQ Idea Hub, Nova Systems and Hackathons Australia this year’s challenge was a rousing success.


Teams had been challenged to develop a disruptive technology that addressed an issue in the world today in the areas of health and nutrition, energy and the environment, aerospace and aviation and cyber technologies and securities. Teams worked with their coaches and teachers and in many instances had formed early partnerships with government and business agencies.  Each was asked to prepare an ‘elevator pitch’ to the judges; a summary of their product and an inventive solution designed to attract potential investors. Successful groups called on a wide variety of skills, not just from science and technology, but also from business, design and public speaking.


Of the 13 Finalist teams at the Summit, 6 advanced as finalists presenting ideas like a battlefield bandage that sculpts to an injured soldier’s particular injury, a device to help urban and rural farmers plant crops in harsh conditions and a compression suit designed to support astronauts onboard the International Space Station. Gloves 4 Change from St. Luke’s (Bundaberg) took away the prize for Best Power Pitch with their reward-based recycling app and sensor. Falcon Startups from The Knox School (Melbourne) won the overall challenge with their integrated scanner and fingerprint database designed to facilitate day-to-day purchases. As the overall winners, Falcon Startups will be representing Australia at the Kennedy Space Centre in 2019 at the Conrad Challenge.


Interested in how to get involved in the 2019 Challenge? Contact the Challenge Coordinator, Nathan King at for more information!