Sydney Morning Herald Article...

Ben Grubb's article about Yaya Lu in the Sydney Morning Herald

Ben Grubb is the deputy technology editor of one of Australia's largest-selling newspapers, the Sydney Morning Herald. I think he heard about my LEGO-based Engineering paper from Google, and he interviewed me over the telephone. You can read his article at the Sydney Morning Herald website.

His article was also published in the Canberra Times, the Western Australian newspaper WAToday, the Brisbane Times, and The Age. The International Business Times , Discovery 2.0, Newsvine, the Examiner, and GizmoWatch also had similar articles; but of course I can not leave out marvelous Google who helped me go to the conference, Sallyanne Williams referred to the Age article in her "Research at Google" page.

I was also interviewed in Chinese, with the article featured on the front page of the Chinese language newspaper Sing Tao Daily . If these web sites are not available, you can click here or in Mandarin here.

The Tasmanian Mercury also ran the following article on Page 11 of their 28Jan2013 issue.

Yaya Lu robotics on-line Mercury 28Jan2013

Yaya Lu Robotics page 11 28th January 2013

I'd like to thank all the people and organizations who took time out of their busy schedules to post such encouraging words to me on their Twitter, Facebook and Google+ pages, and to those who reposted, liked and commented so kindly on those posts. I would just like to say how honored I am to have so much encouragement and support for such a small and insignificant project from Tasmania such as mine.

CSIRO / BHP Billiton Engineering Award First Place!

"The BHP Billiton Science and Engineering Awards are Australia's most prestigious school science awards" (to quote their website). I felt extremely lucky to be nominated to attend their 4-day Science camp in early February.

Yaya Lu rock climbing Science Camp 2013

We had good food, stimulating company with some extraordinary people, and did lots of cool things like rock climbing - I got to the top! We also presented our projects to the judges.

Yaya Lu BHP-Billiton Science Engineering Awards 2013

There were two main prizes, one for Science projects, one for Engineering projects. I was shocked and delighted to hear my name read out for the Engineering prize; see a press release here, and a photo here. The CSIRO put an interview with me on YouTube here.

Yaya Lu Billiton Engineering win Mercury photo Mercury page 15 7Feb2013

The Tasmanian Mercury printed this feature, page 15, 7Feb2013.

Intel Science and Engineering Fair, Phoenix Arizona

As part of the BHP-Billiton prize, we flew to the world's top school science event, the Intel Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix Arizona USA. There were 1600 prizewinners from 70 countries at the Fair, with all sorts of incredible projects, not just robotics.

Yaya Lu Intel Science Engineering Fair 2013 Project Display

This is how I set up my project. We were interviewed for American Television.

Yaya Lu Intel Science Engineering Fair 2013 TV interview Yaya Lu Intel Science Engineering Fair 2013 TV interview

While the judging went on, we had a session where I listened to a panel answering questions from us.

Intel Science Engineering Fair panel four nobel Laureates

 But what a panel - 4 Nobel Laureates! This is a memory I will treasure...

Yaya Lu Intel Science Engineering Fair 2013 First Place Citation

The judging finished, and I almost fainted from shock - I certainly did not expect this - a First Place Citation, as well as an Honorable Mention for the INCOSE International Science and Engineering Fair Award for being judged one of the best interdisciplinary projects; see here and here, both at world level! I was also told I was shortlisted for the IEEE President's Award. I still can't quite believe it.

After the judging was over we went shopping - well what else do girls do?. Do I look good with a moustache?

Yaya Lu Intel Science Engineering Fair 2013 fun

We also went on a helicopter trip over the Grand Canyon.

Yaya Lu helicopter trip grand canyon usa

The views were spectacular.

Yaya Lu helicopter trip grand canyon

Another experience I didn't expect to have is the feeling of the scales of an alligator moving against my bare legs as it breathed. Scary. The alligator had a tail replaced to allow it to swim normally.

Yaya Lu Aligator with replacement tail

Our trip was supported by Intel, and very special thanks are due to Intel's Corporate Affairs Manager Marco Pantano who not only arranged support financially, he even came on this trip to offer his personal support - many many thanks.

Marco Pantano Yaya Lu ISEF 2013

Painting the Sydney Harbour Bridge with Light

I was enormously lucky to be flown up to Sydney to take part in "Vivid Sydney", the annual celebration of Light, Music and Ideas - tremendous thanks to Intel. My Mum, Dad and I had such a marvelous time, and I painted the Sydney Harbour Bridge with light! Wow! I had a screen that allowed me to choose which colours I wanted which part of the Bridge to be "painted" with light.  You can see the results in the picture below.

Yaya Lu Intel Painting Sydney Harbour Bridge 2013

Well - most of the results - the computers controlling lights on part of the Bridge failed, leaving a big dark patch. Computers. Huh!

Science Meets Parliament

I was most privileged to be chosen to speak at this annual Tasmanian event that involves scientists from the University of Tasmania and Tasmanian Parliamentarians.

Yaya Lu speaking at Parliament House

I was introduced by the Honourable David O'Byrne who was kind enough to describe me as "inspirational" in his Twitter @DavidOByrneMP 21Aug2013.

David O'Byrne and Yaya Lu at Parliament Dinner.

This is me with the Honourable Nick McKim Leader of the Greens Party, and Minister for (amongst others) Education.

Yaya Lu and Nick McKim at Parliament

At the dinner I was privileged to be seated in fascinating and distinguished company, with Professor Stephen Loo from the School of Architecture and Design on my left and Professor Paulo de Souza (who worked on the Mars Rover) from the HIT Lab on my right.

Paulo de Souza Steven Loo Yaya Lu at Parliament dinner

I was also privileged to meet and speak with both the Honourable Elise Archer (top right), and the Honourable Ruth Forrest (top left) from Tasmanian's North-West Coast. My mentor grew up in the North-West, and he says he thinks it is the most beautiful part of Tasmania.

Yaya Lu, Ruth Forrest, Elise Archer, Paulo de Souza.

Eisteddfod Win & Honourable Mention

I really enjoy music. I used to learn the piano, but haven't time to practice it now, so I joined the school choir. We entered the Eisteddfod, and were delighted to win our section. I am also in a school Chinese music ensemble. We entered the Eisteddfod as well, dressed up in traditional dress, and used traditional Chinese instruments to play some traditional Chinese songs.

Yaya Lu Eisteddfod Chinese Music

Not everyone is used to traditional Chinese music, and I saw one man in the audience pulling a face as if he was in pain - but the judges gave us an honourable mention. Yi!

Pride of Australia Medal

Yaya Lu Pride of Australia Medal Young Leader Prizewinner Tasmania

The website comments that this medal is awarded to recognize "extraordinary and inspiring Australians". I was  surprised to find my picture in the Mercury here and here. I was so very honoured  to be nominated. We had a lovely lunch sponsored by the Mercury Newspaper, during which there were some really inspiring stories told about some remarkable Tasmanians. I was even more surprised to be lucky enough to be awarded the Young Leader Medal, Tasmanian division, and to be chosen to be one of the Tasmanians invited to attend the Pride of Australia National Medal Ceremony in the Royal Botanical Gardens in Sydney, an incredible honour. Thank you to the kind sponsors. This is me with the delightful Jo Palmer who was the compere for the Tasmanian event.

Science Forum - Launceston and Government House

I felt enormously privileged to be selected as one of the Tasmanians going to the National Youth Science Forum next January, and feel tremendously grateful to Rotary for their support of this event. We had an introduction in Launceston, and an invitation to Morning Tea with His Excellency the Honourable Peter Underwood The Governor of Tasmania, and Mrs. Frances Underwood at Tasmania's beautiful Government House. We had a photograph taken of the Science Forum students with the Governor and Mrs. Underwood in the Drawing Room.

Yaya Lu Tasmanian Science Forum Students 2013 Government House

We also saw a little of Government House, the ballroom

Yaya Lu Ballroom Government House Tasmania 2013

which had 4,000 piece chandeliers,

Yaya Lu Chandelier Ballroom Government House 2013

and a stained glass window with the Royal motto Dieu et mon droit

Yaya Lu Stained glass window Government House 2013

There was some beautiful wooden furniture, a wonderful Dining Room, and I was amused to hear the guide describe a wooden metal-lined box as an 1850s "Eski" which would have been filled with ice to keep drinks cool. My only regret was, that when we went up into the tower to see some marvelous views, I forgot to take my camera - sob!

Quadriplegics can Control Electrical Appliances

A complete quadriplegic asked me if there was any way he could control an electrical appliance, such as a fan, when he is in bed at night. I came up with this solution. I hope he likes it. You can see my video on YouTube by clicking here.

Yaya Lu Voice control of a lamp and a fan for quadriplegics

Young Australian of the Year - Tasmanian Finalist

I was stunned to be told over the phone that I had been nominated for the Tasmanian Division of "Young Australian of the Year". Being one of the finalists is incredible. I have been invited by the National Australia Day Council and the Tasmanian Government to a reception at Frogmore Creek, and the following day to a morning tea at the Long Room in Parliament House. What an honour!

Yaya Lu with Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings

This is me with the Honourable Lara Giddings MP Premier of Tasmania, in the Tasmanian Parliament's Long Room.

Next web page - Some of my robots - 2013