Sense-T, Biteable, CSIRO to compete in APICTA Awards

On a mission to help Tasmanians breathe better, University of Tasmania PhD candidate Olumide Odeyemi is a microscopic but demonstrably invaluable part of a bigger project by IT research company Sense-T. 

DISCOVERY: Olumide Odeyemi measures pollen at UTAS. Picture: Phillip Biggs

DISCOVERY: Olumide Odeyemi measures pollen at UTAS. Picture: Phillip Biggs

The IT organisation is one of four Tasmanian companies set to represent Australia on the world stage, competing in the international APICTA Awards to be held in Chinese Taipei in early December. 

The four winners were selected at the National Technology iAwards.

The winners: 

  • Sense-T for The AirRater App – Community Service Category
  • CSIRO for the Global Initiative for Honey Bee Health – Public Service &
  • Government, Big Data Category
  • Sense-T for Sensing Tourist Travel – Public Sector & Government Category
  • Biteable – Best Start Up Category

The Hobart-based company has developed a smartphone app which aims to aid those experiencing hay fever, allergies, asthma and other lung diseases such as bronchitis.

The AirRater app works by having students such as Launceston’s Olumide Odeyemi look at air quality and weather using equipment around the state which measures temperature and air pollution.

Information is collected in real-time and Tasmanians can then enter their symptoms into the app and receive current levels of potential triggers in their area. 

Mr Odeyemi has been tasked with measuring pollen at UTAS’ Newnham campus.

He said he and other five students have found 16 pollens in their measurements, but there could be up to 23 pollens in Tasmania. 

Mr Odeyemi said that discovering different types of pollen often depended on external factors such as the weather and temperature. He said it takes about one hour to measure pollen, which he then takes to the lab.

“After I stain it with the special dye, I view it on a microscope so I can count the total number of pollens and also know the different kinds of pollens.” 

There are six pollen monitors stationed around Tasmania. 

After I stain it with the special dye, I view it on a microscope so I can count the total number of pollens and also know the different kinds of pollens - UTAS student Olumide Odeyemi

Since 2015, more than 1000 Tasmanians have signed up to the app.

Sense-T director Dr Stephen Cahoon said he was proud of the economic, social and environmental impact the company’s projects created for Tasmania. 

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