ACU students trump awards

Published: Monday 23rd June 2014

Zac Conway and Connor Honeywill didn’t so much as emerge at the Emerging Researchers Awards, but rather burst forth as two of the most promising students in their field. Both undergraduates – Zac, an exercise science student and Connor, a recently graduated physiotherapy student – beat tough opposition from PhD students from the University of Queensland and Queensland University of Technology in the Sports Medicine Australia Queensland Branch (SMA) Emerging Researcher Awards to win second and third place.

Sixteen honours and postgraduate students of health sciences from seven universities competed for the Emerging Researchers Awards at the 43rd annual SMA Queensland branch conference. Zac presented on Visual assessment of knee position during functional tasks: A kinematic validity study and Connor on Altered hip kinetics in runners with Achilles tendinopathy. The students received supervisory support for their research from both the Schools of Exercise Science (Dr Mark Creaby, Dr Matthew Sweeney) and Physiotherapy (Dr Melinda Smith), ensuring their work had a strong interdisiplinary focus.

Executive Officer of SMA Queensland Branch, Mark Brown said the organisation has supported the awards to give people in the early stages of their scientific careers the opportunity to present in a high quality, peer-reviewed environment, that would be less intimidating than larger conferences.

“The quality of the research and the presentations themselves continues to get better each year and this year was particularly outstanding,” Mr Brown said. “The students and their supervisors of every paper all deserve great credit for producing research that is able to both inform further research directions as well as improve clinical practices related to sport and exercise medicine."