Flinders on display at Powerhouse Museum

Flinders Professor John Arkwright with the novel fibre-optic catheter.

Flinders Professor John Arkwright with the novel fibre-optic catheter.

The “Hubble telescope of gastroenterology” – invented by a team of Australian researchers led by Flinders University’s Professor John Arkwright – will feature in a display at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney.

The Engineering Excellence exhibition, held from February 12 to January 11, 2016, will feature the award-winning fibre-optic manometry catheter – a revolutionary new device that records and characterises muscular activity deep within the human body.

Described by experts as the “Hubble telescope of gastroenterology”, the device is transforming the understanding of gastroenterology and will take the guesswork out of the investigation, diagnosis and treatment of disorders such as constipation and incontinence.

It was one of five projects chosen from the recent Sydney Engineering Excellence Awards to feature at the Powerhouse Museum for its demonstration of state-of-the-art thinking, drawn from knowledge in maths, science, art, technology and design.

“To see our technology actually on display at the Power House is unbelievable and a vindication of all the hard work put in by the team.  I’ve always seen the Power House Museum as an Icon of Science and Engineering Excellence and now to be part of it is immensely satisfying,” Professor Arkwright said.

The catheter won the highest accolade, the Sir William Hudson Award, at the 2014 Australian Engineering Excellence Awards last November along with a swag of other trophies including the prestigious Bradfield Award, the highest accolade at the Sydney division awards, and the ANSTO Eureka award for the Innovative Use of Technology in 2011.

Developed in 2008 during Professor Arkwright’s time at CSIRO, the device is the result of a collaboration between Flinders University (John Arkwright and Lukasz Wiklendt), CSIRO (Neil Blenman and Simon Maunder), Flinders Medical Centre (Phil Dinning) and Griffith University (Ian Underhill).

Engineering Excellence, presented by the Powerhouse Museum of Applied Arts and Science in collaboration with Engineers Australia’s Sydney division, will be on display at the Powerhouse Museum from February 12 to January 11, 2016.

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