Dr. John Debs' Application Support Material

for an Australian Award for University Teaching: Award for Teaching Excellence

The ANU Makerspace

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Setting up the ANU Makerspace has been one of my key achievements. It is a truly multidisciplinary environment, where students and staff from across campus can design, fabricate and learn from each other, on projects ranging from personal, to undergraduate, to research at PhD level and beyond.

A key to securing support for the makerspace was a vision document I circulated in 2015. Click the header below for the PDF.
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Below are some examples of projects and resulting media from the makerspace, as outlined in the written application. You can also follow us on Instagram, and see other project highlights there, as well as the Makerspace Website.
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Hugo Lee's 3D Printed Saxophone Mouthpiece

An interview with Hugo Lee about his makerspace project on designing, fabricating, and analysing the physics of a saxophone mouthpiece.
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One of Hugo's mouthpieces.

Second-Year Thermodynamix Project: The Unmixer

Students were asked to design and build an 'unmixer' - an apparatus that seemingly can mix and then unmix liquids! They then had to create a video demonstrating and explaining the physics. This video is an example of this, made by Michaela Ripper

First-Year Physics-2 Project: The Triple Pendulum

An example video submission describing their results from a firs-year semester 2 (2016) project, in which students have designed and built a triple pendulum in the MakerSpace. They also ran numerical simulations of the non-linear dynamics, allowing them to compare experimental measurements with theory - just like a career Physicist!

Pixelated Induction - A Student Startup Company

Pixelated Induction is a young startup company formed by 5 determined students from Physics and Engineering in 2016. They are developing a technology that converts any large-area surface (e.g. a whole) table into an effortless and smart wireless charging surface for smart-devices.

Winners of an Innovation ACT grant in 2016, and an ACT Innovation Connect Grant in 2017, they have been strongly supported by the ANU Makerspace with tools, resources, and knowledge. Much of their hardware prototyping and testing occurs in the makerspace, with access to experiences electronics engineers through the Physics Electronics workshop.

Most recently, the newly acquired Laser Cutter has enabled them to fabricate their own circuit boards for rapid prototyping of new hardware. This capability is new on campus, relatively new in academia, and as such they are helping us research the best process for using the laser cutter for this application, with a goal of teaching and facilitating others.
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A circuit board prototyped by Pixelated Induction in 10 minutes on our new laser cutter - a unique capability on campus.