Elaine Saunders (scientist)

Elaine Saunders FTSE is an Associate Professor at the Swinburne University of Technology and executive director of Blamey Saunders, as well as an inventor, entrepreneur.[1][2] She was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science Technology and Engineering in 2019.[3] She is one of only nine women out of 160 to win the Clunies Ross award for entrepreneurship,[4] and has won many other awards, as well as given numerous keynote addresses on the value of entrepreneurship and innovation in STEMM.[5] [6]

Early life and career

Saunders' career is based on helping relieve the burden of people who have hearing loss.[7] She co-founded the hearing aid company, Blamey Saunders Hears, with Professor Peter Blamey.[8] She currently works at Swinburne University and the Bionics Institute. She has described how she was inspired to work in hearing as her father was deaf.[9][10]

" I was inspired to do that as a missionary entrepreneur kind of thing because my dad was deaf and I saw how he just wanted good hearing aids. The technology just wasn’t good enough. That got me working with deaf kids as a volunteer. I thought the problem there was even worse. I didn’t really know how you could address the problem, but I was really interested to work in the field. Then, when I think about it all the jobs that I’ve had since my first career jobs, I was always the first appointee, so I was always quite entrepreneurial in them."[11]

Saunders is the head of an audiology clinic team who work in audiology and research on hearing aids. The team has launched an online hearing test that conducts analysis of hearing for speech sounds.[12]

Saunders also was a co-founder and CEO of the company "Dynamic Hearing", (which later became Cirrus Logic), which focused on supplying digital signal processing for ultra-low power chips as part of products which include Bluetooth headsets and hearing aids.[13]

Education

Saunders obtained a BSc (Hon) in Chemical Physics from the University of Manchester, U.K.[14] She then obtained a Master degree in Clinical Audiology, also at the University of Manchester and then a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Southampton. She worked within England, with positions as a clinical audiologist and lecturer in audiology. She then moved back to Australia in 1984 and subsequently worked as a clinical and research audiologist.[15][16]

STEMM careers and advocacy

Saunders is an advocate of using education and training in STEMM in biotechnical careers, and has appeared and spoken at many STEMM careers events, encouraging others to 'use STEMM to do good in the world' [17]. She has also given presentations about the benefit of STEMM careers to students and parents of students.[18] She is also an advocate of Women in STEMM and encouraging women to study, and work in STEMM.[19] Saunders has been involved with supporting and mentoring many women in STEMM careers, from early to mid-career researchers.[20]

Awards and prizes

Saunders was one of the only nine women of the 160 winners of the Clunies Ross award for inventors and entrepreneurs.[4] She has won numerous other prizes including:

  • Fellow of the Academy of Science and Technology and Engineering (2019).[21][22]
  • BioMelbourne Network’s inaugural Women in Leadership Award (2015).
  • Asia’s Leading Woman in Healthcare (2011).[23]
  • Victorian Pearcey Entrepreneur Award (2011).[24]
  • American Academy of Audiology’s Award for Achievement in Industry (2010).
  • Melbourne Award for Contribution to Community by an Individual (2012).[25]
  • AFR Australia’s 100 most influential women (2015).[26]
  • Clunies Ross Entrepreneur of the Year award (2016).[27][28]

Saunders was a co-producer of a play, The Sound of Waves performed in 2014 in Melbourne.[29]The play was centred around the life experience and story of a girl who is profoundly deaf (played by Jodie Harris). The protagonist of the play was a trial patient who received a cochlear implant in 1999.

References

  1. ^ "The pain and joy of being a social entrepreneur". SmartCompany. 15 March 2015. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
  2. ^ "Welcome to Engineers Australia Portal". portal.engineersaustralia.org.au. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
  3. ^ "Associate Professor Elaine Saunders – Engineer, audiologist & inventor". ATSE. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Hearing aid innovator wins the 2016 Clunies Ross Entrepreneur Award". Hearnet Online. 17 June 2016. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  5. ^ "EIS 2019". eis19.org. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  6. ^ "2018 B3000+ Awards Launch". Melbourne's B3000 Awards. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  7. ^ "2011 Vic Award » Pearcey". pearcey.org.au. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  8. ^ "Dr Elaine Saunders leads the charge for digital health and innovation at Swinburne". www.swinburne.edu.au. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  9. ^ "Insights on innovation from industry disruptor Dr Elaine Saunders". Marketing Magazine. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  10. ^ "From the bionic ear to the 'audiologist in your pocket". www.scienceinpublic.com.au. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  11. ^ "Insights on innovation from industry disruptor Dr Elaine Saunders". Marketing Magazine. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  12. ^ "Insights on innovation from industry disruptor Dr Elaine Saunders". Marketing Magazine. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  13. ^ "EIS 2019". eis19.org. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  14. ^ "Elaine Saunders, PhD". Audiology. 23 May 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  15. ^ "Elaine Saunders, PhD". Audiology. 23 May 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  16. ^ "Elaine Saunders, PhD". Audiology. 23 May 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  17. ^ "Dr Elaine Saunders". The Click List. 6 February 2019. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
  18. ^ "Empowering Connections in STEMM". The Royal Society of Victoria. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
  19. ^ "Blamey Saunders hears". www.scienceinpublic.com.au. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
  20. ^ "EIS 2019". eis19.org. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  21. ^ "Dr Elaine Saunders leads the charge for digital health and innovation at Swinburne". www.swinburne.edu.au. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  22. ^ "Swinburne's Dr Elaine Saunders named a fellow of Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering". www.swinburne.edu.au. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  23. ^ "Elaine Saunders". The Conversation. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  24. ^ "PR2011: Dr Elaine Saunders wins 2011 Victorian Pearcey Entrepreneur Award » Pearcey". pearcey.org.au. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  25. ^ "Swinburne's Dr Elaine Saunders named a fellow of Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering". www.swinburne.edu.au. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  26. ^ "Backgrounder". www.scienceinpublic.com.au. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  27. ^ "Tens of thousands of Australian lives changed, over three million to go". www.scienceinpublic.com.au. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  28. ^ "How Blamey Saunders disrupted an entire industry". Small Business Big Marketing. 30 June 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  29. ^ "The Sound Of Change with Dr. Elaine Saunders". Enterprise Podcast Network - EPN. 14 May 2015. Retrieved 2 November 2019.

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