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Young research scientist wins grant to develop a drone for tree sample collection

FWPA congratulates Sean Krisanski — a mechanical engineer and University of Tasmania PhD student — on being selected as one of the winners of the 2020 Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.


Krisanski was recognised for his research into the development of an ‘arborist’ drone that can take samples from the forest canopy, giving scientists access to samples that until now have not been easily reachable.


Krisanski said current methods of collecting these samples can be expensive, time consuming and dangerous.

“I will be designing a 3D-printed airframe which will protect the rotors and make the system fairly robust to the inevitable collisions with branches. There will also be a small saw integrated into the airframe for the actual cutting,” Mr Krisanski said.

Run by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES), the awards have seen 11 young agricultural researchers receive grants valued up to $22,000. The forest and wood products award was funded by FWPA, and the organisation was also involved in the final selection process.

The grants will enable some of Australia’s brightest young scientists to undertake projects on emerging issues over the next twelve months, contributing to the success of Australia’s agriculture sector.

FWPA Managing Director, Ric Sinclair said Krisanskis’ win is well-deserved and highlights the importance of young Australian scientists to the future of forestry.

“We extend our congratulations to Sean. It was an impressive field of candidates and the selection process was robust. Sponsoring this award aligns with FWPA’s commitment to supporting research and development within the forest and wood industry,” Ric said.

It’s inspiring to see so many young scientists working on such important projects. I am confident that the contribution made by these young leaders will advance the forestry industry and keep us at the forefront of research and development,” he concluded.

Find out more about this year’s winners by clicking here.

Posted Date: March 24, 2020

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