An update from Mandy Nguyen, CEAT Chief Operating Officer

I am so delighted to have the opportunity to join the CEAT team as its new Chief Operating Officer (COO). As this is my first blog for CEAT, I thought I should share with you some personal background.

 Growing up in a family home surrounded by rice fields, I have always had a strong passion for agriculture. While my parents were not farmers, most of our relatives were. I have fond childhood memories of the sweet taste of the young sticky green rice, a popular dessert in Vietnamese cuisine. The village where I grew up is well-known for producing the best green rice.

I came to Australia as an international student almost nineteen years ago. I studied and worked at Monash University before moving to the ANU in 2007 to join my husband who was working as a Postdoctoral research fellow at the Research School of Biology in the Plant Cell Wall team. We spent many dinners talking about plant cell walls, how the cell wall’s shape and structure could impact the growth of a plant. Knowing about plant growth and agriculture has given me a keen interest in the work that CEAT does, and I am excited to be a part of this team.

This month, the CEAT team has been working in partnership with University of Canberra, Bridge Hub and Canberra Innovation to organise the H2O Hack event. This virtual hackathon is an excellent platform for anyone who is interested in utilising technology to improve water use efficiency. It’s free to sign up and be part of this great event.

Given the recent restrictions in place due to COVID-19, the team have adapted well to remote working arrangements. Under the stewardship of the Centre’s Director, Owen Atkin, we are working to finalise many important frameworks including the Precinct Engagement Strategy, which will shape how CEAT engages with our precinct stakeholders, whether they are ANU researchers, students, CSIRO researchers, or members of our Innovation Hub. We are also working on the CEAT Strategic Investment schemes, which will enable us to offer grant funding to enable research collaboration activities and training. Stay tuned to learn more about future funding opportunities.

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