Gorkin III, Robert A. Associate Professor

Associate Professor / Principal Research Fellow

  • Associate Professor / Principal Research Fellow - Australian Institute for Innovative Materials
  • Researcher in Residence - iAccelerate 2017 -

Research Overview


  • Robert is an Engineer and Entrepreneur who has worked on five continents with world-class institutes and companies varying from international corporations to entrepreneurial startups and non-for-profits. His track record includes contributing to over 100 publications/proceedings (2000+ citations), international grants awarded from both academic and commercial positions ($2M+ in 2017), and direct involvement in disruptive startups leading to investment, products, sales, and community benefits. Robert supports new education and business initiatives around the nexus of emerging technologies including Internet of Things - IoT, Virtual/Augmented Reality, Smart Materials, Robotics/Automation, and 3D/4D Printing. At UOW Robert is co-hosted between the Australian Institute of Innovative Materials, where he leads the team behind a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation project developing new condoms, and iAccelerate, Wollongong’s premier incubator where he helps link entrepreneurial researchers and dynamic companies, as well as supports new Impact Investing fund raising as the first “Researcher in Residence”. Robert is also the co-founder of the leading Australian Graphene solutions company, Imagine Intelligent Materials Ltd., with origins at UOW, where he manages Research Engagement with multiple Australian and overseas partners.

Selected Publications


Impact Story


  • <p>Educators, Health workers, youth workers and parents often struggle to find a safe and engaging way to talk to young people about sexuality, sexual decision making and relationships. Based on more than ten years of sexual health research with young people and the development of an innovative and youth-friendly methods, the Life Happens game provides this opportunity. Life Happens was created in collaboration with the HIV and related programs unit (NSW health) in 2016 and since that time more than fifty copies of the resource have been purchased by schools and other youth focussed organisations, across Australia and internationally. on the basis of the success of this resource we have been asked to adapt Life Happens to explore other issues which are important to young people. Life Happens has becomes the basis for an anti-smoking intervention with young Indigenous people (in collaboration with Grand Pacific Health) and a tool to explore young women's experiences of domestic violence (with the Illawarra Women's Health Centre). It is also a central component to explore contraceptive uses and preference as part of the Gates funded Geldom project and will be trialled in Kenya and Uganda. The life Happens team was awarded a staff encouragement prizes in the 2016 UOW Pitch and the 2017 Vice Chancellor's Award for excellence in community engagement. An important new direction in 2017, which arose through on-going consultation with our community partners, has been the development of a new resource which utilizes the Life Happens methodology; Life Happens Junior.</p>

Advisees


  • Graduate Advising Relationship

    Degree Research Title Advisee
    Doctor of Philosophy Empowering vulnerable youth through participatory action research Grozdanovski, Laura
    Doctor of Philosophy Electrochemically active alginate: development, fabrication and application Wright, Cody

Keywords


  • Advanced Manufacturing, Microfabricaton/Nanofabrication, 3D/4D Printing, Bioprinting, Emerging Materials, Lab-on-a-Chip, Centrifugal Microfluidics

Research Overview


  • Robert is an Engineer and Entrepreneur who has worked on five continents with world-class institutes and companies varying from international corporations to entrepreneurial startups and non-for-profits. His track record includes contributing to over 100 publications/proceedings (2000+ citations), international grants awarded from both academic and commercial positions ($2M+ in 2017), and direct involvement in disruptive startups leading to investment, products, sales, and community benefits. Robert supports new education and business initiatives around the nexus of emerging technologies including Internet of Things - IoT, Virtual/Augmented Reality, Smart Materials, Robotics/Automation, and 3D/4D Printing. At UOW Robert is co-hosted between the Australian Institute of Innovative Materials, where he leads the team behind a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation project developing new condoms, and iAccelerate, Wollongong’s premier incubator where he helps link entrepreneurial researchers and dynamic companies, as well as supports new Impact Investing fund raising as the first “Researcher in Residence”. Robert is also the co-founder of the leading Australian Graphene solutions company, Imagine Intelligent Materials Ltd., with origins at UOW, where he manages Research Engagement with multiple Australian and overseas partners.

Selected Publications


Impact Story


  • <p>Educators, Health workers, youth workers and parents often struggle to find a safe and engaging way to talk to young people about sexuality, sexual decision making and relationships. Based on more than ten years of sexual health research with young people and the development of an innovative and youth-friendly methods, the Life Happens game provides this opportunity. Life Happens was created in collaboration with the HIV and related programs unit (NSW health) in 2016 and since that time more than fifty copies of the resource have been purchased by schools and other youth focussed organisations, across Australia and internationally. on the basis of the success of this resource we have been asked to adapt Life Happens to explore other issues which are important to young people. Life Happens has becomes the basis for an anti-smoking intervention with young Indigenous people (in collaboration with Grand Pacific Health) and a tool to explore young women's experiences of domestic violence (with the Illawarra Women's Health Centre). It is also a central component to explore contraceptive uses and preference as part of the Gates funded Geldom project and will be trialled in Kenya and Uganda. The life Happens team was awarded a staff encouragement prizes in the 2016 UOW Pitch and the 2017 Vice Chancellor's Award for excellence in community engagement. An important new direction in 2017, which arose through on-going consultation with our community partners, has been the development of a new resource which utilizes the Life Happens methodology; Life Happens Junior.</p>

Advisees


  • Graduate Advising Relationship

    Degree Research Title Advisee
    Doctor of Philosophy Empowering vulnerable youth through participatory action research Grozdanovski, Laura
    Doctor of Philosophy Electrochemically active alginate: development, fabrication and application Wright, Cody

Keywords


  • Advanced Manufacturing, Microfabricaton/Nanofabrication, 3D/4D Printing, Bioprinting, Emerging Materials, Lab-on-a-Chip, Centrifugal Microfluidics
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