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Ready to Raise the Bar

13 October 2017
You had me at merlot

Join us for another round of Raising the Bar, our annual free talks hosted in Sydney bars. 

Stefan Volk

For the third year running, we're Raising the Bar, a night when 20 academics will be swapping lecture theatres for bars. On 25 October, you’re invited to pull up a stool, grab a drink and listen to the cutting-edge research being carried out at the University of Sydney. 

Stefan Volk: How to convince your boss that you deserve to sleep in

What’s your talk about? 

I’ll be discussing circadian rhythms and chronotypes and how to understand your body so you’re more productive during the day. I’ll also talk about the morning bias and how our society is geared towards 'morningness'. For example, tests in school and university are typically held in the morning. This means evening people are more likely to be perceived as lazy and incapable because they’re being tested in situations when they’re not at their best.  

So how do you convince your boss you deserve a sleep in? 

I’ll be applying this research to a work context to discuss how people can make use of knowledge about these rhythms and structure their workdays to their personalised peaks and troughs.

It’s about understanding ourselves and the limits of our bodies. If we can align our natural body rhythms with our work rhythms, we can increase productivity. It means we know when to push ourselves and when it makes sense to stop working and go home because there’s no capacity left. 

Are you a morning person or a night-owl? 

I used to be very much an evening person, but with children and general life requirements, I’ve become more of a morning person ­– but not to the extreme. 

Naseem Ahmadpour

Dr Naseem Ahmadpour
Fitbits: healthy habits or expensive accessories? 

What’s your talk about? 

I’ll be talking about wearable health technologies used to track movements and physical activity. I will discuss how these devices contribute to our health and wellbeing and the potential for future developments in this field. 

How do you prepare for public speaking?

My line of work involves a lot of public speaking: from teaching my students to presenting my research findings to my peers at seminars and conferences. In preparation for those, I usually go over all the content and make sure I know everything there is to know about the topic. So, my preparation for public speaking involves making things clear for myself first.

If you could go to any of the other talks on offer this year, which one interests you most and why?

All the talks look interesting, but if I had to choose, I would attend Renae Ryan’s talk, STEMM-inism and beyond’. As an educator and a woman in academia, I find it relevant and increasingly important to address the need for a higher and broader representation of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine, and the barriers my female students will have to overcome to fulfil their potential and succeed in their future careers.

Ali Abbas

Associate Professor Ali Abbas: What a load of garbage 

What’s your talk about? 

I’ll be discussing how wasteful we are in Australia, why landfilling is unsustainable and the engineering solutions that we’re working on to address the issues stemming from waste.  

What are you most looking forward to about the event?

Connecting with the audience to hear their views on waste and to share the technology innovations that could transform the waste industry.

If you could go to any of the other talks on offer this year which one interests you most and why? 

I’d like to see Fabio Ramos discuss artificial intelligence, as I’m interested in what’s being done to harness the potential of artificial intelligence for future technological solutions.

Sound interesting?

See the complete line-up and book yourself a seat to Raising the Bar on 25 October. All talks are free, but registrations are required through the Raising the Bar website