A rising star in the male-dominated world of science, Macinley Butson is an 18 year old inventor from Wollongong, NSW who achieved international success as the first ever Australian to win 1st place in the world at the INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair in the category of Transitional Medical Science when she was only 16 years of age. The INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) is the largest pre-college scientific research event in the world, and is considered the Olympics for science. Each year, more than seven million high school students develop original research projects for the world’s largest international science competition. Macinley’s idea, ‘SMART Armour’, is a shield that can be used by breast cancer patients to protect their non-treated breast while undergoing radiotherapy treatment.
A prolific inventor, Macinley has also taken home science awards for other exceptional ideas, such as a system that simultaneously collects solar power and filters water which won her the 2017 Australian Stockholm Junior Water Prize, a spoon that accurately measures and delivers oral medicine to children, and a device that deters garden snails without the use of pesticides.
She has become an inspirational role model for young Australians as the 2018 NSW Young Australian of the Year, empowering them to achieve greatness by working in the field of STEM and showing others how they can create and give back to the community.
Macinley’s latest invention, the SODIS Sticker and her entry in this year’s Stockholm Junior Water Prize was inspired by her wanting to find a cost-effective way of assisting in water purification, especially for developing communities. Macinley’s SODIS Sticker accurately measures the solar UV exposure required to sanitise drinking water through a high accuracy transparent UV-sensitive film coupled with a partial UV blocking filter.