Joel Peiris – 2022 recipient of the Jeremy Cheang Award
Congratulations Joel Peiris, 2022 recipient of the Jeremy Cheang Award for his online STEM education and robotics business, TECXELS, and his robotics community workshops.
Joel has always had a strong interest in the human body, robotics and artificial intelligence. He has participated in numerous robotics competitions locally, nationally and internationally, and has designed and presented STEM programs through several organisations including RoboCup Australia, FIRST Robotics Competition, FIRST LEGO League and Robogals.
To encourage younger students to engage in STEM, Joel creates material and presents workshops at the City of Swan Libraries – Ballajura ‘GEEK HUB’. In 2020, with the challenges of the pandemic developing, Joel saw the need to create online tutorials to keep students engaged in STEM activities and so he created an online STEM and robotics business.
Joel is a UWA Fogarty Scholar studying Biomedical Science with a double major in Integrated Medical Sciences and Clinical Practice (2024) with an Assured Pathway to the Doctor of Medicine. He said that receiving the Jeremy Cheang Award would allow him to purchase more equipment and robotics kits necessary to mobilise this free community program.
“I could travel across Western Australia delivering my tutorials and presentations in areas where there is interest in STEM and robotics,” Joel said.
“This STEM community education program could also mentor and train teachers to teach robotics and influence their curriculum in the classrooms,” he said.
The children who benefit from Joel’s workshops range from the ages of 7-18 years and include students from Hillarys, Cottesloe, Ellenbrook, Morley, Tuart Hill, Subiaco, South Perth, Riverton, Nollamara, Gooseberrry Hill, Guildford and Rockingham.
Joel said that in addition to developing and building TECXELS, he intends to explore areas of nanotechnology and medical engineering as he progresses through his medical studies at UWA.
“My ambition looking ahead is to combine these areas through research and development in a specific area and work towards a specialisation as a medical doctor. This would mean combining medical engineering, artificial intelligence, robotics and programming embedded in my specialisation as a medical doctor or surgeon.”
The Jeremy Cheang Award is an annual award presented to a UWA Fogarty Scholar to acknowledge their contribution to their chosen profession, the University and/or the wider community. The award in presented in memory of Jeremy Cheang, a former UWA Fogarty Scholar.