Science Week looks beyond the microscope to climate modelling and analysis

Issued: 20 Aug 2021

Queensland is looking beyond the microscopes, beakers and Bunsen burners to celebrate the varied aspects of our valued scientists for National Science Week which runs from August 14-22, 2021.

Senior Scientist Kenneth Wong has a PhD in cryptology and mathematics with specialities in mathematical modelling, numerical analysis and discrete mathematics.

“I’ve worked with the Department of Environment and Science for 12 years and am currently part of the climate modelling and analysis team,” Dr Wong said.

“We produce localised climate projections for Queensland’s regions using cutting-edge global and regional climate models and statistical analysis.

“My background in mathematical modelling and numerical analysis certainly helped me understand the inner workings of climate models.

“Having the research skills from my PhD also helps me critically analyse the latest climate science literature, and co-author scientific publications.

“As we move into the age of data science, I am able to use my skills in mathematics and statistics to develop innovative methods and algorithms to analyse data and derive useful and relevant information on the future climate and its associated risks to our environment.

“The climate projections data and information our team produce will be used in decision-making tools for agriculture, water resource management, built infrastructure, emergency services and health services to help safeguard Queensland’s future against environmental changes.

“Also, researchers from other institutions analyse our climate model data to better understand Queensland’s changing climate and advance the scientific understanding of our environment.

Dr Wong said National Science Week is a great opportunity to highlight the many facets across the field to inspire young children to consider a consider a career in science.

“Science is a lot of fun!” he said.

“You will never run out of things to try and ideas to explore.

“If you are considering a scientific career, I recommend going through the PhD journey, as you will learn many great skills to help you with your career in science such as research, critical thinking, collaborating, speaking and writing, and also project and time management.

“The skills you learn are translatable to any scientific field, so don’t worry too much about where you start out.

“Over the years I have worked with mathematicians, statisticians, chemists, quantum scientists and astrophysicists, whom all ended up in environmental science!”

Queensland’s Chief Scientist Professor Hugh Possingham said everyone from students to grandparents could get involved in the celebration of science during National Science Week.

“Visit the National Science Week website to find local or online National Science Week activities near you and follow the Queensland Science Facebook channel for the latest science news,” he said.