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40 Under 40

REVEALED: South Australia’s top 40 leaders under 40

40 Under 40

The futures of Adelaide’s medical technology, agriculture, hospitality and space industries look bright with InDaily 40 Under 40 winners, Jiawen Li, Joseph Ceravolo, Joshua Baker and Katherine Bennell leading the charge.

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Jiawen Li

Engineer and National Heart Foundation Research Fellow Jiawen Li has developed a 3D-printed tiny endoscope, which can be inserted into blood vessels to help identify and treat patients at high risk of heart attacks.

Li said in Australia cardiovascular disease killed one person every 19 minutes.

The innovation could provide a huge improvement in health outcomes by equipping cardiologists with a solution to accurately diagnose high-risk plaques and prevent heart attacks, she said.

The innovation is being used by companies in North America and Asia, including Conavi, Vivo Light and InnerMedical.

She said she was developing the next generation of the device through 3D micro-printing and was in discussions with two global medical device companies about commercialisation.

Her work has won Li a slate of awards, including the Australian Optical Society Early Career Researcher Prize, SA Women in Innovation Award and the University of Adelaide Women’s Research Excellence Award.

An emerging leader in her field, Li regularly gives lectures and seminars locally and internationally, including at educational institutions Stanford University, Harvard University, California Institute of Technology, University of Melbourne and Peking University.

She is also the former Chair and Cochair of the Science Network Committee of the Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing.

Joseph Ceravolo

Sustainable energy and processes are key to the food and beverage sector’s future growth, according to Ashton Valley Fresh Operations Manager Joseph Ceravolo.

The young South Australian businessperson said he had been pushing Ashton Valley Fresh towards sustainability through streamlined processes and improved machinery during his time with the company, in a bid to become an industry leader.

“I believe it’s important that the food and beverage industry have best practice businesses such as ours who are visible and willing to share ideas to encourage development and innovation across wider industry,” he said.

In his five years helping lead the business, Ceravolo said the company had increased its turnover by more than 30 per cent, prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

He said other initiatives he’d overseen included a partnership project with Hills Cider Company, Hills distillery and Mismatch brewing in 2018, building a shared production facility for Ashton Valley Fresh to showcase their beverage manufacturing.

He also led the development of an after-school cooking program at Oakbank Area School, teaching year 10 to 12 students how to prepare quick, cheap and easy meals.

Last year, Ceravolo won the 2019 Next Generation Award at the Premiers Food and Beverage Awards.

It came after he was named a joint rising star, with one of his colleagues, by Apple and Pear Australia in 2015.

Ceravolo is also a member of Ag Bureau.

Joshua Baker

For the past 20 years, Director at Part Time Lover Joshua Baker has worked to change Adelaide’s food, wine and entertainment scene, with his presence in the sector well-documented by CityMag.

In the last decade alone, Baker has helped to spearhead about 10 businesses which he estimates to have created hundreds of jobs for the State.

He also worked with local government on the small venue license.

Among the ever-growing list of companies Baker has co-founded are Whistle & Flute, Port Admiral Hotel, Funtopia, Clever Little Taylor and Part Time Lover.

The collection of food and wine joints in trendy and innovative spaces have earned the entrepreneur an array of awards, including three for Pink Moon Saloon’s design.

His most recent venture, Funtopia, opened in February. The large-scale, indoor active entertainment business was a gear shift for the young businessperson and a move into children’s entertainment.

He said while he’d been very fortunate not to have experienced any significant setbacks during his career, the pandemic had been the “toughest time” for the hospitality sector.

Looking to the future, Baker said he planned to continue to grow and diversify his businesses, create more venues for SA’s hospitality and entertainment sector and expand his commercial property portfolio.

Katherine Bennell

Australian Space Agency Assistant Director for the Program and Capability Directorate Katherine Bennell is leading the development of the Agency’s first roadmaps. These are intended to guide the advancement of the country’s space capabilities for the next decade.

In her role, Bennell is also helping to determine the Agency’s 10-year targets and provide contributions to the Moon to Mars program.

She said her ambition to explore space had been with her for as long as she could remember.

“I used to love to look up at the stars and would get just this wonderful feeling, just for a moment, where I felt in awe of how large and unknown the universe is, and how much remains to be discovered,” she said.

Dreaming of worlds beyond earth has led Bennell to a career spanning spacecraft systems engineering, program management, business development and space governance.

Across her working life she has helped engineer a number of technologies and strategies for space missions. But she considers her most important achievement the co-development of Airbus’s commercial payload hosting platform, called Bartolomeo, on the International Space Station.

In 2019, Bennell returned to Australia after 11 years abroad to help shape Australia’s rapidly growing space sector.

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