Introducing the team representing Australia at the 2024 International Chemistry Olympiad!

  • Introducing the team representing Australia at the 2024 International Chemistry Olympiad! image

Congratulations to the team of students selected to represent Australia at the International Chemistry Olympiad being held on 21 to 30 July 2024 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The team was honoured at the Australian Olympiad Teams Announcement at the Australian Parliament House in Canberra on 24 June 2024. The ‘blazer ceremony’ was attended by the students and their families, program teams and distinguished guests from science, math and informatics communities, along with Australia’s Minister for Industry and Science, the Hon Ed Husic MP and other Members of Parliament.

Their journey started by sitting the nation-wide Australian Science Olympiad (ASO) Exam in July 2023 before being selected to attend ASO Summer School in January 2024, onsite at the Australian National University. These four students have outperformed thousands of other students in qualifying exams and intensive training to earn their place on the team.

The team have gained immense knowledge and skills during the last year, under the guidance of Program Director, Trent Wallis, and Deputy Program Director, Anthony Mai, along with a team of chemistry enthusiasts. This includes Jacob Gome, IChO Team Leader and Chemistry Summer School Alumni. Also in attendance was Dr Tristan Reekie, former Deputy Program Manager Chemistry,  who started as a tutor for our Chemistry Olympiads students in January 2008, and took on the role of Deputy Program Director in 2016, retiring in 2024.

The students have been supported by their teachers and schools, along with their families and friends, to reach the prestigious achievement of being selected to represent Australia.

We want to extend our sincere wishes to the Australian team representing us at the International Chemistry Olympiad in 2024. Your dedication and hard work have been truly inspiring, and we have full confidence in your abilities. Best of luck!

Jerry Jin

Camberwell Grammar School, VIC

Initially, Jerry preferred math over science, but his cousin’s stories about his journey with chemistry inspired him to dive straight into study everything chemistry has to offer! He loves the ability of chemistry to explain everything in the universe, from the extraction of aluminium in phones to the science behind perming hair. He’s also inspired by Chinese scientist Tu Youyou, who combined Traditional Chinese and Western pharmacology to find methods to cure malaria.

For Jerry, ASO Summer School held at the ANU was a transformative experience, thanks to the advance learning, practical experiments and unforgettable memories with friends. He thinks that labs are most exciting when there’s a light-hearted atmosphere where scientists aren’t afraid to make mistakes, where Jerry often found himself laughing at the most unexpected mishaps.

The simple “why not?” that sparked the journey has led Jerry to know he will make an impact, whether it be through ground-breaking research or teaching others what he’s passionate about. He knows “anything where I’m helping others feels like the right choice for me.”

Jerry is also a huge sports enthusiast and follows various teams: he loves watching Manchester City win a soccer game! He loves learning about technology and following the latest trends, including having his own YouTube channel full of exciting videos of interesting topics like phones, computers and more!

The International Chemistry Olympiad eagerly awaits Jerry and the team’s arrival, where they are excited to spend time with friends and meet new people from all around the world, by exploring, learning and making lasting memories.

Vinny Runlin Liang

Strathcona Baptist Girls’ Grammar School, VIC

Originally from China, Vinny is a student at Strathcona Girls Grammar School in Melbourne. She loves venturing into new places and learning new concepts, which is why she can’t wait to travel for the International Chemistry Olympiad.

Her love of chemistry was sparked by her mother, Vinny’s first teacher and a talented chemist herself. Some of her techniques, most notably when trying to determine what products an unknown reaction will create, are still used by Vinny every day.

ASO Summer School at the ANU was a highlight for Vinny, despite the chaos of learning new and complex topics (such as waveforms!), she loved turning strangers into close friends over two weeks of learning and laughing. Her main advice? “Don’t take anything out of the lab”, something Vinny learnt the hard way after trying to show her friends and family the neon-green, very toxic product she tried to share as a souvenir!

Vinny’s biggest driving force for a love of science been her desire to dive in and explore new topics, and she can’t wait to travel overseas, discover a new place and meet new people that share her passion for chemistry. Despite the difficulties inherently found in lab exams, Vinny emphasises the importance of embracing a challenge and giving everything a go – she tells us “Don’t think about the result, just give it a crack.”

Kevin Zhenhuan Lin

Knox Grammar School, NSW

We’re welcoming back Kevin to his second time competing in the International Chemistry Olympiad! He loves chemistry for its ability to demonstrate how small changes can lead to significant transformations, a philosophy he applies to life in general.

To Kevin, chemistry is about understanding the fundamental building blocks of our universe and imagining new possibilities. He’s inspired by his chemistry teacher Ms. Drees, who played a crucial role through her continual support to continue despite the challenges of study across many challenging concepts!

He thinks that the best part of labs are the opportunities to have a silly time with likeminded friends, when every lab has something funny, “to the point where it becomes routine!” And when trying to conquer the challenges of these labs, Kevin’s advice should be used for all of us across life “You laugh, you learn, you live for it. Try to enjoy it as much as possible.”

Outside of chemistry, Kevin enjoys playing card games with friends, particularly poker. It’s the company that matters most to him, whether it’s playing cards or just hanging out. Looking ahead, he’s excited to see what the future holds in science and technology. His goal is to expand his horizons and work on the next big thing!

Last year, he worked on conductive plastics, and this year, he collaborated with a friend to explore innovative battery storage solutions. The progression of innovation never stops, and Kevin is excited to be part of it.

Past ASI Achievements

Kevin represented Australia at the 2023 International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO) where he won a Silver medal.

Penny Tassicker

Marist Regional College, TAS

Penny thrives on the sense of community that grew in the ASO Summer School, and can’t wait to share the same humour and passion for learning in the International Chemistry Olympiad. She previously attended the Junior Science Olympiad Spring School, something she credits to igniting her love and fascination for science.

What’s more, the opportunity to travel independently to another county and meet up with people that share a communal love of learning from across the world makes Penny so excited for the upcoming adventure!

Penny is particularly drawn to organic chemistry, with its logical arrow-pushing mechanisms and broad applications across various scientific fields, from silicate minerals to enzyme biochemistry. Her inspiration comes from Marie Curie’s determination and perseverance that led to the contributions in medical advancements.

She adamantly states that “chemistry is the best science discipline, because organic chemistry exists!” She loves the way we can apply chemistry across all science studies, from silicate materials to enzyme biochemistry, Penny loves the excitement of new and advancing technologies.

After school, Penny is currently looking at a career in biochemistry or academia, thanks to her passion and love of learning new things.

Outside of chemistry? Penny is a watersports afficionado, especially in sailing and kitesurfing. Her confidence in the lab draws on the same resilience that helps her when in dangerous conditions in the boat – what a way to stay calm and focussed in exams!

Past ASI Achievements

After participating in the JSO Training Squad and JSO Academy Penny Tassicker was selected for the  JSO Spring School, and earned a place on the 2022 International Junior Science Olympiad team. She continued to pursue her science goals, earning a place at ASO Summer School in 2023, before going on to win Gold at the International Earth Science Olympiad in 2023. This year she will represent Australia in Chemistry in Saudi Arabia, a long way from her hometown in regional Tasmania.

Australia’s International Science Olympiads programs are run by not-for-profit Australian Science Innovations.

The Australian Science Olympiad program is supported by our Major Funder, the Department of Industry, Science and Resources, and our University Partner, The Australian National University.

Watch the video of the 2024 Australian Olympiad Teams Announcement here on ASI YouTube.

Learn more about Australian Science Olympiad program here.

Learn more about the 2024 International Chemistry Olympiad on their website

Celebrating at the Australian Olympiad Teams Announcement at Parliament House in Canberra on 24 June 2024 (L to R) Anna Davis, Chair of the ASI Board, Dr Tristan Reekie, Former Deputy Program Director Physics, the Australian team for the 2024 International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO), along with Jacob Gome, IChO Team Leader and Vanessa Kates, Executive Director ASI.

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