Sign Up

Ruchira Ranaweera Travel Bursary 2020


The Wine Australia Travel Bursary for 2020/2021 supported Ruchira Ranaweera in accomplishing important milestones during the PhD candidature. The outbreak of COVID-19 necessitated a change to the intention of presenting in person at an international conference. As such, the funding was utilized for virtually attending ‘Macrowine 2021’, the International Conference in Wine Sciences, June 23rd to 30th, to deliver an oral presentation on Wine Authentication with Fluorescence Spectroscopy and XGBoost. This meeting provided Ruchira with an opportunity to interact with researchers from all over the world working within the same field and enhanced her knowledge of the state of the art in wine science. Furthermore, the funds were applied towards professional development opportunities relevant to the research project. An online course on Statistical Methods in MATLAB offered Works Inc. ensured success using MATLAB and associated tools for research applications. A Project Management Fundamentals course from the Australian Institute of Management provided practical, up-to-date perspectives of the basics of project management that can be effectively initiated and applied in any setting. Overall, the ability to utilize a Wine Australia supported travel grant in a more unconventional manner during such an unforeseeable time was an excellent opportunity to gather experience and enhance skills and knowledge relevant to grape and wine scientific research.


1.1 Macrowine 2021

The University of Verona, the Edmund Mach Foundation, and the University of Turin in conjunction with Vinidea, organised the eighth edition of Macrowine as a virtual conference from 23rd to 30th June 2021. The conference was held successfully in a virtual mode, allowing researchers to participate worldwide, with over 400 delegates from 23 countries. There were ten live sessions under different topics, including viticultural practices, microbiology, different wine styles, sensory studies, and novel tools and techniques. Ruchira delivered the flash oral talk on ‘Wine Authentication with Fluorescence Spectroscopy and XGBoost’, highlighting the application of spectrofluorimetry with machine learning techniques as a rapid and straightforward method for wine authentication. This was a part of the PhD research project funded by Wine Australia on ‘Authentication of Australian Red Wines Using Fluorescence Spectroscopy and Machine Learning Classification’. As one of the world’s leading scientific research events that focus on wine science, participation in Macrowine 2021 provided an excellent opportunity to engage with the science community and discuss advances, challenges and future directions in the global wine sector.

1.2 Statistical Methods in MATLAB

MATLAB is a programming platform that provides an interactive environment for data analysis and visualisation. This has various applications related to research, especially in relation to testing and understanding mathematical concepts. The two-day course provided hands-on experience for performing statistical data analysis with MATLAB. The course covered various topics, from importing and organising data to analysing them using variance analysis, regression, and model evaluation. The programme provided an understanding of the machine learning Toolbox functionality related to Ruchira’s research project. Completing the Statistical Methods in MATLAB course, Ruchira has obtained extensive knowledge in using MATLAB functions appropriately.

1.3 Project Management Fundamentals

The knowledge of project management is essential in any field that involves planning and executing a project. The Project Management Fundamentals course provided by the Australian Institute of Management was held over 2 days and covered all the essential insights into the end-to-end project life cycle, from initiating the project-to-project planning, budgeting, scheduling, selecting a team and how best to manage the project to completion. This course gave practical understanding of the critical knowledge areas based on the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBoK®) model. Also, the instructor gave an overview of different project management software and applications relevant to project planning. By completing this course, Ruchira has gained applicable knowledge on project management with real world applications. The transferable, valuable, and wide-ranging skills and knowledge obtained through this course will bring opportunities for the present and the future.

This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.

Levy payers/exporters
Non-levy payers/exporters
Find out more

This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.