Science Award winners from previous years (click to jump to section) -

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2017 award winners

Scientist of the Year 

In 2017 there were two joint-winners in the Scientist of the Year award category.
 

harvey-millar-(1)Professor Harvey Millar
Centre Director, Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology (The University of Western Australia) 
 
Professor Millar is an award-winning leader in plant science research with a focus on the function of proteins that enhance the energy efficiency of plants in harsh environments. His novel research on wheat and barley is opening new opportunities in crop improvement directly relevant to WA industries. Professor Millar is the National Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology (PEB) which is headquartered at UWA. Under his leadership, PEB now boasts the world’s largest concentration of specialist researchers in the energy efficiency of plants and leads its Australian activities from WA.

 
christobel-saundersProfessor Christobel Saunders
Professor of Surgical Oncology, Head, Division of Surgery (The University of Western Australia) 
 
Professor Saunders is a Consultant Surgeon at Royal Perth, St John of God and Fiona Stanley Hospitals, and Professor of Surgical Oncology at UWA. She is a leader in surgical practice and cancer research in Australia and internationally. She has a particular research interest in breast cancer including clinical trials of new treatments, supportive care, and translational and health services research which have led to better treatments for people with cancer and improved survival. Professor Saunders is directly involved in strategic planning of Australian cancer services and research through her senior roles on numerous cancer boards, networks and taskforces.


Finalists

Dr Ravinder Anand, Chief Research Scientist (CSIRO)

Professor Donna Cross, Head, Health Promotion and Education Research (Telethon Kids Institute)

Professor Zheng-Xiang Li, Australian Laureate Fellow, Co-Director (Australia) of the Australia-China Joint Research Centre for Tectonics and Earth Resources, WA School of Mines (Curtin University)

Professor David Mackey, Managing Director, Lions Eye Institute and Professor of Ophthalmology, Centre for Ophthalmology and Visual Science, The University of Western Australia 

Professor Una Ryan, Professor in Biochemistry (Murdoch University) 
 

Woodside Early Career Scientist of the Year 2017

asha-bowen-(1)Dr Asha Bowen
National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Early Career Fellow (Telethon Kids Institute) 

Dr Bowen is a clinician-NHMRC early career researcher at Telethon Kids Institute and Paediatric Infectious Diseases specialist at Princess Margaret Hospital. As leader of the Telethon Kids Institute Skin Team, Dr Bowen uses an integrated approach to reduce the burden of skin infections in Aboriginal children. Dr Bowen’s PhD was a world-first trial of the treatment of impetigo (a skin disease which can lead to life-threatening conditions) in remote Aboriginal children. The trial results have been translated into local, regional and national treatment guidelines. Dr Bowen is also leading the first comprehensive skin control program for WA, which aims to halve the incidence of skin infections in Kimberley Aboriginal children.


Finalists
Dr Wensu Chen, ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award Fellow (Curtin University)

Dr Jun Li, Senior Lecturer/ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award Fellow (Curtin University)

Dr Anais Pages, Research Scientist (CSIRO) 

 

ExxonMobil Student Scientist of the Year 2017

david-gozzard-(2)Mr David Gozzard
PhD candidate (The University of Western Australia)

Mr Gozzard is completing a PhD in experimental physics, developing stabilised transmission systems to send atomic clock signals over long distances with improved precision. This research has direct application to the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project and the Atomic Clock Ensemble in Space (ACES) mission. His research has required significant collaboration with major national and international research organisations. Mr Gozzard has had success at numerous national and international science competitions and devotes considerable efforts to science outreach. Mr Gozzard promotes science to school and university students through presentations, demonstrations and social media, as well as through direct involvement with Astrofest and the Gravity Discovery Centre


Finalist
s

Mr Patrick Hayes, PhD candidate (The University of Western Australia) 

Ms Jessica Kretzmann, PhD candidate (The University of Western Australia) 

Mr Ryan Urquhart, PhD candidate (Curtin University)  


Chevron Science Engagement Initiative of the Year 2017

coderdojo-wa-(2)CoderDojo WA
Fogarty Foundation

CoderDojo WA is the WA node of CoderDojo, an open source network of fun, free and social computer programming clubs, Dojos, for young people aged seven to 17. The international CoderDojo movement was founded to address the looming worldwide shortage of computer programmers and highly skilled ICT professionals. The Fogarty Foundation initiated the CoderDojo WA network by launching the State’s first Dojo in 2013. Since then, the WA network has expanded to more than 100 WA Dojos. As a result, more than 2000 young Western Australians have been able to access opportunities to learn computer programming and develop their digital skills.


Finalists

60 Second Science, Telethon Kids Institute

Old Ways, New Ways - Aboriginal Science Outreach Program, Edith Cowan University

TravelingGeologist, Curtin University  

2016 award winners

Scientist of the Year 

Prof Kingsley DixonProfessor Kingsley Dixon
Curtin Professor and Visiting Professor at Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority (Curtin University)
Professor Dixon's efforts in conservation science, restoration ecology and plant science have been fundamental to conserving threatened species and transforming ecological restoration practice in Australia. 

His discovery of the specific chemical in smoke that is responsible for germination in Australian species has had widespread application, being valued at $100M per annum in terms of potential global benefits to agriculture, mining restoration and horticulture. As Foundation Director of Science at the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority for 32 years, he is acknowledged as the driving force behind the creation of its world-recognised research laboratories.
 
Finalists

Professor Carol Bower
Senior Principal Research Fellow (Telethon Kids Institute)

Professor Zheng-Xiang Li
Australian Laureate Fellow, Co-Director (Australia) of the Australia-China Joint
Research Centre for Tectonics and Earth Resources, WA School of Mines (Curtin University)

Professor David Sampson
Director, Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation and Analysis and Head, Optical+Biomedical Engineering Laboratory (The University of Western Australia).


2016 Woodside Early Career Scientist of the Year

Dr Scott DraperDr Scott Draper                 
Senior Lecturer, School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering (The University of Western Australia)
Dr Draper is known internationally for his research in offshore fluid mechanics. He has developed models to optimise the configuration of offshore wind and tidal turbines for renewable energy, predict seabed scour and estimate the stability of offshore structures in extreme wave conditions. His research on marine renewable energy provided the first accurate assessment of marine renewable energy resources in the UK.

Across all fields of offshore fluid mechanics, Dr Draper has published more than 50 peer-reviewed papers, has worked on multiple Australian Research Council projects and has supervised award winning PhD and Master students.
 
Finalists
Dr Kaiming Bi
Lecturer, ARC DECRA Fellow (Curtin University)

Dr James Fitzpatrick
McCusker Clinical Research Fellow in Aboriginal Child Health (Telethon Kids Institute); Director (PATCHES Paediatrics)

Dr Jun Li
Senior Lecturer/ARC DECRA Fellow (Curtin University)


2016 ExxonMobil Student Scientist of the Year

Mr Christopher Brennan-JonesMr Christopher Brennan-Jones   
PhD Candidate (The University of Western Australia / Ear Science Institute Australia)
Mr Brennan-Jones' PhD research focused on improving efficiency and access to ear and hearing healthcare services in Western Australia. He led an international consortium that assessed the reliability of automated hearing tests for use in the absence of specialists.

Mr Brennan-Jones discovered some common inconsistencies that, if not corrected, could result in missed diagnoses of middle ear disease or tumours. Building on this work, he has developed diagnostic protocols that can be applied to automated audiometry to correct these errors and is translating this research into practice, by establishing an Indigenous ear health program in the East Pilbara.

Finalists
Carl Blair
PhD Candidate (The University of Western Australia)

Tim Rosenow
PhD Candidate (Telethon Kids Institute / The University of Western Australia)

Melanie Walls
PhD candidate (The University of Western Australia) 


2016 Chevron Science Engagement Initiative of the Year

Fireballs in the SkyFireballs in the Sky (Curtin University)
The Desert Fireball Network aims to understand the early workings of the solar system by studying meteorites, fireballs and their pre-Earth orbits by capturing the paths of fireballs in the sky from multiple viewpoints. With this data, the fireball's pre-Earth orbit and eventual landing position are tracked. Fireballs in the Sky is the outreach arm of the project.

Over 89,000 Western Australians have engaged with the program through hands-on activities, talks and events, and it has received international media coverage. The citizen science smartphone app has had 23,000 downloads world-wide and in 2015 the app was awarded the National iAward for Innovation in Education.

Finalists

iPREP WA (Edith Cowan University)

Old Ways, New Ways - Aboriginal science outreach program (Edith Cowan University)

2015 award winners

Scientist of the Year

Professor Mark Cassidy 2015 Professor Mark Cassidy
Director, Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems, UWA

Professor Mark Cassidy is a distinguished civil engineer whose research has underpinned the safe and economic construction of oil and gas platforms in our oceans. His advice has been incorporated into the design of platform and pipeline infrastructure currently being constructed off the coast of Western Australia. As an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow, Professor Cassidy’s research seeks solutions to unlock the vast reserves of stranded gas in our remote and deep oceans, where the geotechnical response of the seabed sediment is poorly understood. Email: mark.cassidy@uwa.edu.au

Finalists
Professor Shaun Collin
Winthrop Professor in the School of Animal Biology and Director of the Oceans Institute, UWA

Professor Richard Oliver
Chief Scientist, Centre for Crop and Disease Management, Curtin University

Woodside Early Career Scientist of the Year

Dr Hannah Moore 2015Dr Hannah Moore
Senior Research Fellow, Wesfarmers Centre of Vaccines & Infectious Diseases, Telethon Kids Institute

Dr Moore, an epidemiologist, is currently investigating how to prevent and reduce serious respiratory infections in children. Her primary focus is Respiratory Syncytial Virus, and she has successfully developed the first model for how the disease develops and spreads in the community. Dr Moore’s impressive research career includes her being awarded various research grants, prizes and fellowships; most notably a Fellowship to attend the 64th Meeting of Nobel Laureates.


Finalists
Dr Scott Draper
Senior Lecturer, School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering and the Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems, UWA

Dr Nicole Smith  
Research Associate, School of Animal Biology/School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, UWA
 
ExxonMobil Student Scientist of the Year

Mr Thomas Russell 2015Mr Thomas Russell
PhD Candidate, International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research-Curtin University

Mr Russell's research into black holes is shaping our understanding of one of the greatest mysteries of the Universe. Using state-of-the-art facilities, including space-based and ground-based telescopes from around the world, he is studying how black holes extract and recycle energy from in-falling matter; an extremely efficient source of power that shapes the formation of stars, the evolution of galaxies and the distribution of matter in the Universe. 
Email: thomas.russell@postgrad.curtin.edu.au

Finalists
Mr Christopher Brennan-Jones 
PhD Candidate, Ear Sciences Centre, UWA 

Ms Kalina Makowiecki 
PhD Candidate, Department of Experimental and Regenerative Neurosciences, UWA

Ms Melanie Walls 
PhD Candidate, School of Women’s and Infant’s Health, UWA
Chevron Science Engagement Initiative of the Year

Earth Science WA 2015Earth Science Western Australia (ESWA)

Earth Science Western Australia (ESWA) supports earth science education by developing teaching and learning resources, providing professional development for teachers, offering free classroom incursions, assisting with field experiences for students and supporting events. These services are freely available to schools across Western Australia for students and teachers from Kindergarten to Year 12. 
Website: www.earthsciencewa.com.au 


Finalists
Fireballs in the Sky - Curtin University

Lotterywest BioDiscovery Centre - Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research
 
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2014 award winners

Scientist of the Year

Professor Ian Small 2014Professor Ian Small

Chief Investigator ARC Centre of Excellence for Plant Energy Biology, UWA

Professor Small's research focuses on understanding how plants capture, store and release energy. Investigating how genes are controlled, his discoveries have provided the basis for efficiencies in large food production with implications for agriculture and the environment.

Since coming to Western Australia as a Premier's Fellow in 2006, he has established the world leading Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence of Plant Energy Biology and attracted over $57 million ARC funding to the Centre. This year he was listed by Thomson-Reuters as one of the world's most highly-cited authors, ranking in the top one percent for his subject field and was recently announced as an ARC Australian Laureate Fellow.
 
Finalists
Professor Colin MacLeod - UWA
Professor David Sampson - UWA
Professor Steven Tingay - Curtin University
 

 
Woodside Early Career Scientist of the Year


Dr Ryan Loxton 2014Dr Ryan Loxton
Senior Lecturer in Industrial Optimisation, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Curtin University

Dr Loxton's research focuses on developing new mathematical techniques to optimise industrial processes in areas including robotics, electronics and chemical engineering. He has published over 50 peer reviewed research papers and delivered key-note addresses at several international conferences.

He promotes the importance of science and mathematics to students through the Curtin Mathematics Enrichment Program and in 2012 was awarded a WA Young Tall Poppy Science Award. He currently holds three prestigious grants from the Australian Research Council, including an Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship.
 
 
Finalists
Dr Prue Cormie - ECU
Associate Professor Paul Stanwix - UWA
 
 
ExxonMobil Student Scientist of the Year

Mr Mark Zammit 2014Mr Mark Zammit
PhD Candidate, Curtin University

Mr Zammit's research focuses on modelling the collisions of atoms and molecules for application in fusion technology, materials research, cancer detection and radiotherapy treatment; and he has developed the world's most accurate model for describing some of these fundamental interactions of matter.

He has published nine papers in high impact journals and presented at over 20 national and international conferences. As a passionate promoter of science, Zammit has provided career and education advice to hundreds of students and is involved in a range of voluntary science engagement activities.
 
 
Finalists
Mr Tobias Prosin - Murdoch University
Mr Thomas Russell - Curtin University
 
 
Chevron Science Engagement Initiative of the Year

Centre for Integrative Bee Research 2014Centre for Integrative Bee Research (CIBER) Science Engagement Initiative
CIBER's Science Engagement Initiative aims to increase community awareness about honeybees. It showcases the links from bees to pollination, food and honey and the industries and people that depend on them.

CIBER uses a variety of strategies to engage audiences, including an academy award nominated documentary, an annual public Honey Festival in the Swan Valley, a permanent honeybee exhibition at Scitech and a dedicated social media page encouraging users to follow ongoing activities.

Finalists 
Astrofest Astronomy WA
Dinosaur Discovery WA Museum
 
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2013 award winners

Scientist of the Year

Professor Mark Randolph 2013Professor Mark Randolph
Professor of Civil Engineering Centre for Offshore Foundations, UWA; Director, Advanced Geomechanics.

Professor Mark Randolph is a distinguished geotechnical engineer who has excelled both in academia and in solving real world issues for industry. Since the mid-1980s, Randolph has applied his expertise to meet the scientific and engineering challenges of our local offshore oil and gas industry. Randolph's contributions have ranged from analysis and design of piled foundations; to solutions for offshore foundations, anchoring systems and pipelines.

Most importantly, Randolph's leadership has established Perth as an internationally recognised hub for excellence in geotechnical engineering, attracting many international companies to seek solutions in Perth for their geotechnical engineering problems. Much of this innovative research has been adopted by industry internationally.  


Finalists
Professor Igor Bray
Professor Stephen Powels
Professor Stephen Tingay

 
Woodside Early Career Scientist of the Year

Associate Professor Shazzad Hossain 2013Associate Professor Shazzad Hossain

Research Associate Professor, ARC Postdoctoral Fellow, Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems, UWA

Associate Professor Shazzad Hossain is a geotechnical engineer who is pioneering a new field of research contributing to the mining industry, specifically in terms of rehabilitation of tailings. This is likely to be incorporated in the Western Australian Guidelines on the Safe Design and Operating Standards for Tailings storage. His research also focuses on developing safer foundations and anchoring systems for both shallow and deep water offshore oil and gas developments in Australian frontiers. Since completing his PhD in 2008, he has built a research team of seven and is an ARC Postdoctoral Fellow. 


Finalists
Dr Hayley Christian
Dr Ryan Loxton 
Dr Debbie Silvester
 
ExxonMobil Student Scientist of the Year

Mr Tristan Clemons 2013Mr Tristan Clemons 
PhD Candidate, Chemistry and Biochemistry, UWA

Mr Tristan Clemons' research focuses on applying nanoparticle technology to treat heart disease, breast cancer, colon cancer and central nervous system injuries. His cross disciplinary research has resulted in the filing of an international patent describing nanoparticles for imaging and drug delivery.

He is also committed to inspiring students to pursue science careers and is involved in a range of voluntary science engagement activities. He combines his academic work with sporting excellence, representing Australia in hockey. 

Finalists
Mr Matthew Fraser
Mr Mark Zammit
 
Science Ambassador of the Year

Professor Myra Keep 2013Professor Myra Keep
Professor, Structural Geology and Tectonics, UWA

Over the last ten years Professor Myra Keep has developed a range of geological research, teaching and outreach activities in East Timor through significant collaboration with all levels of government, schools and the local community. She initiated the program and has raised all the required funds for her research and engagement activities.

Her outreach activities have included the training of young geologists, students, government officials and industry personnel leading to significant community development. She has been instrumental in the development of student links between UWA and East Timor. A number of these students have now returned to Timor as trained geologists, having completed degrees in Australia and elsewhere. 


Finalists
Professor Ralph Martins
Professor David Pannell
 
Chevron Science Engagement Initiative of the Year

ARC CoE Plant Energy 2013ARC CoE Plant Energy Biology's Education and Outreach Programs 

The ARC Centre for Excellence in Plant Energy Biology's Education and Outreach program includes a variety of strategies to engage the community with plant science. Programs target students, the general public, farmers and industry professionals and aim to promote the importance of science, increase the understanding of the importance of plants and their ability to capture, process and convert energy, and create dialogue between scientists, growers and the general public.

The program also showcases the fun and beauty of science, along with its benefits to crop productivity, West Australian agricultural exports, health, and our ability to protect the environment and economy from future threats like climate change and food shortages. 

Finalists
South West Super Science Spectacular
The Ancient Science Initiative
 
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2012 award winners

Scientist of the Year

Professor Peter Quinn 2012Professor Peter Quinn

Director, International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research

Professor Quinn is a world renowned astrophysicist who has conducted pioneering research in galaxy formation and dark matter using large astronomical facilities and high performance supercomputing technologies.

His efforts to develop the State's radio astronomy capabilities have played a central role in the success of the Australian Square Kilometre Array campaign.


Finalists 
Professor Hans Lambers
Professor Stephen Powles.

 
Early Career Scientist of the Year

Associate Professor Ajmal Mian 2012Associate Professor Ajmal Mian
Australian Research Fellow, The University of Western Australia 

Associate Professor Ajmal Mian has pioneered research in Australia on the challenging problem of 3D face and object recognition for a range of multidisciplinary applications.

Since graduating, he has built a research team of seven, comprising himself, one postdoctoral fellow and five PhD students. 


Finalists
Dr Ullrich Eker
Dr Mark Paskevicius.
 
Student Scientist of the Year 

Mr David Erceg-Hurn 2012Mr David Erceg-Hurn
Master of Clinical Psychology/PhD Student, The University of Western Australia

Mr Erceg-Hurn's PhD research focuses on evaluating strategies to reduce the stigma associated with seeking professional treatment for clinical depression.

He has also evaluated programs designed to reduce drug and alcohol misuse and has helped to develop new statistical methods.

Finalists
Mr Terry Boyle
Ms Jennifer Girschik
 
Science Ambassador of the Year 

Professor Steven Tingay 2012Professor Steven Tingay
Director, Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy

Professor Tingay has played a key role in communicating the significance of radio astronomy and the Square Kilometre Array project to the public, the science community, industry and to government at a state, national and international level.

Finalists
Professor Kevin Kenneally AM
Professor Jessica Meeuwig
 
Science Engagement Initiative of the Year 

Engineers without borders 2012Engineers without Borders - High School Outreach Program 


Developed by the Western Australian Chapter of Engineers without Borders, this program improves students' understanding of issues related to water, climate change, sustainability and technology.

It has also gained a reputation as an assessment tool for university engineering students and as a professional development opportunity for experienced engineers.

Finalists
The Kimberley Marine Research Station (KMRS)
SkyNet
SPICE
 
Educator of the Year 

Mrs Mady Calquhoun 2012Mrs Mady (Marion) Colquhoun
Science Specialist Teacher, Armadale Primary School 

Mrs Mady Colquhoun is a dedicated teacher who has taken a significant leadership role within the primary science education community in Western Australia.

She has provided extensive input to the Australian Curriculum, is an active member of the Science Teachers' Association of WA and runs a range of extra-curricular activities for the school community.
 
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2011 award winners

Scientist of the Year
Professor Richard Hobbs
Professor of Restoration Ecology, The University of Western Australia, Australian Laureate Fellow, Australian Research Council

Professor Hobbs is a distinguished ecologist who has worked untiringly to preserve key elements of our unique ecosystems for future generations of Western Australians. He is a leading researcher in an area of key importance for the State as it seeks solutions to the major environmental issues facing the state both now and in the future. His ongoing contributions have both local relevance and international reach.

Professor Hobbs’ research results have laid the foundations for important developments in our understanding of the management and conservation of ecosystems and landscapes, the management of invasive species, and the restoration of degraded ecosystems. He has maintained many long-term field experiments, the longest of which has now run for 29 years. Professor Hobbs has a demonstrated ability to mesh world-class science alongside working with managers and policy makers in environmental science.

He is widely regarded as one of the most prolific and highly cited ecologists in Australia. He has published 19 books, 200 refereed journal papers and 125 edited book chapters.


Early Career Scientist of the Year
Professor David White 
ARC Future Fellow, Professor, Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems, UWA

Professor White is a geotechnical engineer who is pioneering a new field of research into the behaviour of shallow seabed sediments. He is internationally renowned for devising analysis techniques for the response of foundations and pipelines laid on soft and unstable seabed sediments, and for the development of new tools for in situ characterisation of the seabed. These advances have been rapidly adopted in practice – results from his research are being used to assess the stability of all the major pipelines currently being designed to tap Australia’s offshore gas resources. Professor White’s research provides techniques that can overcome the unique challenges associated with the design of seabed pipelines and foundations in the unusual conditions faced by Australia’s offshore industry.

He left a lectureship at Cambridge University to become the youngest professor at UWA in 2007 at the age of 31 and currently holds an ARC Future Fellowship. Professor White is in wide demand as a speaker at industry and community forums, and at international conferences. He is also a strong proponent of science and engineering to the wider community.


Science Communication Initiative of the Year
Farm Business Resilience Program 

The Farm Business Resilience Program (FBR) is a partnership between the Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA), Curtin University and the West Australian Rural Business Development Corporation that seeks to assist WA Farming Businesses undertake changes to farming practices in response to climate change and other external factors.

The key challenges to the program were developing: the 5 module curriculum; new delivery approaches; the logistics of operating across the state and multiple agricultural industries and in training and supporting 50 facilitators to deliver a new style of program.

Approximately 400 participants were involved from 30 locations, 36 groups and 67 local government areas over the 12 month period of the pilot program. At the outset of the program, 21% of participants stated they thought they were prepared or well prepared for drought and climate variability. This number increased to 55% by the conclusion of the program. This result has been truly remarkable and unique and exemplifies what can be achieved through listening to the needs of the community, developing appropriate materials and delivering the content in a participative learning style.

Science / Mathematics Educator of the Year: Secondary
Mr Heath Dullard - L3 Science teacher, Pinjarra Senior High School

Heath Dullard is a passionate and enthusiastic teacher committed to ensuring the students in his regional school have similar enrichment opportunities to their metropolitan counterparts. Since commencing at Pinjarra SHS he has linked Pinjarra SHS into the SPICE science development program. He also initiated Pinjarra SHS’s involvement in the Thinking Science Program resulting in the school being selected to run the national pilot for the program. He continues to support the program’s growth by providing training and demonstration lessons of the program for other teachers.

The results of Mr Dullard’s work in the Thinking Science Program, which seeks to develop thinking cross curricula, are borne out by the improvement in his students’ achievement shown through Pinjarra’s MSE results in Science showing 20% of the cohort in the top 20% of the state and NAPLAN results show marked improvement against Year 7 NAPLAN data. The school Principal has stated that these are the best results she has seen in many years.

Science / Mathematics Educator of the Year: Primary
Mrs Linda Townend - Science Specialist Teacher, Maylands Peninsula Primary

Linda Townend uses innovative strategies to engage her students, such as cartoons and puppets, and designed a collection of challenging science investigation activities. Each activity comprises a class set of resources and a teacher resource guide of suggestions on how to build on and develop students’ knowledge and skills across year levels.

Linda has been acknowledged with regional and state awards for her ability to assess and plan for students with different learning styles, needs and cultural backgrounds. To further foster student curiosity and enthusiasm for science, Linda set up weekly activities for students to engage in during free time or before school. She also has a science chat board in her classroom where she posts questions and offers different view points to challenge students’ thinking and encourage interaction.

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2010 award winners


Western Australian Scientist of the Year ($50,000 prize)
Professor Michael Tobar - Australian Laureate Fellow, UWA


Professor Tobar is a world leading scientist carrying out cutting-edge research in the invention, creation and applications of precise time, frequency and phase measurement techniques. Professor Tobar’s work has resulted in the most pure oscillators and precise measurement systems so far manufactured, with use in radar, telecommunications, fundamental physics and defence applications. His recent work has involved some of the most stringent testing of fundamental physics, including the testing of Einstein’s theories of relativity and fundamental constants. His research aims to examine and unite Einstein’s theory of relativity and quantum mechanics, and to provide new tools for industry to use.


Western Australian Early Career Scientist of the Year ($10,000 prize)
Professor Eric May - Chevron Chair in Gas Process EngineeringChevron Chair in Gas Process Engineering, UWA


Professor May’s research combines several aspects of engineering, physics and chemistry and can be described as ‘Fluid Science for the Next Generation of Natural Gas Engineering.’ His development of new techniques to more accurately measure gas properties has advanced fundamental science and improved engineering models. His progress is evidenced by having secured more than $5.5 million in funding for new research, constructed the infrastructure to conduct industry-driven projects and commenced the training of seven PhD students. In 2009 he was awarded the Australian National Metrology Institute Prize.


Western Australian Science Educator of the Year - Secondary ($10,000 prize)
Lynette Hillier - Science Teacher, Newton Moore SHS


Lynette is a passionate science teacher who develops and implements new curriculum material, catering for students of all levels. Lynette’s innovative science programs have elevated Human Biology from the weakest performing subject to the top performing subject at the school. She has also played a critical role in the development and implementation of exciting science programs in the school. She has worked with the Dolphin Discovery Centre and a number of local industry partners to develop and enhance the Marine Managers program which sees students monitoring dolphin populations.


Western Australian Science Educator of the Year - Primary ($10,000 prize)
Brooke Topelberg - Westminster PS


Brooke has facilitated positive and measurable changes in student attitudes, results and teacher involvement in science education. She has implemented a Primary Science Outreach Program and developed a collaborative Investigation in Science DVD. More than 200 copies of the DVD have been distributed to schools throughout the State. Brooke has also initiated an Upper School Science Challenge within the school, which involves an inspiring day of science activities. Due to the success of the initiative, she now coordinates the Upper School Science District Challenge between five schools within the Swan District.


Western Australian Science Outreach Initiative of the Year ($10,000 prize)
Marine Discovery West and the Naturaliste Marine Discovery Centre


The Department of Fisheries through its Marine DiscoveryWest education programs, incorporates State-wide, integrated delivery of aquatic environmental education activities and programs, with a central education hub at the Naturaliste Marine Discovery Centre in Perth. The programs engage the community to participate in and contribute to a sustainable future for Western Australia’s fisheries and aquatic ecosystems by delivering innovative and hands-on education activities, resources and programs for students, teachers and the wider community. The programs delivered Statewide and at the Discovery Centre reflect the science that underpins the sustainable management of the aquatic environment.

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2009 award winners


Scientist of the Year
Professor Cheryl E Praeger AM FAA - Professor of Mathematics and Australian Research Council Federation Fellow, University of Western Australia

Professor Praeger, WA’s most highly-cited pure mathematician, leads a major research team in Group Theory and Combinatorics at The University of Western Australia. She is also a leading international researcher, renowned for her works in group theory, algebraic graph theory and combinatorics. Professor Praeger’s work has resulted in findings that have led to new thought being adopted by mathematicians worldwide.


Young Scientist of the Year
Research Associate Professor Kevin Pfleger - Head, Laboratory for Molecular Endocrinology, WA Institute for Medical Research and Chief Scientific Officer, Dimerix Bioscience


Professor Pfleger co-invented a novel technology to identify and study „G protein coupled receptors - a family of receptors found on the surface of cells that mediate communication with other cells. The receptors are extremely important in treating disease and are the target of about 50 per cent of all therapeutic drugs.


Science Educator of the Year - Primary
Mark Pager - Science Specialist Teacher, Cable Beach Primary School


As Primary Science Specialist and Kimberley District Science Programme Coordinator, Mr Pager has implemented science programs throughout Cable Beach Primary School and the wider community to improve science learning in the area. He has developed a number of useful resource and assessment tools and is committed to using science and literacy to create a successful learning journey.


Science Educator of the Year - Secondary
Richard Meagher - Senior Chemistry and Physics Teacher, Mt Lawley Senior High School


Mr Meagher displays exemplary classroom practice, engages extensively with external agencies and avidly promotes science as a career to his students. His passion for ICT has enabled him to engage students by using a variety of digital technologies in his teaching to deliver positive results.


Science Outreach Program of the Year
ECOCEAN Inc.


ECOCEAN is a WA-based not-for-profit group and the driving force behind the global campaign to protect the world’s declining population of whale sharks. The campaign is designed to monitor, research and encourage collaboration and discussion through its internet site.

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2008 award winners


Premier's Prize for Western Australian Scientist of the Year
Professor Jorg Imberger - Director, Centre for Water Research


Professor Imberger is a world leader in the field of water research and management. He established the internationally recognised Centre for Water Research at the University of Western Australia. Technologies created at the centre benefit more than 100 million people world-wide.


Premier’s Prize for Young Scientist of the Year
Dr Ben Corry - ARC Research Fellow, School of Biomedical, Biomolecular and Chemical Science, University of Western Australia


Dr Corry has developed a strong independent research career in the field of molecular biophysics and significantly advanced the understanding of biological ion channels - the proteins that regulate electrical signalling between cells. He recently applied his understanding of biological pores to propose cheaper ways for generating clean drinking water.


Premier’s Prize for Excellence in Science Communication outside the Classroom
SymbioticA - School of Anatomy and Human Biology, University of Western Australia


SymbioticA is an internationally recognised art and science collaborative research laboratory dedicated to the artistic research, learning and critique of life sciences. The first of its kind in the world, the laboratory enables artists to engage in wet biology practices and collaborate with scientists in a biological science department.


Premier’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching: Secondary
Lorraine Ellis - Head of Science Learning Area, Newton Moore Senior High School


Lorraine Ellis is an energetic and enthusiastic science educator who has lifted the profile of science at Newton Moore by establishing the Science Specialist Program - Science Horizons, as well as the Wetlands Project, a hands-on course that enables students to save wetlands in their area. Her students have won numerous awards as a result of her teaching skills and the courses she has developed.


Premier’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching: Primary
Richard Johnson - Science Support Teacher, Rostrata Primary School


Richard Johnson’s role as a science support teacher has improved the science knowledge and skills of the students at Rostrata Primary. He develops innovative, motivating and challenging lessons for his students, and is responsible for running professional learning courses for staff from five neighbouring schools.


Premier’s Prize for Science Student of the Year: University
Jacinta Delhaize - Student, Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Western Australia


Jacinta is completing her Honours in Astronomy and Astrophysics, tutors physics and assists with programs to promote astrophysics to high school students. She is also involved in many radio astronomy related programs outside of university, including the promotion of astronomy to high school students and preparations for the Square Kilometre Array project.

Premier’s Prize for Science Student of the Year: Secondary
André Rhine-Davis - Year 12 student, Carmel School


André is a gifted science student with a passion to teach others about science through tutoring and organising science events. He has an exceptional academic record in science-based subjects, with a distinction or high distinction average and has competed in many science and mathematic competitions.

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2007 award winners


Western Australian Scientist of the Year
Professor David Blair, Professor of Physics at The University of Western Australia 


David Blair has worked for many years on the worldwide quest to detect gravitational waves. Alongside many students and colleagues at UWA, he has developed a very sensitive detector and the first sapphire clocks. Professor Blair is currently developing the gravitational wave observatory facility near Gingin and the exciting public facility, The Gravity Discovery Centre.


Western Australian Young Scientist of the Year
Dr Kristen Nowak, Research Fellow for the Western Australian Institute for Medical Research


Dr Nowak researches rare muscle disorders, which can sometimes lead to complete paralysis at birth. She has made world-first discoveries into the genetics of these diseases, helping to make Perth a global leader in diagnosing these muscle disorders. Dr Nowak is dedicated to finding a therapy for patients with actin-caused muscle diseases.


Premier’s Prize for Excellence in Science Communication Outside the Classroom
Mr Roger Harris, Centre Manager at Herdsman Lake Wildlife Centre


Roger Harris has seen a 300 per cent increase in school student participation in the WA Gould League’s education program in the last five years. Last year more than 13,000 students participated in the environmental science and indigenous learning experiences and Mr Harris received an Education Award of Excellence in recognition of his outstanding contribution. Mr Harris’ three keys to success in environmental education are partnership, collaboration and passion.


Premier’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching: Tertiary
Professor Paul McMenamin, Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning), Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences and School of Anatomy and Human Biology at The University of Western Australia


Professor McMenamin uses innovative methods, such as body painting and model building, to teach clinically important aspects of human anatomy. His role in the medical faculty is to inspire colleagues to strive towards excellence in their teaching and learning with the aim of producing better health professionals for WA.


Premier’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching: Secondary
Mr Warwick Mathews, Shenton College 


Mr Mathews is a passionate educator with a remarkable capacity to create a sense of excitement and discovery. His work has been critical to the success of the science program at Shenton College, initiating programs including the student research vineyard, wine science, and the participation in UWA’s scientists in school program and the international biotechnology competition, the sanofi-aventis International BioGENEius Challenge of Western Australia.


Premier’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching: Primary
Mr Allan Whittome, Badgingarra Primary School


Mr Whittome is a highly valued colleague among his peers, who holds a depth and intensity of passion for all things scientific. His science lessons are engaging, hands-on, energetic and constantly evolving for students and staff alike. He teaches science through interactive activities and integrating several learning areas.

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2006 award winners


Premier’s Prize for Achievement in Science
Professor Graeme Hankey


Professor Hankey is a consultant neurologist and head of the Stroke Unit at Royal Perth Hospital and clinical professor at the School of Medicine and Pharmacology at The University of Western Australia. Professor Hankey is one of the world’s leading doctors in stroke research. Since 1999, Professor Hankey has led one of the world’s most comprehensive clinical trials.

Taking in a network of clinicians and research patients in 100 medical centres in 20 countries, the VITAmins TO Prevent Stroke (VITATOPS) trial is the only study comparing the effect of B-vitamin supplements with a placebo in preventing a recurrence of stroke. The professor is also involved with the Perth Community Stroke Study which tracked a group of stroke survivors for more than a decade. It is one of only two such studies in the world.


Premier’s Prize for Early Career Achievement in Science
Professor Mark Cassidy


By the age of 33, Professor Mark Cassidy has become a full professor at The University of Western Australia and director of the world-class Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems. Also a Rhodes Scholar, Professor Cassidy has built an international reputation in the field of offshore geotechnical engineering. His leading role in the Western Australian Energy Research Alliance pilot project and $1.4million in research grants show his firm commitment to the development of WA science.


Premier’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching: Tertiary
Christine Howitt


Christine Howitt is a lecturer in Primary Science Teacher Education at Curtin University of Technology. Her boundless passion for teaching science is evident in her innovative and refreshing curriculum. As a dedicated educator, she instils enthusiasm in her students and provides future generations with a better understanding of scientific processes and a positive attitude towards science.


Premier’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching: Secondary
Alison Siciliano


At Christmas Island’s District High School, Alison Siciliano ensures science is taught throughout the school in a meaningful way. With a large student population of Chinese and Malay immigrants, she has been instrumental in creating a strategic plan for science teaching from Kindergarten to Year 10, catering for English as a Second Language learners. 
 

Premier’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching: Primary
Monique Hill (joint winner)

Monique Hill’s dedication to science and the environment manifests itself in everything she does at Rossmoyne Primary School. She actively encourages students to experience real life science situations. She is involved in Primary Connections, a federally funded Science Literacy Program. Her efforts have elevated the status of science at the school.

Penny Kelliher (joint winner) 
Penny Kelliher believes that no child should be excluded from learning and has applied this to her role as a science specialist and deputy principal at Leeming Primary School. She has developed a cross-curricular program for students with learning and behaviour management difficulties such as ADHD. As a result of this hands-on program these students have engaged science learning and returned to their classrooms.


Premier’s Prize for Excellence in Science Communication
Fremantle Light and Sound Discovery Centre - Richard Rennie 


Since 2003, Fremantle Light and Sound Discovery Centre has been communicating science from the WA Museum’s Fremantle History facility. The centre demonstrates science concepts through a collection of rare and historic light and sound technologies and gadgets. The centre offers 25 educational programs for all learning levels, professional development for teachers and support for special events. Founder Richard Rennie has 37 years’ experience as a science teacher, and uses his skills to inspire young people and young teachers alike and performs his role as a volunteer.

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2005 award winners


Premier’s Prize for Achievement in Science
Professor Simon Mallal


Profesor Mallal is the Executive Director of the Centre for Clinical Immunology and Biomedical Statistics at Royal Perth Hospital. Professor Mallal is an HIV physician and immunologist who, with his team, has been internationally credited for making several key advances in HIV research, including the discovery that the HIV virus can mutate to avoid recognition by the immune system. This crucial discovery has received worldwide acclaim in the search for more effective vaccines against the deadly disease.

Premier’s Prize for Early Career Achievement in Science
Dr Graham Hall


Dr Hall is a Senior Respiratory Scientist at Princess Margaret Hospital. His research work focuses on the development and validation of non-invasive research methods, allowing critical information to be obtained on the causes or progressions of disease as they relate to children’s respiratory medicine.

Premier’s Prizes for Excellence in Science Teaching: Tertiary
Professor Robert Stick, Chemistry Professor at The University of Western Australia

Premier’s Prizes for Excellence in Science Teaching: Secondary
Ms Julie Weber of Merriden High School (joint winner)
Mr Hao Ta of Willetton High School(joint winner)

Premier’s Prizes for Excellence in Science Teaching: Primary
Mrs Natalie Birrell, pre-primary science specialist at Huntingdale Primary School

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2004 award winners


Premier's Prize for Achievement in Science
Professor Bruce Robinson, Professor of Medicine at the University of Western Australia, Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre

Premier's Prize for Early Career Achievement in Science
Dr Robert Hough, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at CSIRO Exploration and Mining

Premier's Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching: Tertiary
Associate Professor Adrianne Kinnear, Associate Professor of Natural Sciences, Edith Cowan University

Premier's Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching: Secondary
Mr Darren Hamley, Science Teacher at Willetton Senior High School (joint winner)
Mr Denis Smith, Head of Science Department at Esperance Senior High School (joint winner)

Premier's Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching: Primary
Ms Susan Doncon, Acting Deputy Principal at Woodlupine Primary School

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2003 award winners

Premier’s Prize for Achievement in Science
Emeritus Professor Ian Ritchie

Professor Ritchie is recognised as the leading international expert in hydrometallurgy. He has received two international awards for his work and the 2003 International Conference in Hydrometallurgy was named after him and held in his honour. Professor Ritchie has made many novel discoveries in chemistry - spanning an unusually wide range of research areas. He also initiated and developed the A J Parker Co-operative Research Centre for Hydrometallurgy, which produces millions of dollars worth of research savings for the State’s mining industry.

Premier's Prize for Early Career Achievement
Dr Harvey Millar

Plant biochemist Dr Harvey Millar, from the University of Western Australia, won the Premier's Prize for Early Career Achievement.

Excellence in Science teaching: Tertiary
Dr Mauro Mocerino

Curtin University chemistry lecturer Dr Mauro Mocerino won the award for his commitment to fostering in students the ability and the desire to learn chemistry. Dr Mocerino has developed online pre-laboratory exercises for students studying chemistry for the first time.

Excellence in Science Teaching: Secondary
Ray Priskich

Trinity College’s Science Department Head Ray Priskich, has developed an Astronomy and Space Sciences Program that operates as an extensive online web document.

Excellence in Science Teaching: Primary
Mark Merritt


Marmion Primary School science teacher Mark Merritt, won for his commitment to providing professional development and training to teachers and educators in the area of science. 

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2002 award winners

Premier’s Prize for Achievement in Science
Professor Barry Marshall

Professor Barry Marshall won the $10,000 major prize for his work related to ulcer causing bacterium. Professor Marshall had persevered to uncover the cause of a significant health problem that was suffered by half the world’s population. The research to identify the causes and to develop diagnostic testing and therapies to eradicate this bacterium was conducted in Perth. Professor Marshall was the co-discoverer of the ulcer causing bacterium Helicobacter pylori with Dr Robin Warren. Professor Marshall developed a blood test, a biopsy test and a breath test to easily diagnose the bacterium. All these methods are now widely used and Professor Marshall holds several patents related to diagnosis and treatment.

Premier’s Prize for Early Career Achievement

Dr Kliti Grice and Professor Andre Luiten (joint winners) 

Dr Kliti Grice from Curtin University and Professor Andre Luiten from the University of Western Australia were both awarded the Premier’s Prize for Early Career Achievement, receiving $5,000 each.

Dr Grice’s work in geochemistry has application for petroleum exploration while Professor Luiten’s work as a physicist has attracted the attention of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Dr Grice has more than 10 years experience in carbon compound specific isotope research and is the only stable isotope geochemist with experience in both carbon and hydrogen compound specific analysis in WA and one of a few in Australia. Her research can be applied to a number of WA industries including petroleum exploration, water geochemistry and environmental geochemistry.

Professor Luiten had spent his career testing the validity of fundamental laws governing our understanding of the world by developing instruments to test scientific theory. His validation experiments of Einstein's theory of special relativity have a 50 times higher confidence of special relativity than previous attempts. Professor Luiten was invited to conduct research for NASA and along with his UWA team, awarded a $13million Federal Government grant.

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