News

Awards and Achievements

2017

Professor David Boger elected to the US National Academy of Engineering

Professor David Boger was recognised amongst the 84 new members and 22 foreign associates elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) this year. David was recognised for discoveries and fundamental research on elastic and particulate fluids and their application to waste minimization in the minerals industry.

Election to the National Academy of Engineering is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to “engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature,” and to the “pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education.”

Neil Furlong and Thomas Healy

Professors Neil Furlong and Thomas Healy

Dr Kathryn Mumford wins the IChemE Warner Prize

The medal is presented every two years to an individual, normally in the early stages of their career, who has shown exceptional promise in the field of sustainable chemical process technology, nuclear technology or in making chemical engineering more accessible to a wider scientific community. The judges commented, "Still in the early stages of her career but she has made some major contributions to date across a broad spectrum of technologies including polar remediation, CCS and slow release fertilizers."

2016

Victoria Fellowship awardee

Congratulations to Dr George Chen for receiving a Victoria Fellowship. He will use the travel funds to travel to the University of Surrey, UK to work with Dr Judy Lee using her pilot scale forward osmosis plant.
See George's profile on the Veski website

Mitchell Nothling, 3 Minute Thesis Competition Grand Finalist

Three PFPC student members have demonstrated their presentation skills in the University of Melbourne Three Minute Thesis Competition. Sam Skinner, Mitchell Nothling and Christopher Bolton all made it to the semi-finals of the University-wide competition. Furthermore, Mitchell Nothling was successful in moving through to the Grand Final of the competition!

Listen to the 3MT® Grand Final on YouTube

PFPC 3 Minute Spotlight

The PFPC Three Minute Spotlight (3MS) is based upon the Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) which is a research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ). In the 3MT®, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) students have three minutes to present a compelling oration on their thesis and its significance. 3MT® is not an exercise in trivialising or ‘dumbing-down’ research, but challenges students to consolidate their ideas and research discoveries so they can be presented concisely to a non-specialist audience. The 3MS will follow the 3MT® philosophy but the competition is open to all members of the PFPC, not only PhD students.

PFPC 3MS Final

Tuesday 15 November, 12:00-1:00 pm
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Lecture Theatre, Building 165

Winners:

1st Place: Mitchell Nothling "Catalysis- Inspired by Nature"

2nd Place: Christopher Bolton "Tripping the Light Fantastic: A colourful new approach for observing nanoparticle building blocks"

3rd Place: Anita Pax "Pizza cheese: what makes it stretchy?"

Honourable Mention: Armineh Hassanvand "Desalination with a Battery"

Judges: Peter Scales, Andrea O'Connor, Greg Martin

Professor David Boger elected a Fellow of the Society of Rheology

Our congratulations go to Professor David Boger on being elected as a Fellow of the Society of Rheology, a member society of the American Institute of Physics. This great honour recognises David's extensive scientific and technical contributions to rheology and service to the Society of Rheology. The society allows no more than 0.5% of their membership each year to become fellows.

2015

Melbourne Laureate Professor Frank Caruso

Our congratulations go to Frank Caruso on his appointment as a Melbourne Laureate Professor. The University reserves this honour for its most distinguished academic staff including Nobel Laureates, scholars equivalent in standing to Nobel Laureates and distinguished professors.

The University of Melbourne 3 Minute Thesis Competition Grand Finalist

PFPC postgraduate student, Steven Harris Wibowo, was a Grand Finalist in the University of Melbourne's 3 Minute Thesis Competition. A research communication competition, 3MT® challenges PhD students to present a their thesis topic and its significance in just three minutes. Steven engaged the audience with his three minute research pitch, “Can Spiders Save Soldiers?” He has devised a new technique for creating synthetic spider silk, which is simpler and more effective. The material has a wide range of potential future applications, due to its remarkable strength, light weight and biocompatibility with the human body.

Associate Director at the Bio21 Institute

Associate Professor Sally Gras has been appointed an Associate Director at the Bio21 Institute, to lead the new research theme of 'Molecular Systems Biology'.

Victorian Postdoctoral Fellowship awardee

Awarded by the Victorian Government, Dr Jing Ming Ren was successful in his application for a Victorian Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. The fellowship allows Jing Ming to spend two years with Professor Craig Hawker at University of California Santa Barbara, USA, before returning for his third year with Greg Qiao at the University of Melbourne.

2014

On the team winning the 2014 National Industry Innovation Award

George Franks and Carolina Tallon were part of a team lead by the Defence Materials Technology Centre (DMTC) that won the Land Defence Australia National Industry Innovation Award at the Land Forces Conference in Brisbane in September 2014.The Boron Carbide Body Armour project includes members from DMTC, CSIRO, Australian Defence Apparel, Victorian Centre for Advanced Material Manufacturing (VCAMM) and Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) . Carolina and George provided critical ceramic processing and property characterisation capability which has proven essential in the commercialisation of theis world-leading technology. Further information about the award can be found on the Land Forces Conference website.

Frank Caruso awarded the 2014 Victoria Prize for Science & Innovation (Physical Sciences)

In 2014 the Victoria Prize for Science and Innovation (Physical Sciences) was awarded to Professor Frank Caruso. This prestigious prize highlights the many ways in which research and development of international significance are conducted in Victoria and is awarded to outstanding science leaders. Frank won the prize for his work focusing on the development and application of nanotechnologies to develop tiny capsules, loaded with therapeutic agents, which can be targeted to specific tissues and cells in the body. "Nanomedicine" has the potential to supersede current therapeutics and significantly improve healthcare and medical outcomes. For further information about the prize see the Business Victoria website.

PFPC members receive University of Melbourne excellence awards

PFPC Director Professor Geoff Stevens was awarded the Patricia Grimshaw Award for Mentor Excellence in recognition of his excellence in the mentoring of University colleagues, both professional and academic. Award recipients are acknowledged for their outstanding contributions as mentors, involving: a sustained record of effective mentoring; exceptional skills in the provision of support and the sharing of knowledge; and respect for the development of colleagues as individuals.

Associate Professor Andrea O'Connor won the Edward Brown Award recognising her outstanding achievements across the various elements that constitute excellence in teaching in higher education: the inspiration and motivation provided to students; contribution to the development of curricula and teaching and learning resources; the high quality practice in assessment of student learning; respect for students as individuals; and the various ways in which her scholarly activities have influenced and enhanced learning and teaching.

2013

Professors Tom Healy and Neil Furlong conferred Honoris Causa degrees

At the Graduation Ceremony on 15 December 2013 Professor Tom Healy received the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) and Professor Neil Furlong received the honorary degree of Doctor of Engineering (honoris causa). The honorary degree of doctor is a high honour from the University and is made by Council upon recommendation of the Academic Board and a proposal from the faculty in which the degree is to be conferred. The degree is awarded to a person of “probity and distinguished eminence” in a field of learning relevant to that faculty. We are very pleased that they have received these highly deserved honours recognising their distinguished work in their fields.

Full text of the citations for the honoris causa degrees will be available on the University Secretary’s Department website.

Professor Frank Caruso and team successful in ARC Centre of Excellence bid

Congratulations to Frank Caruso and his group who have been successful participants in a new Centre of Excellence in Convergent Bio-Nano Science & Technology announced yesterday by the ARC. The Centre, led by Monash, has been awarded a total of $26M. Frank and his group will use these funds to research nanoscale materials engineering and biological interactions.

Professor Frank Caruso and Dr Annie Yan awarded Eureka Prizes

Congratulations to Frank Caruso who was awarded the Eureka Prize for Leadership in Science for his pioneering work developing nano-materials for medicine. Presented annually by the Australian Museum, the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes reward excellence in the fields of research & innovation, leadership & commercialisation, school science and science journalism & communication.

A team including Frank Caruso and Annie Yan, led by Lloyd Hollenberg in Physics, won the Eureka prize for Interdisciplinary Scientific Research website.

PFPC research highlighted in high profile journals and in the media

Research articles by PFPC members were recently published in prestigious scientific journals and highlighted by the media.

Dr Hirotaka Ejima, with Professor Frank Caruso and his team, reported on a novel coating technology in the journal Science. This new technology uses non-toxic, cost effective and naturally occurring materials and has a myriad of applications. The work has attracted wide attention:

nanotechweb, ScienceNews, New York Times, Phys.org, ABC online, Top News

Assoc Professor Michelle Gee and Dr Huabin Wang were co-authors on a paper in PNAS which shows that the self-organisation of bacteria during cell migration when forming biofilms is facilitated by extracellular DNA and gained the following media attention:

ABC online, ABC News, ABC Radio, Australian Life Scientist

Michelle also published a paper looking at antimicrobial peptides in the Nature group's Scientific Reports which was highlighted in The Age newspaper.

Assoc Professor Andrea O'Connor and PhD student, Paul Mignone, co-authored an article on 3D printing for the Conversation and Andrea was interviewed on Sydney radio as a result of this work.

PFPC members involved in two ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hubs

Congratulations to Dr Sally Gras on leading a successful bid with Dairy Innovation Australia and the University of Queensland for an ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub. This is a five year grant of $5M from the ARC, with additional funds to be provided by both Dairy Innovation and the two universities. Other PFPC staff listed on this grant are Sandra Kentish, Muthupandian Ashokkumar, Dave Dunstan and Greg Martin. Greg Qiao, Muthupandian Ashokkumar and Ray Dagastine were also listed as investigators on a second Hub grant with Kraft as the industry partner, which gained $2M from the ARC.

Cooperative Agreement with NIMS, Japan

Prof Ushioda and Prof McCluskey

On 6th February 2013 we hosted a delegation from the National Institute of Materials Science (NIMS) in Japan to sign the “Agreement on the Cooperative Graduate Program between the University of Melbourne, Australia and National Institute for Materials Science, Japan” to allow research exchanges of postgraduate students and key researchers. NIMS is one of the top five materials research centres in the world and the home for the International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics (MANA) which was established as one of the six research centres selected as part of the World Premier International (WPI) Research Centre Initiative, launched by Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT).

The President of NIMS, Prof Sukekatsu Ushioda, led the delegation and the DVC-R, Prof Jim McCluskey, signed on behalf of the University of Melbourne (pictured to the right). The Agreement marked the recognition of a long history of international research collaboration that the PFPC has fostered with materials researchers in Japan for more than 30 years. Further, materials research is a strength of the University of Melbourne and the formal link with NIMS and WPI-MANA, Japan will serve to further cement our standing in this field of research and promote research excellence into the future.

2012

David Boger a Distinguished Engineering Alumni

Professor David Boger attended Bucknell University as a member of the Class of 1961, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering. In October 2012 his accomplishments, service, and dedication to his profession and to society were honoured by Bucknell University's engineering alumni. We are pleased to congratulate David on being awarded the Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award from Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA, USA website.

Colin Scholes wins a prestigious Victoria Fellowship

The Victorian Government this year awarded 12 Victoria Fellowships to emerging leaders in engineering, science or technology. Each Fellow receives a travel grant of up to $18,000 to undertake a short-term overseas study mission to assist in developing a commercial idea, undertaking specialist training or career development. Dr Colin Scholes won his Fellowship to allow him to pursue his research into carbon capture and storage.

Georgina Such and Colin Scholes amongst the 2012 Young Tall Poppy Award Winners

Drs Georgina Such and Colin Scholes were announced as recipients of the 2012 Young Tall Poppy Science Award. The prestigious Young Tall Poppy Science Awards aim to recognise the achievements of Australia’s outstanding young scientific researchers and communicators. More information on the awards is available at the Australian Institute of Policy & Science website.

Dr Carolina Tallon one of 12 Fresh Science national finalists

Carolina’s presentations of her work investigating cheaper, more efficient ways to make complex, heat-resistant, ceramic parts needed to build tomorrow’s rockets and hypersonic airliners has won her a place as a national finalist in the Fresh Science competition. Fresh Science is a national event, which brings together scientists, the media and the public. The program is aimed towards early career researchers and provides a vehicle for them to present their work to an audience much broader than their peers. It is aimed to improve and enhance science reporting in Australia. Carolina’s press release can be found on the Fresh Science website.

Dr Xu Li member of the group awarded the Eureka prize in Innovative Use of Technology

Presented annually by the Australian Museum, the Eureka Prizes reward excellence in the fields of scientific research & innovation, science leadership, school science and science journalism & communication. Dr Xu Li, a McKenzie Fellow in Sally Gras' Group was one of the team members who won the prize for Innovative Use of Technology whilst she was a PhD student at Monash University with Dr Wei Shen.

Professor Frank Caruso wins the 2012 Royal Society of Victoria Medal for Excellence in Scientific Research in the Physical Sciences

In its Centenary year (1959) the Royal Society of Victoria instituted a Medal for excellence in Scientific Research. The Award consists of a Silver Medal, which is awarded annually for scientific research in one of four categories which rotate from year to year. In 2012 the medal was given in the category Physical Sciences. The medal was awarded solely on the basis of research work published and/or accepted for publication in refereed international journals during the six year period from 1 January 2006 to 31 December 2011. Frank Caruso was successful demonstrating:

  • Consistent excellence in innovation or ground-breaking research and patents, incorporating novel scientific techniques and methods.
  • Exemplary leadership in science incorporating evidence of a major contribution to the public promotion of science, advocacy for science, partnership building, collaborations, role modelling and demonstrated influence across the scientific community.
  • Exemplary publication track record during the six year period nominated for consideration.

Frank Caruso an ARC Laureate Fellow

Our congratulations to Professor Frank Caruso who has just received an ARC Laureate Fellowship. The Australian Laureate Fellowships are awarded to individuals with demonstrated excellence in research to attract and retain outstanding research leaders to Australia and strengthen our world-class research capacity. We are very happy that Frank’s achievements have been recognised with this prestigious fellowship.

A full description of this scheme is found on the Australian Research Council website.

PFPC members awarded prestigious ARC Future Fellowships

Dr Georgina Such and Dr Xuehua Zhang were awarded Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowships. The aim of the Fellowships is to promote research in areas of critical national importance by giving outstanding researchers incentives to conduct their research in Australia. Georgina’s Fellowship will further her research into the synthesis and application of ‘smart’ polymer films and particles which mimic biological behaviour. Xuehua will use her award to develop high sensitivity detectors, efficient energy conversion and storage devices.

A full description of this scheme is found on the Australian Research Council website.

Frank Caruso awarded an inaugural ACS Nano Lectureship

The American Chemical Society (ACS) journal ACS Nano honoured the contributions of three scientists, one each from the Americas, Europe/Middle East/Africa and Asia/Pacific, with an inaugural ACS Nano Lectureship Award. PFPC Executive Committee member, Professor Frank Caruso received the award for the Asia/Pacific region for his significant contributions to the the fields of nanoscience and nano technology. Full details of the award can be viewed on the ACS Nano website.

2011 and earlier

PFPC Members Awarded at the 33rd Australasian Polymer Symposium

Members of the PFPC were acknowledged for their achievements at the 33rd Australasian Polymer Symposium held in Hobart, Tasmania in February 2012. The Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) Polymer Division recognises contributions to polymer science and/or technology in Australia and New Zealand by way of the Polymer Division Citations. Professor Greg Qiao was awarded the RACI 2012 Polymer Division Citation for service to the Polymer Division and distinguished research achievements in the field of synthetic polymer chemistry. Adrian Sulistio and Zhou Zhang were jointly awarded the Treloar Prize for the best oral presentations. The Treloar Prize is awarded for outstanding oral and poster presentations by young polymer scientists at National or International Polymer Division Meetings. It was unusual this year in that they could not separate the top two and decided to award two prizes. Steven Harris Wibowo was awarded the CRC Prize for 2011 for his best final year Research Project in the field of polymer science and engineering.

Doctor of Engineering (honoris causa)

The Doctor of Engineering (honoris causa) from the University of Melbourne was conferred upon Professor David Boger. The honorary degree of doctor is a high honour from the University and is made by Council upon recommendation of the Academic Board and a proposal from the faculty in which the degree is to be conferred. The degree is awarded to a person of “probity and distinguished eminence” in a field of learning relevant to that faculty. We are very pleased that David’s significant contribution to the field of fluid mechanics has been recognised with this honour.

Full text of the citation for his Doctor of Engineering can be read on the University Secretary’s Department website.

PFPC members awarded prestigious ARC Future Fellowships and a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA)

Prof Greg Qiao and Dr Angus Johnston were awarded ARC Future Fellowships. The aim of the Fellowships is to promote research in areas of critical national importance by giving outstanding researchers incentives to conduct their research in Australia. The aim of ARC Future Fellowships is to attract and retain the best and brightest mid-career researchers. Greg’s Fellowship will further his research engineering macromolecular architectures for targeted applications. Angus will use his award to investigate how nanomaterials interact with biological systems. Dr Judy Lee received a DECRA to investigate methods to extract purified water from industrial waste. The DECRA scheme aims to support and advance promising early career researchers.

A full description of both schemes is found on the Australian Research Council website.

IACIS Lifetime Achievement Award

Professor Tom Healy was this year chosen as the first recipient of the International Association of Colloid and Interface Scientists (IACIS) Lifetime Achievement Award. This choice is especially fitting because Tom was one of the founders of IACIS in 1979. For a short history of IACIS and a group photo of the founders, see http://www.iacis.nl/history.html.

The Lifetime Achievement Award replaces the previous Lectureship Award. Past awardees were selected by the Standing Committee (the current office holders) in concert with the local meeting organizers, and then ratified by IACIS Council. The former award was primarily designed to recognize outstanding service to IACIS, as well as to colloid and interface science. Past recipients of the IACIS Lectureship have been: Hans Lyklema (2000), Egon Mati-jevic (2003), Bob Hunter (2006) and Brian Vincent (2009).

Melbourne Laureate Professor

Our congratulations go to the PFPC Director Geoff Stevens on his appointment as a Melbourne Laureate Professor. The University reserves this honour for its most distinguished academic staff including Nobel Laureates, scholars equivalent in standing to Nobel Laureates and distinguished professors. We are therefore very proud that Geoff has been awarded this appointment.

Geoff completed his PhD at The University of Melbourne in 1981 and his research interests are in the areas of separation processes, particularly solvent extraction, interfacial phenomena and emulsion stability. His research is primarily in the hydrometallurgical field but also covers aspects of food, pharmaceutical processing and environmental or waste water processing. Geoff leads an internationally-recognised separations group in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. He is a Project Leader in the CRC for Greenhouse Gas Remediation (CO2CRC) and is Secretary General of the International Solvent Extraction Committee.

2011 L’Oréal Australia For Women In Science Fellowship

Congratulations to Dr Georgina Such who has received a 2011 L'Oréal Australia For Women in Science Fellowship, for her research into nanomaterials for smarter drug delivery. The L'Oréal For Women in Science Australian Fellowships are awarded to three female scientists with no more than five years of post-doctoral experience to assist their research at an Australian academic or research institution. The Australian Fellowships are worth up to AUD$20,000 over 12 months and are intended to help early career women scientists to consolidate their careers and rise to leadership positions in science.

A Chancellor’s Prize for Excellence in the PhD Thesis

Dr Jing Fung Tan was awarded a Chancellor’s Prize for his PhD thesis entitled “Core cross-linked star polymers and their multi-star analogues: advancements in their versatility and commercial viability”. He is one of just six recipients of the award from across the entire University. The award will be presented at the Menzies Oration graduation ceremony scheduled for 12 October 2011. He was also awarded the Melbourne Engineering Research Institute (MERIT) prize for the Best PhD thesis in Engineering in 2010. Jing Fung did his PhD in the Polymer Science Group.

Soft Matter Poster Prize at the ESF-EMBO Symposium: Biological Surfaces and Interfaces

Rona Chandrawati was awarded the Soft Matter Poster Prize at the European Science Foundation and the European Molecular Biology Organization (ESF-EMBO) - Biological Surfaces and Interfaces Symposium held in Spain between 26 June and 1 July 2011. Her poster, “Capsosomes: Liposomal Subcompartments within Polymer Carrier Capsules” describes a system that combines Layer-by-Layer (LbL) assembled polymer capsules and liposomes. Her ultimate aim is to create artificial cells. Rona is doing her PhD in the Nanostructured Interfaces & Materials (NIMs) Group.

The Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication announces the selection of eight MCN Technology Fellows for 2011-2012

Raymond Dagastine was awarded a Technology Fellowship from the MCN for his project “Using Nanofabrication Methods to Probe Dynamic Forces in Soft Matter”. Soft matter is used in many of the products and processes that affect our everyday lives. These range from the formulation and processing of salad dressing, milk, ice cream or shampoo, to larger industrial processes like the solvent extraction used for pharmaceutical and mineral purification. The dynamic processes that occur in these materials on the nano-scale often determine their effectiveness in products or processes. This project will take advantage of the unique opportunities offered by the MCN’s nano- and micro-fabrication and characterization capabilities to explore new directions in the study of dynamic nano-scale forces in soft matter materials.

Best poster award at the UK Colloids 2011: An international colloid and surface science symposium

Thakshila Balasuriya won the best poster award at the UK Colloids 2011: An International Colloid and Surface Science Symposium, London 4-6 July 2011. The title of her poster was “Dynamic Forces between Bubbles with Switchable Peptide Surfactants”. The meeting, organized by the RSC Colloid and Interface Science Group and the SCI Colloid and Surface Science Group, provided a perfect opportunity for UK and international researchers interested in colloids and interfaces to meet, present and discuss issues related to current developments in this field. Thakshila is a third year PhD student in the Dynamic Interfacial Forces Group and received her B. Eng. (Chemical and Biomolecular) from The University of Melbourne in 2008. Thakshila’s thesis work is focused on nanoscale interactions forces in biomolecular systems in soft matter.

Thomson Reuters top 100 materials scientists include Associate Professor Rachel Caruso and Professor Frank Caruso

Rachel Caruso and Frank Caruso were listed amongst the top 100 materials scientists who achieved the highest citation impact scores for their papers. The list took into account original articles and reviews published since January 2000. The report can be viewed at the Science Watch website.

A Victorian Young Tall Poppy Science Award for Angus Johnston

Dr Angus Johnston was announced as one of the recipients of a 2010 Young Tall Poppy Science Award for his research targetting drugs to specific cells in the body. The prestigious Young Tall Poppy Science Awards aim to recognise the achievements of Australia’s outstanding young scientific researchers and communicators. More information on the awards is available at the Australian Institute of Policy & Science website.

PFPC researchers win funding from ANLEC R&D

Professor Geoff Stevens, Associate Professor Sandra Kentish, Dr Kathryn Mumford and Dr Colin Scholes were successful in attracting funding from the Australian National Low Emissions Coal Research & Development (ANLEC R&D) Alternatives and Fundamentals Program.

Geoff, Kathryn and the solvents research group at the CRC for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC) will receive $771,000 to investigate solvent precipitating systems which may lead to many cost and operating benefits in carbon capture and storage. Sandra and Colin will lead a CO2CRC project on membrane processes for amine contaminant removal. Their work is aimed at producing less waste with less energy input and will receive $497,000 from the ANLEC Program.

Geoff Stevens is one of Australia’s most influential engineers

PFPC Director, Professor Geoff Stevens, is again listed as one of Engineers Australia Magazine’s 100 most influential engineers. The list focuses on present influence rather than historical achievements. All of the 100 engineers are currently in leadership positions, either in organisations or by virtue of their engineering expertise. view issue

Tom Healy is awarded the Rideal Lecture in London, March 2010

The Rideal lecture is an annual award given by Society of Chemical Industry (SCI) Colloid and Surface Chemistry Group and the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Colloid and Interface Science Group. The lecture is named after Sir Eric Rideal who was one of the keystone figures of colloid science in the UK in the mid 20th century. This prestigious award aims to bring together a group of colloid scientists all of whom have played leading roles in understanding the nature and properties of the interfaces formed between aqueous solutions and both hydrophilic and hydrophobic materials of all kinds. Tom’s lecture “Controlling the Properties of Aqueous Interfaces” will be delivered on 10th March at the SCI headquarters in London.

2009

David Boger named an inaugural Bragg Member of the Royal Institution of Australia

The Royal Institution of Australia (RiAus) is Australia’s first national science hub and was launched on Thursday 8th October in Adelaide. The launch was attended by a number of dignitaries including Premier Mike Rann, HRH The Duke of Kent, RiAus Inaugural Director, Professor Gavin Brown, Chair of RiAus, Peter Yates, as well as Director of sister institution, RIGB, Baroness Professor Susan Greenfield. Professor David Boger was named as an Inaugural Bragg Member of the RiAus and was invited to take part in Science “in” the Square - What do you believe is true but cannot prove? as part of the event.

A Victorian Young Tall Poppy Science Award for Alison Funston

Dr Alison Funston was announced as one of the recipients of a 2009 Young Tall Poppy Science Award. The prestigious Young Tall Poppy Science Awards aim to recognise the achievements of Australia’s outstanding young scientific researchers and communicators. More information on the awards is available at the Australian Institute of Policy & Science website.

Two PFPC members awarded prestigious ARC Future Fellowships

Drs Rachel Caruso and Ray Dagastine were awarded ARC Future Fellowships in the first round of this new scheme. The aim of the Fellowships is to promote research in areas of critical national importance by giving outstanding researchers incentives to conduct their research in Australia. The aim of ARC Future Fellowships is to attract and retain the best and brightest mid-career researchers. Rachel’s Fellowship will further her research engineering materials for energy technologies. Ray will use his award to continue his work understanding soft matter on the nanoscale. A full description of the Future Fellowship scheme is found on the Australian Research Council website.

Geoff Stevens is one of Australia’s most influential engineers

PFPC Director, Professor Geoff Stevens, is again listed as one of Engineers Australia Magazine’s 100 most influential engineers. The list focuses on present influence rather than historical achievements. All of the 100 engineers are currently in leadership positions, either in organisations or by virtue of their engineering expertise.

Sally Gras wins a prestigious Victoria Fellowship

The Victorian Government annually awards up to six Victoria Fellowships to emerging leaders in engineering, science or technology. Each Fellow receives a travel grant of up to $18,000 to undertake a short-term overseas study mission to assist in developing a commercial idea, undertaking specialist training or career development. Dr Sally Gras won her Fellowship to allow her to pursue her interest in the understanding and control of diary product microstructure.The Fellowship was presented at Government House on 28 July 2009.

Dr John Provis is awarded a Brian Robinson Fellowship

In June 2009 the Banksia Environmental Foundation awarded Dr John Provis the Brian Robinson Fellowship. The Fellowship, first awarded in 2005, is an annual grant created to encourage future environmental leaders. The objective is to nurture young people (under 35) with the potential to contribute to the future sustainability of Victoria, Australia or even globally.
[source: Banksia Environmental Foundation]

Professors Frank Caruso and Paul Mulvaney are elected Fellows of the Australian Academy of Science

In March 2009 Professors Caruso and Mulvaney were honoured by election to the Australian Academy of Science. The Academy was founded in 1954 by Australian Fellows of the Royal Society of London with the distinguished physicist Sir Mark Oliphant as founding President. It was granted a Royal Charter establishing the Academy as an independent body but with government endorsement. The Fellowship of the Academy is made up of over 400 of Australia’s top scientists, distinguished in the physical and biological sciences and their applications. Each year sixteen scientists, judged by their peers to have made an exceptional contribution to knowledge in their field, are elected to Fellowship of the Academy.
[source: Australian Academy of Science]

2008

Colin Scholes, Fulbright Scholar

Dr Colin Scholes is one of two winners of the inaugural Fulbright Victoria Scholarship. The Fulbright Victoria Scholarship was established in 2008 by the Victorian State government and Victorian based universities to support research of benefit to the state. The Fulbright Victoria Scholarship provides an opportunity for a talented Victorian resident to undertake postgraduate study or research in the United States for eight to twelve months. The Scholarship is open to any field of study. Colin will spend four months at University of Texas at Austin, Department of Chemical Engineering, working on a technique that will lead to cheaper ways to mitigate carbon emissions from large stationary sources of carbon dioxide, such as coal-fired power plants.
[source: Australian-American Fulbright Commission]

Professor Geoff Stevens is elected President of the Academic Board, University of Melbourne

In August 2008 Professor Geoff Stevens was elected President of the University of Melbourne’s Academic Board. The Board has as its primary responsibility “the supervision and development of all academic activities of the University, including the maintenance of high standards in teaching and research”. Geoff has been serving as Pro Vice Chancellor and Vice President of the Academic Board for the last two years and begins his role as President in January 2009. In this position he becomes a member of the Senior Executive of the University.
[source: PFPC News Issue 2, 2008]

Professor Frank Caruso is awarded the Woodward Medal in Science and Technology for 2008

The Woodward Medal in Science and Technology is awarded annually to a member of staff for research published in hard copy up to 31 December of the preceding year, but not published in the current year of the application that is considered to have made the most significant contribution by a member of staff to knowledge in a field of science and technology.

The PFPC congratulates its successful ARC grant recipients

PFPC researchers were successful in winning funding in the latest ARC grant round totally over $3.7M

Associate Professor John Sader is the inaugural winner of the Barry Inglis Medal

The Barry Inglis Medal is an annual award presented by Australia’s National Measurement Institute (NMI) to commemorate World Metrology Day. Awarded for the first time in 2008, it acknowledges and celebrates outstanding achievement in measurement research and/or excellence in practical measurements by an individual (or group) in the fields of academia, research or industry in Australia.

The award is named in honour of Dr Barry Inglis, inaugural Chief Executive and Chief Metrologist of the National Measurement Institute, which was established in 2004.

Associate Professor John E Sader of Melbourne University is the inaugural recipient of the Barry Inglis Medal. Professor Sader’s work in the invention of a non-invasive technique to calibrate the stiffness of Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) cantilevers has led to significant improvement in one of the chief tools of nano science, thereby enabling the AFM to become a quantitative tool for measuring forces on the nano scale.
[source: National Measurement Institute]

Peter Duxson wins INNOVIC’s Best New Thing award

E-crete, a cementless-concrete made from waste produced by power stations, has won INNOVIC’s 2008 Next Big Thing Award. INNOVIC’s International Next Big Thing Award™ is a competition and annual award to find and showcase new inventions and innovations that have the potential to become 'the next big thing'.

Professor Tom Healy is a foreign associate of the US National Academy of Engineering

The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) has elected 65 new members and nine foreign associates, NAE President Charles M. Vest announced today. This brings the total U.S. membership to 2,227 and the number of foreign associates to 194.

Election to the National Academy of Engineering is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to “engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature,” and to the “pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education.”

Professor Tom Healy wins the Antoine M. Gaudin Award 2008

Tom Healy has been awarded the Antoine M. Gaudin Award 2008 of the Minerals and Processing Division of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (USA).

The Antoine M. Gaudin Award is for scientific or engineering contributions that further understanding of the technology of mineral processing. Eligible areas for contributions are agglomeration, classification, comminution, electrical and magnetic separation, flocculation and sedimentation, froth flotation, hydrometallurgy, particulate behavior, and other related mineral processing operations.

Since it was established in 1975 only two other Australians have received the Award, Bill Trahar of CSIRO in 1989 and Alban Lynch of UQ in 1999.

2007

Professors David Boger and Rob Lamb selected within the top 100 Melburnians

David Boger and Robert Lamb have been selected for inclusion in The Age Melbourne Magazine’s list of the 100 most powerful, innovative and entertaining Melburnians of 2007. The list includes the people who have made a significant contribution to public life in 2007 based on nominations from a panel of experts.

Professor Frank Caruso is one of the world’s most cited authors

Frank Caruso has been selected to appear on ISIHighlyCited.com because of his exceptional citation count in the field of Materials Science. Thomson Scientific’s ISIHighlyCited.com is a free, publicly available website intended to highlight the world’s most cited authors from the past 25 years and to create a network of highly cited researchers across diverse disciplines. Less than half a percent of all publishing authors meet the criteria for inclusion on ISIHighlyCited.com. The website includes over 5,000 researcher profiles in 21 categories.

Dr Rachel Caruso recognised as one of the top 10 scientists under 40

Dr Rachel Caruso an Australian Research Fellow working in the PFPC School of Chemistry has won a Cosmos Bright Sparks Awards, an annual tribute to the brightest young science minds Australia has to offer. The Bright Sparks Awards recognise outstanding achievement in young Australian scientists under the age of 40 and are awarded annually by Cosmos magazine.

A professorial appointment for Kerry Landman

One of our senior academics, Kerry Landman from the Department of Mathematics & Statistics was promoted to Professor in July this year. We congratulate Kerry on her well deserved promotion and also on becoming the first female Professor in the Department. Kerry was also successful in gaining an ARC Australian Professorial Fellowship in the latest funding round.

Geoff Stevens is one of Australia’s top 100 engineers

PFPC Director, Professor Geoff Stevens, is one of Engineers Australia Magazine’s 100 most influential engineers in 2007. This year’s list included many engineers in very senior positions, not only in engineering but also in other areas of leadership such as finance and politics. The list focuses on present influence rather than historical achievements. All of the 100 engineers are currently in leadership positions, either in organisations or by virtue of their engineering expertise.

Former PFPC Director David Boger is elected a Fellow of the Royal Society

Professor David Boger was amongst forty-four scientists recognised for their exceptional contributions to society, with his election to the Fellowship of the Royal Society on 17th May 2007. This prestigious honour recognises David’s leadership in the field of fluid mechanics. David is distinguished for his work on fluid mechanics. Highlights of his research include the discovery of constant viscosity elastic liquids (now widely known as Boger fluids'), developing novel methods for flow property measurement and the linking of the basic research to significant industrial outcomes in the petroleum, food and minerals industries.

A second Federation Fellowship for Frank Caruso

PFPC Executive Committee Member, Professor Frank Caruso was awarded his second Federation Fellowship by the Australian Research Council (ARC) in May. Federation Fellowships provide opportunities for outstanding Australian researchers to return to, or remain in, key positions in Australia. This is a highly prestigious award with only 25 fellowships available each year.

Tom Healy: a lifetime of mentoring

Australian colloid and surface science is ranked among the best in the world, thanks in large part to Professor Tom Healy, the winner of Nature’s lifetime award for mentoring excellence. He has cultivated generations of high-performing scientists that have excelled both nationally and internationally.

“Tom Healy is an example of a person who not only mentors his own students, he also succeeds in mentoring an entire field of science,” says William Ducker, of the University of Melbourne. It is not only the supportive “family-like” atmosphere he creates for his own students and colleagues, but his selfless generosity in guiding others that is exceptional.

“Mentoring is a way of life for Tom,” says Calum Drummond, of CSIRO Industrial Physics, who was mentored by Healy during his undergraduate and postgraduate training.

Healy’s supportive and collegial approach fosters scientific excellence and collaboration amongst students and colleagues.He is renowned for bringing people together from diverse fields, such as applied mathematics, physics, chemical engineering, and biology.

An outstanding feature of Healy’s legacy is a student conference in colloid and surface science, held every two years, which he established nearly 40 years ago to help young researchers network with their peers. A testament to its success, aside from its longevity, is the fact that it has been emulated elsewhere around the world, including Europe, the United States and Japan.

Healy is renowned for fostering a nurturing environment and creating opportunities for his students, such as encouraging them to get a taste of overseas experience during their candidature. In fact, an award bearing his name was established at the University of Melbourne to fund a student to travel to an overseas conference or research centre. He is also credited with bringing back to Australia’s shores some of the finest minds in the field.

He has guided people across academia, government laboratories and industry, thus extending his mentoring beyond traditional boundaries. “In today’s world, Tom’s interest and enthusiasm for forging strong collaborative links with industry might be seen as nothing unusual, but in the 1960’s and 1970’s his approach was groundbreaking and innovative,” says Brian Kavanagh, of the Water Corporation , who was mentored by Healy during his undergraduate studies and throughout his career.

“Tom is the benchmark from which I rate all mentors,” says Drummond, a sentiment echoed by all of Healy’s nominators. This year’s winners of Nature’s Australasia awards set a gold standard in mentoring excellence.
[source: Nature]

Victorian Young Tall Poppy Science Award to Australian Research Fellow

Dr Rachel Caruso an Australian Research Fellow working in the PFPC School of Chemistry has won the prestigious Victorian Young Tall Poppy Science Award. The Tall Poppy Campaign was created by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science in 1998 to recognise and celebrate Australian scientific and intellectual excellence. The Young Tall Poppy award identifies and acknowledges outstanding young Australian researchers.

Fresh Science Selection Highlights PFPC Research

Dr Ray Dagastine was selected to participate in the national program Fresh Science. This event which promotes research brings together Australia’s brightest young scientists, the media and the public. As one of 16 scientists chosen in this year’s program Ray had the opportunity to promote PFPC research that is examining the behaviour of oil droplets. Fresh Science is hosted by the Melbourne Museum and sponsored by the Federal and Victorian governments, New Scientist, The Australian and Quantum Communications Victoria.

ExxonMobil Award for PFPC Executive Member

The ExxonMobil Award for 2006 has been won by PFPC Executive Member Professor Jannie van Deventer. The ExxonMobil Award is presented jointly from The Engineers Australia Chemical College, Institution of Chemical Engineers (Australia), Society of Chemical Engineers New Zealand and the Royal Australian Chemical Institute. This award is in recognition of Jannie’s contribution to the field of chemical engineering.

PFPC Director Appointed Shell Chair Professor at Tsinghua University, China

PFPC Director Professor Geoff Stevens was appointed Shell Chair Professor at Tsinghua University, China. Geoff has conducted collaborative research in the area of separation science with Professor Weiyang Fei at Tsinghua University for over 20 years. Geoff as Shell Chair Professor will visit China later this year to strengthen and further develop their joint research activities in solvent extraction and will present a series of lectures to students. This distinguished Chair is in recognition of the significance of the collaboration between the PFPC and Tsinghua University.

Grimwade Prize for Industrial Chemistry

The University of Melbourne’s Grimwade Prize in Industrial Chemistry has been awarded to Dr Muthupandian Ashok kumar for his research activities on the industrial applications of ultrasound, in particular for his recent collaborative activities with Food Science Australia and Dairy Ingredients Group of Australia. The Grimwade Prize in Industrial Chemistry was established to promote the study of industrial chemistry for the best original research embodying the results of an investigation pursued in Victoria in connection with some branch of industrial chemistry.

Professor Tom Healy receives Senior Fellowship from JSPS

Professor Tom Healy, Chair of the Centre’s Science Board, has been awarded a Senior Fellowship from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). As a JSPS Senior Fellow Tom will spend one month in Japan during 2006 further developing the PFPC’s collaborative network. Tom will visit the Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Advanced Materials at Tohoku University as well as present lectures at a range of institutes including Kyoto University, the Science University of Tokyo, the Tokyo Institute of Technology and the Frontier Research RIKEN Institute in Tokyo.

Professor David Boger wins 2005 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science

The 2005 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science has been won by former PFPC Director Professor David Boger. The Prime Minister’s Prize for Science is Australia ’s most highly regarded award for excellence in science. David received the prize at an award ceremony held at Parliament House, Canberra on Tuesday 4 October 2005 .

The impact of David’s research on the field of rheology and particularly non-Newtonian fluid mechanics has been significant . Highlights during his research career have been numerous, but he is perhaps most well known in rheology circles for his discovery of constant viscosity elastic liquids (referred to as Boger fluids). Other research highlights have included studies using Boger fluids to define fluid elasticity effects in flow, the linking of surface chemistry to the continuum properties and the processing of particulate fluids as well as the linking of basic research to significant industrial outcomes in the petroleum, food and minerals industries.

He has received numerous national and international awards in recognition of his contributions to both fundamental and applied research, now capped with the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science. David has been funded continuously by the Australian Research Council (ARC) for his research since its inception as the ARGC in 1967. He was Director of the PFPC from 2000 until 2004 and Deputy Director of its predecessor (the Advanced Mineral Products Research Centre). David is a Fellow of both the Australian Academy of Science and Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

He continues to play an important role in the PFPC as Chair of the Advisory Board and acts as a mentor for researchers of all ages.

ExxonMobil Award for PFPC Director

Professor Geoff Stevens, PFPC Director, has been awarded the ExxonMobil Award, jointly from The Engineers Australia Chemical College, Institution of Chemical Engineers (Australia) , Society of Chemical Engineers New Zealand and the Royal Australian Chemical Institute. This award is in recognition of Geoff’s significant contribution to the field of chemical engineering.

Victoria Fellowship from State Government of Victoria

Postgraduate student Thanh Tam Chau is the recipient of a 2005 Victoria Fellowship from the State Government of Victoria. Ms Chau is one of six recipients to receive a Fellowship. Each Fellowship provides up to $18K in funding. Ms Chau who is studying the behaviour of emulsions using atomic force microscopy will be heading to the UK later this year to undertake research into a novel emulsion system at the University of Bristol. This research has the potential to increase the efficiency of dairy, food and pharmaceutical processing.

Ms Chau also received a 2005 AFAS-FEAST France Fellowship as a supplement to her Victoria Fellowship.

ARC Federation Fellowship for A/Professor Paul Mulvaney

PFPC Executive Member Associate Professor Paul Mulvaney is among an elite group of researchers to be awarded a Federation Fellowship from the Australian Research Council. Paul was awarded a Federation Fellowship in the recently announced 2005 funding round. Paul will undertake the project "Energy Conversion and Signal Transduction in Nanomechanical Systems" during his Fellowship.

He will focus on one of the great challenges in nanoscience, namely how to build mechanical devices such as valves, switches, pumps and motors with sizes approaching molecular dimensions. To create such miniature structures, scientists must learn how to harness energy on nanoscale levels and how to assemble molecules so that they may perform mechanical actions. This Fellowship will explore the possibilities for creating such structures using state-of-the-art microscopy and nanofabrication techniques. The aim will be to open up the new field of molecular mechanics and will examine ways to make smaller, portable devices that can be used for personal health monitoring, environmental sensing and detecting disease and pathogens. www.arc.gov.au

Professor Tom Healy awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia

Professor Tom Healy has been awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia in the recently announced Queen’s Birthday Honours list. Tom has been recognised for his service to science as a researcher and academic in the area of physical chemistry, and to the community through support for the activities of the Ian Potter Foundation and Philanthropy Australia.

Professor Franz Grieser elected to Australian Academy of Science

PFPC Deputy Director Professor Franz Grieser has been elected to the Australian Academy of Science. Franz was one of sixteen Australian scientists recently elected. Election to the Academy recognises a career that has significantly advanced, and continues to advance, the world’s scientific knowledge. Franz was elected for his expertise in: physical chemistry; free radical chemistry, spectroscopy, colloid and surface science and sonochemistry.