The finalists for the Premier's Science Awards 2017 were announced on 18 July 2017. The winners were announced at an award ceremony on Monday 14 August 2017.
The awards ceremony was proudly supported by Curtin University, the University of Western Australia, Edith Cowan University, Murdoch University and the University of Notre Dame.
Scientist of the Year
This year there were two joint-winners in the Scientist of the Year award category.
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.
Professor 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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
60 Second Science, Telethon Kids Institute
Old Ways, New Ways - Aboriginal Science Outreach Program, Edith Cowan University
TravelingGeologist, Curtin University