Premier’s Science Awards celebrate leading WA scientists

by WA Government News | Aug 16, 2018
  • Premier's Science Awards, now in their 17th year, offer prizes totalling $80,000 to Western Australia's leading scientists
  • Professor Peter Newman AO named Scientist of the Year
  • Emeritus Professor David Blair inducted into the WA Science Hall of Fame 

Western Australia's most outstanding researchers and science engagement initiative were recognised last night at the Premier's Science Awards 2018 ceremony.

The awards, now in their 17th year, cover all fields of science, including natural, medical, applied and technological science, engineering and mathematics. The awards also recognise community engagement. The finalists and winners of the Premier's Science Awards are decided by a panel led by Professor Peter Klinken, Western Australia's Chief Scientist.

The 2018 winners are:

  • Professor Peter Newman AO (Curtin University) - Scientist of the Year ($50,000);
  • Dr Melissa O'Donnell (Telethon Kids Institute/The University of Western Australia) - Woodside Early Career Scientist of the Year ($10,000);
  • Arman Siahvashi (The University of Western Australia) and Ryan Urquhart (Curtin University) - joint winners of the ExxonMobil Student Scientist of the Year ($10,000); and
  • Rio Tinto Naturescape Kings Park - Chevron Science Engagement Initiative of the Year ($10,000). 

Emeritus Professor David Blair was inducted into the WA Science Hall of Fame in recognition of his extensive achievements in experimental physics, focusing on the direct detection of gravitational waves.

ExxonMobil, Chevron and Woodside have sponsored the awards since 2013. Western Australia's five universities are proud supporters of the Premier's Science Awards.

For more information about the winners and finalists, visit

Science Minister Dave Kelly also took the opportunity at the ceremony to release the new WA Science and Innovation Framework (2018-2022), which outlines the State Government's science and innovation priorities which are critical to enriching lives, creating jobs and diversifying the economy.

For more information about the WA Science and Innovation Framework, visit

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