Australia’s top honours for science, the Eureka Prizes, have been awarded to people who created salt batteries for renewable energy and vaccines for oysters.
All the prizes presented by the Australian Museum last night at Sydney’s Town Hall:
- Endangered species. For development of the red list global standard for assessing environmental threats. The IUCN Red List of Ecosystems team at the University of New South Wales won the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage Eureka Prize for Environmental Research.
- Making sense of data. For multi-dimensional mathematical techniques allowing computer software to pick out patterns from a huge cloud of data. Dacheng Tao at the University of Technology Sydney won the Scopus Eureka Prize for Excellence in International Scientific Collaboration.
- Hepatitis B. For development of an innovative new hepatitis B treatment. Marc Pellegrini and Greg Ebert at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research won the Australian Infectious Diseases.
- Salt batteries. For inventing an energy-storage system based on fast-melting salts which could allow solar and wind power to generate a much larger slice of Australia’s electricity. Frank Bruno, Martin Belusko and Steven Tay of the University of South Australia won the ANSTO Eureka Prize for Innovative Use of Technology.
- Tiny computing. For development of early, concrete benefits from the developing field of quantum computing. Michael Biercuk of the University of Sydney won the Macquarie University Eureka Prize for Outstanding Early Career Researcher.
- Creating stem cells. For unlocking a mechanism that produces stem cells in blood. Peter Currie and Phong Nguyen of Monash University and Georgina Hollway of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research won the University of New South Wales Eureka Prize for Scientific Research.
- Security. For the Secure Communications System for military and government. Northrop Grumman M5 Network Security won the Defence Science and Technology Group Eureka Prize for Outstanding Science for Safeguarding Australia.
- Finding disease. For creation and use of nanocrystals that can illuminate hidden diseased cells in a living body. The Super Dots team of Dayong Jin at the University of Technology Sydney and Macquarie University, Tanya Monro at the University of South Australia and University of Adelaide and Bradley Walsh of the Minomic International and Macquarie University won the University of New South Wales Eureka Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research.
- Saving oysters form climate. For work in breeding disease-resistant oysters that are also more resilient to climate change. David Raftos of Macquarie University won the Rural Research and Development Corporations Eureka Prize for Rural Innovation.
- New leaders. Leadership on the Belle II international particle-accelerator experiment in Japan. Phillip Urquijo of the University of Melbourne won the 3M Eureka Prize for Emerging Leader in Science.
- Big business. For work that has positioned Australia at the forefront of quantum computing and is set to become a multi-billion-dollar industry. Michelle Simmons of the University of New South Wales won the CSIRO Eureka Prize for Leadership in Science.
- >Biology. For mentoring and leadership that has created a cadre of skilled biologists. Marsupial guru Marilyn Renfree of the University of Melbourne won the University of Technology Sydney Eureka Prize for Outstanding Mentor of Young Researchers.
- Understanding. For educating public and policy makers about marine science. Emma Johnston of the University of New South Wales won the Department of Industry and Science Eureka Prize for Promoting Understanding of Australian Science Research.
Gary Cranitch of Queensland Museum won the New Scientist Eureka Prize for Science Photography for his image, Soft Coral.
As well as the Eureka Prizes, the 2015 Australian Museum Research Institute Medal was awarded to Dr Mark Eldridge, Principal Research Scientist, Terrestrial Vertebrates, Australian Museum Research Institute.
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