Awards and achievements

01/09/2022 | 2 mins

The University of Western Australia has a continual roll call of awards, scholarships and prizes presented to staff and students.

To recognise these achievements, an article is published on the UWA news page on the website and in UWA Forward on the first week of every month. If you know of great awards or achievements across the University please email [email protected]

Name: Laurton McGurk
Achievement: Dr Laurton McGurk is president of Fungimap, a citizen-science organisation dedicated to furthering the conservation of Australian fungi. Fungimap has been shortlisted for a 2022 Australian Museum Eureka Prize. It is one of three finalists in the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources Eureka Prize for Innovation in Citizen Science, together with partner organisations Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria and University of Adelaide. The Awards Ceremony will be held on August 31.

Name: Omar Anwar
Achievement: PhD student Omar Anwar, from UWA’s Department of Electronics and Computer Engineering, won the Research and Innovation Project of the Year category at the WAITTA INCITE Awards. Mr Anwar was awarded the prize for his Smart beehive monitoring system for remote regions and will represent WA at the national iAwards. UWA’s Wei Liu, Pascal Sun, Muhuammed Ibrahim and Ajmal Mian were also announced as finalists in the Research and Innovation category.

Dr Neil RobinsonImage: Dr Neil Robinson.

Name: Neil Robinson
Achievement:  Forrest Fellow Dr Neil Robinson, from the School of Engineering, was recognised at the National Measurement Institute’s 2022 Metrology Awards.  Dr Robinson won the NMI Prize for his research on the development and application of novel nuclear magnetic resonance techniques for characterising functional porous materials important to energy, environment and society. The award is for an early to mid-career professionals up to the age of 35 in Australia or by Australians. Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Cathy Foley announced the winners at a special event for National Science Week.

Name: Emel Rothzerg
Achievement: Researcher Emel Rothzerg, from the Medical School's department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine and Perron Institute, has been awarded an Australian Graduate Women Barbara Hale Fellowship. Emel’s research focuses on the development of treatment options for osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer that begins in the cells that form bones. She already has several potential biomarkers for the disease and will use her award for in vivo studies to confirm the efficacy and safety of the drug design.

Name: Alex Tang
Achievement: Dr Alex Tang, from UWA's School of Biological Sciences and Perron Institute Brain Plasticity Research group, has been awarded a Young Investigator Grant from the Brain and Behaviour Research Foundation in New York. The grant, worth $100,000 over two years, will fund a project to investigate how magnetic brain stimulation can enhance neural plasticity in the human brain. Dr Tang said knowledge gained from his project will provide clinicians with an evidence base to reliably predict which neurological symptoms and patients will benefit from repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in the treatment of depression.

Name: Professor Simon Driver
Achievement: Professor Driver, from the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, was one of 16 Australian Laureate Fellows to be recognised nationally this year. Professor Driver’s project, Unveiling the mass of the Universe: stars, gas, plasma and dark matter, was awarded $2.6 million. It will use Australian-built fibre-positioning technologies to measure the distances to two million galaxies to transform our understanding of dark matter at ‘galaxy scale’, the largest known structures in the universe. 

Name: Peter Veth 
Achievement: Professor Peter Veth, from UWA’s School of Social Sciences, was also an Australian Laureate Fellow and awarded $3.2 million for his project Desert people: Australian perspectives. The project brings together innovative science and Indigenous knowledge to develop new understandings of the 60,000 year custodianship of Australian deserts.
Professor Veth said the research would focus on the Ningaloo coast, Pilbara and Western Desert. 

Name: David Coward
Achievement: Associate Professor Coward, from UWA's School of Physics, Maths and Computing, will lead a team working with the Polish Space Agency to investigate the degradation of satellites into space debris. The work will be carried out thanks to $303,000 in support from the Australian Research Council. 

Name: Alistair Paterson 
Achievement: Professor Alistair Paterson, from UWA's School of Social Sciences, and a team of researchers from eight universities and 12 collecting agencies, have been awarded $798,000 to explore Australia’s rich legacy of archives, art and artefacts – including four shipwrecks in WA – from the country’s history of encounters with the Dutch East India Company.  The project will benefit Australia by situating its collections in a global context, creating new stories about encounters with ‘the Southland’ and its people. 

Name: Grzegorz Skrzypek
Achievement: Dr Grzegorz Skrzypek, from UWA's School of Biological Sciences, was awarded $770,000 to lead a project researching knowledge gaps in predicting soil and groundwater responses to periodic flooding in semiarid inland regions in Australia. The project will focus on the Pilbara region.

Congratulations UWA staff and students.


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