Awards and honours

Outstanding performance in research is recognised by various international and national award schemes.

Here are just a few examples of awards and honours granted in 2014–15 that demonstrate our effectiveness in research and its application in industry and the community and the calibre of our people1.

Order of Australia

The Order of Australia is the principal and most prestigious means of recognising outstanding members of the community at a national level. In 2015, three CSIRO affiliates were recognised.

Officer of the Order (AO)

The late Prof John Freney for distinguished service to conservation and the environment through research into greenhouse gas production, climate change and the efficient use of nitrogen fertiliser.

Member of the Order (AM)

Peter Lewis for significant service to international trade and the Australian biotechnology and information technology industries.

Medal of the Order (OAM)

Dr Glen Patten for service to the surf lifesaving movement, and to nutritional science, having spent more than three decades juggling his loves of science and lifesaving.

Meritorious Service

Public Service Medal

Toni Moate for outstanding public service in Australian marine and atmospheric science.

Australian Museum Eureka Prizes 2014

Presented annually by the Australian Museum, the Eureka Prizes reward excellence in the fields of scientific research and innovation, science leadership, school science and science journalism and communication.

The Hendra Virus research team was awarded the Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre Eureka Prize for Infectious Diseases Research for the development of the first horse vaccine and human treatment for the Hendra virus. Until this breakthrough, Hendra virus was an unmanaged emerging infectious disease. This vaccine provides Australia and the world with the first targeted tools to protect people and animals against this deadly virus.

The Water Use Efficiency Initiative was awarded the Department of Agriculture Landcare Eureka Prize for Sustainable Agriculture. The initiative has delivered innovative farming systems science and achieved widely adopted and profound impact on crop productivity and sustainability, as well as environmental benefits through the implementation of achievable practice change for growers.

Dr Mark Talbot was awarded the New Scientist Eureka Prize for Science Photography. The winning entry was the image ‘Wheat through the looking glass’. The scanning electron microscope image shows young flower buds of wheat that will eventually become seeds.

The Sir Ian Clunies Ross Award

Awarded by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, the Sir Ian Clunies Ross Award recognises outstanding application of science and technology that provides economic, social and/or environmental benefit to Australia.

Dr Cathy Foley and Dr Keith Leslie were recognised for developing LANDTEM, a portable exploration tool that is far more environmentally friendly and efficient than conventional exploration technology, such as drilling, in detecting highly conductive ores like nickel sulphides, gold and silver. The work continues to significantly enhancing the sensitivity and functionality of LANDTEM, to make it able to detect ore bodies even deeper underground.

The Feynman Prize – Theory

The prize is awarded for excellence in theory to the researchers whose recent work has most advanced the achievement of Feynman’s goal for nanotechnology: molecular manufacturing, defined as the construction of atomically-precise products through the use of molecular machine systems.

Dr Amanda Barnard is the first person in the southern hemisphere, and the first woman, to win the Feynman Prize. She received the award for spearheading the understanding of the structure and stability of carbon nanostructures, and the role that shape plays in establishing their properties and interactions under different conditions. It is her work on diamond nanoparticles (nanodiamonds) that has the greatest impact in the area of molecular nanotechnology.

CSIRO Chairman’s Medal

The CSIRO Chairman’s Medal honours the very best in CSIRO research. It is awarded to the scientist or team whose research is of national or international importance in advancing scientific knowledge, technology application or commercialisation.

The Silverleaf Whitefly Integrated Pest Management Team was awarded the 2014 CSIRO Chairman’s Medal for the pioneering development of a long-term sustainable solution for controlling silverleaf whitefly, which combines the use of natural enemies with the use of insecticides and on-farm management practices. Globally, the silverleaf whitefly causes crop losses in excess of US$2 billion per year. Australian industry continues to support this research, which has delivered direct benefits to growers through cost-savings from reduced application of insecticides and management practices that promote ecological benefits.

Team members:
Paul De Barro, Nancy Schellhorn, Peter Hart, Ali Rezaian, Veronica  Brancatini, Shama Khan, Marc Coombs, Stefan Schmidt, Ian Naumann, John Curran, Felice Driver, Jo Cardale, Leslie McKenzie, Di Hartley, Bob Sutherst, Karryn Warren, Andrew Hulthen, Lynita Howie, Anna Marcora, Nadiah Kristensen, Mark Wade, Felix Bianchi, Wee Tek Tay, Leon Court, Samia Elfekih, Karl Gordon, Darren Kriticos, Anne Bourne, Mary Carver, Juan Villanueva-Jimenez, Sharon Van Brunschot and Andrew White.

Silverleaf Whitefly Integrated Pest Management Team – our 2014 CSIRO Chairman’s Medal winner.

CSIRO Medal for Lifetime Achievement

The CSIRO Medal for Lifetime Achievement is awarded to individuals who have a record of sustained and meritorious achievement over a prolonged period of CSIRO service.

Dr Elizabeth Dennis was awarded the 2014 CSIRO Medal for Lifetime Achievement for a distinguished career in plant molecular biology that established CSIRO as a world leader in this field, with multiple paradigm-changing discoveries, an outstanding publication record and science citizenship recognised by numerous fellowships and awards. Her career spans 42 years with CSIRO as a pioneer of plant molecular biology and among the most distinguished CSIRO scientists.

  1. Further information on our CSIRO Award recipients can be found at: Our awards.

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