Outstanding performance in research is recognised by various international and national award schemes. These selected examples of awards and honours granted in 2016–17 demonstrate our effectiveness in research and the calibre of our people.


The Order of Australia is the principal and most prestigious means of recognising outstanding members of the community at a national level. In 2017, seven CSIRO affiliates and former staff were recognised.

Companion of the Order (AC)

Professor Andrew Bruce Homes (CSIRO Fellow Emeritus), for eminent service to science through developments in the field of organic and polymer chemistry as a researcher, editor and academic and through the governance of nationally recognised, leading scientific organisations.

Officer of the Order (AO)

Mr David Ingle Thodey (CSIRO Chairman), for distinguished service to business, notably to the telecommunications and information technology sectors, to the promotion of ethical leadership and workplace diversity, and to basketball.

Dr Gregory Arthur Constable (CSIRO Fellow), for distinguished service to agricultural science as an agronomist and plant breeder, particularly to cotton management and production, and to professional national and international scientific organisations.

Mr Brian Francis Watson (former CSIRO Director), for distinguished service to business and finance through leadership roles in the investment and venture capital sectors, as a philanthropist and as a supporter of social welfare and medical research organisations.

Member in the General Division of the Order (AM)

Dr Hugh Dove (former CSIRO Chief Research Scientist), for significant service to agricultural science as a researcher and editor, and to the study of animal nutrition.

The late Dr Owen Bruce Slee (former Honorary Research Associate), for significant service to science, particularly in the field of radio astronomy, as a researcher, author and mentor of young scientists.

Medal of the Order (OAM)

Dr Ronal Woods (former CSIRO Chief Research Scientist), for service to science, particularly in the field of electrochemistry.

Australian Academy of Science Fellowship

The Australian Academy of Science is an organisation of Australia’s top research scientists. In 2017, three CSIRO staff members were elevated to Fellow for their outstanding contributions to science and research.

Dr Anita Hill was elected Fellow for major contributions in materials and process engineering. Her focus on measurement has provided an understanding of the controlling factors involved in selective small molecule transport. Her data has been pivotal to the development of theory and design rules for membrane performance.

Dr Evans Lagudah was elected Fellow for making outstanding contributions to international agriculture by providing the first insights into the quantitative wheat rust disease resistance trait, Adult Plant Resistance. He has made critical contributions to durable rust resistance, a trait vital for world food security.

Dr John Volkman was elected Fellow for his important contributions to the discovery and application of lipid biomarkers. His work on novel microalgal lipids in sediments has greatly enhanced our understanding of the evolution of lipid biosynthetic pathways, and underpinned numerous biomarker applications in petroleum fingerprinting, environmental effects of aquaculture and palaeo-environmental reconstruction.

Australian Academy of Science Hannan Medal

The Australian Academy of Science Hannan Medal recognises outstanding research in fields of statistical science, pure mathematics, applied mathematics and computational mathematics.

Dr Frank de Hoog was awarded the medal for his highly original and insightful contributions to the advancement of applied, computational and industrial mathematics. His theoretical and applied contributions, and their flow-on to the advancement of science and to improving the efficiency of industrial processes, have been exceptional in their implementation by industry and the subsequent contributions to Australia’s export economy.

Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering Fellowship

Academy Fellows are drawn from the areas of applied physical science and technology, applied biological science and technology, engineering and management, and development and leadership. Three CSIRO staff members were elevated to Fellow.

Dr Larry Marshall was recognised for translating science and technology to products and value over more than 25 years of commercialising inventions into successful products. As Chief Executive of CSIRO, he positioned the organisation as an innovation catalyst and provided influential input to the government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda.

Dr Cecile Paris was recognised for translating deep knowledge in computer science to solving real-life problems in the social sciences, developing an understanding of how people communicate, how they interact within information environments to make sense of big data.

Dr Alex Wonhas was recognised for high-impact achievements including the development of a widely used reference carbon abatement cost curve; a blueprint for legislation on coal seam gas developments and the formation of a number of successful spin-off companies.


The Eureka Prize rewards excellence in the fields of scientific research and innovation, science leadership, school science and science journalism and communication.

The Marine Debris Team won the New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage Eureka Prize for Environmental Research. The team applied inter-disciplinary research towards understanding the sources and distribution of marine debris. They were able to translate scientific information into effective policy and behavioural change.

Dr Lisa Harvey-Smith, CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, won the Department of Industry and Science Eureka Prize for Promoting Understanding of Australian Science Research and bringing astronomy and its real-world impacts to life, particularly for girls and Indigenous Australians.

Public Sector Innovation Awards

The Public Sector Innovation Awards recognise, celebrate and share innovative approaches to public administration in the Commonwealth and ACT governments.

‘ON, powered by CSIRO’ won the 2017 award within the Culture and Practice category, as the only national accelerator custom designed for publicly funded research teams, helping them to develop the entrepreneurial skills and capacity to convert great science and technology research into real-world outcomes at pace.

CSIRO staff have achieved outstanding performance in research as recognised by various international and national awards.


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 Kebari™ Barley team was awarded the 2016 CSIRO Chairman’s Medal for the development and commercialisation of Kebari™ Barley. The team developed the world’s first and only gluten–free barley, which enabled the release of the first gluten-free beer in Germany.

Team members: Dr Crispin Howitt, Dr Greg Tanner, Mr Malcolm Blundell, Dr Michelle Colgrave, Dr Philip Larkin, Ms Katrina Spencer, Mr Lionel Henderson, Ms Kit Chow, Dr Robert de Feyter, Mr Hareshwar Goswami, Ms Keren Byrne and Mr Russell Heywood.

The Kebari™ Barley team – our 2016 CSIRO Chairman’s Medal winner.


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 Ivan Cole was awarded the medal for the development and leadership of research teams, programs and Business Units that have transformed CSIRO science, leading to a lasting impact on international scientific and business communities.

American Association for the Advancement of Science

The American Association for the Advancement of Science is an international not-for-profit organisation dedicated to advancing science and is the largest multi-disciplinary scientific society and leading publisher of cutting-edge research.

Dr Sarah Mathews was elected as a Fellow of the association in October 2016 in recognition of her contributions to innovation, education and scientific leadership in the biological sciences.

USA national cotton council Beltwide Award

Dr Mike Bange was awarded the Physiologist of the Year Award at the 2017 Beltwide Cotton Conference in Dallas, Texas, for his contributions to research in cotton physiology over 20 years. He is the youngest and second only Australian to receive the award.

From L to R: Dr James Mahan (US Department of Agriculture) previous recipient, Michael Bange and Sr Tyson Raper Chair of the Agronomy, Physiology and Soil Beltwide Conference.

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