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By Brad Kluss Helen Beringen 27 January 2022 5 min read

The Australia Day 2022 honours list recognises dedicated Australians who have excelled in their fields. Congratulations to all #TeamCSIRO Australia Day honours recipients.

CSIRO polymer chemist, Dr Graeme Moad, has been appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC). ©  Nick Pitsas

Dr Graeme Moad, Manufacturing

Recipient, 2022 Companion of the Order of Australia (AC)

Congratulations to Dr Graeme Moad, who has been appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC). This prestigious award recognises eminent achievement and merit of the highest degree in service to Australia or to humanity at large.

“I am greatly honoured and humbled to have even been nominated for an Australian Honour. Over my career, I have received various prestigious awards and fellowships that acknowledge my contributions to scientific research. This award is particularly special because it represents recognition, both for myself and the teams I have been privileged to be part of, from beyond the scientific community. I am extremely proud of my efforts in collaborating with and enabling Australian business and industry, in helping to set international standards, while at the same time contributing to fundamental breakthroughs.”

Dr Graeme Moad

A love of chemistry

Graeme was not taken with chemistry as a child, but he did read a lot of science fiction. He followed the typical pathway of not knowing what he wanted to do. He ignored aptitude tests indicating a predisposition towards architecture, and pursued maths and science because he displayed a natural affinity for it.

In 1974, Graeme completed his Bachelor of Science (with First Class honours). This led to a PhD in organic free radical chemistry and a lifetime of being hooked on chemistry.

Graeme’s greatest contribution to global chemical manufacturing is notably Reversible Addition-Fragmentation chain Transfer (RAFT). RAFT technology provides a better way of making polymers. It gives rise to products with vastly improved performance. This can give companies an important differentiation in the marketplace. RAFT's applications range from novel drug delivery systems to personal care products, lubricants and coatings.

Graeme has been involved with authoring more than 200 publications. He is a co-inventor on 38 patent families, including five relating to the RAFT process. He co-authored the book, The Chemistry of Radical Polymerization, which is currently in its third edition.

Award-winning chemist

Graeme has collected a swathe of awards during his career including:

  • IUPAC Polymer's Division Stepto Lecture Award in 2022
  • Australian Academy of Science David Craig Medal for outstanding achievement in the field of Chemistry in 2020
  • CSIRO Newton-Turner award and Thomson-Reuters' Highly Cited List in 2015
  • Warwick University IAS Fellowship
  • Clunies Ross Award and a Thomson-Reuters' Citation Laureate in 2014
  • RACI’s Battaerd-Jordan Polymer Medal in 2012
  • CSIRO medal in 2003

Graeme is currently an adjunct professor at Monash University, and an honorary professor at the Beijing University of Chemical Technology. He is an Associate Member of the IUPAC Polymer Division. He is the Division representative on the International Committee for Terminology, Nomenclature and Standards (ICTNS). Graeme is a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute, the Australian Academy of Science (elected 2012) and the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (elected 2021).

Graeme remains a CSIRO fellow to this day.

CSIRO environmental chemist, Dr Graeme Batley, has been appointed a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia (General Division).

Dr Graeme Batley, Land & Water

Recipient, 2022 Member (AM) of the Order of Australia (General Division)

Dr Graeme Batley has worked in our Lucas Heights laboratories in Sydney for 53 years. He was "surprised and delighted" to receive a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia (General Division).

The Australia Day honour is the latest in a richly rewarding and globally recognised career. Throughout his career Graeme has been a leader in the field of aquatic environmental chemistry.

Graeme's research expertise is in the analytical and environmental chemistry of trace contaminants in natural water systems. His research has particular emphasis on metals and their chemical forms, fate, transport, bioavailability and ecotoxicology in waters and sediments.

Starting at the steelworks

It all began with a home chemistry set and a school excursion to the Wollongong steel works. This led Graeme to holiday work in the steelwork labs.

Graeme said his focus on analysing metals in the environment was due to a university lecturer in the 1960s. This lecturer introduced him to a new scientific instrument providing new ways of analysing very low concentrations of metals and organic compounds.

“You could measure trace concentrations of chemicals in aquatic environments for the first time,” he recalls.

Dynamic metal speciation

Graeme's 1970s publications are still recognised worldwide as formative to a new area of science. This field is known as dynamic metal speciation. Combined with toxicity testing results, it has been used to support the development of water and sediment quality guidelines for Australia and New Zealand.

His work in sediment quality assessment was recognised when he was joint winner of Australia’s Eureka Prize for Land and Water Research in 2006. He was a co-recipient of the CSIRO Medal for Research Achievement that same year.

Graeme has held the position of Chief Research Scientist in our Land and Water business unit. He was a previous leader of the Energy and Environment Theme in our Energy Technology Division, which became part of Land and Water.

Uniting contaminants expertise

Graeme was instrumental in the formation of our Centre for Environmental Contaminants Research. This Centre unites our extensive expertise in contaminants in waters, sediments, soils and the atmosphere. Graeme is a former Director of this Centre.

Our Land and Water Chief Research Scientist, Dr Jenny Stauber, has worked with Graeme during his long and distinguished career with CSIRO.

"Graeme has achieved to the highest level in science, both academically and through his service and leadership within the wider scientific community," Jenny says.

“His reputation for incisive and critical thinking, straight talking and a sense of humour is valued in many circles in Australia and internationally.

“Graeme's research has significantly contributed to international advances in the assessment of metal contaminant speciation, bioavailability and fate in waters and sediments.”

Graeme became a post retirement fellow in late 2021.

Congratulations to CSIRO people

We would like to acknowledge CSIRO people, past and present, who were also recognised on the Australia Day honours list.

Officers (AO) in General Division

  • Dr Susan Barrell: for distinguished service to earth science through meteorology and research organisations.
  • Dr Tom Beer: for distinguished service to science, particularly environmental risk, climate processes and sustainability, through research organisations.
  • Dr John Church: for distinguished service to climate science through oceanographic and sea-level research and publications.

Members (AM) in General Division

  • Dr Amanda Barnard: for significant service to computational science, to medical research, and to education.

Order of Australia medal (OAM)

  • Dr Hilkat Özgün: energy storage scientist honoured for her service to the Turkish community of Victoria.

Public Service Medal (PSM)

  • David Anthony Luchetti: for outstanding public service to science and industry policy in Australia, particularly in the Square Kilometre Array project, on which he served as Project Director for six years.

Congratulations also to former Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel on being named a Companion in the General Division (AC) for his eminent service to science, to national energy innovation and research infrastructure capability, to climate change and COVID-19 response initiatives and to science and engineering education.

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