Acting NSW Premier and Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Stoner today called for nominations for the 2012 NSW Science and Engineering Awards to recognise and reward the State’s leading scientists, engineers and researchers.
Mr Stoner said this year’s awards include a $5,000 prize in each of eight categories, as well as $55,000 to the overall NSW Scientist of the Year.
“NSW is home to a high number of world-leading scientists and researchers, whose work has made significant economic, health, environmental and technological contributions to Australia and the world,” he said.
“The NSW Science and Engineering Awards were initiated in 2008 to recognise and reward our State’s leading researchers for their cutting edge work.”
Last year’s NSW Scientist of the Year, Professor Michelle Simmons, leads a team of researchers developing quantum computing, which has the potential to revolutionise complex computer processing.
Professor Simmons said the award had helped raise public awareness of her research and was an endorsement of not only her work but the efforts of her research team.
“It was very rewarding and humbling to be named NSW Scientist of the Year and join a very prestigious group of recipients. However, the real value of the NSW Science and Engineering Awards is that they raise the profile of science,” she said.
“NSW is renowned for its research credentials and hopefully these awards provide an avenue to encourage young people to pursue a career in the exciting field of scientific and engineering research.
“I’ve enjoyed the past 12 months as the NSW Scientist of the Year and I strongly encourage people to nominate for these awards.”
NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer Professor Mary O’Kane said last year’s awards were attended by more than 160 people and provided an outstanding opportunity to foster networks.
“NSW has so much to celebrate in the science and engineering research sector and these awards are a golden opportunity to recognise our best and brightest minds,” she said.
“These awards not only recognise researchers, but also science and maths teachers, public sector scientists and industrial researchers.
“It is critical to do all we can to raise awareness of this sector and inspire the next generation of researchers.”
The 2012 Award categories are:
• Excellence in Mathematics, Earth Science, Chemistry and Physics
• Excellence in Biological Sciences (Human and Animal Health)
• Excellence in Biological Sciences (Plant, Agriculture and Environment)
• Excellence in Engineering and Information and Communications Technologies
• Emerging Research
• Renewable Energy Innovation
• Innovation in Public Sector Science and Engineering
• Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education.
• Previous NSW Scientists of the Year include:
• Professor Martin Green – a world-leading expert in photovoltaics whose work has helped develop highly efficient silicon solar cells;
• Professor Stephen Simpson – a Federation Fellow in the School of Biological Science at the University of Sydney whose breakthrough research into swarming locusts may hold solutions for obesity;
• Professor Hugh Durrant-White – a pioneer in advanced robotics research and presently the CEO of NICTA.
Nominations for the awards close 5pm, 31 August 2012. Winners will be announced at NSW Government House in November.
For further details on the NSW Scientist of the Year and NSW Science and Engineering Awards 2012, including entry requirements, visit www.business.nsw.gov.au
30 July 2012