As a young man at the University of Illinois, David Boger was offered a swag of lucrative chemical engineering jobs. Instead, his pioneering spirit took him to the newly established Monash University and a career in fluid mechanics.
It was the right move. Today the research teams he created are solving industrial problems large and small – eliminating the tailing dams synonymous with mining and inventing new ways to use minute droplets of fluids in nanotechnology devices. Along the way he discovered a new kind of fluid that now bears his name.
For a lifetime of pioneering work in fluid mechanics, first at Monash and then at the University of Melbourne, David Boger receives the 2005 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science. [continue reading…]
Mitochondria are the powerhouses of all animal and plant cells. These small semiautonomous units have their own DNA and proteins. They deliver the energy that drives our muscles, our brain and almost all life on earth.
Surprisingly, while we know much about animal mitochondria, plant mitochondria are a mystery. Harvey Millar, a 34 year old biochemist at the University of Western Australia, is changing that. He has already identified how plant mitochondria produce vitamin C and other antioxidants to protect cells from free radicals. He hopes that a better understanding of how mitochondria help plants handle stress will transform the way we breed plants to cope with drought, salt and other stresses. [continue reading…]
Cameron Kepert, a 34 year old professor at the University of Sydney’s School of Chemistry, is at the forefront of a chemical revolution. Chemists are mimicking nature and becoming molecular engineers, constructing new molecules and materials with great precision.
Cameron has engineered materials that can grab a small target molecule and then signal the event through a change of colour, shape or magnetism. He has also developed another group of materials that contract as they are heated and are attracting so much interest that he and his colleagues are setting up a company to commercialise the patented technologies
His new materials are expected to find application in many fields including electronics, photonics, sensing, agriculture, and energy storage. For his remarkable early career achievements and leadership in chemistry and molecular nanoscience, Cameron Kepert has been awarded the 2005 Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year. [continue reading…]
In the early 1990s Mike Roach realised that space and astronomy ignited a passion in his students for learning about science.
Today, Mike has brought space science into much of the science curriculum at Hamilton Secondary School in Adelaide and runs an annual space science school in South Australia, now in its ninth year.
He is a passionate advocate for improving the science and technology curriculum and a mentor for teachers, both in his state and nationally.
Mike Roach’s innovation in science teaching and commitment to developing the profession has earned him the 2005 Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools. [continue reading…]
Mark Merritt believes that primary science teachers have a critical role to play in instilling an enduring enthusiasm for science in their students.
“We need to make sure that future generations move into science research and science education. It’s vital that we start in the early years so we can embed in the children a love of science and knowledge,” he says.
Mark, who teaches science at the Marmion Primary School in the northern suburbs of Perth, has had a highly successful 21 year career in primary school teaching. He believes his next challenge will lie in teacher education – enthusing the next generation of primary school science teachers. [continue reading…]