Eureka 2015: Australia’s top science prizes announced

By AAP with AG staff 28 August 2015
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The best scientists, science communicators and students of 2015 have been acknowledged at the Eureka Prizes

The Australian Museum hosted its annual Eureka Prizes evening on Wednesday, giving awards to 16 of Australia’s leading scientists, science communicators and students at a gala dinner in Sydney.

The prizes, billed as ‘the most comprehensive national science awards’ were presented for outstanding contributions to Australian science, international collaboration and rural innovation, according to the Australian Museum.


NSW Office of Environment and Heritage Eureka Prize for Environmental Research

IUCN Red List of Ecosystems team, University of New South Wales, for development of the ‘red list’ global standard for assessing environmental threats

Scopus Eureka Prize for Excellence in International Scientific Collaboration

Dacheng Tao, University of Technology Sydney, for multi-dimensional mathematical techniques that allow computer software to pick out patterns from a huge cloud of data

Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre Eureka Prize for Infectious Diseases Research

Marc Pellegrini and Greg Ebert, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, for development of an innovative new hepatitis B treatment

ANSTO Eureka Prize for Innovative Use of Technology

Martin Belusko and Steven Tay, University of South Australia, for their invention of an energy-storage system based on fast-melting salts that could allow solar and wind power to generate a much larger slice of Australia’s electricity

Macquarie University Eureka Prize for Outstanding Early Career Researcher

Michael Biercuk, University of Sydney, for development of early, concrete benefits in the emerging field of quantum computing

UnNSW Eureka Prize for Scientific Research

Peter Currie and Phong Nguyen, Monash University, and Georgina Hollway, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, for unlocking a mechanism that produces stem cells in blood

Defence Science and Technology Group Eureka Prize for Outstanding Science for Safeguarding Australia

Northrop Grumman M5 Network Security, for the Secure Communications System for military and government

UNSW Eureka Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research

Super Dots team, Dayong Jin, University of Technology Sydney and Macquarie University, Tanya Monro University of South Australia and University of Adelaide, and Bradley Walsh Minomic International and Macquarie University, for creation and use of nanocrystals that can illuminate hidden diseased cells in a living body

Rural Research and Development Corporations Eureka Prize for Rural Innovation

David Raftos, Macquarie University, for his work in breeding disease-resistant oysters that are also more resilient to climate change

3M Eureka Prize for Emerging Leader in Science

Phillip Urquijo, University of Melbourne, for recognition of his leadership on the Belle II international particle-accelerator experiment in Japan

CSIRO Eureka Prize for Leadership in Science

Michelle Simmons, University of New South Wales, for work that has positioned Australia at the forefront of quantum computing

UTS Eureka Prize for Outstanding Mentor of Young Researchers

Marilyn Renfree, University of Melbourne, for mentoring and leadership

Department of Industry and Science Eureka Prize for Promoting Understanding of Australian Science Research

Emma Johnston, University of New South Wales, for educating the public and policy makers about marine science

New Scientist Eureka Prize for Science Photography

Gary Cranitch, Queensland Museum, for image of coral

University of Sydney Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize – Primary

Georgi Souyave-Murphy and Ella Woods, St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School Queensland, for their short film which explains the science behind the unpleasant effect that onions have on our eyes

University of Sydney Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize – Secondary

Paige Bebee, Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar School Victoria, for the film The Secret of the Appendix, which explains the little-known organ and busts a few myths about its purpose in our body