2019 NSW Scientist of the year

Pioneering chemical engineer Scientia Professor Rose Amal AC from UNSW Sydney has been named NSW Scientist of the Year. Premier Gladys Berejiklian said Professor Amal was one of 10 leading researchers, innovators and educators honoured at the 2019 Premier’s Prizes for Science & Engineering, held at Government House on Tuesday 29 October.

Professor Amal, who will receive a prize of $60,000, was honoured for her world-leading research in the fields of fine particle technology, photocatalysis and functional nanomaterials, which have profound implications for solar and chemical energy conversion applications such as treating water, purifying air and generating renewable hydrogen economically and sustainably.

Ms Berejiklian said that the Prizes were an opportunity to celebrate the extraordinary contribution that NSW scientists and engineers make to our everyday lives.

“The NSW Government will continue to support our state’s finest scientists and engineers, to ensure that their innovative thinking is translated into important solutions to our state’s ever-changing challenges,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“When I first came to Australia over 35 years ago, I never dreamt that I would be named the NSW Scientist of the Year. I am extremely honoured to have been considered for this esteemed award, which I receive with great humility,” said Professor Amal.

“Scientific research contributes significantly to many everyday societal aspects and it has been a joy to be able to help improve people’s quality of life.

“I would like to dedicate the award to my mentors, past and present, who have taught me how to be a good scientist and engineer, as well as former and current members of my research group who have worked tirelessly to unearth new scientific knowledge for the betterment of our planet and those who live on it, now and into the future,” said Professor Amal.

The NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer, Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte, said this year’s winners illustrated both the diversity and strength of NSW research.

“This year’s entry contained the highest number of female nominations ever. Gratifyingly, this has translated into an equal number of female and male prize recipients, while also revealing a rich depth of talent, from our two exciting Early Career Researchers, right through to some of the most respected researchers in the state, including Scientist of the Year Professor Rose Amal. I offer my sincere congratulations to all our winners and thanks them for the outstanding and continuing contribution they make to science, engineering and education in NSW,” said Professor Durrant-Whyte.

About the Prizes

The NSW Premier’s Prizes for Science & Engineering is an annual event held by the NSW Government to celebrate the achievements of the state’s finest scientists, engineers and educators. It is held at Government House in the presence of its patron, Her Excellency, the Honourable Margaret Beazley AO QC, Governor of New South Wales.

2019 Prize winners

The nine category prizewinners, who will each receive $5,000, are:

Category 1: Excellence in Mathematics, Earth Sciences, Chemistry or Physics

Winner: Professor Nalini Joshi AO (The University of Sydney)

Category 2: Excellence in Biological Sciences (Ecology, environmental, agricultural and organismal)

Winner: Professor David Keith (UNSW Sydney and the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment)

Category 3: Excellence in Medical Biological Sciences (Cell and molecular, medical, veterinary and genetics)

Winner: Professor Susan Clark FAA (Garvan Institute of Medical Research and UNSW Sydney)

Category 4: Excellence in Engineering or Information and Communications Technologies

Winner: Professor Albert Y. Zomaya (The University of Sydney)

Category 5: NSW Early Career Researcher of the Year (Biological Sciences)
Winner: Dr Angelica Merlot (UNSW Sydney and the Children’s Cancer Institute)

Category 6: NSW Early Career Researcher of the Year (Physical Sciences)
Winner: Dr Neeraj Sharma (UNSW Sydney)

Category 7: Leadership in Innovation in NSW

Winner: Professor Stephanie Watson (The University of Sydney)

Category 8: Innovation in NSW Public Sector Science and Engineering

Winner: Professor John Wiggers (Hunter New England Local Health District)

Category 9: Innovation in Science or Mathematics Teaching in NSW

Winner: Mr Stuart Garth (Redeemer Baptist School)

For information about the Premier’s Prizes for Science & Engineering, please visit www.chiefscientist.nsw.gov.au