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Sydney researchers recognised by Royal Society of NSW

4 February 2022
Sydney researchers won four 2021 Royal Society of NSW Awards
University of Sydney researchers won four of eight 2021 Royal Society of NSW awards and a PhD student received a Royal Society Scholarship.

The annual Royal Society of NSW awards recognise excellence in science and are among the oldest and most prestigious awards in Australia.

Our winners are:

Dr Arnold Lining Ju, The Edgeworth David Medal

Dr Arnold Lining Ju is a fellow of the Faculty of Engineering and a member of The University of Sydney Nano Institute and the Charles Perkins Centre. His research focuses on implementing mechanical engineering and biomechanics to develop new methods to diagnose, monitor and treat blood clotting diseases.

Dr Ju has been a ARC DECRA Fellow, a Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellow and has won awards such as the MIT TR35 Innovator, the Australian Museum Eureka Prize and NSW Young Tall Poppy. He is now establishing his own cardiovascular biomechanics lab for organ-chip blood clot assessment, cardiovascular point-of-care tests and telehealth microdevices.

The Edgeworth David Medal is awarded annually for distinguished research by a young scientist under the age of 35 years for work done mainly in Australia or for contributing to the advancement of Australian science.

Professor Dean Rickles, History and Philosophy of Science Medal

Professor Dean Rickles is a Professor of History and Philosophy of Modern Physics in the School of the History and Philosophy of Science in the Faculty of Science, and Co-Director of the Centre for Time in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Professor Rickles has made extensive contributions to the study of the history and philosophy of modern physics, and his work is highly regarded by philosophers, historians and physicists. He is a central figure in the emerging field of the history and philosophy of quantum gravity, having driven much of the current research in this area. His other achievements include writing the first detailed histories of string theory and quantum gravity, and the first philosophical papers on dualities and loop quantum gravity.

The Royal Society’s History and Philosophy of Science Medal is awarded annually to recognise outstanding achievements in the History and Philosophy of Science, especially the study of ideas, institutions, and individuals of significance to the practice of the natural sciences in Australia. 

Professor Richard Trethowan, Poggendorf Lectureship

Professor Richard Trethowan is a Professor of plant breeding in the School of Life and Environmetal Sciences in the Faculty of Science, and Director of the IA Watson Research Centre, Narrabri Plant Breeding Institute. He is also a member of the Sydney Institute of Agriculture and the China Studies Centre.

His research has improved the understanding of the genetic control of heat resistance in wheat, and he contributed significantly to the development of new technologies, including hybrid wheat systems and the application of genomic selection to plants. His work led to the development of unique genetic wheat strains that have impacted the productivity of agricultural systems in many countries. These impacts include the release of wheat cultivars to farmers from his experimental materials, either directly, through their use as parents, or the application of knowledge generated from his research.

The Poggendorff Lectureship is awarded periodically for research in plant biology and more broadly agriculture. 

Professor Geraint Lewis FRSC FLSW, Pollock Memorial lectureship

Professor Geraint Lewis is a Professor of Astrophysics at the Sydney Institute for Astrophysics in the Faculty of Science who focuses on cosmological mysteries.

Through his observations with the world’s largest telescopes and synthetic universes generated on immense supercomputers, he hunts for the dark matter and dark energy that shape the cosmos. With significant discoveries that confront our ideas on the formation and evolution of galaxies, he has published extensively in international journals. His passion for cosmology and physics is reflected in his teaching and student supervision, as well as an extensive outreach program that brings the mysteries of the universe to diverse international audiences.

The Pollock Memorial Lectureship has been awarded approximately every four years since 1949 and is sponsored by the University of Sydney and the Society in memory of Professor J.A. Pollock, Professor of Physics at the University of Sydney (1899-1922) and a member of the Society for 35 years.

Other winners

Harry Marquis, a PhD candidate in School of Physics in the Faculty of Science, was awarded a Royal Society of NSW Schorlaship. His thesis, “Development of a Dosimetry Platform for Theranostic Agents” explores quantitative PET and SPECT imaging, diagnostic medical imaging and image processing, theranostics and radionuclide therapy dosimetry, radiobiology and radiation safety. In 2020, Harry recieved the Arthur Weis Award  for outstanding original work in radiation safety and dosimetry from the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI). In 2021, his work was featured in the SNMMI plenary lecture highlights “Basic Science Instrumentation & Data analysis: Image Generation” session and was also shortlisted for the best poster award in the physics track. His research is being conducted under  the supervision of Professor Dale Bailey.

The Royal Society Scholarships are awarded annually in order to acknowledge outstanding achievements by young researchers in any field of science. 

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