Eureka Science prize nominations

2 August 2013

Four scientists from the University of Sydney's School of Physics have been named as finalists in the prestigious Eureka Prizes, announced on 2 August 2013.

Presented annually by the Australian Museum, the Eureka Prizes reward excellence in the fields of scientific research and innovation, science leadership, school science and science journalism and communication.

The Eureka Prizes are known as the Oscars of Australian Science and the awards dinner, where winners will be announced on 4 September, is the largest national celebration of Australian science.

"This success reflects the high calibre research carried out across the Faculty of Science," said Professor Trevor Hambley, Dean of the Faculty of Science.

"Our finalists cover a range of areas of excellence from early career research and leadership, to established scientific research, to commercialisation of innovation, to mentoring of young researchers, to communicating scientific research. It's fantastic to see such a diversity of outstanding achievement recognised."

The Eureka Prize finalists from the School of Physics are:

Professor Geraint Lewis, from the School of Physics, and his now graduated PhD student, Dr Anthony Conn, are finalists in the Eureka Prize for Scientific Research. With cutting-edge imaging from over 200 hours of telescope observations, Professor Geraint Lewis and Dr Anthony Conn looked in depth at our nearest cosmic neighbour, the Andromeda Galaxy. Their groundbreaking research revealed a completely unexpected, and mysterious, rotating plane of dwarf galaxies orbiting Andromeda. None of our ideas of the nature of dark matter and the evolution of galaxies predict such a coherent structure, and its discovery presents huge challenges for current cosmology.

Dr Jochen Schröder, from the School of Physics, with Dr Michaël Roelens from Finisar Australia, entered as the WaveShaper Team, are finalists in the Eureka Prize for Commercialisation of Innovation. The WaveShaper is an ideal example of the synergy between research excellence and the commercial utilisation of innovation. Originally developed as a research device in an industry linkage grant, it is now sold to laboratories and has transformed the way optics researchers perform their experiments worldwide.

Jochen Schröder and Michaël Roelens
Jochen Schröder and Michaël Roelens

Dr Tara Murphy, from the School of Physics, is a finalist in the Eureka Prize for Emerging Leader in Science. Dr Tara Murphy leads the international astronomy collaboration VAST, bringing together over 80 researchers from around the world to search for astronomical transients with radio telescopes. Although she is a young scientist herself, Tara is passionate about educating the next generation of physicists and is a leading advocate of astroinformatics education.

Dr Tara Murphy
Dr Tara Murphy

Contact: Katie Szittner

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