Two Tall Poppy winners

1 November 2013

'Two School of Physics researchers Dr Dennis Stello and Dr Alex Argyros have been awarded NSW Young Tall Poppy awards in a ceremony at the powerhouse museum on October 31.' This is the second year in a row that an academic from the University, and from the School of Physics, has won the award.

Run by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science, the Young Tall Poppy Science Awards recognise individuals who combine world-class research with a passionate commitment to communicating science and who demonstrate great leadership potential. This year nine scientists were chosen from disciplines spanning ecology and climate change research, materials science and psychology.

Dr Stello was chosen as the NSW Young Tall Poppy of the Year, while Dr Alexander Argyros, another academic from the School of Physics, won a Tall Poppy award at the ceremony held at the Powerhouse Museum last night.

"I'm excited about the great opportunities this award will give me to communicate this fascinating science and to voice the importance of science in society." - Dr Dennis Stello.

For his work studying the sounds of stars and what they reveal about their intricate inner workings, the University of Sydney's Dr Dennis Stello has won the NSW Young Tall Poppy of the Year award. The sun and most other stars experience a continuous rumble from massive internal quakes, making them ring like big vibrating bells in the sky.

Working in a new field of astrophysics called asteroseismology Dr Stello's research exploits the fact that each star 'plays' its own particular range of notes, which reveals its size, age, and composition, just like the timbre of instruments in a large orchestra.

"By following thousands of stars and studying their interior structures, I am exploring how stars like our sun grow old. This will ultimately help us understand the sun's behaviour and potential impact on its surroundings, including conditions on Earth such as cloud formation and global temperatures," said Dr Stello.

The research focus of award winner Dr Alexander Argyros is how light interacts with microscopic structures in materials.

He works on optical fibres, with micron-sized holes running the length of the fibre, to make them more transparent, to allow faster connections, or for medical applications, such as detecting different chemicals.

"This award gives me the opportunity to raise awareness about our work, not only with the public, but also with other researchers in medicine or biology that can utilise our innovations in their research" - Dr Alex Argyros.

Dr Argyros recently contributed to the development of a metamaterial lens with ten times the resolution of any current lens, making it a powerful new tool for the biological sciences.

The awards ceremony was attended by more than 50 leading representatives of the science, technology, engineering and education sectors from universities, business and industry groups.

Contact: Tom Gordon

Phone: 02 93513201

Email: 17162e6b355919060a000b2540295d243d4703111c472633