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2017 Thomas Ranken Lyle Medal goes to Prof Joss Bland-Hawthorn



18 November 2016


Another important award -- the 2017 Thomas Ranken Lyle Medal -- goes to Professor Bland-Hawthorn, SIfA director, in recognition of his extraordinary contribution to Australian science. A month ago, he was awarded the 2016 NSW Premier's Prize for the Excellence in mathematics, earth sciences, chemistry and physics category. The medal is further recognition of his role in helping to keep Australia at the forefront of optical astronomy over the past 25 years.


The Thomas Ranken Lyle Medal commemorates the contribution of Sir Thomas Ranken Lyle, FRS, to Australian science and industry, in particular to his own fields of physics and mathematics. The medal was founded by the Australian National Research Council (ANRC) in 1932 and first awarded in 1935. The purpose of the medal is to recognise outstanding achievement by a scientist in Australia for research in mathematics or physics.

The citation for the award cites:

Professor Bland-Hawthorn has excelled in both astronomical research and cutting-edge instrumentation, helping to keep Australia at the forefront of optical astronomy over the past 25 years. His legacies include establishing two astronomical fields - galactic archaeology and near-field cosmology (with Professor Kenneth Freeman FAA FRS) and astrophotonics, resulting in awards in astronomy, optics, and photonics. His innovative contributions to astronomical technology and instrumentation have been very influential and have been widely adopted in experimental astronomy and have also been applied to other fields, such as telecommunication, food safety and the farming industry


Professor Bland-Hawthorn winner of the 2017 Thomas Ranken Lyle Medal is the first astronomer to receive the prestigious medal over the past 40 years, and follows in the footsteps of SIfA Professor Don Melrose who won the Thomas Ranken Lyle Medal in 1987, the last time that the University of Sydney was recognized by this award.