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Three eminent researchers from The University of Western Australia have been named among the finalists for the 2014 Scientist of the Year to be announced at the Premier's Science Awards on 21 August during National Science Week, Australia's largest annual celebration of science.
Mr Barnett congratulated the finalists and acknowledged the significant role they were playing in building the State's science capacity.
"I am impressed by the calibre of this year's finalists and the outstanding scientific research and engagement efforts taking place in the State," he said.
"As well as advancing our knowledge and understanding in a range of disciplines, they have demonstrated exceptional leadership, communicated their science beyond academia and attracted significant investment to the State."
The 2014 Premier's Science Awards feature four award categories across scientific research and engagement. Now in their 13th year, the 2014 awards are again proudly sponsored by Chevron, ExxonMobil and Woodside.
SCIENTIST OF THE YEAR
Director Centre for the Advancement of Research on Emotion (CARE), School of Psychology, UWA
Professor MacLeod is a leader in the field of cognition and emotion. His research focuses on understanding the thought processes that underpin emotional vulnerability and resilience. He is one of the most highly cited researchers in Australia across all disciplines. He has won over 20 competitive research grants and founded the UWA Elizabeth Rutherford Memorial Centre for the Advancement of Research on Emotion that fosters and supports interdisciplinary collaborations to advance understanding of normal and abnormal emotion.
Director Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation and Analysis (CMCA), UWA
With over 20 years research experience in optics, photonics and microscopy, Professor Sampson understands the value of world-class equipment to scientific research and local industry.
As Director of the CMCA, he oversees the WA nodes of the Australian Microscopy and Microanalysis Research Facility and the National Imaging Facility, supporting industry access to these WA facilities. Under his direction, the Nanoscale Characterisation State Government Centre of Excellence attracted $20million in research funding. Professor Sampson established the award-winning Optical+Biomedical Engineering Laboratory, which now has an international reputation for excellence in biomedical optics and biophotonics.
Chief Investigator ARC Centre of Excellence for Plant Energy Biology, UWA
Professor Small's research focuses on understanding how plants capture, store and release energy. Investigating how genes are controlled, his discoveries have provided the basis for efficiencies in large food production with implications for agriculture and the environment. This year he was listed by Thomson-Reuters as one of the world's most highly-cited authors, ranking in the top one per cent for his subject field.
Since coming to Western Australia as a Premier‘s Fellow in 2006, he has established the world leading Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence of Plant Energy Biology and attracted over $57 million ARC funding to the centre.
WOODSIDE EARLY CAREER SCIENTIST OF THE YEAR
Assistant Director for Research, UWA Centre for Energy, ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award Fellow, UWA
David Stacey (UWA Media) (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 32 637 716
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