The University of Western Australia congratulates seven of its academics who are among 13 finalists announced at the Premier’s Science Awards.
The awards, a State Government initiative, were established in 2002 to honour the outstanding achievements of WA's science and innovation community.
Professor Mark Cassidy from the Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems and Professor Shaun Collin from the School of Animal Biology; both members of the UWA Oceans Institute, were both announced as finalists for Scientist of the year.
Professor Mark Cassidy is a distinguished civil engineer whose research has underpinned the safe and economic construction of oil and gas platforms in our oceans. His advice has been incorporated into the design of platform and pipeline infrastructure currently being constructed off the coast of Western Australia. As an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow, Professor Cassidy's research seeks solutions to unlock the vast reserves of stranded gas in our remote and deep oceans, where the geotechnical response of the seabed sediment is poorly understood.
Professor Shaun Collin, a former WA Research Fellow, is a world leader in how animals perceive and process their sensory world under different environmental conditions. He uses innovative techniques in anatomy, electrophysiology, bioimaging, molecular biology and behaviour to understand the evolution and mechanisms of neural processing for a range of senses including vision, hearing, olfaction and electroreception. Professor Collin's research is being incorporated into shark mitigation technologies, improving aquaculture industries, identifying the effects of anthropogenic disturbances such as underwater noise and dredging activities, with the ultimate aim of informing management strategies to conserve Western Australia's unique biodiversity.
UWA finalists for the Woodside Early Career Scientist of the Year included Dr Scott Draper from UWA Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems and Dr Nicole Smith from UWA School of Animal Biology and the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry.
UWA PhD student finalists in the ExxonMobil Student Scientist of the Year category included Christopher Brennan-Jones, Ear Sciences Centre, Kalina Makowiecki, Department of Experimental and Regenerative Neurosciences and Melanie Walls, School of Women's and Infants' Health.
UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Johnson congratulated the finalists on their achievements.
"To be announced a finalist in the Premier’s Science Awards is a remarkable accomplishment,” he said.
“All finalists are to be congratulated for the outstanding contribution they have made to science which is helping make a real difference to society.”
Winners and the 2015 inductee into the Science Hall of Fame will be announced at a ceremony on Thursday 20 August, during National Science Week, Australia's largest annual celebration of science.
Jess Reid (UWA Media and Public Relations) (+61 8) 6488 6876