Science Matters is the Faculty of Science's Newsroom

We hope that through this medium alumni, staff, students and supporters will be able to keep in touch with what is happening in the Faculty Science at UWA.

These are exciting times for the Faculty of Science and we hope you will be able to share in this excitement and that you will be able to follow where we go over the next few years.

Professor Tony O'Donnell, Dean

Professor George Stewart

Beyond the Boom

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Western Australia is enjoying an unprecedented economic boom built on huge Chinese demand for iron ore and gas. Looking beyond the boom, The University of Western Australia is building important partnerships within China in the areas of science and technology.

By the year 2020, 60 per cent of China’s future economic growth will come from science and technology, according to the Chinese Government’s 15 year strategic plan published last year.

The opening of the Delta Campus

Delta Campus opening heralds new era

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Members of the Faculty and the wider University community gathered in May for a special ceremony in Singapore to celebrate the launch of PSB Academy’s new branding identity and the formal opening of its Delta Campus by Singapore’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Lim Hng Kiang.

Special events planned for UWA alumni

Thursday, 17 January 2008

The Faculty will be hosting offshore alumni events in Malaysia and Singapore in August this year. On 12th August an alumni cocktail party will be held in Kuala Lumpur.

50th Anniversary celebration of the School of Anatomy and Human Biology

Anatomy and Human Biology Reunion

Thursday, 17 January 2008

The School of Anatomy and Human Biology celebrated its 50th anniversary in November. The celebrations included tours of the building and its facilities and afternoon tea followed by a cocktail party in the Memorial Garden.

School of Psychology newsletter

Thursday, 17 January 2008

The School of Psychology issued its first edition of Psychology Alumni News in October 2007, a newsletter for psychology alumni and friends. To receive a copy, contact Elliot Wood at

Sport Science, Exercise and Health - alumni events

Thursday, 17 January 2008

The Human Movement and Exercise Science Alumni Committee have had a busy 12 months – hosting a well attended reunion for all graduates, a wine tasting, an industry dinner for those in the occupational health and safety workforce and a reunion for the 87ers - those who commenced undergraduate studies in 1985 and concluded in 1987 - or near to.

Christel Burgess,the first student awarded the Gladys Heedes Medal

Historic day for pharmacy graduates

Thursday, 17 January 2008

September 10 heralded the graduation of the first 28 students from the Master of Pharmacy course.

All Prizes were awarded for the first time with many sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry and others by organisations and individuals involved in the pharmacy discipline. A special award - the Gladys Heedes Medal - sponsored on an annual basis by Pharmaceutical Defence Limited for the top student in the Master of Pharmacy course, was awarded to Christel Burgess. Gladys Heedes, after whom the award is named, was a special guest at the function and personally presented the medal to Christel.

The Geoff Miller Collection of pharmacy memorabillia loaned to UWA

Re-Opening of the Biochemistry Building

Thursday, 17 January 2008

On 31st October the revamped Biochemistry Building, which is now a dedicated combined Medicine, Pharmacy and Neuroscience teaching and research facility, was officially reopened by His Excellency, Dr Ken Michael AC, Governor of Western Australia.

Prof. John Watling from the Centre for Forensic Science

New technology to smash porcelain forgers

Thursday, 17 January 2008

The fragile, translucent beauty of Chinese and Japanese porcelain has for centuries made it the target of professional forgers. With today’s rapid advances in technology, the marketing of fake antiquities is hugely profitable, and Chinese Ming and Japanese Imari porcelain forgeries change hands for vast sums.

2007 Career Mentor Link program meet

Mentoring program gives careers a kick-start

Thursday, 17 January 2008

“There are high spots in all of our lives and most of them have come about through encouragement from someone else.” (George Matthew Adams)

Take a moment to recall someone whose words of wisdom, inspiration or support have made all the difference to your career. Would you like to make that sort of difference to a UWA student?

Dr Andy Sierakowski

Adding value to successful research

Thursday, 17 January 2008

The Office of Industry and Innovation (OII) at UWA has established a good relationship with the Faculty of Life and Physical Sciences, working with early stage investors, venture capitalists and other commercial interests who are keen to commercialise UWA's research outcomes.

Kate Leeming

Where are they now? - Kate Leeming

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Kate Leeming
Deputy Head Professional, Royal Melbourne Tennis Club
Adventure cyclist
Author of Out There and Back; the story of the 25,000km Great Australian Cycle Expedition; BPE (1987); Dip Ed (1988)

Studying physical education at UWA seemed a natural progression after school, given my abilities as a sporting ”all-rounder”. After completing my degree in 1987, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do so I added a Dip Ed to my qualifications and taught for a year before heading to the UK on a UWA Hockey Club tour. I then spent a couple of years pedalling 15,000km from Spain to Turkey and up to the Nord Kapp in Norway. This was my personal discovery of Europe.

Name change for a school on the move

Thursday, 17 January 2008

The School of Human Movement and Exercise Sciences will be formally known as the School of Sport Science, Exercise and Health – and given the colloquial name of Exercise Science - from January 1, 2008.

The School believes its new name more accurately reflects the full breadth of its activities and the courses it offers. All degree names remain unchanged.

Emeritus Professor John Bloomfield

UWA Professor inducted into sporting Hall of Fame

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Emeritus Professor John Bloomfield was inducted into the Sports Australia Hall of Fame in October this year – adding to an extraordinary list of achievements over a long and varied career.

Professor David Blair

Opening our ears to the universe

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Black holes remain one of the great enigmas of the universe.

But thanks to research by UWA physicist Professor David Blair, within the next decade we may be able to detect gravitational waves on earth and "listen" to the sounds of these and other astronomical phenomena.

Royal Australian Navy guards penguins with help from UWA

Wednesday, 16 January 2008
The Royal Australian Navy is a perfect role model when it comes to being a good neighbour.
Dr Sue Byrne

A new approach to treating childhood obesity

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Almost a quarter of Australian children and adolescents are now classed as either overweight or obese. That poses a serious public health concern, especially since childhood weight problems often continue into adulthood, increasing the risk of heart disease, Type II diabetes, asthma and orthopaedic problems. Research conducted at UWA estimates that up to 80 per cent of children with weight problems have mothers who are either overweight or obese. UWA researchers are now trying to tackle the obesity epidemic from a new angle – by targeting treatment at overweight mothers of overweight children.

Professor George Stewart, Dean


Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Another academic year is now with us. 2007 is the Chinese Year of the Pig and I am reliably informed that pig people love to read and are generally thirsty for knowledge. Sounds exactly like the type of student that comes to study science at UWA so our 2007 intake should be an exceptionally good one. The 2006 students performed very well, fifty seven undergraduates and thirty four honours students had academic achievements high enough to warrant a Dean’s Letter of Congratulation. Some of our high flying students in the Advanced Science program are showing their abilities to overseas universities (Queen’s University, Canada; Oxford University, England; Sheffield University, England and Kobe University, Japan).

Professor Lister Staveley-Smith

WA short-listed for global science prize

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Western Australia is one of two sites short-listed to house the world's most advanced radio telescope, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), which could answer some of the big questions fundamental to our understanding of the universe. UWA's School of Physics is at the forefront of the bid to win this international project.

Team Green Machine

Energised by research: Team Green Machine

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Some may consider that spending your day conducting cutting-edge research in plant energy biology is quite an exhausting task. Staff from The Centre of Excellence Plant Energy Biology have realised, that they have extra energy to burn in the name of team spirit!

On Sunday March 11th there will be a new force to reckon with, as Plant Energy Biology's Team Green Machine hits the corporate triathlon scene at the annual BRW/BP Ultimate Corporate Triathlon at Langley Park.