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

Science Union

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Welcome, science graduate!

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

UWA's Faculty of Life and Physical Sciences is conducting a careers destination survey of Life and Physical Science graduates so that we can better advise prospective and current students of career opportunities both in Australia and overseas. Keep us informed of where you are and what you are doing.

Professor Ian Small

New Centre will help grow UWA researchers' plant knowledge

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Discovering how plants capture, store and release energy will be the focus of research at the new ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology, based at UWA. Globally, energy fluxes through plants dwarf humans' use of fossil fuels, but scientists are not sure how plants control their energy metabolism. The Australian Research Council Centre has a five-year budget of $25 million and its projects will include community education programs as well as research.

Professor George Stewart played tabletennis


Tuesday, 20 November 2007

The response to the first edition of Science Matters was very encouraging. Many readers have written to suggest topics we can cover as well as express their appreciation, or criticism.

The continuing high levels of activity in the faculty mean we have no shortage of stories for our newsletter. Reading this edition, you will get a good idea of how diverse the faculty is and how our staff and students continue to excel.

Professor George Stewart award to Neil Rabinowitz

Physics students score UWA's top Undergraduate Award

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

For the last three years physics students have been the recipients of the University's prestigious J A Wood Memorial Prize. Two Prizes are awarded by the University each year to the most outstanding student completing an honours course in the faculties of (a) Architecture, Landscape and Visual Arts; Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Economics & Commerce; and Law and (b) Life & Physical Sciences, Natural & Agricultural Sciences; and Engineering, Computing and Mathematics.

Amadale SHS science students and teachers

Spicing up Science

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

UWA and the Department of Education and Training have joined forces to add SPICE to science teaching in WA schools. SPICE is a secondary teachers' enrichment program that will give teachers a chance to update their skills and access the latest scientific equipment and techniques.

UWA Vice-Chancellor Alan Robson said investing in the development of quality teachers would help students achieve their full potentials. Over the next three years, 24 teachers will each spend a term as a Teacher-in-Residence at UWA's Centre for Learning Technology. Four teachers are already at the university.

Professor George Stewart and Dr Alex Juminaga present award to Chung Yim Yap

Offshore programs

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

As the Dean mentioned in his opening comments in the first edition of Science Matters, the Faculty is now offering some of its programs offshore in Singapore via its academic provider, PSB Academy. The first intake to the offshore programs occurred in September 2004. There are two intakes per year, one in March and one in September and there are now over 200 students studying in the four programs (BSc (Biomedical Science), BSc (Genetics), BSc (Molecular Biology & Biotechnology) and BSc (Pharmaceutical Science)) currently offered at the PSB campus.

Physics FSM Group

Timely Pursuits

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Frequency Standards and Metrology (FSM) researchers are involved in exciting, timely projects ranging from fundamental tests of physics to commercial and space applications. Professor Michael Tobar said his group's microwave laboratories received one of the biggest Australian Research Council grants in 2005. "We are now expanding rapidly as well as consolidating our national and international research collaborations," he said.

Professor Barry Marshall,Professor Mike Tobar,Dr Mamoru Mohri,Dr John Hartnett

Dr Mohri visit

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Japan's first astronaut and distinguished scientist, Dr Mamoru Mohri, met up with Professor Barry Marshall while he was in Perth for an International Science Centres conference.

The pair toured the Schools of Human Movement & Exercise Science and Biomedical, Biomolecular & Chemical Sciences and also Physics, where they talked with Prof Mike Tobar and Dr John Hartnett about the Sapphire Clock Ensemble that the School is Building for the European Space Agencies Atomic Clock Ensemble in Space Mission.

Dr Plant

Hope for spinal cord injury victims

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Although they have not yet achieved their goal, scientists are moving closer to offering tangible hope to victims of spinal cord injury. At Red's Spinal Cord Research Laboratory, part of the School of Anatomy and Human Biology, Giles Plant and his team of researchers are achieving encouraging results using a new cell type drawn from human bone marrow.

2006 Tesla Celebration

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), Serbian-American inventor was a genius who lit the world, whose discoveries in the field of alternating polyphase current electricity advanced the world into the modern industrial era.

Tesla had 700 patents in the USA and Europe and his discoveries include the fluorescent light, wireless transmission of electrical energy, radio, remote control, Tesla Coil, terrestrial waves and the use of the ionosphere for scientific purposes.

Peter Nobel (BBCS)

Peter brings a breath of fresh air to asthma research

Monday, 29 October 2007

It's not every day researchers can say their latest study has caught the eye of international experts in their field. It happens even less frequently that successive offerings attract attention – especially when that work has been done by a PhD student. However, Peter Noble can make those claims after two of his published studies on asthma attracted favourable comments.

Professor Andrew Page

The psychology of treatments

Monday, 29 October 2007

Associate Professor Andrew Page, from the UWA School of Psychology, aims to improve mental health treatments through collaborations between researchers and clinical staff.

HoS Group

Psychology Heads

Monday, 29 October 2007

Professor Ken Walker, who was Head of School of Psychology from 1952 – 1966 and is now 87 years old, paid a visit to the School in May shown above with four of our most recent past Heads of School. Prof Walker was holidaying in Perth from Norway where he now lives.

Past, present and future Heads from left to right (below):
A/Prof Dave Morrison Incoming Head of School from July 2006
A/Prof Mike Anderson 2003 – 2006
Prof David Badcock 2000 – 2003
A/Prof Geoff Hammond 1997 – 1999
Prof Ken Walker 1952 – 1966

Research gives swimmers a kick-start

Monday, 29 October 2007

Human Movement and Exercise Science (HMES) researchers are cementing the school's reputation as a world leader in swimming biomechanics.

Matt Keys and Andrew Lyttle aim to help swimmers achieve the maximum kick from their underwater kicking to gain a winning edge. Professor Brian Blanksby, Head of the HMES School, said 0.2 seconds could be the difference between a gold medal and last place. "Swimmers shave or wear high-tech bodysuits and work constantly on their technique to gain crucial seconds," he said.

Joe Clare

Where are they now? - Joe Clare

Monday, 29 October 2007

Joe Clare
Research Associate, Crime Research Centre, The University of Western Australia
B.Cog.Sci (Honours) 2000; Ph.D 2004.

UWA Short Term Study Programs

Monday, 29 October 2007

Twenty-two students from three major Chinese universities will attend this year's UWA Short Term Study Program.

The International Linkages Database Service

Monday, 29 October 2007

The International Linkages Database Service (ILDS) is now available for all staff in the Faculty to list all their International Linkages.

Science Union - Science Careers Night

Monday, 29 October 2007

The Science Union is organizing another Science Careers event to provide you with information on the many hundreds of opportunities out there for science graduates.