Three research teams from The University of Western Australia have been named finalists in three categories of Australia's premier science awards - the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes - for outstanding curiosity-driven research by Australians published in internationally respected journals or books.
"The recognition of the excellent work of our researchers reflects the national and international standing of this University," UWA Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alan Robson said.
Federation Fellow Professor David Pannell from UWA and co-researcher Dr Anna Ridley from the Department of Primary Industries, Victoria, have been praised for their entry, ‘Salinity Science: From Complexity to Simplicity' in the category of Environmental Research. Their internationally unique research has a direct impact on national salinity investment policy and is reshaping the way communities think about and plan for Australia's dryland salinity problems.
Associate Professor Dylan Jayatilaka, Dr Joshua McKinnon and Professor Mark Spackman from UWA are finalists in the Scientific Research category. Their innovative research has led to the development of an original computational approach to the exploration and visualisation of intermolecular interactions in molecular crystals. The user-friendly software tools and techniques they developed are provided free to non-commercial users.
Professor Lorenzo Faraone and his Microelectronics Research Group at UWA - Professor John Dell, Associate Professor Charles Musca, Dr Jarek Antoszewski and Dr Adrian Keating, along with Dr Kevin Winchester of MRX Technologies - have been named finalists in the Science in Support of Defence of National Security category for their microspectrometer sensing technology.
Their work in infrared imaging systems provides dramatically improved threat and target recognition, at longer distances and with higher reliability than with current systems. It has applications in agriculture and food science and opens new possibilities for biological and chemical sensing.
The winners of the Eureka Prizes will be announced on Tuesday August 19 at a function in Sydney.