An adviser to the US administration, and world expert on supergravity, Professor Sylvester (Jim) Gates has had the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science conferred on him by UWA Chancellor Dr Michael Chaney at the University's Autumn Graduations.
Professor Gates serves on President Obama's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, part of the Executive Office of the President. The council represents the nation's leading scientists and engineers who advise the President and Vice President and formulate policy in the many areas where the understanding of science, technology, and innovation is central to strengthening the US economy.
The first African-American to be awarded an endowed Chair in Physics in a major US University, Professor Gates has visited The University of Western Australia to work with the School of Physics' Supersymmetric Quantum Field Theory Group.
A popular speaker in Western Australia, on his first two visits Professor Gates delivered public lectures to capacity audiences. In 2008, he was appointed Professor at Large by the UWA Institute for Advanced Studies.
Professor Gates also appeared in the television series "The Elegant Universe", broadcast in Australia on SBS, in which he played a central role along with seven Nobel prize winners in physics.