Friday, 5 December 2008

SymbioticA, the Centre of Excellence in Biological Arts has won the Premier’s Prize for Excellence in Science Communication at the Premier’s Science Awards.

The University of Western Australia further cemented its role as the State’s pre-eminent research and teaching institution with the announcement of Dr Ben Corry as Western Australian Young Scientist of the Year, SymbioticA winning the Premier’s Prize for Excellence in Science Communication Outside the Classroom and Jacinta Delhaize winning the Premier’s Prize for Science Student of the Year Award.

Premier Colin Barnett last night announced the winners of the Premier’s Science Awards, which recognise outstanding achievements in Western Australian science.

“These awards are testament to the excellence of our academics and students,” UWA Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alan Robson said.

“We are proud of their efforts to inspire a love of science in the next generation and an understanding of science in the broader community.”

Professor Imberger, environmental engineer and Director of UWA’s Centre for Water Research, is internationally recognised for his projects involving iconic locations such as Venice Lagoon, Lake Como, Lake Victoria, and the Sea of Galilee.

His research into the hydrodynamic processes operating in coastal and inland waters in Australia has helped influence national water policy. Earlier this year, he was elected a Fellow to Britain's prestigious Royal Academy of Engineering.

Dr Corry, from UWA’s School of Biomedical, Biomolecular and Chemical Science, works in the field of molecular biophysics and has significantly advanced the understanding of biological ion channels – the proteins that regulate electrical signalling between cells.

He has been able to apply his understanding of biological pores to propose cheaper ways for generating clean drinking water through desalination.

SymbioticA, the UWA Centre of Excellence in Biological Arts, is an internationally recognised art and science collaborative research laboratory dedicated to the artistic research, learning and critique of life sciences.

The first of its kind in the world, the laboratory enables artists to engage in hands-on biology practices and collaborate with scientists in a biological science department.

Ms Delhaize is an Astronomy and Astrophysics Honours student involved in many radio astronomy-related projects including the development of an astronomer-at-large program for high schools and preparations for the Square Kilometre Array Project.

Image: courtesy of the Western Australian Department of Commerce.

Media references

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Professor Jorg Imberger (Centre for Water Research), (+61 8)  6488 3911  /  (+61 4) 08 914 607

Dr Ben Corry (School of Biomedical, Biomolecular and Chemical Science) (+ 61 8) 6488 3166

Jane Coakley (SymbioticA) (+61 8)  6488 7116  /  (+61 4) 10 109 535

Jacinta Delhaize (School of Physics)  (+61 4) 09 778 300

Janine MacDonald (UWA Public Affairs) (+61 8)  6488 5563  /  (+61 4) 32 637 716