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2016 Winners

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​The winners in the 2016 Awards were announced at a ceremony on Thursday 18 August 2016. For more information view the media statement.

Winners in the Premier’s Science Awards are important ambassadors for science and participate in public engagements promoting science to the wider community. If you are interested in involving an award winner in an event or activity, please contact them directly using the details provided below. Alternatively, please contact the Office of Science at

2016 Scientist of the Year

SoYDixon2.jpgProfessor Kingsley Dixon

Curtin Professor and Visiting Professor at Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority (Curtin University)

Professor Dixon's efforts in conservation science, restoration ecology and plant science have been fundamental to conserving threatened species and transforming ecological restoration practice in Australia. His discovery of the specific chemical in smoke that is responsible for germination in Australian species has had widespread application, being valued at $100M per annum in terms of potential global benefits to agriculture, mining restoration and horticulture. As Foundation Director of Science at the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority for 32 years, he is acknowledged as the driving force behind the creation of its world-recognised research laboratories.



Professor Carol Bower: Senior Principal Research Fellow (Telethon Kids Institute)

Professor Zheng-Xiang Li: Australian Laureate Fellow, Co-Director (Australia) of the Australia-China Joint Research Centre for Tectonics and Earth Resources, WA School of Mines (Curtin University)

Professor David Sampson: Director, Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation and Analysis and Head, Optical+Biomedical Engineering Laboratory (The University of Western Australia)

2016 Woodside Early Career Scientist of the Year

ECSoYDraper.jpg Dr Scott Draper                 

Senior Lecturer, School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering (The University of Western Australia)

Dr Draper is known internationally for his research in offshore fluid mechanics. He has developed models to optimise the configuration of offshore wind and tidal turbines for renewable energy, predict seabed scour and estimate the stability of offshore structures in extreme wave conditions. His research on marine renewable energy provided the first accurate assessment of marine renewable energy resources in the UK. Across all fields of offshore fluid mechanics, Dr Draper has published more than 50 peer-reviewed papers, has worked on multiple Australian Research Council projects and has supervised award winning PhD and Master students.



Dr Kaiming Bi: Lecturer, ARC DECRA Fellow (Curtin University)

Dr James Fitzpatrick: McCusker Clinical Research Fellow in Aboriginal Child Health (Telethon Kids Institute); Director (PATCHES Paediatrics)

Dr Jun Li: Senior Lecturer/ARC DECRA Fellow (Curtin University)

2016 ExxonMobil Student Scientist of the Year

StoYBrennanJonesWeb.jpgMr Christopher Brennan-Jones   

PhD Candidate (The University of Western Australia / Ear Science Institute Australia)

Mr Brennan-Jones' PhD research focused on improving efficiency and access to ear and hearing healthcare services in Western Australia. He led an international consortium that assessed the reliability of automated hearing tests for use in the absence of specialists. Mr Brennan-Jones discovered some common inconsistencies that, if not corrected, could result in missed diagnoses of middle ear disease or tumours. Building on this work, he has developed diagnostic protocols that can be applied to automated audiometry to correct these errors and is translating this research into practice, by establishing an Indigenous ear health program in the East Pilbara.


Carl Blair: PhD Candidate (The University of Western Australia)

Tim Rosenow: PhD Candidate (Telethon Kids Institute / The University of Western Australia)

Melanie Walls: PhD candidate (The University of Western Australia) 

2016 Chevron Science Engagement Initiative of the Year

SEoYFireballs in the Sky.jpgFireballs in the Sky             (Curtin University)

The Desert Fireball Network aims to understand the early workings of the solar system by studying meteorites, fireballs and their pre-Earth orbits by capturing the paths of fireballs in the sky from multiple viewpoints. With this data, the fireball's pre-Earth orbit and eventual landing position are tracked. Fireballs in the Sky is the outreach arm of the project. Over 89,000 Western Australians have engaged with the program through hands-on activities, talks and events, and it has received international media coverage. The citizen science smartphone app has had 23,000 downloads world-wide and in 2015 the app was awarded the National iAward for Innovation in Education.



iPREP WA (Edith Cowan University)

Old Ways, New Ways - Aboriginal science outreach program (Edith Cowan University)

2016 inductee to Western Australian Science Hall of Fame

2016 Science Awards HoF.jpg 

Professor Ian Ritchie AO

Professor Ian Ritchie was announced as the 2016 inductee to the WA Science Hall of Fame for his dedication to science and his championing of a practical, business-focused approach to science in the State. This was a posthumous award.  His son Andrew Ritchie accepted in his honour.

For more information on members of the Western Australian Science Hall of Fame, visit the Hall of Fame page on this website