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2013-14 News and media

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Chief Scientist visits ECU research centres

On 10 December 2014, the Chief Scientist of Western Australia, Professor Peter Klinken toured four of Edith Cowan University's research centres.

Professor Klinken was accompanied by Ms Jennifer McGrath and Mr Ashwin Raj, Executive Director and Director (respectively) from the Office of Science. Their visit was received by Professor John Finlay Jones, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Advancement).

The tours of the Health Simulation Centre and the Health and Wellness, Security Research and Electron Science Research Institutes were both valuable and informative. Professor Klinken was impressed with the research activities being undertaken at the university, particularly the insight into the training of health and security professionals.

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Professor Peter Klinken and Ms Jennifer McGrath with Professor Kamal Alameh, Director of the Electron Science Research Institute (ESRI) and members of his research team at Edith Cowan University (ECU). (Credit ECU)


Chief Scientist and science captures the imagination of students

On 21 November 2014, Edith Cowan's University was extremely fortunate to have the Chief Scientist of Western Australia, Professor Peter Klinken visit and address 300 primary and high school students from across the State

The event was a culmination of the 'Old Ways, New Ways' project that students had participated in throughout the year. An outreach initiative at ECU, the program brings together Western and Aboriginal knowledge perspectives to science and encourages and supports students from WA's low socio-economic schools, in particular Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students.

The students were amazed by a science demonstration with stunning chemical reactions. Professor Klinken's passionate delivery about the importance and relevance of science in his own life helped the students visualise science as a potential in theirs.

The 'Old Ways, New Ways' project was developed by Dr Magdalena Wajrak (School of Natural Sciences) and Mr Jason Barrow (Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education and research); and supported by Caroline Bishop (Engagement Unit).

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Professor Peter Klinken, Chief Scientist of Western Australia, 
addressing high school students at Edith Cowan University.

Official launch of 'Magnus' and Pawsey Supercomputing Centre rebranding

Prof Peter Klinken at Pawesy LaunchThe Hon. Donna Faragher MLC launched the newly upgraded Magnus supercomputer and the announcement of iVEC's rebranding as the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre on Friday, 5 December 2014.

Joining her was Chief Scientist of Western Australia, Professor Peter Klinken who spoke of the pivotal role of supercomputing, and in particular the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre, for the advancement of Western Australia in the 21st century.

The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre is a joint collaboration between the four public WA universities and CSIRO. It is a world-class supercomputing centre, named after pioneering Australian radio astronomer Dr Joe Pawsey. The Centre will host new supercomputing facilities and expertise to support SKA (Square Kilometre Array) pathfinder research, geosciences and other high-end science.



ASKAP wins Australian Innovation Challenge

CSIRO's Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) has taken out this year's Australian Innovation Challenge, having won the Manufacturing, Construction and Infrastructure category. The judges described the project as ‘one of those advances that keeps Australia on the global innovation map'.

This is not the first time ASKAP has taken home a national award, and ASKAP's revolutionary phased array feed (PAF) receivers and associated digital systems were a key driver behind the award.

For more information about this exciting and award-winning initiative, visit the CSIRO website.

WA scientist wins a Prime Minister's Prize for Science

Professor Ryan ListerProfessor Ryan Lister, a genome biologist and Future Fellow from The University of Western Australia's ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology, has been awarded the 2014 Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year.

Professor Lister's research focuses on molecular codes, how they control genes and how they influence healthy development and disease in animals and plants. He has developed a revolutionary technique for mapping the epigenome, which has provided new insights into the composition and function of DNA.

The Prime Minister's Prizes for Science annually reward excellence in science and science teaching in five categories. The Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year Prize is awarded to a scientist at an early to mid-stage in their career for an outstanding achievement in science that advances, or has the potential to advance, human welfare or benefits society.

For more information visit the Department of Industry and Science website.

Floaties for choppers wins Eureka Prize for WA inventor

Tim Lyons at the 2014 Eureka PrizesA Western Australian helicopter buoyancy device has been awarded the Defence Science and Technology Organisation Eureka Prize for Outstanding Science in Safeguarding Australia.

Engineer and ex-Navy diver Tim Lyons from Rockingham-based One Atmosphere developed the emergency buoyancy system to save lives following a helicopter crash at sea.  The system's airbags automatically inflate within a second to prevent a helicopter from sinking.

The Eureka Prizes, described as the 'Oscars of Australian science' were announced in Sydney on 10 September 2014. A number of other Western Australian scientists were recognised as finalists including from Edith Cowan University, Curtin University and the Future Farm Industries CRC. 

For more information visit the Eureka Prizes pages on the Australian Museum website.

SKA scientists and engineers welcomed to Western Australia

Premier and Science Minister Colin Barnett welcomed more than 250 scientists and engineers to the 2014 SKA Engineering Meeting in Fremantle on Monday 29 September 2014.

The meeting is an important milestone for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project, with more than 80 different institutions and companies from around the world coming together to discuss detailed designs for the SKA telescope and supporting infrastructure.

For further information view the media release.

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National Science Week 2014

National Science Week 2014 (16-24 August) was a huge success.

Hundreds of science events and activities took place across the State as part of the celebrations. Key events included the Perth Science Festival, the Premier's Science Awards and the Science Cafe.

For more information visit the Science engagement page on this website. 


Cafe connecting school students and scientists

The University of Western Australia's Winthrop Hall was abuzz with animated discussion at Science Cafe on Wednesday. This popular event brought together students and scientists in short conversations to inspire students to pursue a career in science.

Hon Donna Faragher and 2013 Student Scientist of the Year, Dr Tristan Clemons with students from Perth College

More than 300 Year 10 and 11 students had the opportunity to quiz researchers and other science professionals about their science journeys and find out what it is like to work as a scientist.

The Hon Donna Faragher MLA, representing the Premier, opened the event and participated in discussions with the students.

"From developing new medical treatments to improving mining technologies, students have heard first-hand about the excitement and impact of scientific research in Western Australia," Ms Faragher said.

Science Cafe concludes National Science Week in Western Australia which saw more than 200 events and activities held across the State.


2014 Premier's Science Awards winners announcedAlternate image text

Premier and Science Minister Colin Barnett announced the winners for the 2014 Premier's Science Awards at a ceremony on 21 August 2014.

Professor Ian Small from The University of Western Australia was named the Scientist of the Year, and Emeritus Professor Alan Robson AO was elevated into the Western Australian Science Hall of Fame.

For more information about the winners and inductee view the 2014 winners page.


Science festival ignites community's curiosity

The Hon Donna Faragher MLC launching the State's National Science Week celebrations at the Perth Science FestivalThousands of Western Australians attended the launch of National Science Week at the Perth Science Festival held at the Perth Cultural Centre on Saturday 16 August 2014. The event sparked community interest in science through lively shows, workshops and interactive experiments.

The Hon Donna Faragher MLC, representing the Premier of Western Australia, participated in the event and officially launched the State's National Science Week celebrations. 


Premier visits Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research

Prof Klinken, Hon Donna Faragher MLC, Hon Colin Barnett MLA and Prof Leedman

On Tuesday 1 July 2014 Premier and Science Minister Colin Barnett and Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier, Donna Faragher, toured Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research.

Renowned for its medical discoveries, the Institute aims to translate the latest breakthroughs into improved health outcomes for the community. Their visit was received by Professor Peter Klinken, Chief Scientist of Western Australia and Professor Peter Leedman, Director of the Institute.

The Premier was impressed by the state-of-the-art facilities and variety of programs being undertaken. He welcomed the common-user research facilities as a significant step toward attracting world class researchers and further building Western Australia's medical research capacity.


Professor Peter Klinken announced as Chief Scientist of WA

Premier announces Peter Klinken as Chief Scientist

On 10 June 2014, Premier and Science Minister Colin Barnett announced Professor Peter Klinken as the new Chief Scientist of Western Australia.

Professor Klinken is a leading Western Australian medical research scientist, highly regarded for his work advancing the understanding of genes involved in leukaemia, cancer and anaemia.

For more information about the Chief Scientist view the Chief Scientist of WA page on this website and view the media statement.


An evening with Nobel Laureate Barry Marshall

Nobel Laureate Professor Barry Marshall AC delivered an illuminating speech “Trust your gut and challenge the status quo” at the Innovation Centre on Thursday 5 June 2014.

He shared his inspirational journey from young clinical fellow at the Royal Perth Hospital to the joint recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2005.

The event was presented by the Inventors Association of Australia (WA) Inc, that guides and assists inventors to develop, protect and commercialise their inventions. For more information visit the Inventors Association of Australia (WA) and the Innovation Centre of WA websites.

Award-winning scientists inspire WA school students

Leading Western Australian scientists shared the excitement of a career in science with high school students at the ATSE Extreme Science Experience on 22 May 2014.

Western Australian Science Awards winners Professor Mark Randolph, Professor Myra Keep and Dr Tristan Clemons spoke with students about their research. They were joined by a number of other leading scientists including Western Australian Fellows Professors Carole Jackson and Andrew (Andy) Whiteley and Clunies Ross recipients Professors Eugene Ivanov and Michael Tobar.

For more information view the media statement and visit the Extreme Science Experience page on the ATSE website.


 Dr Tristan Clemons with students at the ATSE Extreme Science Experience. Credit: ATSEProfessor Myra Keep with students at the ATSE Extreme Science Experience. Credit: ATSE  

Western Australian scientists receive Clunies Ross Award

WA winners Professors Ivanov and Tobar with Dr Paul Hardisty representing CSIRO. Credit: ATSE.

Western Australian scientists Professors Eugene Ivanov and Michael Tobar, from The University of Western Australia, have received a joint Clunies Ross Award for their research and technology development in precision measurement.

Premier and Science Minister Colin Barnett gave the opening address at the Clunies Ross Awards Dinner on 21 May 2014 and congratulated this year's award recipients.

The Clunies Ross Awards, run by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE), recognise excellence in the application and commercialisation of science, engineering and technology.

For more information view the media statement and visit the Clunies Ross Awards page on the ATSE website.


Professor Lyn Beazley's WA Science Hall of Fame citation unveiled

Premier and Science Minister Colin Barnett unveiled Professor Lyn Beazley's citation on the WA Science Hall of Fame.








Professor Lyn Beazley's citation was unveiled on the Western Australian Science Hall of Fame at Scitech on 15 May 2014.

Premier and Science Minister Colin Barnett acknowledged Professor Beazley's services to the State, including her dedication to the role of Chief Scientist of Western Australia from 2006 until 2013.

Inductees represent exceptional examples of outstanding achievement in Western Australian science. For more information visit the WA Science Hall of Fame page on this website and view the media release

Professor Lyn Beazley AO FTSE

Professor Lyn Beazley decided to complete her term as Chief Scientist of Western Australia in December 2013.

As an enthusiastic and committed ambassador for science over the seven year term of her appointment, Professor Beazley raised the profile of the State's science achievements locally, nationally and internationally.

View the ScienceNetwork WA article for further information.