The Walter Burfitt Prize

The Walter Burfitt Prize consists of a bronze medal.  It is awarded at intervals of three years for research in pure or applied science. The winner must be resident in Australia or New Zealand, and whose papers and other contributions published during the past six years are deemed of the highest scientific merit.  Account is taken only of investigations described for the first time, and carried out by the author mainly in these countries. Nominations will next be sought in 2022.

Nominations for the award close on 30 September in each year in which nomination are sought. The application procedure for this lectureship is described on the nomination form. Each application must comply with the conditions of the award and consist of a completed nomination form together with supporting documentation as specified on the form. Completed nominations should be sent to the email address listed on the nomination form. 

The Walter Burfitt Prize was established as a result of a generous gift to the Society by Dr W.F. Burfitt BA MB ChM BSc, of Sydney, which was augmented by another gift from Mrs W.F. Burfitt when Dr Burfitt died in 1957. The Prize was further augmented in 2004 by a gift from Dr Burfitt's grand-daughter Dr Anne Thoeming.

Walter Burfitt Prize 2019

The Walter Burfitt Prize for 2019 has been awarded to Professor Kourosh Kalantar-Zadeh, of the School of Chemical Engineering at UNSW Sydney. Professor Kalantar-Zadeh is renowned for his research and development in the areas of liquid metals, atomically thin materials and ingestible sensors. He is a prolific researcher, recognised in 2018 by Clarivate Analytics as a “Highly Cited Researcher”. Over the past six years, his contributions have been frequently first-in-world and have set the agenda for research fields internationally in areas such as two-dimensional (2D) materials, liquid metals and microfluidics, and point-of-care diagnostic systems and sensors.

Year & RecipientYear & Recipient
1929    N.D. Royle (Medicine)
1932    C.H. Kellaway (Medicine)
1935    V.A. Bailey (Physics)
1938    F.MN. Barnet (Medicine)
1941    F.W. Whitehouse (Geology)
1944    H.L. Kesteven (Medicine)
1947    J.C. Jaeger (Mathematics)
1950    D.F. Martyn (Ionospheric Geophysics)
1953    K.E. Bullen (Geophysics)
1956    J.C. Eccles (Medicine)
1959    F.J. Fenner (Microbiology)
1962    M.F. Glaessner (Palaeontology)
1965    C.A. Fleming (Micropalaeontology)
1968    L.E. Lyons (Chemistry)
1971    M.R. Lemberg (Medicine)
1974    B.J. Robinson (Radiophysics)
1977    A. Kerr (Plant Pathology)
1980    H.A. Buchdahl (Physics)
1983    W.S. Hancock (Biochemistry)
1986    B.N. Figgis (Inorganic Chemistry)
1992    G. Paxinos (Psychology)
1995    R.M. Manchester (Astronomy)
1998    A.K. Burrell (Chemistry)
2001    M.W. Parker (Medicine)
2004    B.A. Neilan (Biology)
2007    M. Colless (Astronomy)
2010    R. Shine (Biology)
2013    M. Simmons (Physics)
2016    J. Gooding (Chemistry)
2019    K. Kalantar-Zadeh (Chemical Engineering)



These prestigious awards for excellence in science, engineering, philosophy and the arts, awarded by Australia's oldest learned society, recognise outstanding achievements.

In 2022, nominations will be sought for the:
James Cook MedalClarke Medal and Memorial LectureEdgeworth David MedalHistory and Philosophy of Science Medal, Walter Burfitt Prize, Warren Prize, and the Royal Society of NSW Scholarships.

Also, nominations will be sought for the Royal Society of NSW Medal and the Royal Society of NSW Citations, each of which recognise substantive contributions by a Member or Fellow to the work of the Society.

Nominations for the 2022 Awards open on 1 July 2022 and close on 30 September 2022. 

Each application must be accompanied by a completed nomination form and supply the specified information. Nominations should be sent to this email address.

Information about the Awards, instructions for making nominations, and links to the nomination forms can be obtained by clicking on the Award name in the drop-down list under the “Awards” menu.

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site, while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). You can decide for yourself whether you want to allow cookies or not. Please note that if you reject them, you may not be able to use all the functionalities of the site.