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Hunter Branch Meeting 2020-1

Professor Ryan Loxton Mathematics in Industry: Optimisation in Action —
Unlocking Value in the Mining, Energy, and Agriculture Industries

Professor Ryan Loxton
Curtin University of Technology

A joint public lecture held as part of the Mathematics in Industry Study Group and supported by the Hunter Branch of the Royal Society of NSW, the University of Newcastle,the Australian and New Zealand Industrial and Applied Mathematics Division of the Australian Mathematical Society, and the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer Conference Sponsorship Program.

This will be followed by dinner at the Newcastle Club for those who register by January 24th. 

Date: Friday, 31 January 2020, 5pm for 5.30–6.30pm
Venue: Newcastle City Hall (Hunter Room), 290 King Street, Newcastle, NSW 2300 
Entry: Public lecture FREE | Dinner $88
Registration: through Eventbrite

Optimisation is a branch of applied mathematics that focuses on using mathematical techniques to optimise complex systems. Real-world optimisation problems are typically enormous in scale, with hundreds of thousands of inter-related variables and constraints, multiple conflicting objectives, and numerous candidate solutions that can easily exceed the total number of atoms in the solar system, overwhelming even the fastest supercomputers. Mathematical optimisation has numerous applications in business and industry, but there is a big mismatch between the optimisation problems studied in academia (which tend to be highly structured problems) and those encountered in practice (which are non-standard, highly unstructured problems). This lecture gives a non-technical overview of the presenter’s recent experiences in building optimisation models and practical algorithms in the oil and gas, mining, and agriculture sectors. Some of this practical work has led to academic journal articles, showing that the gap between industry and academia can be overcome.

Ryan Loxton is a professor and the discipline leader for mathematics and statistics in the School of Electrical Engineering, Computing, and Mathematical Sciences at Curtin University. Ryan’s research interests lie in the areas of optimisation, optimal control, and data science. His work has been funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC), the Department of Industry, Innovation, and Science, and various industry partners, from small start-ups to large corporates. In particular, Ryan’s ARC grants include two prestigious, highly competitive fellowships—an Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship during 2011–14 and a current ARC Future Fellowship that runs until the end of 2021. His work focuses on using advanced mathematics to optimise complex processes in a wide range of applications such as mining, oil and gas, agriculture, and industrial process control. Ryan’s algorithms underpin the Quantum software platform developed by Aurora Global for tracking, executing, and optimising shutdown maintenance operations at mine sites. Ryan is a passionate advocate for industry engagement and has worked extensively with industry where he has led demand-driven research projects with many companies, both big and small, including Woodside Energy, Vekta Automation, Fleetcare, and Global Grain Handling Solutions. Ryan was the recipient of the 2018 JH Michell Medal from the Australian and New Zealand Industrial and Applied Mathematics Division (ANZIAM) as the outstanding researcher of the year, and the 2014 West Australian Young Scientist of the year. Ryan currently leads the optimisation theme in the new Australian Research Council’s Industrial Training Centre on Transforming Maintenance through Data Science, which is funded by a $3.9 million grant from the Australian Research Council plus matched funding from industry partners Alcoa, BHP Billiton, and Roy Hill.

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Frontiers of Science Program for Science Teachers: March 2020

TSNSW, TGNSW, AIP and RACI Logos The Royal Society of NSW, the Teachers’ Guild of NSW, and the NSW Branches of the Australian Institute of Physics (AIP) and the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) are pleased to announce the forthcoming Frontiers of Science Program for Science Teachers.

An exciting program comprising four eminent speakers from the fields of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics is planned.

Further details will be made available shortly, with this news post being updated and an event notice being posted on the websites of the Royal Society of NSW, the Teachers’ Guild of NSW, and the NSW branches of the AIP and RACI.

Date/Time: Friday, 6 March 2020, 5.30–8.30pm
Venue: Boston University Campus, 15–25 Regent Street, Chippendale NSW 2008
Registration details for the event will be available shortly.

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1280th OGM and Open Lecture

Royal Society of NSW Presentations by the 2019 Royal Society of NSW Scholarship Recipients

Emma Austin, University of Newcastle
Shayam Balaji, University of Sydney
Michael Papanicolao, University of Technology Sydney and the Garvan Institute
Thomas Pettit, University of Technology Sydney

Date: Wednesday, 12 February 2020, 6.00pm for 6.30pm
Venue: Gallery Room, State Library of NSW (Entrance: Shakespeare Place, Sydney)
Entry: $25 for Non-Members, $15 for Fellows, Members and Associate Members of the Society, $5 Students (including a welcome drink)
Dress Code: Smart Casual
Dinner (Including Drinks): $120 for Non-Members, $100 for Fellows, Members and Associate Members, $75 for students. Reservations close Monday, 10th February at 9:30am.
Enquiries: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Phone: 9431 8691 
All are welcome: Click Here to Register

The evening’s program comprises four short talks presented by PhD Candidates who have been awarded Royal Society of NSW Scholarships for 2019.

Ms Emma AustinDrought and wellbeing in Australian rural communities: implications for improving adaptive capacity and resilience to drought
Ms Austin’s research investigates the relationship between drought and wellbeing in rural communities in NSW, taking into account the links between wellbeing and adaptive capacity, and the need for the successful adaptation to drought together with increased resilience which is essential for the survival of rural communities.

Mr Shayam Balaji Searches for Extended Higgs Sectors, Flavour Physics Anomalies and Dark Matter at the LHC
Mr Balaji’s research is in the field of particle physics which explores the fundamental building blocks of the Universe and the interactions between them. The focus of his work, as a member of the ATLAS Collaboration at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, is in testing exotic Higgs boson models and extensions to the Standard Model of Particle Physics.

Mr Michael PapanicolaoCharting the Extracellular Matrix Through Breast Tumour Progression
Mr Papanicolao’s research involves investigations into the role of the extracellular matrix (ECM) in breast tumour progression. The focus of his work is on charting how the ECM evolves with tumour progression, using protein mass spectrometry and advanced imaging to identify targetable proteins that are important in breast cancer metastasis.

Mr Thomas PettitBotanical biofilters for the phytofiltration of urban air pollutants
Mr Pettit’s research is in the field of biofilter technology, in which he has been developing and assessing the use of active green walls to clean the air of active pollutants to provide functional reductions of air pollution in zones where the are most needed.

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1281st OGM and Open Lecture

Professor Robin Batterham Soils: the least understood part of science, yet vital for all of us

Professor Robin J Batterham AO

Kernot Professor of Engineering
University of Melbourne

Date: Wednesday, 4 March 2020, 6.00pm for 6.30pm
Venue: Gallery Room, State Library of NSW (Entrance: Shakespeare Place, Sydney)
Entry: $25 for Non-Members, $15 for Fellows, Members and Associate Members of the Society, $5 Students (including a welcome drink)
Dress Code: Smart Casual
Dinner (Including Drinks): $120 for Non-Members, $100 for Fellows, Members and Associate Members, $75 for students. Reservations close Monday, 10th February at 9:30am.
Enquiries: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Phone: 9431 8691 
All are welcome Click Here to Register

The decadal plan for agriculture from our Academy of Science suggests that soils are the least understood part of all science. In this talk we will explore how, if we approach the stewardship of our country differently (and many already are) we can improve our drought resilience, have fewer challenges with run off (save the reef), use fewer farm chemicals, produce zero emission products such as meat and, if we get it right, sequester around 40% of Australia’s emissions. The science to do this is innovative and multifaceted. The talk will end with an invitation that, whether we live in cities or in the country, we all have a role to play.

Professor Batterham AO is a former Chief Scientist of Australia and President of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, and is presently the Kernot Professor of Engineering at the University of Melbourne. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, and The Royal Academy of Engineering, amongst others, and holds Honorary Doctorates from the University of Melbourne, the University of Technology Sydney, and the University of Queensland. Previously, he has held senior roles in CSIRO (with responsibilities for collaborative research with mining companies) and with Rio Tinto, as Global Head of Innovation and Vice-President for Processing Developments. Most recently, he has had leadership roles at the interface of University, Industry and Government in areas that include mining, mineral processing, and algal and energy systems. Presently, he is the Chair of the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund, the Chair of the Australia-China Strategic Research Fund, the Chair of the Australian Chamber Choir, and a Member of the International Mineral Processing Council.

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RSNSW Fellow appointed Chief Scientist of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Rebecca Johnson Dr Rebecca Johnson FRSN, Chief Scientist at the Australian Museum and a leading koala conservation expert, has just been appointed to the highly prestigious post of Chief Scientist and Associate Director at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC. Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, Dr Johnson referred to her new role as the “biggest and best gig” in the world of natural history, saying that she was both “excited and honoured by the prospect to join an institution which represents the highest level of scientific endeavour.”

The Royal Society of NSW extends its warmest congratulations to Dr Rebecca Johnson on this exciting international leadership opportunity.

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President's Festive Season Message

Royal Society of NSW On behalf of the Council of the Royal Society of NSW, I wish all Fellows and Members a very happy Festive Season, and a successful and prosperous New Year.

I would like to particularly thank our volunteers at the State Library, for their excellent work in putting in order the Society's library collection.

I look forward to seeing you at our events next year. We are on track to offer a more exciting program than ever before, with new events planned. More information will appear in the New Year. Our first event of 2020 will be an opportunity, on Wednesday 12 February, to hear about the excellent research work of our 2019 scholarship winners.

Professor Ian Sloan, AO FAA FRSN
President, Royal Society of NSW

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Calendar of Sydney Meetings in 2020

DateEvent

Wednesday, 12 February

6.00 for 6.30pm

1280th OGM and Open Lecture: 2019 RSNSW Scholarship Presentations

Venue: Gallery Room, State Library of NSW, Shakespeare Place, Sydney

Drought and wellbeing in Australian rural communities: implications for improving adaptive capacity and resilience to drought adaptive capacity and resilience to drought
Ms Emma Austin
PhD Student, Centre for Water, Climate and Land, University of Newcastle

Searches for Extended Higgs Sectors, Flavour Physics Anomalies and Dark Matter at the LHC
Mr Shayam Balaji
PhD Student, School of Physics, University of Sydney

Charting the Extracellular Matrix Through Breast Tumour Progression
Mr Michael Papanicolao
PhD Student, Faculty of Science, University of Technology Sydney and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research

Botanical biofilters for the phytofiltration of urban air pollutants
Mr Thomas Pettit
PhD Student, School of Life Sciences, University of Technology Sydney

Wednesday, 4 March

6.00 for 6.30pm

1281st OGM and Open Lecture

Venue: Gallery Room, State Library of NSW, Shakespeare Place, Sydney

Soils: the least understood part of science, yet vital for all of us
Professor Robin J. Batterham
Former Chief Scientist of Australia and President of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, and currently Kernot Professor of Engineering, University of Melbourne

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Media Release: Downplaying the Arts

Royal Society of NSW The Royal Society of New South Wales, one of Australia’s oldest societies, deplores the Prime Minister’s proposed restructure of public service departments, in which Arts is moved to a mega-department with responsibilities for infrastructure, transport, cities and communications—surely an unpromising home for the Arts. And the situation is made worse by the fact that Arts is not mentioned in the title of any department.

The Society’s view is that the Arts play an essential role in Australian society, and that governments play a key role in ensuring their vitality. The proposed changes leave the unavoidable impression that the federal government’s commitment to the Arts is weakening.

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Royal Society of NSW Awards for 2019

Royal Society of NSW The Council of the Royal Society of New South Wales is pleased to announce its Awards for 2019. The award winners are:

 •  James Cook Medal — Scientia Professor Matthew England
 •  Clarke Medal — Professor Dietmar Müller
 •  Edgeworth David Medal — Professor Si Ming Man
 •  History and Philosophy of Science Medal — Professor Evelleen Richards
 •  Walter Burfitt Prize — Professor Kourosh Kalantar-Zadeh
 •  Royal Society of NSW Scholarships — Emma Austin, Shayam Balaji,
     Michael Papanicolaou, and Thomas Pettit.

Further information about the awards and their recipients is available on the website.

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Report: Fifth Annual RSNSW and Four Academies Forum

Forum Brochure Cover The fifth annual Forum of the Royal Society of NSW and the four Academies was held at Government House, Sydney on 7 November 2019, with this year’s theme being Making SPACE for Australia . A comprehensive report of the day's presentations, prepared by the Forum Convenors, Emeritus Professor Roy MacLeod FRSN and Dr Susan Pond AM FRSN, is now available, together with the Forum Program and image gallery

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Women and Science: Lecture 7

Women and Science: Lecture 7      “An Accidental Astronomer”

    Emeritus Professor Anne Green


Date: Thursday, 21 November 2019, 6.00pm for 6.30pm
Venue: Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney

An Accidental Astronomer

As one of the first women radio astronomers, Anne Green faced unexpected challenges in undertaking panoramic and detailed surveys of the Milky Way Galaxy. Anne will track her career trajectory alongside the evolution of the Molonglo Radio Telescope that has been a pioneering astronomical instrument for more than 50 years. Anne’s journey has produced some exciting discoveries and rewarding collaborations in the study of the structure and ecology of the Galaxy, and has also encompassed observations with several of the world’s most powerful telescopes.

Emeritus Professor Anne Green FTSE FASA FAIP FRSN

Anne Green is presently an Emeritus Professor at the University of Sydney. She is a graduate in physics from both Melbourne and Sydney Universities. Following her graduate studies at Sydney, she was an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Radioastronomy in Bonn, Germany. Restarting her academic career at Sydney University after a 15 year pause for family and community work in Europe, she joined the School of Physics and progressed from post-doc to professor. During this period, she was Director of the Molonglo Telescope and was appointed as the first female Head of the School of Physics. She has been on numerous national and international astronomy advisory committees, including as President of the Astronomical Society of Australia, and Chair of Astronomy Australia Ltd. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Technology and Engineering, the Astronomical Society of Australia, the Australian Institute of Physics, and the Royal Society of NSW, and President of the Physics Foundation. Internationally, she is a Member of the Science Advisory Board of the Max Planck Institute for Radioastronomy and has had a role in the early development of the powerful new radio-telescope, the Square Kilometre Array. She was the inaugural co-Chair of the Women in Astronomy Working Group of the International Astronomical Union for six years. Her research career spans 30 years in radio astronomy, studying the structure and ecology of the Milky Way Galaxy and its various constituents. In particular, her discoveries include supernova remnants, astrophysical masers and more recently, cosmological sparklers. She has a career total of over 200 papers with more than 6000 citations and has been a Chief Investigator on grants worth nearly $12 million. Most recently, the Astronomical Society of Australia has established the Anne Green Prize to be awarded to a mid-career scientist for a significant body of work or accomplishment.

Presented jointly by the Royal Society of NSW and the Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts, the Women and Science lecture series examines the huge changes we have seen in the roles women have played in science, and the view science has held of women.

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Joint AIP, RSNSW and RACI Open Lecture 2019

Professor Jodie Bradby
   Diamonds and High Pressure Physics
   Professor Jodie Bradby

   The Australian National University

Joint Open Lecture of the Australian Institute of Physics, Royal Society of NSW, and Royal Australian Chemical Institute

Date: Tuesday 12 November 2019, 6.30pm
Venue: University of Technology Sydney, Building 1 (Broadway), Level 4 (ground level from Broadway), Room 6 (northwestern corner of the building)

Carbon is an amazing element that is well-known to crystallize, both as hard and transparent diamond and as soft and opaque graphite. Whilst both these forms of carbon have a range of technologically interesting properties, diamond is particularly remarkable from a technological perspective due to its unique mechanical properties. The ability of diamond to withstand extreme pressure is key for many high-pressure physics experiments. In this talk. Professor Bradby will outline some of the history of the field of high-pressure physics, discuss two methods for synthetic diamond formation (including an overview of the state-of-the-art of diamond growth), and then outline some of her recent work using diamonds to create extreme pressures for new material formation.

Jodie Bradby is a professor in the Research School of Physicsand Engineering at the Australian National University where she leads a group in high pressure physics. She is the current President of the Australian Institute of Physics (AIP). She holds a B. App. Sc. (Physics) degree from RMIT in Melbourne Australia, and completed a PhD on ‘Nanoindentation-induced deformation of semiconductors’ at the Australian National University in 2003. As a student, Jodie was awarded a Gold in the Materials Research Societies’ Graduate Student competition in 2002 and is a past recipient of the Philips Cowley-Moodie Award for Australian Electron Microscopy. After completing her doctorate, Jodie was awarded a Sir Keith Murdoch American-Australian Education Fellowship, which funded a project based at Case Western Reserve University in the USA. On her return to Australia, she commenced an Australian Research Council (ARC) Postdoctoral Fellowship and then an ARC QEII fellowship followed by a Future Fellowship (2014-2017). She has held several ARC grants, including Linkage Projects with a start-up company which was formed as a result of her doctoral work. She has published over 100 papers and three patents. She was the AIP Women in Physics Lecturer during 2015.

 

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RSNSW and the Four Academies Forum 2019

Forum Brochure Cover Making SPACE for Australia

Government House, Sydney
7 November 2019



Report by the Forum Convenors:
     Emer. Prof. Roy MacLeod FRSN
             and
     Dr Susan Pond AM FRSN

This year’s Royal Society of NSW and Four Academies Forum devoted to the subject of ‘Making Space for Australia’ drew together, in one day, authoritative voices from the natural, technological and social sciences and the humanities, to consider a range of issues that are likely to inform Australian public policy and public opinion in the decades ahead.

Forum 2019 Governor and Students Held like the four previous Forums, under the gracious Vice Regal Patronage of the Governor of New South Wales and in the ballroom of Government House, Sydney, the inclusive gathering of 140 people represented the Royal Society of NSW, the four Learned Academies, and guests from a cross-section of the space community, including 13 undergraduate students from diverse Faculties across six universities and studying various aspects of space.

Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AO, QC, Governor of NSW, reflected during her opening remarks on Australia’s long interest in reading the Heavens, beginning with the earliest Aboriginal observations and understanding of the constellations and their configurations.

Introduced by Professor Anne Green, Chair of the NSW Division of ATSE, the Keynote speaker, Professor Lisa Kewley, emphasized Australia’s strengths in space science while taking us on a tour of the Universe. The next session, Australia in the Space Age , moderated by Professor Jane Hall, President of the Academy of the Social Sciences, heard papers by the space historian and curator, Kerrie Dougherty on ‘Sixty Years of Australia in Space,’ by Dr Megan Clark (Director of the Australian Space Agency), on the Agency and its work; by Dr Kimberley Clayfield, on CSIRO’s ‘Roadmap for Space’; and by Dr Adam Lewis, of Geoscience Australia, on ‘Seeing and Sensing Australia from Space.’

Dr Donna Lawler, Principal of Azimuth Advisory, moderated the session devoted to Space Law, Security and Ethics. Prof Steven Freeland, the distinguished international Space lawyer, summarized the ‘Limits of Law’ in Space, and Dr Ben Piggott of UNSW Canberra reminded us of the military and geopolitical dimensions of Space policy. Dr Nikki Coleman, RAAF chaplain and Space ethicist, explored the ‘Ethical Challenges in Space: Norms and Conventions in Peaceful Spacefaring.’

A third session, expertly conducted by Ms Annie Handmer, historian of science of Sydney University, on Space and People , highlighted key themes in what is fast becoming the ‘humanities of Space’, with papers by Jonathan Webb, of the ABC, on the ‘Promise and Peril of Space’; by Dr Alice Gorman, of Flinders University, on ‘Space Heritage: Artefacts and Archaeology’ (both now challenged by the profusion of Space debris); a theme capped by the writer and novelist Ceridwen Dovey, on ‘Human Visions and Visitors in Space’.

The final session, Australia's Space Economy moderated by Dr Susan Pond AM, Chair of the NSW Smart Sensing Network, brought us back to Earth, welcoming William Barrett, Senior VP of Asia Pacific Space consultants, who addressed Australia’s promising Space Industry, then Paul Scully-Power, AM, one of Australia’s pioneering astronauts, speaking about the challenge presented by ‘Space 2.0: Small Space Satellite’s’. Finally, Group Captain Jason Lind, explained the role that Defence must and is playing in supporting Australia’s Space industry.

Our rapporteur, Dr Brett Biddington, AM, of Canberra, skillfully summarized the day. He reminded the audience that by a unique combination of history, science, and geography, Australia occupies an important place on the front line of continuing discoveries in Space. He noted the tension between the civil and the defence realms in space as well as an even bigger tension emerging between public and private investment in space.

Judging from the RSNSW’s customary post-conference Survey, the Forum met the challenges of the day, inciting a wide range of questions that continued long after the proceedings ended. At the same time, it foreshadowed a number of fresh questions that may well be asked by academics, governments, and the public at large and at future RSNSW events.

To paraphrase CP Snow, Australia has the future in its sights, and SPACE holds great prospects for the next generation. Bearing a distinguished 50-year history of Space engagement and blessed with major Space-related facilities across the country, Australia can play a far-reaching role in the coming years, not only in science and technology but also in law and ethics.

We are reminded, in celebrating this 50th year since Apollo 11, that the Astronauts left a plaque on the moon that said, ‘We came in peace for all Mankind’. The adventure that lies before us is one in which Australia accepts both the challenge and its responsibilities. We can only hope that this sentiment guides our destiny, our fullest achievement, and remains our uppermost goal.

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Society Fellows awarded NSW Premier's Science Prizes

The Royal Society of NSW is delighted that two of its Fellows were named as recipients of the 2019 NSW Premier's Prizes for Science and Engineering, announced at a ceremony held at Government House, Sydney on the evening of Tuesday, 29 October. Scientia Professor Rose Amal AC FAA FTSE FRSN of UNSW Sydney was named as the 2019 NSW Scientist of the Year , while Payne-Scott Professor Nalini Joshi AO FAA FRSN of the University of Sydney was awarded the Prize for Excellence in Mathematics, Earth Sciences, Chemistry or Physics . The Society most warmly congratulates both Rose and Nalini on their achievements and this recognition of their outstanding research.

Scientia Professor Rose Amal AC FAA FTSE FRSN — UNSW Sydney:   2019 NSW Scientist of the Year

Fellow Rose Amal Professor Amal is a chemical engineer and the leader of the Particles and Catalysis Research Group at UNSW Sydney. Previously she was Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Functional Nanomaterials. Rose is recognised as a pioneer and leading authority in the fields of fine particle technology, photocatalysis and functional nanomaterials, having made significant contributions to those related areas of research over the past 25 years. Her research contributions span from fundamental chemistry to applied chemical engineering fields, and from material science and nano-research to a specialised photochemistry field. Rose’s current research focuses on designing nanomaterials for solar and chemical energy conversion applications (including photocatalysis for water and air purification, and water splitting) and engineering systems for solar-induced processes, using the sun’s energy to generate clean fuel.

Rose has published more than 350 journal articles which have cumulatively received more than 17,750 citations. She has successfully supervised over 50 PhD students.She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of NSW, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (FTSE), a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (FAA), a Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (FIChemE), an Honorary Fellow of Engineers Australia (HonFIE Aust), and a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (FRACI). She received a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2018 “for eminent service to chemical engineering, particularly in the field of particle technology, through seminal contributions to photocatalysis, to education as a researcher and academic, and to women in science as a role model and mentor.”

Payne-Scott Professor Nalini Joshi AO FAA FRSN — The University of Sydney:   Prize for Excellence in Mathematics, the Earth Sciences, Physics or Chemistry

Fellow Nalini Joshi Professor Joshi was born and spent her early childhood in Burma, before her family emigrated to Australia. She completed a BSc at The University of Sydney and a PhD in applied mathematics at Princeton University. Her research focuses on mathematical methods to study nonlinear systems that arise as universal models in modern physics. Nalini has developed precise definitions of elusive functions, enabling descriptions that extend to the whole domain of existence. They relate behaviours before and after critical transition points in applications such as spontaneous magnetisation in metals, and water waves with surface tension. Her new methodologies have uncovered hidden information across multiple fields, stimulating mathematicians across the globe to take up significant new research directions.

Nalini’s research achievements have led to several distinctions. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of NSW. She was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 2008, won an Australian Research Council Georgina Sweet Australian Laureate Fellowship in 2012, was the 150th Anniversary Hardy Fellow of the London Mathematical Society in 2015, a US CBMS-NSF Lecturer in 2016, and will be taking up a Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professorship in 2020.

Nalini has a keen interest in diversity. She was foundation co-chair of the Science in Australia Gender Equity national initiative. In 2016, Nalini was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to mathematical science and tertiary education, to professional societies, and as a role model and mentor of young mathematicians. She was awarded the 2018 Eureka prize for Outstanding Mentor of Young Researchers.

She is currently a Vice-President of the International Mathematical Union and a Councillor of the Royal Society of New South Wales.

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Distinguished Fellowship awarded to Professor George Paxinos

George Paxinos The Council of the Royal Society of NSW is delighted to announce the awarding of a Distinguished Fellowship to Professor George Paxinos AO FASSA FAA DistFRSN. The honour Distinguished Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales is a prestigious award, limited to 25 in number at any time, that recognises internationally-distinguished contributors to science, art, literature, or philosophy. Professor Paxinos, an eminent Greek-Australian neuroscientist, is co-author of the Rat Brain in Stereotaxic Coordinates which, with over 65,000 citations across its seven Editions, it is the most cited Australian publication and the most cited neuroscience publication.

Further information about the achievements of Professor Paxinos is available on the Distinguished Fellows page.

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Society Fellow wins 2019 Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year

Fellow Elizabeth New The Royal Society of NSW is delighted that one of its Fellows and the recipient of its 2018 Edgeworth David Medal, Associate Professor Elizabeth New from the University of Sydney, has been awarded the 2019 Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year. The Society congratulates Elizabeth New on this momentous achievement, and the recognition of the impact of her outstanding research.

Professor New, a chemical biologist, was awarded the Malcolm McIntosh Prize at the Prime Minister's Science Prizes ceremony held at Parliament House, Canberra on 16 October. This prize recognises exceptional, early-career achievements in the physical sciences made within 10 years of PhD graduation, with the recipient receiving $50,000 in prize money, a medallion, a lapel pin, and a certificate. In the case of Professor New, this recognition was for her pioneering work in developing new chemical imaging tools to observe healthy and diseased cells.

The research of Professor New has led to the development of different types of fluorescent sensors which make possible, at the molecular level, the observation of how cells cycle and change through events and over time. While existing imaging systems such as ultrasound and MRI provide valuable structural information, they are unable to characterise the nature and distribution of chemicals within the cell. It is here that the fluorescent sensors developed by Professor New make possible the observation of complex chemical processes within cells, enabling an understanding of how cells cycle through oxidative events over long periods, and in turn opening up potential breakthrough treatments for diseases associated with ageing (e.g., cardiovascular, cancer, and diabetes) that afflict 50% of Australians and which are responsible for 85% of deaths.

More on the oustanding achievements and portfolio of work of Associate Professor Elizabeth New can be found on the Prime Minister's Prizes for Science website.

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Establishment of a new branch of the Society

The Council of the Society is delighted to announce the establishment of a new branch located in the Hunter region of NSW, confirmed recently at its meeting on 16 October 2019.  

This follows an inaugural meeting, held in Newcastle on 9 October, at which a branch committee was elected and an invited lecture by the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer, Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte FRS FAA FTSE FRSN, was presented.

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Women and Science: Lecture 6

Women and Science: Lecture 6     “Women at the Frontiers of Biotech”

    Dr Susan Pond


Date: Thursday, 17 October 2019, 6.00pm for 6.30pm
Venue: Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney

Women at the Frontiers of Biotech

Susan Pond outlined how biotechnology is being put to use for the good of humanity and the planet, and examined the role of women in this revolution from the time of Rosalind Franklin’s famous Photo 51 in 1952 through to today. Franklin’s work was fundamental to the celebrated revelation of the twisted ladder of the DNA double helix by Watson and Crick in 1953. This opened the floodgates to a revolution in biology and to Nobel Prizes being awarded to 13 women since 1964. Susan also looked forward to future applications and reviewed some of the challenges involved in putting nature’s machinery to work.

Susan Pond AM FTSE FAHMS FRSN

Susan Pond has a deep scientific and commercial background in biotechnology through her executive and non-executive roles during the last 20 years and current appointments. Susan has a first-class honours degree in Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery from the University of Sydney and Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of New South Wales. She held professorial appointments at the University of California, San Francisco and the University of Queensland before joining industry. She was recognized as one of the Australian Financial Review and Westpac Top 100 Women of Influence in 2013 and is a Fellow of the Academy of Technology and Engineering, Academy of Health and Medical Sciences and the Royal Society of NSW.

Presented jointly by the Royal Society of NSW and the Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts, the Women and Science lecture series examines the huge changes we have seen in the roles women have played in science, and the view science has held of women.

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Inaugural Meeting, Hunter Branch of the Royal Society of NSW

An inaugural meeting to establish the Hunter Branch of the Royal Society of NSW is planned.

Date: Wednesday, 9 October 2019 at 6.00 pm
Venue: Newcastle Club, 40 Newcomen Street, Newcastle NSW
Enquiries: Emerita Professor Eugenie Lumbers, Acting Honorary Secretary, 0416 154 106

Following the meeting, Professor Hugh Durrant-White, NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer, will deliver an open lecture titled “Industries of the Future”.

For further information, please inspect the meeting notice on the RSNSW website.

 

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Inaugural Meeting, Hunter Branch of the Royal Society of NSW, and Open Lecture

Hugh Durrant-Whyte      “Industries of the Future”

     Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte FRSN
     NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer


Date: Wednesday, 9 October 2019, 6.00pm
Venue: Newcastle Club, 40 Newcomen Street, Newcastle NSW

Inaugural Meeting

An inaugural meeting to establish the Hunter Branch of the Royal Society of New South Wales was held at 6.00 pm on Wednesday, 9 October 2019, followed by a dinner at 7.30pm.

The meeting was open to all comers (i.e., members and fellows of the Society, guests and non-members), although only members and fellows were entitled to vote at the meeting.

The meeting agenda can be found here.

Invited Lecture: Industries of the Future

The NSW Office of Chief Scientist and Engineer (OCSE) supports a range of “prosperity initiatives” aiming to translate the best of NSW research into industry outcomes; from quantum technologies to robotics for agriculture, from advanced manufacturing to synthetic biology. This talk will describe the range of these initiatives including the support of Centres of Excellence, National Research Infrastructure, industry innovation networks and the new Physical Sciences Investment fund. This talk will also describe the close working of OCSE with other NSW Government Departments and Industry to develop a future industry strategy around emerging precincts and technology ecosystems.

Speaker: Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte FRSN

Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte is the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer. From 2014-16 and from 2002-2010, he was a Professor and ARC Federation Fellow at the University of Sydney. From 2010-2014, he was CEO of National ICT Australia (NICTA), and from 1995-2010 Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Autonomous Systems and of the Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR). Hugh is a world-leading authority on machine learning and robotics, and its application in areas including cargo handling, mining and defence. He has published over 300 research papers, graduated over 70 PhD students, and has won numerous awards and prizes for his work, including being named 2010 NSW Scientist of the Year. In his career he has worked with many major companies, has co-founded three successful start-up companies, and has won many awards including being named 2008 Engineers Australia NSW Engineer of the Year. He is particularly well known for his work with Patrick Corporation in delivering the automated container terminals in Brisbane and Port Botany, and for his work with Rio Tinto in pioneering the delivering the automated “Mine of the Future”. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of NSW, an honorary Fellow of Engineers Australia (HonFIEAus), a Fellow of the IEEE (FIEEE), Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (FTSE), Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (FAA), and a Fellow of the Royal Society of London (FRS).

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