Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Royal Society of NSW News & Events

George Willis FRSN FAA wins the 2024 Australian Mathematical Society George Szekeres Medal

Emeritus Professor George WillisAt the 2024 Annual Meeting of the Australian Mathematical Society (AustMS) in early December, RSNSW Fellow and former Treasurer of the Society's Hunter Branch, Emeritus Professor George Willis FRSN FAA of the University of Newcastle, was announced as the winner of the AustMS George Szekeres Medal — the AustMS' most prestigious Medal that recognises research achievement and outstanding support of the mathematical sciences. George Willis is now the third RSNSW Fellow to win the George Szekeres Medal, alongside Professor Ian Sloan AO FRSN FAA in 2002 and Professor Nalini Joshi AO FRSN FAA in 2020.

Professor Willis is known internationally as an innovator and problem solver in diverse fields of mathematics. In the field of topological algebra, his insights into locally compact groups and fundamental concepts that he has introduced, such as the scale function and flatness, have initiated new research directions and made new applications possible.

George Willis’ undergraduate studies were undertaken at the University of Adelaide, before undertaking a PhD at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, graduating in 1981. Following his PhD, he undertook a sequence of postdoctoral fellowships at the University of New South Wales, the University of Halifax, Nova Scotia, the University of Adelaide, and the Australian National University. He moved to the University of Newcastle as a Lecturer in the early 1990s, rising to the role of Laureate Professor in 2009. He is now an Emeritus Professor at the University of Newcastle, following his retirement in 2022. During his career, his achievements and standing have been recognised by prestigious Australian Research Council Fellowships, namely, an ARC Professorial Fellowship in 2009 and an ARC Laureate Fellowship in 2018. He was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 2014 and as a Fellow of the Royal Society of NSW in 2018. 

The Council of the Royal Society of NSW extends its warm congratulations to Professor George Willis on this most recent recognition of his outstanding research career and his contributions to the field of mathematics.

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