CR Awards - Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and ...

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The Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE)

ATSE is an independent body of 7
8
0 eminent Australian engineers and scientists
which
promote
s

technology, science

and engineering
for a better Australia


MEDIA RELEASE


20 May

2009


A
USTRALIA’S VISIONARY

INNOVATORS HONOURED


The winners of the prestigious 2009 ATSE Clunies Ross Awards are leading Australian
innovators impacting global development in fields such as robotics, remote renewable
energy, mobile phone technology, health, and
mining.


“It is safe to say that the 2009 ATSE Clunies Ross Award winners have touched all our lives
and are playing a significant role in enhancing Australia’s international reputation for
innovation,” said Mr Bruce Kean AM FTSE, Chairman of the ATSE Clun
ies Ross
Foundation.


Mr Kean was speaking at the ATSE Clunies Ross Award presentation dinner in Sydney
tonight with more than 350 eminent entrepreneurs, decision makers, government officials,
researchers, academics and business leaders. Tomorrow, the winn
ers will join more than
300 Year 10 students and teachers in a day of hands
-
on activities to excite kids about
science and technology in the “Extreme Science Experience”.


The Awards recognise Australia’s pre
-
eminent scientists and technologists who have
b
ridged the gap between research and the marketplace and are awarded to people who
have persisted with their ideas, often against the odds, to the point that their innovations are
making a real difference to the economic, social or environmental benefit of
Australia.


The dinner was also addressed by Dr Ziggy Switkowski, Chairman of the Australian Nuclear
Science and Technology Organisation, and Professor Penny Sackett, Chief Scientist for
Australia, presented a Lifetime Contribution Award.


The 2009 ATSE C
lunies Ross Award winners are:


AUSTRALIA ON THE MAP FOR FIELD ROBOTICS

Professor Hugh Durrant
-
Whyte

FTSE
, Director, Australian Centre for Field Robotics, Faculty
of Engineering and IT, University of Sydney, has played a critical role in raising the visibi
lity
of Australian robotics in government, industry, academia and the community. The centre’s
work has allowed for the development of robotic planes, helicopters and vehicles and is
laying the ground
-
work for a new Australian field robotics industry.


“Aus
tralia is the ideal place to do field robotics. It’s big, empty, has a small population, it
relies a lot on its primary industries. If you were to pick one place in the world to do field
robotics, it would be Australia,” Professor Durrant
-
Whyte said.


Prof
essor Durrant
-
Whyte and his team are working with Australian and overseas partners on
a wide range of robotic applications such as the detection and spraying of aquatic weeds by
helicopters, tracking of locust swarms, crop health monitoring, underwater sur
veying, robotic
systems for steel bridge maintenance, an autonomous tractor, and a range of applications in
mining.


KEY MOBILE PHONE TECHNOLOGIES

Dr Chris Nicol

FTSE
, Chief Technology Officer, Embedded Systems, NICTA, Sydney, won
his award for his work on

mobile phone technology that affects daily communication on a
global scale. He is a key figure in how Australians use their 10 million mobile phones, having
had a hand in a number of the key technologies that have led to an amazing whole
-
market
penetratio
n of over 50 per cent.


“Chris has pursued his vision of building a world
-
leading integrated circuit research group
and a state
-
of
-
the
-
art chip design team in Australia. His work with smart technology applied
to products like cars and airplanes


technolog
y inside products


offer tremendous
promise,” said Mr Kean.


RENOWNED MEDICAL WORK IN LYSOSOMAL DISEASES

Professor John Hopwood AM FAA, Head of Lysosomal Diseases Research Unit at the
Children, Youth and Women’s Health Service, Adelaide for his work on l
ysosomal disease
treatment. Their world
-
renowned work has resulted in dramatically improved clinical
outcomes for children worldwide.


“Professor John Hopwood is an outstanding geneticist of international repute. He’s achieved
world
-
first knowledge and tre
atments for Lysosomal Storage Disorders, which cause
devastating destruction of the brain and other organs,” said Mr Kean.

Professor Hopwood is optimistic that within a few years his team will have developed
screening technology to detect lysosomal disease
s at birth so that treatment can be
commenced before quality of life is impacted.


REMOTE RENEWABLE ENERGY TECHNOLOGY

Mr Alan Langworthy, Managing Director of Powercorp, Darwin, won his award for his
pioneering work in the development of remote renewable
power.


“The idea was to try to get renewable energy into remote areas to substitute for diesel fuel.
Having a dedicated interest to do that throughout my lifetime has driven me to continue with
the work against all the odds


against lack of money, again
st lack of interest, and lack of
understanding of what the hell I was talking about!” said Mr Langworthy.




“Through Alan’s exceptional dedication, Powercorp technology is enabling remote
communities to have large
-
city
-
quality power, almost entirely fr
om renewable sources. It has
become the most advanced high
-
penetration renewable energy company in the world with
its products and services expanding across the globe. And the work is widening to
encompass mine sites and industrial complexes,” said Mr Kean
.


OVERCOMING INTERNET CONGESTION

Without the work of three Perth inventors, the internet as we know it would not function.
Professor Zigmantas Budrikis, Adjunct Professor at Western Australian Telecommunications
Research Institute; Professor Antonio Cant
oni FTSE, Research Director at Western
Australian Telecommunications Research Institute, and Professor John Hullett, a Consultant
in Perth received their ATSE Clunies Ross Award for their work to overcome internet
congestion.


LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT

A speci
al Lifetime Contribution award was presented to Laureate Professor John Ralston AO
FAA FTSE,
founder
and director of the Ian Wark Institute, University of South Australia.


“In a career spanning more than 40 years, Professor Ralston has contributed strong
ly to the
productivity, profitability and sustainability of many industries


including the mining,
materials, chemical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors. He is one of Australia’s most
influential scientists,” said Mr Kean.


ATSE Clunies Ross Award

Winners for 2009 follow in the footsteps of past winners such as
Dr Fiona Wood, inventor of spray
-
on skin; Professor Ian Frazer, inventor of the cervical
cancer vaccine; Professor Graeme Clark, inventor of the bionic ear, and Nobel laureate Dr
Barry Marsh
all, who discovered the bacteria that causes stomach ulcers.


Issued by

The Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering,

197 Royal Parade, Parkville Victoria 3052


Contact



Cathy Reade, Media Liaison, 0413 575 934
creade@squirrel.com.au

or

Bill Mackey, Communications Director ATSE 0418 923 370
bill.mackey@atse.org.au


Websites



www.atse.org.au


www.cluniesross.org.au


www.extremescience.com.au


ATSE wishes to thank the following for their support:

NSW Office for Science and Medical Research, University of Queen
sland, University of New South
Wales Malcolm Chaikin Foundation, University of Sydney, University of Technology Sydney, Coal and
Allied, NICTA, BP, Linfox, University of Wollongong and Garvan Institute