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Two researchers win prestigious medals

Wednesday, 8 January 2003

Two University of Adelaide researchers have struck gold early in the New Year by being awarded prestigious medals for their respective contributions.

Professor Michael Bruce, the Angas Professor of Chemistry, has won the David Craig Medal from the Australian Academy of Science, which is awarded to active researchers for contributions to chemistry.

Dr Nigel Bean, Director of TRC Mathematical Modelling and a member of the School of Applied Mathematics, has been honoured with the Moran Medal, an Australian Academy of Science award presented to outstanding young researchers (40 and under). This follows the J.H. Mitchell medal - awarded by ANZIAM (a division of the Australian Mathematics Society) for the most outstanding early career researcher - which he won in February 2001.

The David Craig Medal honours the contribution to chemical research of Emeritus Professor David Craig, Professor of Theoretical and Physical Chemistry, Research School of Chemistry, Australian National University. Recipients are expected to deliver lectures in a number of Australian cities.

Professor Bruce has for many years been interested in the interactions of small molecules with metals and has made contributions to our understanding of what happens when these molecules attack clusters of three or more metal atoms. This work has led to his present studies of molecules containing chains of carbon atoms as models for molecular-scale wires, which may have applications in nanotechnology for novel electronic and optical devices.

Professor Bruce has also been the recipient of several national awards, including the H.G. Smith Medal (1986), the RSC Lectureship for Australia (1986) and New Zealand (1987), the Burrows Award for Inorganic Chemistry (1987), election to the Australian Academy of Sciences (1989) and international awards in the form of prestigious lectureships in New Zealand and England.

The Moran Medal recognises the contributions to science of the late P.A.P. Moran. Its purpose is to identify outstanding research by scientists 40 years and under in one or more of the following fields: applied probability, biometrics, mathematical genetics, psychometrics and statistics. Dr Bean has been recognised for his work in the field of applied probability, with particular application to the modelling of telecommunication networks.

Dr Bean's current role is leading the industry-funded centre, TRC Mathematical Modelling. It has been in existence for nearly 18 years mainly under the guise of the Teletraffic Research Centre. Its mission is "to demonstrate the relevance of Applied Mathematics in the modern world, that business will pay for these skills and that people can get satisfying jobs using these skills."

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