Adelaide researchers dominate science awards
University of Adelaide staff have dominated this year's South Australian Science Excellence Awards, winning the top award of SA Scientist of the Year plus another four awards.
Professor Rob Norman, Director of the University's Robinson Institute, is the 2009 SA Scientist of the Year. Professor Norman is a leader in reproductive health and has been involved in many of the pioneering developments in IVF in Australia.
South Australia's Science and Information Economy Minister, the Hon. Michael O'Brien, said Professor Norman was an outstanding South Australian and a world-class scientist who promoted internationally competitive research in reproduction.
"Professor Norman leads an elite group of over 350 researchers at the Robinson Institute at the University of Adelaide in the areas of reproductive health and regenerative medicine," Mr O'Brien said.
"Last year, he was named one of Australia's 10 great minds in research by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council."
Mr O'Brien presented six other leading scientists and educators with Science Excellence Awards, each receiving $10,000 to advance their research and education initiatives.
The other University of Adelaide winners were:
- Professor Alastair MacLennan, Head of the University's Discipline of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and also a member of the Robinson Institute, won the Excellence in Research for Public Good Award. His department is internationally known as the largest and most productive research unit into women's and children's health. Professor MacLennan's research has included safer births, causes of cerebral palsy, better contraception, and management of menopause.
- Healthy Development Adelaide (HDA), which won the Excellence in Research Collaboration Award. HDA addresses high priority research issues into the physical, psychological and social health of Australian infants, children and adolescents. HDA was established in 2004 as an initiative of the University of Adelaide in collaboration with the University of South Australia, the Women's and Children's Health Research Institute, Channel 7 Children's Research Foundation and the Department of Education and Children's Services and other supporting partners. Professor Norman is one of the leaders of HDA.
- Professor Holger Maier, Professor of Integrated Water Systems Engineering in the School of Civil, Environmental & Mining Engineering won the Tertiary Science Educator of the Year. Professor Maier teaches in the areas of water and environmental engineering and is the co-developer of the multi-award winning Mekong e-Sim - a computer-supported simulation project for environmental engineering students.
- Dr Alice Rumbold, Senior Research Fellow in the Discipline of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Robinson Institute, was also announced as the South Australian Young Tall Poppy of the Year. Dr Rumbold won the award for her research into women's reproductive health problems, particularly among Aboriginal women.
Mr O'Brien said these winners "are true leaders in their field and we commend them for their excellence in science".