Award Recipients

The University Awards for Outstanding Achievement seek to recognise the very best of our University. Each year, staff and titleholders are nominated by their peers for awards across four categories. This year’s nominees were put forward not only for the significance of their contributions to the University but also for how they exemplify the University values.

The quality of nominations was once again exceptional, and every nominee and shortlisted candidate should be commended for their achievements.

Congratulations to all nominees, and in particular, the outstanding 2021 University Award recipients.

  • Excellence in Research

    An award for an academic staff member

    Professor Roger Byard

    George Richard Marks Professor of School of Biomedicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

    Professor Byard exemplifies the University values and is a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Adelaide.  In 2013, Professor Byard was recognised for his outstanding leadership and contribution nationally and internationally in the field of forensic pathology. Professor Byard has authored 890 papers, 114 chapters and seven textbooks and is now ranked in the top 2% of scientists worldwide and number 2 in legal and forensic medicine.  All of this whilst coordinating two large cohort forensic pathology courses within the Bachelor of Health and Medical Sciences Program

    Professor Heike Ebendorff-Heidepriem

    Senior Research Fellow, School of Physical Sciences, Faculty of Sciences

    Professor Ebendorff-Heidepriem is a key founding member of the Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing at the University of Adelaide and became Deputy Director in 2014. Her research spans the whole fundamental-applied continuum and through her ground-breaking discoveries, such as the world’s first exposed- core silica fibre, she has enhanced the reputation of the University as a world-leader in photonics. Professor Ebendorff-Heidepriem has published 223 refereed journal papers, her category normalised citation impact of 1.36 is not only significantly above the world average, but also on par with internationally renowned glass scientists. 


    An award for a professional staff member

    Mr Miles Davies

    Strategic Partnerships Manager, Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences Research, Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences

    As Strategic Partnership Manager, Mr Davies provides critical and highly valued support to researchers to develop early research ideas to address societal impact.  Demonstrating and living the values in action, Mr Davies has been instrumental in the establishment of the Andy Thomas Centre for Space Resources, he has driven the development of an ECMS Renewable Energy Systems Strategy and established strong working relationships with IMER supporting a number of emerging CRC bids in mining and energy. 


    An award for an early-career researcher

    Dr Dominic McAfee

    University Research Associate, School of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Sciences

    Of his 13 first author papers, Dr McAfee has published two in leading journals in his discipline of ‘Ecology’ and published in prestigious journals renowned for publishing actionable research at the interface of environmental science and policy. Dr McAfee has recently received a Young Tall Poppy Award and a prestigious Eureka Prize for Applied Environmental Research.


    An award for an academic, professional or mixed team

    Strategic Research Team

    Research Services, Division of Research and Innovation.

    Team representative: Dr Dale Godfrey 

    Dr Cadence Haynes, Dr Nicole Moore, Ms Khloe Xu, Ms Sanjee Peiris, Ms Lauren Champs, Ms Louise Moore and Ms Lynette Kelly

    Successes over the last two years have included the team having hands on roles, bringing into the University PIRSA/SARDI research funding projects which have attracted approximately $30M in 2020 and $26M so far in 2021.  The team live our University values in action by constantly striving to challenge themselves and exceed performance expectations of the research community and taking necessary risks to achieve great results. Leading with a strong sense of collegiality, the team work closely with other research teams, Faculties, Research institutes, Research Services and ICP working in close collaboration to generate new ideas, share knowledge and encourage a shared commitment to support each other.

  • An Enhanced Student Experience

    An award for an academic staff member

    Dr Adrian Koerber

    Director of First Year Studies, School of Mathematical Sciences, Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences

    Dr Koerber coordinates a first-year mathematics course with over 800 students. Dr Koerber and his team have successfully increased student satisfaction rates in Mathematics 1A.  Failure rates in Mathematics 1A were typically in the mid -20s but have trended downward since, to below 20% in 2018, 2020 and 2021.  Dr Koerber’s commitment to pedagogy, student support and assessment is exemplary.


    An award for an academic or professional mixed team

    Adelaide Graduate Centre

    Division of Research and Innovation

    Team representative: Ms Donna Gould

    Dr Doreen Krumbiegel, Ms Snezana  Ilic, Ms Ann-Louise Primiero, Miss Antoinette Brincat, Ms Rosie Wilkes, Ms Diana Reed, Ms Barbara Little, Dr Nazia Hussain, Mrs Helen Nagel, Ms Emma Aucote, Miss Clementine Hill, Ms Sarah Ward, Ms Michelle Tatyzo, Miss Tricia Catford, Mrs Kristina Hoffman, Ms Linda Katselis, Ms Darlene Truong, Miss Dascey Crouch, Dr Erin Smith, Ms Charlotte Le Lan, Dr Monica Kerr, Ms Melanie Lewis, Mr Jake Kroker, Mrs Clare Govett,  Ms Janelle Palmer, Mr Jordan Peters, Ms Heather Soutar and Ms Libby Hamilton.

    The team strive to build a culture of collegiality and excellence in the provision of support for about 2500 higher degree by research students and their supervisors.  The Adelaide Graduate Centre has embraced the challenges in 2020 and 2021 providing flexible support and activities to facilitate exceptional engagement and consistent HDR student experience on campus and online.

  • A Culture of Impact and Excellence

    An award for an academic or professional staff member for exceptional leadership

    Associate Professor Ben Sparrow

    Director – TERN Ausplots and Eco-informatics, School of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Sciences

    Associate Professor Sparrow provides exceptional leadership, facilitating a positive and productive workplace culture for a large and diverse Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network team and embodies the Leading at Adelaide framework. The selection committee particularly noted Associate Professor Sparrow’s leadership style in managing a diverse and multi-disciplinary team encouraging them to think as one team, communicating with influence and actively encouraging his team to attend a workshop on the Staff Values and Behaviour Framework.


    An award for a professional staff member or professional team for service innovation and quality

    Dr Tony Cambareri

    Faculty Executive Director, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

    Dr Cambareri has a deep knowledge of the University, Faculty management, its people and processes.  The panel particularly noted Dr Cambareri’s contribution to the establishment of SAIGENCI.  Through Dr Cambareri’s thoroughness, and assiduous follow-through, Dr Cambareri developed really strong working relationships with members of the SAIGENCI Advisory Board and senior people in other institutes, reflecting well on the University.


    An award for a professional staff member or professional team for service innovation and quality

    Enterprise Agreement Variation Team

    Division of University Operations

    Team representative: Ms Jane Smart-Foster

    Mr Matthew Piantadosi, Ms Melissa Totino, Ms Irene Bartolo, Ms Alice Robinson, Mrs Vanessa Jones, Ms Tanya Seagrim and Ms Jane Welch.

    A team consisting of expertise from Communications, the Human Resources Service Centre, Workplace Relations and Human Resources Operations was established to stand up new process and establish comprehensive communication and tools to support staff with the changes arising under the Enterprise Agreement Variation. Together the team established new business processes, provided an exceptional level of support to staff during the period of the Enterprise Agreement Variation and established a comprehensive website. 

  • A Connected and Enriched Community

    An award for an academic or professional staff member or team for building a sense of community

    Marketing, Engagement and Recruitment Team

    Faculty of ECMS

    Team representative: Ms Gill Stuart 

    Miss Louise O’Reilly, Mr Tom Brown, Ms Ashleigh Folland, Ms Sasha Oelsner, Mr Luke Van Trigt, Ms Rhiannon Taverner, Ms Wee-Ching Kong, Ms Jo Marshall, Ms Julia Miller, Ms Michelle McLeod and Ms Kat Sibly.

    The selection panel particularly noted the strong partnership created between the Marketing, Engagement and Recruitment team and the Heads of Schools which has been essential in promoting the brand of the Schools and strengthening the digital branding for both the Schools and Faculty. In particular within the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, the Marketing, Engagement and Recruitment team has helped increase student enrolments, promoted the school’s brand in communities, and connected the school to industries, alumni and high schools.


    An award for an academic or professional staff member or team for promoting equity, diversity and inclusion within the University

    Ms Sarah Bilney

    Program and Student Support Officer, Faculty of Professions

    On her own initiative Ms Bilney organised a reconciliation event for the Faculty engaging with a local indigenous alumni student to develop a mural of hands symbolising our support for reconciliation.  Ms Bilney also organised senior staff within the Faculty to be video recorded to promote R U Okay Day, encouraging staff and students to ask R U Okay.


    An award for a titleholder for making an exceptional contribution

    Professor Chien-Li Holmes-Liew

    Clinical Professor, Adelaide Medical School, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

    Professor Chien-Li Holmes-Liew is a Clinical Titleholder at the University of Adelaide and a full-time Respiratory/ Sleep and Lung Transplant Physician and Head of Thoracic Medicine Training and Education at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.  Professor Holmes-Liew has taken on a significant leadership role of Clinal Practice Coordinator to support the launch of the new Medical Program in 2022. The Selection Committee particularly noted her enthusiasm for the work that she does and her commitment to leading by the University values and mentoring junior academics and students whilst also being a titleholder with considerable clinical responsibilities.