Olympic torch designer named Hero of Australian Science

Wednesday, 31 March 1999

One of the key designers behind the Sydney 2000 Olympic Torch - Professor Sam Luxton from the University of Adelaide - has been named as one of six Australian "Heroes of Science" at an annual awards ceremony in Melbourne.

Professor Luxton, from the University's Department of Mechanical Engineering, has led a distinguished career in mechanical engineering and its application to environmental problems.

He was honoured with a Clunies Ross National Science & Technology Award in Melbourne last night.

The awards are in memory of Sir Ian Clunies Ross, who dedicated his life to the advancement and communication of science and technology. Each of the recipients is recognised for "their outstanding commitment and contribution to the application of science and technology in Australia and for inspirational leadership of future scientists".

Over his many years at the University of Adelaide, Professor Luxton has created a research team which is highly regarded by industry collaborators for its ability to bridge the gap between fundamental research and real industrial solutions.

Following the oil crisis of the 1970s, Professor Luxton overcame problems in converting industrial furnaces from oil to natural gas through his invention of the Precessing Jet Burner.

His team then set about the creation of more efficient and effective air conditioning technologies; a new Adelaide-based company, Dadanco, now markets these technologies in Australia and overseas.

Professor Luxton has advised government on energy research since the mid 1970s and contributed to engineering through the Institution of Engineers Australia and other bodies.

He is currently the chief design adviser to the team of Adelaide University and FCT engineers developing the flame technology for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Torch.

"I would like to congratulate Professor Luxton," said the University of Adelaide's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mary O'Kane, "not only for winning the prestigious Clunies Ross Award but for his continued excellence in research and its industrial applications."

Another winner of this year's Clunies Ross Award, CSIRO researcher Dr Frank Jorgensen, has a University of Adelaide link, having graduated from the University with a Bachelor of Engineering (1960) and a PhD (1965).


Contact Details

Professor Sam Luxton
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5410

Ms Robyn Mills
Email: robyn.mills@adelaide.edu.au
Media and Communications Officer
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 6341
Mobile: +61 410 689 084

Mr David Ellis
Email: david.ellis@adelaide.edu.au
Website: https://www.adelaide.edu.au/newsroom/
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762