Science Recognised In The West

Science Recognised In The West

Western Australia Minister for Science & Innovation Bill Marmion

Innovation Honoured At WA’s Most Prestigious Science Awards

Victor P Taffa

A Winthrop Professor who co-invented a system that has been licensed to a major aviation company for its applications in advanced radar and telecommunications systems has been awarded the WA Scientist of the Year Award.

Professor Michael Tobar is a Physicist and Experimentalist who works in the field of Frequency Standards and Quantum Metrology the study of measurement on the sub-atomic scale.

Commerce and Science and Innovation Minister Bill Marmion honoured the professor and five other winners today at the Western Australian Science Awards lunch.

“Science can be applied across many sectors and is vital to improving our health, environment and overall economic and industry growth.” Mr. Marmion said.


“For example, the work going into one of the State’s biggest science projects the Square Kilometre Array will have wide reaching societal benefits and drive innovation in other areas.”

“These include micro-electronics and telecommunication systems, medical imaging, supercomputing, green power generation facilities, education and employment.” Mr. Marmion said.

“Behind the science taking place in this State are individuals who work devotedly behind the scenes.”

“It is because of these people and the work they conduct that the Western Australian Science Awards were introduced. I would like to congratulate all of this year’s winners and finalists.” Mr. Marmion said.

The 2010 Western Australian Science Awards winners are:

Scientist of the Year – $50,000

Winthrop Professor Michael Tobar (City Beach) – Winthrop Professor, The University of Western Australia, ARC Australian Laureate Fellow Professor Tobar is a world-leading scientist carrying out cutting-edge research in the invention, creation and applications of precise time, frequency and phase measurement techniques. His work has resulted in the most pure oscillators and precise measurement systems so far manufactured, with use in radar, telecommunications, fundamental physics and defence applications.

Early Career Scientist of the Year – $10,000

Winthrop Professor Eric May (Rossmoyne) – Chevron Chair in Gas Process Engineering, The University of Western Australia Professor May’s research combines several aspects of engineering, physics and chemistry and can be described as fluid science for the next generation of natural gas engineering.  His development of new techniques to more accurately measure gas properties has advanced fundamental science and improved engineering models.

Science Educator of the Year: Secondary – $10,000

Lynette Hillier (Bunbury) – Newton Moore Senior High School

Lynette’s innovative science programs have elevated human biology from the weakest performing subject to the top performing subject at the school.  She has worked with a number of local industry partners to develop and enhance the Marine Managers program which sees students monitoring dolphin populations.

Science Educator of the Year:  Primary – $10,000

Brooke Topelberg (North Perth) – Westminster Primary School

Brooke has facilitated positive and measurable changes in student attitudes, results and teacher involvement in science education.  She has implemented a Primary Science Outreach Program, developed a collaborative ‘Investigation in Science’ DVD and initiated an Upper School Science District Challenge between five schools within the Swan District.

Science Outreach Initiative of the Year – $10,000

MarineDiscoveryWest and the Naturaliste Marine Discovery Centre (Hillarys)

The Department of Fisheries, through its MarineDiscoveryWest education programs, engages the community to participate in, and contribute to, a sustainable future for WA’s fisheries and aquatic ecosystems. They have delivered innovative and hands-on education activities, resources and programs to students, teachers and the wider community.

Science Hall of Fame Inductee 2010 – $10,000

Professor Fiona Stanley AC

Professor Stanley’s research includes: strategies to improve health and well-being in populations; causes and prevention of birth defects and major neurological disorders including cerebral palsies; the causes of and lifelong consequences of low birth weight; and patterns of maternal and child health in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal populations. Professor Stanley is the founding director of the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research (TICHR). She is the CEO of the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth, and is Professor of Paediatrics and Child Health at UWA.

The WA Science Awards are administered by the Department of Commerce.