Outstanding achievements by UoN researchers

Each year we celebrate the outstanding success of our researchers.


  • Laureate Professor John Aitken was named 2012 NSW Scientist of the Year at the NSW Science and Engineering Awards for his world-class work in reproductive biology.
  • Professor Hilary Carey, distinguished historian of religion and society, was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.
  • Laureate Professor Paul Foster was awarded the Excellence in Biological Sciences (Human and Animal Health) prize at the 2012 NSW Science and Engineering Awards for his world-leading work in the field of asthma and respiratory disease. He was also awarded the Research Medal of the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand.
  • Professor Kevin Galvin was awarded the 2012 Ian Wark Medal and Lecture by the Australian Academy of Science for his contributions to the field of gravity separation. He was also made a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE).
  • Professor Andrew Heathcote was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences for his work bringing mathematical and computational modelling techniques to the broader Experimental Psychology and Cognitive Science fields of research.
  • Professor John Rostas, Deputy Head (Research) of the Faculty of Health, commenced his two year term as President of the Australasian Neuroscience Society. Professor Rostas is an internationally renowned researcher of brain plasticity.
  • Professor Nicholas Talley, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Faculty of Health, was appointed President-Elect of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP). Professor Talley is a world-leading authority on clinical research into stomach and bowel disorders.


  • Dr Mark Baker, recipient of the 2011 HMRI PULSE Early Career Researcher Award
  • Professor Kevin Galvin, recipient of the Australian Academy of Science Ian Wark Medal and Lecture for contributions to Australian science in applied science
  • Professor Derek Smith, recipient of a Medal for Outstanding Services to the Australasian College of Tropical Medicine


  • Laureate Professor Jonathan Borwein was one of just 17 scientists across Australia elected to the Fellowship of the Australian Academy of Science, the peak body of scientists in Australia.
  • Professor John Carter, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Engineering and Built Environment, named one of Australia's 100 most influential engineers by the Institution of Engineers Australia. 
  • Work by Professor Paul Dastoor, from the University's Priority Research Centre for Organic Electronics, and by Professor Behdad Moghtaderi and Dr Elham Doroodchi, from the Priority Research Centre for Energy was selected to compete in the ABC's New Inventors grand final. Their projects were named as two of the five best projects in 2010 based on originality, need, design, safety, manufacture and pricing, and the market.
  • Professor Kevin Galvin, Director of the University's Priority Research Centre for Advanced Particle Processing, and industry partner Ludowici were awarded the Core Chemical Engineering Award at the IChemE awards in Manchester UK. This prestigious international award for innovation and excellence is based on Professor Galvin's work leading the development of the Reflux Classifier, which separates different kinds of particles to recover valuable product from lower quality coal deposits. 
  • Professor Rob Melchers, an Australian Research Council Professorial Fellow, received the Australasian Corrosion Association's most prestigious award – the Corrosion Medal – which recognises outstanding scientific or technological work in the field of corrosion in Australasia. 
  • Emeritus Professor Alan Roberts was honoured by the Institution of Engineers Australia, with the prestigious Peter Nicol Russell Memorial Medal. Emeritus Professor Roberts was instrumental in the formation of TUNRA Bulk Solids, established by Newcastle Innovation (formerly TUNRA) in 1975 to promote expertise within the University both nationally and internationally. The group has since completed more than 3,000 projects for approximately 1,500 companies in Australia and 40 other countries.
  • Laureate Professor Rob Sanson-Fisher AO, received the President's Award for Distinguished Lifetime Contribution to Psychology from the Australian Psychological Society. Laureate Professor Sanson-Fisher is an accomplished researcher into the areas of health behaviour and responses to illness, risk modification and disease prevention.