Sci­en­tist to do­nate prize money to those start­ing out

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Quick News -

UWA Pro­fes­sor Ian Small plans use his WA Sci­en­tist of the Year prize money to support the next gen­er­a­tion of WA sci­en­tists.

Prof Small re­ceived the pres­ti­gious award last week and said he would like to use the $50,000 prize money to help sci­en­tists at the start of their ca­reers at­tend con­fer­ences and col­lab­o­rate with other ex­perts.

“I know how tough it is at the be­gin­ning to get no­ticed and be able to de­velop your own ideas,” he said.

“I was sup­ported early on by some great men­tors and I’d like to do the same for the next gen­er­a­tion.”

Prof Small’s work as the chief in­ves­ti­ga­tor at the ARC Cen­tre of Ex­cel­lence for Plant En­ergy Bi­ol­ogy. UWA has built global un­der­stand­ing of how plants cap­ture, store and re­lease en­ergy and has at­tracted more than $57 mil­lion of Aus­tralian Re­search Coun­cil fund­ing to the cen­tre.

Premier and Sci­ence Min­is­ter Colin Bar­nett said Prof Small was this year listed by Thom­son-Reuters as one of the world’s most in­flu­en­tial minds. “The work th­ese sci­en­tists are do­ing are great ex­am­ples of the ex­cel­lent sci­en­tific re­search that will lead to prac­ti­cal ap­pli­ca­tions with a real ben­e­fit for the fu­ture of WA as a whole,” Mr Bar­nett said.

Prof Small said last week was a “fist pump” mo­ment for him, after he was named WA Sci­en­tist of the Year and the next day re­ceived a pres­ti­gious Aus­tralian Re­search Lau­re­ate Fel­low­ship.

“Last week was spe­cial, be­ing awarded the WA Sci­en­tist of the Year prize and then the very next day an Aus­tralian Re­search Coun­cil Lau­re­ate Fel­low­ship, which will fund my re­search for the next five years,” he said.

He added that the fu­ture of sci­en­tific re­search in WA was bright, with a strong econ­omy, an in­flux of well-ed­u­cated peo­ple, strong con­nec­tions to Asia and a strong agri­cul­tural sec­tor.

“What's still largely miss­ing, es­pe­cially in WA, is the en­tre­pre­neur­ial in­ter­face be­tween re­search and in­dus­try that you can find in some other parts of the world – Cal­i­for­nia, for ex­am­ple.”

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie

Pro­fes­sor Ian Small from UWA is WA Sci­en­tist of the Year.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.