Academy of Science honours two University of Sydney researchers

Professor Thomas Maschmeyer from Chemistry and Dr Kevin Coulembier from Mathematics & Statistics have received the recognition of their peers in these prestigious honours awarded annually by the Australian Academy of Science.

Two University of Sydney academics have been recognised for their work in the annual awards of the Australian Academy of Science, the country’s premier scientific association.

Professor Thomas Maschmeyer from the School of Chemistry and the University of Sydney Nano Institute has been awarded the David Craig Medal and Lecture in recognition of his research career spanning more than three decades.

The Academy of Science honour follows on from a stellar year in 2020 when Professor Maschmeyer was awarded the Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation; recognised by Times Higher Education as one of the top 10 ‘academics who mattered’; ranked 15th in the World’s Leading Chemists list; and received the Australian Financial Review’s Sustainability Award. In 2018, he won the Eureka Prize for Leadership in Innovation & Science.

The Academy citation noted that Professor Maschmeyer’s work has “led to fundamental breakthroughs in catalytic materials, in-site characterisation, green chemistry, hydrothermal processing, ionic liquids and energy materials”.

Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Stephen Garton said: “Few scientists have been able to contribute across such a broad range of research fields within their discipline and see their fundamental work translate to become the basis of not one but two multimillion-dollar companies, with environmental concerns at their heart.

“We are very proud of Professor Maschmeyer’s work and thrilled at this recognition by his peers at the Australian Academy of Science.”

Research into catalysis undertaken by Professor Maschmeyer is at the heart of revolutionary new battery systems being developed by Gelion Technology and is central to the commercial development of end-of-life plastics recycling technology pursued by another company he co-founded, Licella Holdings.

Professor Maschmeyer said: “I am very excited about this award and grateful to my peers for selecting me to receive this honour.

“Fundamental science is the foundation on which technical progress is based. The work of the Academy is hugely important in spreading this message and promoting excellence and participation in science.”


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