Seven researchers elected to prestigious academies

Four academics from the University of Sydney have been recognised for their achievements with election to the Australian Academy of the Humanities, the highest honour for achievement in the humanities in Australia.

The new fellows are experts in the areas of history and philosophy of science, Latin literature, and gender and cultural studies.

History and Philosophy of Science

photo of Associate Professor Hans Pols
Associate Professor Hans Pols from the School of History and Philosophy of Science.

Associate Professor Hans Pols from the School of History and Philosophy of Science has been honoured for his pre-eminent position as an historian of science and medicine in Indonesia and a leading international scholar of the development of global psychiatry. His historical research is distinguished by its meticulous attention to the agency and authorship of local figures who took up and creatively adapted European science and medicine.

“No scholar internationally has done more than Pols to decentre the colonisers in histories of colonial science and medicine, and to counter simple diffusionist narratives of the globalization of science and medicine,” the AAH citation says.

photo of Professor Evelleen Richards
Professor Evelleen Richards from the School of History and Philosophy of Science.

Also elected is Professor Evelleen Richards, whose studies in the contextual history of evolutionary biology are internationally regarded as offering a major advance in the understanding and interpretation of the scientific and medical past.

Her book Darwin and the Making of Sexual Selection won the Suzanne J. Levinson Prize in 2018 and in January 2020 she was awarded the Royal Society of NSW History and Philosophy of Science Medal.

Gender and Cultural Studies

photo of Associate Professor Kane Race
Associate Professor Kane Race from the School of Philosophical & Historical Inquiry.

Associate Professor Kane Race has been elected due to his contribution to cultural studies of sexuality, interactions between stigmatised bodies, sexuality and the politics of public health. Associate Professor Race has been published widely on the impact of HIV antiretroviral therapies on gay cultures, practices and politics.

His work has explored embodied engagements with medicine across various different contexts and cultures of consumption, and his current work is concerned with the ways in which online devices and technologies participate in the making of new cultures, spaces and practices.

Latin Literature

photo of Associate Professor Paul Roche
Associate Professor Paul Roche from the School of Philosophical & Historical Inquiry.

Associate Professor Paul Roche from the Department of Classics and Ancient History has been honoured for his contribution to studies in the areas of Roman literature, politics and culture in the First Century AD. Associate Professor Roche has been an academic in the field for nearly 20 years and been published more than 25 times.

The four University of Sydney researchers are among 22 fellows elected to the Australian Academy of Humanities this year.


Academy of Technology and Engineering

The Faculty of Engineering also fared well with three researchers elected to the Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE).

All three newly elected Fellows are regarded as trailblazers whose work is changing the world for the better in the respective areas of computer science, biomedical engineering and materials engineering.

“ATSE Fellows are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to advancing engineering, technology and applied science: these are the best of the best,” said Professor Hugh Bradlow, President of ATSE.

Computer Science

photo of Professor Willy Zwaenepoel, Dean of Engineering
Professor Willy Zwaenepoel, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering.

Professor Willy Zwaenepoel, Dean of Engineering, has been honoured for his globally regarded ongoing research into experimental computer science, particularly for advancing the theory and practice of distributed computing systems and machine learning technology. His work underpins the cloud technology many of us use every day.

Biomedical Engineering

photo of Professor Hala Zreiqat AM
Professor Hala Zreiqat AM, School of Biomedical Engineering.

He is joined by biomedical engineer Professor Hala Zreiqat AM FTSE from the School of Biomedical Engineering, who has invented a type of ceramic biomaterial that can be used as a scaffold to regrow bone and also developed the 3D technology to individually tailor the prosthetics for accident and cancer patients.

Materials Engineering

photo of Professor Simon Ringer
Professor Simon Ringer, School of Aerospace, Mechanical & Mechatronic Engineering.

Rounding off the list is the University of Sydney’s Academic Director of Core Research Facilities and materials engineer Professor Simon Ringer from School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, who is currently collaborating with industry partners to better understand the properties of tungsten-carbide-cobalt-based hard metals and how these may be tuned via alloying and processing.