Research Awards

Each year, the Faculty of Sciences rewards researchers who show outstanding achievements in their fields.

Early Career Research Excellence Award

Awarded to an early career research member of female staff - Edith Dornwell Medal - and a member of male staff - Daniel Walker Medal - both up to five years post PhD (based on date of graduation)*.

Edith Dornwell - BSc graduate 1885

Edith Emily Dornwell BSc. (1885)

Born in New Zealand to Bernard and Sarah Dornwell, Edith was 14 when she won a scholarship to attend the Advanced School for Girls in Adelaide, where she proved herself to be an outstanding student. In 1882 she passed the matriculation examination with honours in French, German, animal physiology, and modem history.

She began studies at the University of Adelaide the following year, enrolling in the Bachelor of Science. The University of Adelaide was second only to the University of London to allow degrees to women and, at the age of 21, Edith was the first graduate, female or male, to complete the BSc in 1885 with first-class honours in physics and physiology.

Edith went on to teach across all disciplines but with a particular focus on science at a number of Schools including Methodist Ladies' College in Melbourne, a school that is now known internationally as well as nationally for its educational excellence and innovation.

Edith’s tremendous enthusiasm provided a steady source of inspiration for her pupils. She was also a good disciplinarian, her tiny stature notwithstanding, and was highly regarded by her headmaster. In 1890 she accepted the post of headmistress at Riviere College, a private school in Woollahra, an eastern suburb of Sydney where she met and married Lionel Charles Raymond. They had two sons, Oliver and Rowland, who were sent back to Sydney for their secondary schooling when they moved to Fiji for Lionel’s work.

In retirement and upon their return to Sydney, Edith joined the Lyceum Club (an international club for professional women) and the National Council of Women.

Daniel Walker - BSc graduate 1887. Image courtesy of the Federation University Historical Collection.

Daniel Walker BSc. (1887)

Daniel Walker was born in London, and received his formative education at King’s College. While there, he gained several prizes for science subjects and also the associateship of the college with honours. He then attended a course of lectures at the Royal School of Mines on metallurgy and chemistry, sparking a life-long interest, and obtained an associateship of the City of London College with special honours and medal for chemistry.

After passing the intermediate Bachelor of Science at the University of London, Daniel spent a few years as a science master at a grammar school in Somersetshire. He then went to Manchester, and attended classes for physics, finally gaining an exhibition for organic chemistry. He was appointed lecturer for the Science and Art Department in chemistry at the Mechanics’ Institute at Aston-under-Lyne, Cheedle, Duckenfield, and other places in and around Manchester.

On account of poor health, Daniel came out to Australia in 1883 bound for Sydney. But he was subsequently offered the position as science master of Prince Alfred College in Adelaide, and decided to accept it. After four years as a teacher he again became a student, attending the University of Adelaide where was the first male BSc graduate, obtaining this in 1887 with a major in chemistry.

Mr Walker of the University of Adelaide. In 1888, Mr Walker was offered the position of demonstrator and lecturer in chemistry at the Ballarat School of Mines, Victoria. In 1918 he retired from the School of Mines with the title “Professor of Chemistry”.

Mid-Career Research Excellence Award

Awarded to a member of staff between 5 and 15 years post-PhD, based on their record and potential in excellent research, leadership ability, and potential to leave an enduring legacy, relative to opportunity.

Year Recipient
2019 Associate Professor Lee Arnold 
2018 Dr Laura Weyrich
2017 Professor Matthew Gilliham
2016 Associate Professor Paul Jackson
2015 Associate Professor Christian Doonan
2014 Dr Beverly Mühlhäusler
2013 Associate Professor Phillip Cassey
2012 Professor Corey Bradshaw
2011 Professor Barry Brook / Professor Gordon Howarth
2010 Professor Andy Lowe

Research Leadership Award 

(Previously known as the Award for Distinguished Contribution to Research)

Year Recipient
2019 Professor Matthew Gilliham
2018 Professor Alan Collins
2015 Professor Andy Lowe
2014 Professor James Paton
2013 Professor Bronwyn Gillanders
2012 Professor Tony Thomas
2011 Professor Alan Cooper / Professor Jeremy Timmis
2010 Professor Mark Tester

Partnership Development Award

(Previously known as Emerging Industry Research Partnership Award)

Year Recipient
2019 Dr Alice Jones for her project ‘Coastal Carbon Opportunities: Demonstrating additionality and potential for future offsets in South Australia’, which was supported by the Goyder Institute for Water Research, SA Water, the Environment Institute, Edith Cowan University, South Australian Environment Protection Authority and CSIRO, with additional partnership links into the South Australian Government Department for Environment and Water.
2018 A/Prof Martin O'Connor and team for the Sapphire Clock Defence Partnership with the DST Group.
2017 Dr Stephan Warren-Smith and the high temperature sensing team in the School of Physical Sciences for their work with SJ Cheesman, Trajan Scientific and Medical, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries 
2015 Hybrid Wheat Breeding Team in the ACPFG at the Waite for their work with DuPont Pioneer - led by Dr Ryan Whitford and Dr Ute Baumann

Latest research awards

Awards: Sciences' researchers, students and staff shine in 2019

Researchers, graduate students and sciences' staff were recognised for their achievements in 2019 at the recent Faculty of Sciences end of year awards function.

Read more about Sciences' researchers, students and staff shine in 2019

Local geoscientist the first Australian student to win award

Geoscientist Natalie Debenham has been awarded the Journal of Structural Geology’s 'Student Author of the Year Award'.

Read more about Local geoscientist the first Australian student to win award

Scientists and staff rewarded for 2018 success

Some of the best minds in science received awards from the Faculty of Sciences at its end of year function in December.

Read more about Scientists and staff rewarded for 2018 success

Medical cannabis ambitions boosted for agriculture entrepreneurs

The medical innovations of two agricultural science students has resulted in eChallenge success

Read more about Medical cannabis ambitions boosted for agriculture entrepreneurs

Kerry Wilkinson named Australia's best wine educator

Oenology expert Kerry Wilkinson awarded 'Best Wine Educator' in the 2018 Wine Communicator Awards.

Read more about Kerry Wilkinson named Australia's best wine educator

Wine scholarship winners are best of the bunch

Top viticulture and oenology students have been awarded scholarships to boost their study and career potential.

Read more about Wine scholarship winners are best of the bunch

Tiny Research wins Tall Awards

They’re working on a small scale to make a big impact in their respective fields. Meet Dr Ben Sparkes and Dr Cameron Shearer.

Read more about Tiny Research wins Tall Awards