The Premier’s Science Awards

“The Premier’s Science Awards recognise and celebrate the achievements of the Western Australian science community. Award recipients exemplify the outstanding scientific research and engagement efforts taking place in the State.

The Awards cover all fields of science, including natural, medical, applied and technological science, engineering and mathematics.

The Awards are supported by the Western Australian Government and administered by the Science and Innovation team within the Department. For more information, please see the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation website.”

Scientist of the Year Awards

Professor Mark Cassidy

2017 - Professor A. Harvey Millar

Centre Director, Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology

Professor Millar is an award-winning leader in plant science research with a focus on the function of proteins that enhance the energy efficiency of plants in harsh environments. His novel research on wheat and barley is opening new opportunities in crop improvement directly relevant to WA industries. Professor Millar is the National Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology (PEB) which is headquartered at UWA. Under his leadership, PEB now boasts the world’s largest concentration of specialist researchers in the energy efficiency of plants and leads its Australian activities from WA.


Professor Christobel Saunders

2017 - Professor Christobel Saunders

Professor of Surgical Oncology, Head, Division of Surgery

Professor Saunders is a Consultant Surgeon at Royal Perth, St John of God and Fiona Stanley Hospitals, and Professor of Surgical Oncology at UWA. She is a leader in surgical practice and cancer research in Australia and internationally. She has a particular research interest in breast cancer including clinical trials of new treatments, supportive care, and translational and health services research which have led to better treatments for people with cancer and improved survival. Professor Saunders is directly involved in strategic planning of Australian cancer services and research through her senior roles on numerous cancer boards, networks and taskforces.


  • 2015 Professor Mark Cassidy
  • 2014 Professor Ian Small
  • 2013 Professor Mark Randolph
  • 2012 Professor Peter Quinn
  • 2011 Professor Ricard Hobbs
  • 2010 Professor Michael Tobar
  • 2009 Professor Cheryl Praeger
  • 2008 Professor Jorg Imberger
  • 2007 Professor David Blair
  • 2004 Professor Bruce Robinson
  • 2002 Professor Barry Marshall

Woodside Early Career Scientist of the Year

Dr Melissa O’Donnell

2018 - Dr Melissa O’Donnell

Dr O’Donnell is an NHMRC Early Career Research Fellow at the Telethon Kids Institute, The University of Western Australia and is internationally recognised for her work in the area of child abuse and neglect. Her research is improving knowledge around factors that increase vulnerability to child maltreatment, resulting in changes to policy and practice and contributing to the international monitoring of child abuse and neglect. Knowledge gained from her research has shaped the Western Australian Department of Communities’ Building Safe and Strong Families: Earlier Intervention and Family Support Strategy 2016, the Legislative Review of Western Australia’s Children and Community Services Act 2004 and Western Australia’s Youth Health Policy.


  • 2016 Dr Scott Draper
  • 2015 Dr Hannah Moore
  • 2013 Associate Professor Shazzad Hossain
  • 2012 Associate Professor Ajmal Mian
  • 2011 Professor David White
  • 2010 Professor Eric May
  • 2009 Associate Professor Kevin Pfleger
  • 2008 Ben Corry

Student Scientist of the Year

Mr Tristan Clemons

2013 - Mr Tristan Clemons

Mr Tristan Clemons’ research focuses on applying nanoparticle technology to treat heart disease, breast cancer, colon cancer and central nervous system injuries. His cross disciplinary research has resulted in the filing of an international patent describing nanoparticles for imaging and drug delivery. He is also committed to inspiring students to pursue science careers and is involved in a range of voluntary science engagement activities. He combines his academic work with sporting excellence, representing Australia in hockey.


  • 2012 David Erceg-Hurn
  • 2008 Jacinta Delhaize

Science Ambassador of the Year

Professor Myra Keep

2013 - Professor Myra Keep

Professor Myra Keep has developed a range of geological research, teaching and outreach activities in East Timor through significant collaboration with all levels of government, schools and the local community. She initiated the program and has raised all the required funds for her research and engagement activities. Her outreach activities have included the training of young geologists, students, government officials and industry personnel leading to significant community development.

She has been instrumental in the development of student links between UWA and East Timor. A number of these students have now returned to Timor as trained geologists, having completed degrees in Australia and elsewhere.

Communications

SymbioticA

2008 - SymbioticA

SymbioticA, the UWA Centre of Excellence in Biological Arts, is an internationally recognised art and science collaborative research laboratory dedicated to the artistic research, learning and critique of life sciences.

The first of its kind in the world, the laboratory enables artists to engage in hands-on biology practices and collaborate with scientists in a biological science department. With an emphasis on experiential practice, SymbioticA encourages better understanding and articulation of cultural ideas around scientific knowledge and informed critique of the ethical and cultural issues of life manipulation.

SymbioticA offers a new means of artistic inquiry where artists actively use the tools and technologies of science, not just to comment about them but also to explore their possibilities.

ExxonMobil Student Scientist of the Year

Mr Arman Siahvashi

2018 - Mr Arman Siahvashi

PhD candidate

Mr Siahvashi is in the final year of a PhD in natural gas process engineering. He has developed an innovative apparatus to visually measure the freezing temperatures of hydrocarbons at cryogenic temperatures. This data is crucial to solve the issue of shutdowns due to blockages caused by the freeze-out of impurities, which is a major problem facing the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry. Mr Siahvashi’s method of measuring data has been endorsed by NASA due to its relevance to NASA’s study on the weathering processes of Saturn’s moon Titan.


  • 2017 Mr David Gozzard
  • 2016 Mr Christopher Brennan-Jones

Chevron Science Engagement Initiative of the Year

Centre for Integrative Bee Research (CIBER) Science Engagement Initiative

2014 - Centre for Integrative Bee Research (CIBER) Science Engagement Initiative

CIBER's Science Engagement Initiative aims to increase community awareness about honeybees. It showcases the links from bees to pollination, food and honey and the industries and people that depend on them.

CIBER uses a variety of strategies to engage audiences, including an academy award nominated documentary, an annual public Honey Festival in the Swan Valley, a permanent honeybee exhibition at Scitech and a dedicated social media page encouraging users to follow ongoing activities.