Inaugural ANSTO Awards in Nuclear Science and Technology

Photo: From left to right – Craig Kelly, Michael Saleh, David Cohen, Warwick Payten, Mayor Cr Pesce and Adi Paterson

Photo: From left to right – Craig Kelly, Michael Saleh, David Cohen, Warwick Payten, Mayor Cr Pesce and Adi Paterson

The inaugural ANSTO Awards in Nuclear Science and Technology were presented last week to acknowledge and celebrate the outstanding contributions of some of Australia’s leading researchers who work at ANSTO.

ANSTO is one of Australia’s leading public research organisations and home to more than 235 researchers, many of whom are amongst the best in their field, in the world.

Together, they use nuclear research techniques to advance Australia’s knowledge in areas including human health, climate change and environmental research, which leads to innovations for our industries.

ANSTO is one of the major employers for the Sutherland Shire with over one third of our about 1200 staff living in the local community or nearby in St George.

Local Member for Hughes , Craig Kelly MP, and Mayor Cr Pesce were at the ceremony, to congratulate the winners.

Three awards were presented at Thursday’s ceremony to celebrate what Dr Adi Paterson, ANSTO CEO, said is the organisation’s most valued assets – its people.

“ANSTO is one of the biggest and brightest employers in the region and one of Australia’s leading science organisations,” said Dr Paterson.

“Our understanding of the world at the atomic level starts right here at ANSTO, the work we do benefits industries, companies and individuals trying to answer the big science questions of our time.

“ANSTO and The Shire could not have the enormous scientific impact that we have, without out state-of-the-art infrastructure and leading researchers, and today we acknowledge three.”

Each award had specific criteria that an individual and / or team had to meet, for those whose research contributions have led to meeting Australia’s national research priorities.

In the awards’ first year, the three winners were Professor David Cohen (Sutherland Shire), Michael Saleh (Beverley Park), and Dr Warwick Payten (Oatley).

“The recipient of the Award for Sustained Contribution is David Cohen, who has undertaken more than 20 years of environmental research, specifically focussing on fine particle pollution,” said Dr Paterson.

“He is the source of knowledge for people looking at air particle pollution, and how it moves through the environment and across the globe.

“Michael Saleh was recognised for his concerted research efforts in materials research, and we are very much looking forward to seeing what he will contribute in the future.

“Michael, who is from the Institute of Materials Engineering at ANSTO, is part of a team working on a project in armour applications, which is designed to help keep Australian troops safe.”

The third award was the George Collins Award for Innovation. George dedicated 28 years of research to ANSTO in numerous roles, before his unexpected passing in 2014, and the award is named in his memory.

This award acknowledges extraordinary contribution on a domestic or international scale to the Australian community, especially in areas key to ANSTO’s mission – nuclear, health, environment/sustainability or industry.

“The inaugural George Collins Award went to Dr Warwick Payten for his inspired efforts on the Remlife software project, to assess the remaining life of high temperature infrastructure like power stations,” said Dr Paterson.

“It is also important to acknowledge all of our finalists who have each contributed endless hours and brain-power to advance science and research in many important fields, ultimately to benefit the wider community.”