Professor receives top scientific honour
5 May 2011
University of Sydney Emeritus Professor Noel Hush was elected a member of the prestigious US-based National Academy of Sciences (NAS) for his excellence in original scientific research.
Among the NAS's renowned former members are Albert Einstein, Robert Oppenheimer, Thomas Edison, Orville Wright, and Alexander Graham Bell. Over 180 living Academy members have won Nobel Prizes.
One of the world's pre-eminent theoretical chemists, Noel Hush was appointed to the University of Sydney to take up Australia's first Chair of Theoretical Chemistry in 1971. Already renowned for his development of a quantum-mechanical model for electron transfer reactions in the 1960s, his work at Sydney continued to break new ground.
Head of the School of Chemistry, Professor Greg Warr, commented on the honour: "In addition to making fundamental advances in computational and theoretical quantum chemistry techniques, he applied them to diverse problems, including electrochemical and electrode reactions, electron transfer and transport, and the molecular mechanisms that underpin photosynthesis and other biochemical processes."
Following his retirement in 1989, Professor Hush accepted an appointment as Emeritus Foundation Professor of Theoretical Chemistry at the University of Sydney, and has remained extremely active in research.
"He is currently focused on molecular electronics, a natural outgrowth of his earlier interests and at the absolute cutting edge of chemistry and nanotechnology," Professor Warr said.
Professor Hush's election to the National Academy of Science recognises his long and eminent career, already marked by numerous awards, including his election as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 1977, the Officer of the Order of Australia in 1993, and most recently the Welch Prize in 2007.
Professor Hush, elected along with 71 others, joins currently just over 2000 active NAS members. Membership in the NAS is one of the highest honors given to a scientist or engineer in the United States. Professor Hush will be inducted into the Academy next April during its 149th annual meeting in Washington, DC.
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit honorific society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furthering science and technology and to their use for the general welfare.
Established in 1863, the National Academy of Sciences has served to "investigate, examine, experiment, and report upon any subject of science or art" whenever called upon to do so by any department of the government.
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