Two Australian Academy of Science awards for Faculty of Science

17 January 2013

(L-R) Professors Peter Lay and Sébastien Perrier have received prestigious awards from the Australian Academy of Science.
(L-R) Professors Peter Lay and Sébastien Perrier have received prestigious awards from the Australian Academy of Science.

The Australian Academy of Science has recognised the research excellence of two University of Sydney scientists: Professor Peter Lay, from the School of Chemistry, won the 2013 David Craig Medal and Professor Sébastien Perrier, also from the School of Chemistry, won the 2013 Le Fevre Memorial Prize.

The prizes were announced by the Australian Academy of Science today and will be presented to the winners at different events in 2013.

Professor Peter Lay's outstanding research career in chemistry is recognised with the David Craig Medal.

The David Craig Medal is awarded annually and rewards contributions of a high order to any branch of chemistry by active researchers.

Professor Lay has performed pioneering research in inorganic chemistry and bioinorganic chemistry that has ranged from fullerene spectroscopy to reaction kinetics, from electrochemistry to solvent effects on the kinetics and thermodynamics of reactions, and from mixed-valence complexes to metal carcinogenicity.

He has worked on metal drugs as anti-diabetic, anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory drugs; on metal complex structure and speciation using X-ray absorption spectroscopy, including 3D structural determinations of reactive intermediates and the active site of heme proteins; and on biospectroscopy of cells, tissues and biological fluids for understanding normal physiological processes, diseases and their treatments and medical diagnostics.

In each of these areas, Professor Lay's research has had or is beginning to have high international recognition as evidenced by citation indices, invitations for invited lectures, book chapters and major critical reviews.

As part of the prize, Professor Lay will give several public lectures in cities across Australia.

Professor Sébastien Perrier has won the early career award, the Le Fevre Memorial Prize, which recognises outstanding basic research in chemistry by scientists of no more than 40 years of age in the calendar year of nomination.

He will receive his award and $3000 prize money at the Royal Australian Chemical Institute award dinner in October or November 2013.

Professor Perrier won the prize for his work in macromolecular chemistry, using the ability to harness chemical synthesis to generate large molecules that form nanostructured materials.

He has designed a wide range of new polymeric materials from initial concept to final product by engineering their molecular structures. These materials have a wealth of applications, from commercial products in the personal-care industry to health and medicine.

Professor Perrier's outstanding fundamental and applied polymer research is crafted to ensure adherence to the important design principles of using sustainable processes for the synthesis of polymers and the choice of 'green' end-product materials that have a low impact on the environment.

Follow University of Sydney Media on Twitter

Media enquiries: Verity Leatherdale, 02 9351 4312, 0403 067 342,