Dr Tara Murphy wins Young Tall Poppy of the Year
26 October 2012
Dr Tara Murphy, from the School of Physics, has won the NSW Young Tall Poppy of the Year Award, announced at the Young Tall Poppy Science Awards ceremony at the Powerhouse Museum on 25 October 2012.
Run by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science, the Young Tall Poppy Science Awards recognise young scientists who are doing outstanding work in their field and actively engaging and educating the community about their work.
Dr Murphy was presented with her trophy and award by Professor Maria Kavallaris, from the NSW Young Tall Poppy Selection Committee and the Children's Cancer Institute Australia for Medical Research, and Professor Andrew Cheetham, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Western Sydney.
Nine young scientists received NSW Young Tall Poppy Science Awards on the night, with Dr Murphy chosen as NSW Young Tall Poppy of the Year. Associate Professor Renae Ryan, from the Bosch Institute in the University of Sydney's Faculty of Medicine, also won a NSW Young Tall Poppy Science Award.
"Winning the Young Tall Poppy Science Award is important to me as it recognises outreach work in addition to research. Throughout my career I have been committed to community and high school outreach, partly to inspire the next generation of scientists, but also because I believe we have an obligation to explain what we do to the people who ultimately pay for our research," said Dr Murphy.
Working in astroinformatics, Dr Murphy is leading a major international project - VAST - that will run on the Australian Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder, an Australian next generation radio telescope. Dr Murphy's project aims to search for the 'orphan afterglows' of gamma-ray bursts. The challenge is finding these rare objects, amongst the hundreds of thousands of other 'normal' objects that the telescope will find each night. Dr Murphy is an Associate Investigator in CAASTRO - the ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics.
"The main focus of my research at the moment is the VAST project, which builds on the work throughout my career on large scale radio surveys of the sky, and the development of intelligent algorithms for processing large datasets," explained Dr Murphy.
"In terms of outreach, right now I'm excited about a new outreach project that we are launching next year, the Science Challenge. This is an online competition for high school students and the general public, covering a range of science areas. It is based on the success of the National Computer Science School Challenge - a programming competition that I have been running with my colleague, James Curran, for the last eight years," said Dr Murphy.
Professor Mary O'Kane, NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer, said, "The Young Tall Poppy Science Awards are a great way of recognising the wonderful and high-impact emerging talent we have here in NSW, across a broad spectrum of scientific disciplines. Past winners of these awards have gone on to establish themselves as highly influential figures on the research scene."
Dr Murphy and the other NSW Young Tall Poppy Science Award winners will spend the next year engaging with teachers, school students, parents and the broader community around NSW and across Australia as part of the Tall Poppy Campaign.
"In my year of Young Tall Poppy activities, I am looking forward to visiting schools and talking to high school students about science and IT!" said Dr Murphy.
Read more about the Young Tall Poppy Science Awards at: www.aips.net.au/tall-poppies/nsw-tall-poppies/
Contact: Katynna Gill
Phone: 02 9351 6997