latest news from the school - 2012


Also see our Achievements page.


7 December 2012

Professor Thomas Maschmeyer wins Weickhardt Medal

Congratulations to Professor Thomas Maschmeyer who has won the RACI 2012 Weickhardt Medal for Distinguished Contribution to Economic Advancement. Awarded annually to a RACI member who has contributed significantly towards the economic advancement of the Australian Economy through work in the chemistry area, which may include contributions to policy development, commercial activity and technology transfer.

5 December 2012


Professor Sébastien Perrier receives RACI Applied Research Award

Congratulations to Professor Sébastien Perrier who has been awarded the RACI Applied Research Award for "his significant contribution towards the development of, and innovation through, applied research". Sébastien Perrier (MRACI CChem, FRSC) is a Professor here in the School of Chemistry, and an ARC Future Fellow. Despite having graduated with his PhD only ten years ago, he is now recognised internationally for his work in Polymer Chemistry, and for the excellence of his applied chemistry research, which has been commercialised or is on track for commercialisation. His research has led to important commercial contributions to polymer chemistry, personal care products and new and greener technologies for the manufacture of commercial polymer products. He has also been involved in the establishment of start-up companies, including Designer Polymer Ltd, which was based on his patented technology to manufacture polymer with well-controlled structure. He has published six book chapters and ca. 130 articles, which have received near 4000 citations, and supervised 20 PhD students who have furthered their academic career in chemistry, both in academia and in industry. Sébastien has made strong contribution to his discipline, as editorial member of six international journals, Chair of the RACI Polymer Division (2011), member of the IUPAC Polymer group and he was appointed in 2011 as a member of the panel Physics, Chemistry and Earth Sciences (PCE) or the Australian Research Council College of Experts.

28 November 2012

Dr Peter Rutledge wins Educator of the Year Award

Congratulations to Dr Peter Rutlege, who has been awarded the Pearson Education RACI Centenary of Federation Chemistry Educator of the Year Award for 2012. Pearson Education Australia have established this joint award with the RACI for academics whose primary activity is teaching in the chemistry discipline. This award is designed to encourage developing teachers, and is open to tutors, lecturers and senior lecturers (academic levels A, B and C) teaching in undergraduate or postgraduate University courses.

16 November 2012


Dr Siggi Schmid awarded the 2012 University Co-Operative Bookshop Excellence in Teaching Award

Congratulations to Dr Siggi Schmid, who has been awarded the 2012 University Co-Operative Bookshop Excellence in Teaching Award. The Selection Panel noted that Siggi's applications successfully demonstrated his enthusiasm for his discipline and his students and his commitment to life-long learning evidenced by very impressive peer and student comments. The Panel commended him for his work in developing a first year text book written specifically for Australian Chemistry students which for the first time allowed them to access a single textbook that covered all of first year chemistry using nomenclature and conventions consistent with curricula at Australian universities.


5 November 2012

Discovery Project, DECRA and LIEF grant outcomes

Congratulations to all the successful applicants who have been awarded Discovery Project, DECRA and LIEF grants. The School was successful in six out of the seventeen DP grants we submitted this year (35%), providing a total of $2.48M in new direct research funding to the School. This is (again) well above the national average success rate of 21.37% overall from the ARC (or the 22.85% from the PCE panel).  Two DECRA applicants were also successful, and we were partners in a large LIEF grant for pulsed EPR. Visit the ARC Funding Outcomes here.

30 October 2012

NHMRC funding success for Dr Richard Payne

Congratulations to Dr Richard Payne for the award of an NHMRC Project Grant for a collaborative project with Professor Warwick Britton (Centenary Institute), Dr Nick West (University of Queensland) and Professor Kim Chan (Faculty of Pharmacy). The project will involve the development of novel conjugate vaccines for tuberculosis and new mechanisms for pulmonary delivery.

NHMRC Project Grant: Improving subunit vaccines against tuberculosis for pulmonary delivery, $615,221.

19 October 2012

Professor Max Crossley awarded a Australia-India Senior Visiting Fellowship for 2012-2013

Professor Max Crossley has been awarded an Australia-India Senior Visiting Fellowship 2012-2013. The award was one of 33 announced in New Delhi on Tuesday 16 October by the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

The Fellowship program supports Australian senior researchers from the public, not-for-profit and commercial sectors to facilitate targeted research collaboration, short visiting lectureships and networking activities.

The Fellowships are supported by the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF), a platform for bilateral collaboration in science jointly managed and funded by the governments of Australia and India.



19 October 2012

Dr Elizabeth New receives Ramaciotti Establishment grant

Congratulations to Dr Elizabeth New, who was awarded a Ramaciotti Establishment grant. Since 1971, the Ramaciotti Grants (General Awards) have honoured groups or individuals in universities, public hospitals or institutes undertaking biomedical research. Elizabeth's project will be on the role of oxidative stress in obesity.


5 October 2012

E/Prof Noel Hush rewarded for his outstanding contributions

Elsevier and the editors of the leading international journal Chemical Physics Letters are pleased to announce that the 4th Ahmed Zewail Prize in Molecular Sciences has been awarded to Professor Noel S. Hush from The University of Sydney, Australia for his outstanding contributions to electron transfer processes.

Professor Hush developed theories with broad applications for predicting and explaining electron transfer processes. His elegant theories take into account both solvent reorganization and the inner structure of a molecular complex. He also explained how electrons transfer between species covalently linked by bridging molecules. His work has had wide impact in fields ranging from corrosion to solar energy to photosynthesis.

Nobel Laureate Professor Ahmed Zewail, in whose name the Prize is honoured, remarked, "Noel has made profound contributions to molecular science. Over six decades, he continues his creative work on various frontiers, from electron transfer theory to molecular electronics. I am delighted that he has been awarded the prize." The prize consists of a monetary award of $20,000 and will be presented during the 2013 Spring meeting of the American Chemical Society, in New Orleans, USA (at 2pm, Tues 9th April).

In honour of Professor Noel S. Hush's achievement in winning the Ahmed Zewail Prize in Molecular Sciences 2013, we are delighted to showcase his articles that he published with Chemical Physics Letters and other Elsevier journals throughout his career. View Noel's articles here.

21 September 2012

National award to Dr Siggi Schmid for outstanding teaching

Seven members of the University of Sydney's academic staff have received a national award for their outstanding teaching.

Dr Siggi Schmid was among the 152 winners nationally of the 2012 Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning. The citations are awarded annually by the federal government's Office for Learning and Teaching to recognise quality teaching practice and contributions towards student learning. Read article here.


29 August 2012

Distinguished and dedicated service to the AINSE

Congratulations to Emeritus Professor Len Lindoy, who has had the title of AINSE Honorary Fellow conferred on him by the Council of the Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering in recognition of distinguished and dedicated service to the Institute.

Professor Lindoy was the guest of honour at the Fourth International Symposium on Coordination and Supramolecular Chemistry held at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand 12-14 August 2012. The conference was organised in commemoration of his 75th birthday.

17 August 2012

Accidental breakthrough on the puzzle of atmospheric acids

Congratulations to Professor Scott Kable and Dr Meredith Jordan, who are lead authors of a study published in Science. In a classic example of an accidental scientific breakthrough they may have solved the mystery of why there is more non-industrial acid in air than anyone can explain. Find out more here.

10 August 2012

Prof Sébastien Perrier awarded a Future Fellowship by the ARC

Congratulations to Professor Sébastien Perrier, who has been awarded a Future Fellowship by the ARC. Sébastien's project is entitled "Soft nanotubes for biomedical applications". Project summary: Nature employs self-assembly of small molecules to build complex materials. This project will mimic natural self- assemblies to design synthetic tubular structures on the nanoscale, and apply these nanostructures to solve problems in the fields of biology and medicine. Read more here.

Max Crossley

1 August 2012

A/Prof Tim Schmidt wins 2012 APA Prize for Young Scientists

Congratulations to Associate Professor Tim Schmidt, who has been awarded the 2012 APA Prize for Young Scientists. This award was established to recognize distinguished scientists. The award ceremony is scheduled during the Asian and Oceanian Photochemistry Conference (APC) in Osaka, Japan from November 12-15, 2012.

Max Crossley

1 August 2012

Mr Duncan Andrews wins Vice-Chancellor's Research Scholarship

Congratulations to PhD student, Mr Duncan Andrews, who has been awarded a Vice-Chancellor's Research Scholarship (VCRS). This year, up to 10 VCRS were offered to attract students with an outstanding track record of academic achievement and research potential to pursue full-time PhD studies at the University of Sydney.


Max Crossley

17 July 2012

Ms Lara Malins wins RACI Feutrill Prize

Congratulations to Ms Lara Malins, a PhD student in the Rich Payne Group, who was recently awarded the prestigious RACI Feutrill Prize for the best student presented lecture at the 19th International Conference on Organic Synthesis. The conference was held in Melbourne from 1-6 July.

Max Crossley

13 July 2012

Dr Rich Payne wins Athel Beckwith Lectureship

Congratulations to Dr Rich Payne, who has been awarded the 2012 RACI Organic Chemistry Division Athel Beckwith lectureship. The Organic Division of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute has established an annual funded lectureship to allow outstanding recently appointed organic chemists to travel around Australia and present the results of their research work. The objective is to provide the Lecturer with the opportunity to achieve broader recognition and exposure at an early stage in their careers. Find out more here.

Max Crossley

26 June 2012

Professor Max Crossley awarded the Robert Burns Woodward Career Award

Congratulations to Professor Max Crossley, who has been awarded the Robert Burns Woodward Career Award in porphyrin chemistry. This award is a Lifetime Achievement Award given every two years to a highly distinguished senior investigator by the international Society for Porphyrins and Phthalocyanines. It is the highest award of the society. The award is named to honour of the contributions to porphyrin chemistry of Professor Robert Burns Woodward of Harvard University who was awarded the 1965 Nobel prize in Chemistry.

Max will receive the Award and present a Prize Lecture on July 4, 2012 at an International Symposium on Porphyrins and Phthalocyanines being held in South Korea.

Max Crossley

25 May 2012

Professor Max Crossley awarded the 2012 David Craig Medal

2012 David Craig Medal for outstanding contributions to chemical research

Professor Maxwell J Crossley FAA
Professor of Chemistry (Organic Chemistry) and University Professorial Fellow, The University of Sydney.

Professor Maxwell Crossley is a world leader in research on porphyrins, a class of compounds of great importance to life and for which many new uses are emerging in nanosciences. Haem, the red coloured oxygen carrier in blood, and chlorophylls, green pigments responsible for photosynthesis in plants, are important porphyrins. Professor Crossley designs and constructs new functional porphyrin systems for use in solar energy devices, in mimicry of photosynthesis and also in the burgeoning field of molecular-scale electronics. He has been responsible for many seminal advances in the field.


Max Crossley

11 May 2012

Dr Siggi Schmid receives Outstanding Teaching award

Congratulations to Dr Siegbert Schmid who was recognised for Outstanding Teaching in this year’s Vice Chancellor’s Awards. The selection panel commented on the very high standard of the applications and strong competition in the category. Engaged enquiry was a feature of the winning applications. Siggi’s enthusiasm about his teaching is reflected in a comment from the Head of the School of Chemistry, stating that he is a "distinguished chemical education researcher who applies his research to introducing new and original teaching developments". The Selection Panel was impressed by evidence of his respect for students and his influence on the teaching of Chemistry beyond the university. Read more here.

2 May 2012

Breakthrough in solar cell efficiency

Low cost solar cells suitable for rooftop panels could reach a record-breaking 40 percent efficiency following an early stage breakthrough by a University of Sydney researcher and his German partners.

Associate Professor Tim Schmidt and Professor Max Crossley, together with the Helmholtz Centre Berlin for Materials and Energy, have developed a "turbo for solar cells", called photochemical upconversion that allows energy, normally lost in solar cells, to be turned into electricity. Tim said  "We are able to boost efficiency by forcing two energy-poor red photons in the cell to join and make one energy-rich yellow photon that can be captured, which is then turned into electricity."

Findings have been published in the Energy & Environmental Science journal. Read full article here.

(L-R) Associate Professor Tim Schmidt and his research partner Dr Klaus Lips at the Helmholtz Centre for Materials and Energy have made a breakthrough in solar cell technology. [Image: HZB/Philipp Dera]


17 April 2012

Postgraduate Teaching Fellowships announced

Congratulations to Mr Tom Whittle, Mr Alex Diwa, Mr Sam Liu, Mr Steve Ogilvie, Mr Gajan Santhakumar, Mr Manuel Ghezzi, Ms Josie Auckett, Mr Jacob Fenton and Mr Jim Ge. All nine PhD candidates have been awarded a Postgraduate Teaching Fellowship position.


17 April 2012

Mr Derrick Roberts wins Gates Scholarship

Congratulations to Mr Derrick Roberts, who has recently been awarded a Gates Scholarship to complete his PhD at Cambridge, starting in 2013. Derrick graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Science (Hons 1 & Medal) majoring in physical and organic chemistry, and he plans to continue his fascination of synthetic chemistry under the supervision of Dr Jonathan Nitschke at the University of Cambridge.

9 March 2012

Open Source Drug Discovery for Malaria

Imagine if drug research could happen with inputs from thousands of scientists around the world sharing data in real time, with the process not slowed down by patents and commercial interests. To explore the issues around this new approach to drug discovery, Dr Mat Todd, from the School of Chemistry, led a meeting on Open Source Drug Discovery for Malaria on 24 February.

Held on campus at the University of Sydney, as well as streamed live, the 'unconference' was opened by Professor Mary O'Kane, Chief Scientist and Engineer of NSW.

Professor O'Kane said, "This is something that I've been passionate about for a long time. The application of an open source approach to developing drugs for malaria is significant, as the malarial problem is a major one. It's an area that will have great impact in terms of people's lives, but also economic impact, because if you can deal with these long term chronic diseases, you can change the economies of the poorest nations in the world."

To read the full article, please visit Faculty of Science News.

Blue beakers

Dr Mat Todd, from the School of Chemistry, and Professor Mary O'Kane, Chief Scientist and Engineer of NSW

6 March 2012

Dr Deanna D'Aleassandro receives Lectureship Award

Congratulations to Dr Deanna D'Alessandro, who recently received the Distinguished Lectureship Award from the Chemical Society of Japan. The award will include presenting a series of lectures at Osaka University and the Annual Meeting of the Chemical Society of Japan in Tokyo in late March 2012.

Blue beakers

6 March 2012

Prof. John Canning elected SPIE Fellow

Prof. John Canning was recently elected to SPIE, The International Society for Optics and Photonics, for his contribution in photonic materials, devices and technologies. SPIE is the worlds largest cross-disciplinary photonics society. For further information, please visit the SPIE website.

Blue beakers

7 February 2012

Prof. Thomas Maschmeyer recieves RACI award

Congratulations to Prof. Thomas Maschmeyer, recipient of the 2011 Applied Research Medal by the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI). This medal is awarded annually to an RACI member who has contributed significantly towards applied research or industrial fields. Maschmeyer receives the award for his work on catalysis and sustainable processes. He has developed hydrothermal methods to generate either advanced lignocellulosic “drop-in” biofuels, or VGO-type oils (vacuum gas oil) and low-mineral black coal slurries as heavy fuel oil substitutes from brown coal. Both processes are in the commercial demonstration phase. For further information, please read the full article in Chemistry Views.

Blue beakers

12 January 2012

Congratulations to Sydney Bridging Support recipients

University of Sydney Bridging Support Grants are awarded to staff when ARC Discovery and NHMRC Project grant applications are ranked highly but not funded. These grants enable continued research momentum and provide academics with the opportunity to strenghten subsequent external funding applications.

Congratulations to the following staff members who were each awarded $40k Bridging Support:

To view all University recipients, please visit the 2012 Bridging Support page.


Blue beakers

12 January 2012




A/Prof. Louis Rendina and Prof. Michael Kassiou secure funding for breast cancer research

A/Prof. Louis Rendina and Prof. Michael Kassiou have been awarded a Novel Concept Grant by the National Breast Cancer Foundation of Australia. The research project will investigate carboranes as new pharmacophores in the treatment of metastatic breast cancer. Total funding is worth $200,000 for this two year project.

Louis Rendina

Michael Kassiou

11 January 2012

Dr Richard Payne to further research into HIV inhibitors

Dr Richard Payne, in collaboration with Associate Professor Paul Gorry from the Burnet Institute, has been successful in securing funding from the Australian Centre for HIV and Hepatitis Virology Research Centre. The research project, titled Development and preclinical testing of novel HIV inhibitors with specific activity against viruses with CCR5-antagonist resistance, aims to develop new inhibitors of HIV viral entry into human cells that are active against drug resistant strains of the virus. Total funding is worth $111,000 for this 12 month project.

Richard Payne

15 December 2011

Sebastien Perrier promoted to Professor

Congratulations to Sebastien Perrier who was recently promoted to Professor of Chemistry. The announcement was made by the Office of the Vice-Chancellor and Principal and will take effect 1 January 2012.

Sebastien Perrier

9 December 2011

Chris Ling promoted to Associate Professor

Congratulations to Chris Ling who was recently promoted to Associate Professor. The announcement was made by the Office of the Provost and Deputy Vice Chancellor and will take effect 1 January 2012.

Chris Ling