Image: Professor Shizhang Qiao from the University of Adelaide. Photographer Randy Larcombe
The prestigious title of 2021 SA Scientist of the Year was awarded to Professor Shizhang Qiao from the University of Adelaide for his transformative work in materials science for energy conversion and storage technologies.
Professor Qiao has earned a strong global reputation, with highly cited work across multiple disciplines (materials engineering, physical chemistry, electrochemistry and quantum chemistry) set to advance the world’s sustainable energy capabilities.
The news was announced alongside other category winners of the 2021 SA Science Excellence and Innovation Awards, held at Tonsley Innovation District on Friday 26 November.
Minister for Innovation and Skills David Pisoni used the occasion to commend the incredible efforts of all SA Science Excellence and Innovation Award finalists and winners.
“Everyone recognised in the SA Science Excellence and Innovation Awards program has an incredible body of work behind them,” Minister Pisoni said.
“This cohort of top scientists, innovators and STEM educators deserves to be publicly acknowledged and celebrated for their contributions to the South Australian economy, community, and—in many cases—the world.
“A special congratulations to Scientist of the Year Professor Shizhang Qiao and Novatech Innovator of the Year Associate Professor Justin Chalker for taking out the night’s top honours.
“While the work of these two STEM professionals is very different, they share a passion for research that has the potential to make existing industries cleaner, smarter, and more sustainable.”
Chief Scientist for South Australia Professor Caroline McMillen said the awards showcase achievements of scientists and innovators across the entire research and innovation value chain.
“The work of our finalists and award winners is driving the future of our industry sectors, shaping the future of our health care, ensuring the future of our environment and building our next generation of future scientists and innovators,” Professor McMillen said.
Winners in each category of the 2021 SA Science Excellence and Innovation Awards are listed below:
- Scientist of the Year: Professor Shizhang Qiao
- Innovator of the Year (Sponsored by Novatech): Associate Professor Justin Chalker
- STEMM Educator of the Year – Primary or Secondary School (Sponsored by Telstra and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia): Mr Graham Wegner
- STEMM Educator of the Year – University or RTO (Sponsored by Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Telstra): and the Professor Giselle Rampersad
- Excellence in Science and Industry Collaboration: Australian Institute for Machine Learning Industry Solutions
- PhD Research Excellence Award: Dr Alicia Byrne
To learn more about the vital work each winner is conducting, visit www.scienceawards.sa.gov.au/2021-winners.