Australian and New Zealand chemical engineers receive excellence awards at Chemeca 2017

31st July 2017

Several members of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) were presented with Awards of Excellence at Chemeca 2017. The Awards highlight the contribution made to the community by Australian and New Zealand chemical engineers.

The Chemeca Medal, the highest honour from the Australian and New Zealand Federation of Chemical Engineers (ANZFChE), was presented to Professor Judy Raper. Raper is currently Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) at the University of Wollongong. She revolutionised the undergraduate degree programmes at University of Sydney, where she was Dean of Engineering from 1997-2003. She is a renowned expert in particle technology, and previously taught at the University of Newcastle, UK and the University of New South Wales, Australia. She is only the second woman to receive the Award since it was introduced in 1982.

Dr Nicky Eshtiaghi’s inclusive approach to chemical engineering education earned her the Caltex Teaching Award, Cordelia Selomulya was presented with the Fonterra Award for her ground-breaking research in biotechnology and food engineering, and Fariba Dehghani scooped the Chemical Engineering Research Excellence Award for her dedication in building an international team of researchers and industrial partners at University of Sydney, who work together to find pragmatic, environmentally-friendly solutions to a range of societal issues. Karan Bagga was recognised with the ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions Medal and Prize.

Simon Casey was presented with the inaugural IChemE Safety Centre (ISC) Award, for his outstanding work supporting the activities of ISC to advance process safety in Australia and New Zealand. Casey was one of the first Australian engineers to achieve Professional Process Safety Engineer status, and continues to provide his expertise to help facilitate process safety workshops, competency guidance, undergraduate education and industrial training.

IChemE Medals were also presented at Chemeca 2017, by IChemE President John McGagh and Chief Executive, Jon Prichard. University of Waikato’s Dr Martin Atkins was recognised with the Institution’s Hanson Medal, for his article Choice Cuts – published in The Chemical Engineer in October 2016. The article looks at New Zealand’s journey into renewable energy and lessons learned.

University of Melbourne’s Kathryn Mumford was presented with the Warner Prize, which recognises chemical engineers who have shown exceptional promise in the field of sustainable chemical process technology.

Mumford is still in the early stages of her career at the University of Melbourne, but has already made major contributions to polar remediation, carbon capture and storage (CCS), and slow-release fertilisers.

Since 2006, Mumford and a team of engineers have been working at Antarctica’s Casey Station to clean up fuel spillages. Her team have developed clever biochemical engineering processes that stimulate micro-organisms, to breakdown fuel and restore the Antarctic soil and groundwater.

The Medals and Awards were presented at the Chemeca 2017 dinner, held at Melbourne Cricket Ground on Tuesday 25 July.