The Batterham Medal is an Early Career Award for a graduate engineer who has achieved substantial peer/industry recognition for their work in the past five years. The Academy administers the award on behalf of the Group of Eight Deans of Engineering and Associates.
RMIT University engineer Associate Professor Madhu Bhaskaran was the winner of the 2018 Batterham Medal.
Just eight years since completing her PhD, Associate Professor Madhu Bhaskaran is pioneering research in oxide-based flexible electronics – stretchy, unbreakable, transparent electronic devices.
She developed a transfer process to make these devices functional, combining brittle oxide materials (like those making up a smartphone touchscreen) with soft, pliable silicone rubber. Potential applications abound in optics research, as well as use as gas sensors to pick up pollutants and as patches to track UV exposure.
Associate Professor Bhaskaran is the co-founder of the Functional Materials and Microsystems Research Group at RMIT University, the Associate Dean for Higher Degrees by Research in RMIT’s School of Engineering and is on the board of directors for Women in STEMM Australia. She also has 146 peer-reviewed publications, averaging an impact factor of 7.3.
Among her many accolades, Associate Professor Bhaskaran was named one of Australia’s Most Innovative Engineers by Engineers Australia in 2017 and, in 2016, was named one of the top 10 Innovators under 35 by MIT Technology Review TR35 and EmTech Asia.
Last year she was awarded the Australian Museum Macquarie University Eureka Prize for Outstanding Early Career Researcher and in 2015 she won a Victoria Fellowship.
Monash University engineer Professor Nick Birbilis was the winner of the 2017 Batterham Medal.
Professor Birbilis has had an impressive career to date. At 39 years old, he is a professor, the Head of Materials Science and Engineering and is the Woodside Innovation Chair at Monash University.
As an internationally recognised expert in corrosion, durability management and the behaviour of metallic elements, Professor Birbilis solves problems both locally and globally across this broad range of engineering fields.
ARC Future Fellow Andrew Fleming was the winner of the 2016 Batterham Medal.
Andrew Fleming is Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Newcastle, where he graduated with a PhD in 2004. He has made an outstanding contribution to the science and engineering of nanoscale imaging and fabrication systems. A recognised expert in the modelling, control and engineering of ultra-high-precision imaging and fabrication systems, Associate Professor Fleming (38) has consulted on some of the world’s most ambitious scientific and industrial projects for NASA, The National Accelerator Laboratory, The Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Boeing, Stanford University, Nikon Research (all in the US), and the Defence Science and Technology Group in Australia.
Image: Robin Batterham congratulates Andrew Fleming.
Canberra engineer Dr Lachlan Blackhall was the winner of the inaugural 2015 Batterham Medal.
Dr Blackhall (then 31) is founder and Chief Technology Officer of Reposit Power, a technology company designing advanced control systems for grid-deployed energy storage. As CTO, he has pioneered the use of distributed control schemes to manage, control and optimise the performance of distributed energy storage systems. The control system he has developed not only optimises the storage and shifting of excess solar generation but, in a world first, allows the trading of distributed stored energy directly with energy utilities and the broader energy market. For his technical work, outreach and impact he has been the recipient of alumni awards from both The University of Sydney and The Australian National University and was an ACT finalist for the Young Australian of the Year in 2015.
Image: Lachlan Blackhall receives the 2015 medal from Robin Batterham.
Professor Robin Batterham AO FREng FAA FTSE graduated from the University of Melbourne in 1965 with a degree in chemical engineering, and received a PhD from the same institution in 1969.
He received a scholarship from the CSIRO to undertake postgraduate studies at the central research laboratories of ICI in Britain. He returned to Australia in 1970 and took up the position of chief scientist of the CSIRO's Division of Mineral Engineering, and was later promoted to division chief.
In 1999, he was appointed Chief Scientist of Australia, a role which he undertook simultaneously to acting as chief technologist for the multinational mining company Rio Tinto. In May 2005, he stepped down as Chief Scientist and took on a full-time position at Rio Tinto.
He was appointed a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering in 1988, and served as its President 2007–2012. He was named a Fellow of the Institute of Engineers Australia in 1999. He became a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 2000. From May 2004 to May 2005, he was President of the Institution of Chemical Engineers, of which he became a Fellow in 1988. He became a Foreign Member of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2004.
After retiring from Rio Tinto in 2009 Professor Batterham joined the Melbourne School of Engineering as Kernot Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in 2010. He was awarded an AO in 2004.
The Batterham Medal was established in 2014 to be presented annually by the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering as an Early Career Award.
The Awardee will be a graduate engineer who has achieved substantial peer/industry recognition for her/his work in the past five years.
The Award is funded by the Group of Eight (Go8) Deans of Engineering and Associates.
The Board of Directors of the Academy has delegated to the Academy CEO the responsibility of administering the Award and establishing appropriate award criteria.
The Academy has formed the Batterham Medal Selection Committee, which includes a nominee of the Deans, which will consult as it determines with engineering specialists among the Academy Fellowship and external referees/advisors in determining the Award.
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