Media Release

Celebrating world class research at the annual ATSE Awards

10 June 2021

World-class research putting cancer cells to sleep, preventing catastrophic bushfires and improving the flavour of plant-based food options has been celebrated at the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering’s Annual Awards.

The ATSE Awards recognise the successful application of Australian research. The work of this year’s winners – from a range of fields, including fintech, biotech, engineering and agriculture – has the potential to improve countless lives and build major new Australian businesses.

Awardees include a team of researchers from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and Monash University who have found a way of stopping the proliferation of cancer cells, without any of the harmful side effects caused by traditional therapies.

Among the winners are also the inventor of Early Fault Detect technology capable of locating and shutting down potential threats to power grids to avoid them sparking bushfires, and a biochemist who is manipulating yeast strains to provide tasty, sustainable protein alternatives.

The full list of the 2021 ATSE Awards winners are:

  • Clunies Ross Entrepreneur of the Year – Adjunct Professor Leanne Kemp, founder and Chief Executive of Everledger: supporting ethical consumerism by providing a secure and permanent digital record of the provenance of objects ranging from diamonds to fine wine and apparel.
  • Clunies Ross Award for Innovation – Professor Alan Wong, founder and Chief Executive Officer of IND Technology: Early Fault Detection technology which identifies fire-risk situations in power networks before they progress to failure.
  • Clunies Ross Award for Knowledge Commercialisation – Professor Anne Voss, Division Head Epigenetics and Development, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute; Associate Professor Tim Thomas, Laboratory Head Epigenetics and Development, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute; and Professor Jonathan Baell, Director of the Australian Translational Medicinal Chemistry Facility, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS) of Monash University: development of a new class of inhibitors which arrest the proliferation of cancer cells, currently in Phase 1 clinical trials.
  • Batterham Medal for Engineering Excellence – Dr Kate Nguyen, Senior Lecturer at RMIT University: development of a light-weight, cost effective, non-combustible form of cladding for buildings.
  • ICM Agrifood Award – Dr Lindsay Bell, Farming Systems Scientist at CSIRO: world-leading research helping dryland crop and livestock farmers manage climate variability.
  • ICM Agrifood Award – Dr Anna El-Tahchy, Chief Technical Officer at Nourish Ingredients: leading efforts to revolutionise the flavour and sustainability of plant-based food.
  • David & Valerie Solomon Award – Dr Luke Djukic, Chief Technical Officer at Omni Tanker: improving the safety and efficiency of transporting dangerous goods.
  • Ezio Rizzardo Polymer Scholarship – Georgia Hunter, PhD student at Monash University: working to improve the properties of multi-polymer materials.
  • Ezio Rizzardo Polymer Scholarship – Hayden Robertson, PhD student at Newcastle University: improving the understanding of stimulus-responsive polymers to make smart interfaces with tuneable properties.

ATSE President Professor Hugh Bradlow warmly congratulated all the award winners.

“One of the key objectives of the Academy is to celebrate excellence in using applied science, engineering and technology to create solutions for the betterment of Australian society,” Professor Bradlow said.

“The 2021 ATSE Awards highlight the breadth of Australian talent and how it is enabling innovation success stories.

“Our awardees are improving existing Australian industries and creating new ones.”

Media note: Read more about each of our winners at: (from 8PM AEST 100621)

Media contact: Liz Foschia or 0419 976 903

The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering is a Learned Academy of independent experts helping Australians understand and use technology to solve complex problems.