Holmes elected President of Australian Academy of Science

10 November

Less than 10 years after returning to Victoria as the inaugural veski innovation fellow, Professor Andrew Holmes AM has been elected as the next President of the Australian Academy of Science.

He will assume the role in May 2014 with the Academy set to benefit greatly from Professor Holmes’ international reputation and experience according to current president Professor Suzanne Cory AC.

“Professor Holmes will lead our Academy with great distinction, energy and integrity,” she said.

“As Foreign Secretary, he has worked tirelessly on behalf of the Academy and its programs, with the deep conviction that Australia’s future prosperity depends on strong research and education in science and mathematics and in further developing international science linkages.”

veski chief executive officer Ms Julia L Page believes this latest accolade is testament to the quality of scientists and researchers veski continues to attract to work in Victoria.

“Along with all of the members of the veski family, I congratulate Andrew on this prestigious appointment and thank him for his continued support and passion for veski,” Ms Page said.

“We have been witness to, and beneficiaries of, Andrew’s passion for science and research in Australia. No doubt the Australian Academy of Science will continue to prosper under Andrew’s leadership, and with his focus on international collaborations and science education we are confident Australian science will go from strength to strength.”

As well as being the inaugural veski innovation fellow and a member of the veski board, Professor Holmes is a Laureate Professor of Chemistry at the University of Melbourne’s Bio21 Institute, a CSIRO Fellow and Distinguished Research Fellow in the Department of Chemistry at the Imperial College London.

Andrew graduated in chemistry from the University of Melbourne and pursued PhD studies at University College, London. He then moved to Cambridge University, where he had an illustrious career.

In the 1990s, Andrew achieved international prominence when, in collaboration with Cambridge physicists in England, the team developed a new class of light-emitting polymers. These polymers transformed technology for televisions and computers with lightweight, super-thin, flexible video screens bright enough to be viewed even in direct sunlight.

Andrew returned to Melbourne in 2004 as a veski innovation fellow and Federation Fellow to establish a laboratory at the then newly established Bio21 Institute. He was also instrumental in forming the Victorian Organic Solar Cell Consortium.

In 2000. Andrew was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society and awarded its prestigious Royal Medal in 2012. He was elected as Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 2006 and appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2004 Australia Day Honours list.

The presidency alternates between the physical and biological sciences and the term lasts for 4 years.

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