2012 Victoria Prize recipients
The 2012 Victoria Prize for Science & Innovation was awarded to:
Professor Ana Deletic - Physical Sciences
Professor Ana Deletic is the world leader in storm-water management, pioneering the concept of rain gardens for harvesting of storm-water, which is polluted runoff from nonutilised, paved urban surfaces.
She first became involved in urban water research in the 1990s in Yugoslavia and Scotland. In 2003 she moved to Monash University to focus on the seemingly intractable problem of how to remove harmful pollutants from urban storm-water for protection of waterways.
Since then, with her Monash University colleagues, she has established the world renowned Centre for Water Sensitive Cities, recently renamed Monash Water for Liveability. With Government assistance and in partnership with industry, she led development of groundbreaking green storm-water treatment technologies, contributing to the creation of more liveable and cooler cities, now adopted in Israel, Singapore, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and France. For example, Professor Deletic has developed and produced a sandbased filter system for use in arid environments, such as Israel. Closer to home, over 10,000 rain gardens are being constructed under a Melbourne Water initiative to protect the Yarra.
She currently co-leads Australian involvement in the European Commission EU FP7 project PREPARED, which aims to adapt urban water systems to climate change. Recently, potential for her work to develop and expand its scope gained a huge boost by the establishment of the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Water Sensitive Cities. With around $120 million from the Commonwealth Government and industry, the CRC began operating in July 2012.
For the past two decades, Professor Deletic has supervised over 25 PhD students and published more than 200 publications. She has served as Associate Editor of Water Research and Water Science and Technology, two of the top international journals in her field.
Professor Deletic is a Fellow of Engineers Australia. She won the 2008 Monash Dean’s Award for Excellence in Engineering Research. In 2011 she became a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE). She is the only female Professor in Civil Engineering in the Group of Eight research-intensive universities in Australia.
Professor Terence (Terry) Speed -Life Sciences
Professor Terry Speed is a world leader in bioinformatics. For over 20 years his research has focused on helping to increase our understanding of infectious disease, the immune system, heritable human diseases and cancer.
In the last four decades, while working and teaching in universities in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, within CSIRO and more recently heading the Bioinformatics Division at Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne, Professor Speed has built a record as one of the strongest statisticians Australia has ever produced.
For the past few years he has been the world’s most cited mathematician and Australia’s most cited researcher in his field.
Together with his students and colleagues, Professor Speed has developed methods of analysis now in daily use in research laboratories worldwide underpinning many recent advances in medical research.
His work has enabled scientists to accurately tell which genes are being turned on in a cell, how much each gene is being turned on and what sort of transcripts are being produced.
This work has helped to identify areas of the human genome that contribute to cancer, genes that are vital for embryonic development and to pinpoint malaria proteins responsible for initiating infection in human red blood cells.
In many ways, Professor Speed’s work has been a shield against bad science. Without rigorous and practical analytical methods, the data obtained from new genomic technologies can be meaningless. Incorrect statistical analysis can lead to research and trends for new treatments heading down the wrong road, leading to a waste of money and putting patients at risk.
He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, was awarded the NHMRC Achievement Award for Excellence in Health and Medical Research in 2007 and an Australian Fellowship in 2009. Most recently he was presented with the 2012 Thomson Reuter’s Citation Award.
Previous Victoria Prize recipients
Click here for information about previous Victoria Prize recipients.