Chair’s Medal

By Colin WardDecember 17th, 2014

The Chair’s Medal, the most prestigious of the CSIRO awards is awarded to recognise exceptional research scientists or teams. It was first presented in 1991 and consists of a gold medal, a commemorative plaque and a cash prize.

See also Science Image video: 2001 Chairman’s medal introduction.

Winners are:


Awarded to the PhotonAssay Team for breakthrough innovation of photonassay technology delivering rapid, safe and accurate analysis of gold and other precious metals in mining applications and commercialisation for industry deployment through the start-up company, Chrysos.

The team

James Tickner, Nick Cutmore, Rhys Preston, Joel O’Dwyer, Brianna Ganly, Bojan Lovric, Justin Delaney


Awarded to the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness (ACDP) COVID-19 team. The work of the ACDP COVID-19 team enabled the rapid progression of the two leading vaccine candidates through clinical trials. Bringing the world a step closer to a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine.

The team

Seshadri Vasan, Alex McAuley, Gough Au, Glenn Marsh, Sue Lowther, Julia Marsh, Sarah Edwards, Jenn Barr, Matt Bruce, Shawn Todd, Timothy Poole, Cameron Stewart, Chris Rootes, Emma Allnutt, Patricia Vietheer, Sarah Riddell, Sheree Brown, Phoebe Readford, Rachel Layton, Brenton Rowe, Elisha Soldani, Jessica Haining, Warren Michell, Lynda Wright, Joshua Magor, Josh Allan, Brett Harper, Ross Cook, Andrew Sertic, Neil Slater, Shane Riddell, Kim Halpin, Jean Payne, Willy Suen, John Bingham, Jemma Bergfeld, Hannah Bender, Naomi Watson, Duane Walter, Kate Maynard, Teresa Eastwood, Ryan Farr, Kiran Nair, Serge Corbeil, Jo Slater, Clare Holman, Sandy Crameri, Vinod Sundaramoorthy, Katie Ardipradja, Peter Durr, Wilna Vosloo, Nagendra Singanallur, Petrus Jansen van Vuren, Daniel Layton, William Horman, Tamara Gough, Prasad Paradkar, Kim Blasdell, Michelle Baker, Liz Pharo, Sinead Williams, Kerry Sheriff, Vicky Boyd, Fiona Napier, Kathie Burkett, Lee Trinidad, Nicole McLure, Chris Morrissy, Kerry Petty, Justine Potter, Caroline Morel, Trevor Drew, Debbie Eagles, Dwane O’Brien, James Watson, Kristen McAuley, Felicity Moran, John Allen, Matt Neave, Vicky Stevens, Grant Peck, Siying Ye, Michelle Lockhart, Gary Beddome, Brian Shiell, Lenny Izzard, Nathan Godde, Leanne Davis, David Williams, Doug Chandler, Leon Tribolet and Brenda Van der Heide.


Awarded to Tasmanian Atlantic salmon applied breeding team for excellence in research and industry collaboration that has transformed the Tasmanian Atlantic Salmon industry through continuous genetic improvement. Industry partners Saltas and Tassal.

The team

Team lead: Peter Kube. Team members: Nick Elliott, Bryce Little, Klara Verbyla, Scott Cooper, Richard Taylor, Matthew Sherlock, Harry King.

Saltas and Tassal team: Bradley Evans and David Cameron.


Awarded to Bioregional Assessments for a world-first integrated assessment of the potential impacts of $2.5 trillion of future coal seam gas and coal mine developments in eastern Australia on water resources and water-dependent ecological, economic and sociocultural assets. We worked with the Department of the Environment and Energy on this ground-breaking project.

The team
CSIRO: Adam Ramage, Adrien Ickowicz, Alexander Herr , Andrew Freebairn, Andrew Wilkins, Ang Yang, Anthony O’Grady, Arthur Read, Becky Schmidt, Ben Leighton, Bill Wang, Brad Lane, Brendan Ebner, Brendan Speet, Brent Henderson, Caroline Bruce, Catherine Ticehurst, Chris Gerbing, Chris Pavey, Chris Turnadge, Clare Brandon, Craig Macfarlane, Damian Barrett, Dan Metcalfe, Dan Pagendam, David Lemon, David McJannet, David Post, David Rassam, Debbie Crawford, Deepak Adhikary, Dennis Gonzalez, Dirk Mallants, Emanuelle Frery, Fazlul Karim, Francis Chiew, Garry Swan, Geoff Hodgson, Geoff Hosack, Helen Beringen, Jai Vaze, Jane Hodgkinson, Jeffrey Dambacher, Jessica Ford, Jodie Pritchard, Jody Bruce, Jorge Pena Arancibia, Justine Murray, Kate Holland, Kaydy Pinetown, Keith Hayes, Lei Gao, Linda Merrin, Lingtao Li, Luk Peeters, Mac Kirby, Manoj Khanal, Maryam Ahmad, Mat Gilfedder, Matt  Stenson, Matthias Raiber, Melita Dahl, Mick Hartcher, Nat Raisbeck-Brown, Natasha Herron, Neil Viney, Nick Car, Olga Barron, Patrick Mitchell, Paul Wilkes, Peter Fitch, Phil Davies, Praveen Kumar Rachakonda, Qifeng Bai, Ramneek Singh, Regina Sander, Rob Dunne, Rodrigo Rojas, Russell Crosbie, Ruth Palmer, Sally Tetreault-Campbell, Santosh Aryal, Sebastien Lamontagne, Simon Barry, Simon Cox, Siobhan Duffy, Sreekanth Janardhanan, Steve Marvanek, Tanya Doody, Tao Cui, Tim McVicar, Tom van Niel, Trevor Pickett, Tsuey Cham, Warren Jin, Warrick Dawes, Wolfgang Schmid, Yongqiang Zhang, Zhejun Pan.

Department of the Environment and Energy: Andrew Stacey, Anthony Swirepik, David Thomas, Emily Turner, James Hill, John Higgins, Peter Baker.

Geoscience Australia: Martin Smith, Penny Kilgour, Steven Lewis, Tim Evans, Tim Ransley.

Bureau of Meteorology: Brendan Moran, Bronwyn Ray, Eliane Prideaux, Julie Burke, Louise Minty, Paul Sheahan, Richard Mount



Awarded to our Agriculture and Food rust researchers for contributing to global food security by protecting cereal crops against rust diseases. We worked with the Grains Research and Development Corporation on this pioneering research. Find out more about how we’re attacking rust and CSIRO Chairman’s Medal 2017 – Cereal rust disease prevention.


Awarded to Dr Crispin Howitt and his team for the development and commercialisation of KebariTM barley. The world’s first and only gluten free barley.

Team lead: Dr Crispin Howitt. Team members: Dr Greg Tanner, Mr Malcolm Blundell, Dr Michelle Colgrave, Dr Philip Larkin, Ms Katrina Spencer, Mr Lionel Henderson, Ms Kit Chow, Dr Robert de Feyter, Mr Hareshwar Goswami, Ms Keren Byrne, Mr Russell Heywood. Find out more about KebariTM barley.


Awarded to the Phased Array Feed Receivers for Radio Astronomy Team for revolutionising astronomy by developing a spectacular new capability for observing wide areas of sky using the world’s first widefield imaging receivers for radio astronomy on the antennas of the ASKAP radio telescope. Learn more about this technology at CSIRO animates: Phased array feeds (PAFs) and Phased array feeds for radio astronomy.



Dr Paul De Barro, Dr Nancy Schellhorn and the Silverleaf Whitefly Integrated Pest Management Team for their outstanding multidisciplinary research which delivered a long-term, sustainable pest control solution for Australia’s horticultural, nursery, cotton and grain legume industries against the highly damaging and invasive silverleaf whitefly. This pest is one of the world’s most damaging to agriculture, causing crop losses globally in excess of US$2 billion per year.

Team leads: Dr Paul De Barro, Dr Nancy Schellhorn. Team members: Peter Hart, Dr Ali Rezaian, Veronica  Brancatini, Shama Khan, Dr Marc Coombs, Dr Stefan Schmidt, Dr Ian Naumann, Dr John Curran, Felice Driver, Jo Cardale, Leslie McKenzie, Di Hartley, Dr Bob Sutherst, Karryn Warren, Andrew Hulthen, Lynita Howie, Anna Marcora, Dr Nadiah Kristensen, Dr Mark Wade, Dr Felix Bianchi, Dr Wee Tek Tay, Leon Court, Dr Samia Elfekih, Dr Karl Gordon, Dr Darren Kriticos, Dr Anne Bourne, Dr Mary Carver, Dr Juan Villanueva-Jimenez, Dr Sharon Van Brunschot and Andrew White.



Dr Deborah Middleton and the Hendra Virus research team from the Division of Animal, Food and Health Sciences for their pioneering research that has led to the development of the first equine vaccine and a human treatment against the deadly Hendra virus. The Equivax® HeV horse vaccine, will save human lives by protecting horses from the disease, thereby breaking the only known Hendra virus transmission pathway from bats to humans.

Team members: Dr Deborah Middleton, Professor Linfa Wang, Professor Christopher C Broder, Dr Jackie Pallister, Gary Crameri, Dr Katharine Bossart, Reuben Klein, Dr Mark Wareing, Dr JinAn Huang, Dr Trent Monroe, Jennifer Barr, Meng Yu, Jessica Haining, Rachel Arkinstall, Dr John Bingham, Dr Dimiter S Dimitrov, Dr Zhongyu Zhu, Dr Zia Hashmi, Dr Nigel Edwards, Dr Anthony Cameron, Dr Glenn Marsh, Dr John White, Sarah-Jane Eastwood, Leah Frazer, Dr Wojtek Michalski, Jean Payne, Jennifer Harper, Dr Mark Ford, Sandy Matheson, Noel Collins, Chris Darcy, Professor Martyn Jeggo, Dr Bryan Eaton, John Muschialli. See CSIRO Chairman’s Medal 2013 – The Hendra Virus Research Team.



Xiaojing Huang, Yingjie Jay Guo, Valeriy Dyadyuk and the Ngara Backhaul Project Team (ICT Centre) for developing the world’s fastest 10 gigabit per second microwave link for the National Broadband Network as well as for the wider telecommunications industry. This innovation has the potential to significantly improve broadband services in rural and regional Australia.

Team members: Dr Xiaojing Huang, Yingjie Jay Guo, Valeriy Dyadyuk, Dr Jian Andrew Zhang, Nipun Bhaskar, Dr John Bunton, Prof Tony Cantoni, Roshan Mark De Alwis, Alex Grancea, Jayasri Joseph, Ivan Kekic, Les Komarek, Christopher Lewis, John Matthews, Joseph Pathikulangara, Leigh Stokes, Keith Bengston, Dr Iain Collings, Carl Holmesby, Dr Ren Ping Liu, David Robertson, Dr Stephanie Smith. See Chairman’s Medal 2012 – Ngara Backhaul Project Team.



Greg Constable and the Cotton Breeding and Biotechnology Team (CSIRO Plant Industry) for the major impact achieved on Australia’s cotton production due to the breeding and deployment of the new cotton variety Sicot 71BRF. In 2010-11, 80 per cent of the record Australia crop area was sown with Sicot 71 BRF.

Team members: Dr Greg Constable, Dr Warwick Stiller, Dr Danny Llewellyn, Peter Reid, Dr Shiming Liu, Chris Tyson, David Shann, Max Barnes, Kellie Cooper, Deon Cameron, Rebecca Warnock, Marilyn Smith, Kay Smith, Megan Smith, Sandra Magann, Chris Allen, Scott McCarron, Tom O’Connor, Judy Radik, Jackie Oliver, Judith Gaudron, Dee Hamilton, Ammie Kidd, Sam Lee. See CSIRO Chairman’s Medal 2011 – The Cotton Breeding and Biotechnology Team.



Ross Tellam and the Livestock Genomics Team (CSIRO Livestock Industries). For leadership of two international consortia and scientific contributions dedicated to decoding the genomes of cattle and sheep, positioning Australia as a global leader in transforming animal agriculture.

Team members: Dr Ross Tellam, Dr James Kijas, Dr Brian Dalrymple, Dr Bill Barendse, Dr David Townley, Ms Abhi Ratnakumar, Mr Sean McWilliam, Mr Russell McCulloch, Mr Blair Harrison, Mr Rowan Bunch, Mr Wes Barris, Dr Rachel Hawken, Mr Paul Williams, Mr Ashley Waardenberg, Mr Dave Tang, Dr Ylva Strandberg Lutzow, Mr Warren Sim, Dr Lillian Sando, Mr Laercio R Porto Neto, Dr Aaron Ingham, Mrs Vicki Whan, Dr Evgeny Glazov, Mr Nick Corbet. See CSIRO Medals 2010 – Chairman’s Medal – The Livestock Genomics Team.



John O’Sullivan and team members from (CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science) for delivering major technical benefits to Australia and the world and substantial returns to CSIRO from Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) technology now underpinning wireless communication systems in over one billion products worldwide. The emergence of portable computers and wireless networking towards the end of the 1980s, presented an opportunity to harness CSIRO’s unique skills in radio systems. The Wireless LAN Team foresaw that traffic would be so high that a new generation of wireless land area networks (WLANs) capable of transmitting data at 50 megabits per second would be needed. The team, with backgrounds mostly unrelated to computing, found a solution that eluded 22 major international research groups. See Wireless LANs and CSIRO Medals 2009 – Chairman’s Medal – Wireless LAN Research Team.

Team lead: Dr John O’Sullivan. Team members: Graham Daniels, Diethelm Ostry, Denis Redfern, Terry Healy, Dr Jack Steele, Nigel Poole, Dr Terence Percival, John Deane, Dr Dennis Cooper, Katrina O’Leary, Dr Hajime Suzuki, Caitlin Westwood, Julie Berwick, Debbie Davis, Julie Filazzola, Sarah Spencer, May Ling Goode.




Tom Hatton and colleagues (Water for a Healthy Country Flagship, CSIRO Land and Water, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research) for research that has delivered the most comprehensive and complex whole-of-basin water assessment ever undertaken in Australia. This knowledge is fundamental to the sustainable management of one of Australia’s most important regions, the Murray-Darling Basin.

Team Lead: Dr Tom Hatton. Team members: Dr Bill Young, Dr Francis Chiew, Dr Geoff Podger, Dr Glen Walker, Dr Albert Van Dijk, Dianne Flett, Richard Evans, Sue Cuddy, Dr Ian Prosser, Dr Andrew Frost, Dr David Post, Dr Mac Kirby, Dr Neil Viney, Dr Nick Potter, Dr Richard Cresswell, Dr Russell Crosbie, Dr Stuart Richardson, Dr Wendy Welsh, Dr Ang Yang, Andrew Davidson, Dr Jai Vaze, Brad Neal, Kate Austin, Dr Brad Neal, Dr Donna Hughes, Dr Ray Evans, Jean-Michel Perraud, Mick Hartcher, Rachael Gilmore, Dewi Kirono, Scott Keyworth, Dr David Lemon, Dr Nick Marsh, Dr QJ Wang, Dr Zahra Paydar, Andrew Freebairn, Arthur Read, Bai Qifeng, Garry Swan, Heinz Buettikofer, James McCallum, Jamie Vleeshouwer, Jorge Pena-Arancibia, Mohammed Mainuddin, Peter Cook, Phillip Davies, Simon Gallant, Steve Marvanek, Steve Page, Trevor Dowling, Yi Lui, Jenet Austin, Kathryn Farry, Linda Merrin, Rose Davis, Janice Bathols, Geoff McLeod, Paul Wettin, Craig Johansen, Paul Harding, Jin Teng, Mark Alcorn, Durga Kandel, Dr Vic Waclawik, Dr Anthony Goode, Dr Brian Barnett, Dr Carl Daamen, Dr Peter Hill, Dr Phillip Jordan, Dr Tony Sheedy, Craig Mckay, Nicola Logan, Linda Holz, Dr Lu Zhang and Dr Juan Pablo Guerschman. See Murray-Darling Basin Sustainable Yields Project.





  • Colin Ward and colleagues (CSIRO Molecular and Health Technologies). For their landmark achievement of determining the molecular structure of the human insulin receptor, the protein on the surface of cells that mediates the effects of insulin. Team Leader: Dr Colin Ward. Seminal Contributors: Dr Timothy Adams, Dr Maurice Frenkel, Dr Michael Lawrence, Ms Mei-Zhen Lou, Dr George Lovrecz, Dr Neil McKern and Dr Victor Streltsov. Significant Contributors: Mr John Bentley, Ms Kellie Cartledge, Ms Elizabeth Da Silva, Dr Thomas Elleman, Dr V. Chandana Epa, Dr Ross Fernley, Mr Peter Hoyne, Mrs Jennifer Lewis, Mr Tam Pham, Ms Pat Pilling, Ms Kim Richards, Ms Christine Robinson, Ms Sonia Sankovich, Dr Lindsay Sparrow, Ms Violet Stoichevska. Other Contributors: Dr Olan Dolezal, Mr Albert van Donkelaar, Mr Phillip Strike, Mr Nic Bartone, Dr Louis Lu, Mr Lemuel Cheong, Ms Tram Phan. See Insulin and epidermal growth factor receptor structures and CSIRO Medals 2006 – Chairman’s Medal – Colin Ward.



  • Peter Waterhouse and colleagues (CSIRO Plant Industry). For leading research in one of the most high profile, commercially relevant areas of modern molecular biology, RNA interference (RNAi) and has had considerable impact, both at the level of the fundamental understanding of RNAi action and in applications.Team Leader: Dr Peter Waterhouse. Seminal Contributors: Dr Chris Helliwell, Mr Neil Smith and Dr Ming-Bo Wang. Significant Contributors: Mr Geoff Ellacott, Dr Varsha Wesley, Ms Anna Wielopolska, Ms Limin Wu. See RNAi and CSIRO Medals 2005 – Chairman’s Medal – RNA Interference team.







  • Ray Binns and colleagues (CSIRO Exploration and Mining). For their world leadership in the discovery and scientific investigation of active ore-forming systems on the ocean floor of the southwest Pacific. Application of this research has expanded industry’s capability to find untapped mineral resources hidden within Australia’s ancient geological environments. Team Leader: Dr Ray Binns. Team Members: Ms Lesley Dotter, Dr Tim McConachy, Dr Brent McInnes, Dr Joanna Parr and Dr Chris Yeats. See Seabed ore systems and CSIRO Medals 2002 – Chairman’s Medal – Seabed Ore Systems Team.



  • Robert Evans and colleagues (CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products; Mathematical and Information Sciences; Molecular Science). For the development of SilviScan technology and its application to the rapid assessment of wood quality in forest resources, increasing the efficiency and environmental sustainability of the forest based industries. Team Leader: Dr Robert Evans. Team Members: Ms Leanne Bischof, Mr Malcolm David Boyd (Digital Solutions), Mr Bruce Coley, Dr Geoff Downes, Dr Tim Gureyev, Ms Sharee Harper, Mr Murray Hughes (Digital Solutions), Dr Ronald Jones, Mr Christoph Kohle, Mr David Menz, Dr Laurence Schimleck, Dr Sue-Anne Stuart, Ms Kirsty Surridge, Mr John van der Touw and Mr David Tuttleby. See SilviScan™ rapid wood analysis.



  • David Lamb, Howard Lovatt and colleagues (ICT Centre, CSIRO Telecommunications and Industrial Physics; Marine and Atmospheric Research; Energy Technology; Mathematical and Information Sciences; Molecular Science). For the development of complete power-trains for two low-emission car projects: one for Holden Limited to incorporate in the ECOmmodore; the other for a concept car known as the aXcessaustralia Low Emission Vehicle. Team Leaders: Mr David Lamb, Dr Michael Brothers, Dr David Gates, Dr Howard Lovatt, Dr Peter Manins, Dr David Rand, Dr Warren Thorpe, Dr Tony Vassallo and Dr Mark Westcott. Team Members: Dr Tom Beer, Mr Colin Bilson, Mr Vic Buriak, Mr Lindsay Burke, Mr Chris Cantrall, Mr Brad Cowley, Mr Peter Cusack, Mr Tom Davis, Mr Vivian D’Offay, Dr John Dunlop, Mr Quentin Fletcher, Mr Paul Gwan, Dr Peter Hurley, Dr Houyuan Jiang, Mr Bruce Kalan, Dr Lan Lam, Mr Bruce Lanham, Dr Russell Newnham, Ms Hilkat Ozgun, Dr Tony Pandolfo, Mr Glen Prout, Prof. Vic Ramsden, Mr Greg Redden, Mr Randy Rhoads, Mr Claude Sacchetta, Mr Chris Sharman, Dr Nariida Smith, Mr Trevor Smith, Mr Werner Strecker, Dr Gerardo Trinidad, Dr Palitha Welgama, Dr Wei Wu. See Low emission vehicles and CSIRO Medals 2000 – Chairman’s Medal – The Low Emission Vehicle Team.



  • Brian Myers and colleagues (CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products, CSIRO Land and Water). For their work on the Wagga Wagga Effluent Plantation project which resulted in the development of national guidelines for growing environmentally sustainable plantations irrigated with municipal effluent. Team Leader: Mr Brian Myers. Team Members: Dr Richard Benyon, Dr Warren Bond, Ms Evelyn Colvin, Mr Ian Craig, Mr Randall Falkiner, Mr Gordon McLachlan, Dr Nicholas O’Brien, Ms Wanda Pienkowski, Dr Philip Polglase, Dr Chris J. Smith, Dr Val Snow, Mr Leroy Stewart, Ms Jaqueline Sweeney, Dr Tivi Theiveyanathan, Mr Dean Tompkins, Mr Mark Tunningley and Ms Seija Tuomi. See Effluent-irrigated plantations and CSIRO Medals 1999 – Chairman’s Medal – The Wagga Wagga Effluent Plantation Project Team.





  • Ahmed Azad, Dr Kevin Fahey and Dr Colin Ward and colleagues (CSIRO Molecular Science, CSIRO Animal Health). For their outstanding contributions to our knowledge of the structure and biology of the Birnaviridae family of double-stranded RNA viruses, leading to the development of a prototype recombinant vaccine against infectious bursal disease of poultry. Team Leaders: Dr Ahmed Azad, Dr Kevin Fahey (DAH) and Dr Colin Ward. Team Members: Dr Ian Macreadie, Dr Mittur Jagadish, Dr Peter Hudson, Dr Neil McKern, Dr Paul Vaughan, Dr Tony Chapman (CSIRO Animal Health), Dr Hans-Georg Heine, Dr John Skicko, Mr Andrew Wolfe, Dr Dean Hewish and Dr Ian O’Donnell. See Infectious bursal disease virus vaccine and CSIRO Medals 1997 – Chairman’s Medal – The IBDV Team.



  • Graham Harris and colleagues (CSIRO Project Office, CSIRO Coal and Energy Technology; Mathematics and Statistics; Oceanography; Fisheries). For their work on the $12M four-year Port Phillip Bay environmental study resulting in a model of the Bay system, the only one of its kind in Australia and widely applicable to coastal marine environments. Valuable information for future Bay management was produced, and has already had a major impact on infrastructure plans in Melbourne. Team Leader: Professor Graham Harris (CSIRO Project Office). Team Members: Dr Graeme Batley (CSIRO Coal and Energy Technology), Dr Chris Crossland (CRC for Ecologically Sustainable Development of the Great Barrier Reef), Dr David Fox (CSIRO Mathematics and Statistics), Mr Douglas Hall, Mr Robert Molloy and Mr Brian Newell (PPBES Office), Dr John Hunter and Dr Stephen Walker (CSIRO Oceanography), Dr Peter Jernakoff, Dr Alexander Murray, Dr John Parslow and Dr Trevor Ward (CSIRO Fisheries), Dr Graham Skyring (SES Environmental Consultants). See Port Phillip Bay Environmental Study and CSIRO Medals 1996 – Chairman’s Medal – Prof Graham Harris and the Port Phillip Bay Environmental Study Team.











  • Peter Room (CSIRO Entomology). For his work on the biological control of the water weed salvinia. Dr Room helped design and implement projects that cleared salvinia from lakes and rivers in eastern Australia, from 200 square kilometres of lakes in the Sepik flood-plain in Papua New Guinea, and from hundreds of water bodies in Sri Lanka. Elsewhere, biological control has been applied successfully in India, Botswana, Kenya, Zambia, Malaysia and Fiji. In our own Kakadu National Park, a three-year study to adapt control measures to challenging local conditions has begun. See Salvinia biocontrol and CSIRO Medals 1991 – Chairman’s Medal – Dr Peter Room.