John Philip Award for the Promotion of Excellence in Young Scientists and Engineers

By April 4th, 2022

Our honour roll shares the winners of the John Philip Award for Excellence in Young Scientists since 2000 with a brief overview of their exceptional research.



Benjamin Mayne

For developing a fast, inexpensive, and non-lethal way to determine the age of individual fish from their DNA that will transforming fisheries management and improve sustainability.


Alejandro Vargas Uscategui

For instrumental contributions to cold spray melt-less additive manufacturing from coatings and repair applications to sophisticated, digital methods that create solutions to real-world problems.

Ruhani Singh

For developing a technique to encapsulate vaccines using metal-organic frameworks which enables them to be stored and transported without refrigeration. The work offers an affordable and equitable solution for temperature-dependent vaccines.


Bita Bayatsarmadi

Bita’s transformative innovation in flow cell design has dramatically increased the efficiency and marketability of electrochemical processes.

Adrian Murdock

Adrian’s outstanding research has scaled-up graphene films, advancing the GraphAir technology towards commercialisation as a water purification membrane.


Karen Lee-Waddell

For significant contributions to the scientific commissioning of CSIRO’s Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder radio telescope, scientific leadership of its most technically challenging project, and for passionate involvement in science outreach.

Marcus Kunzmann

For outstanding contributions to our understanding of early Earth evolution and for developing new targeting concepts for sediment-hosted ore deposits.


Dr Di He

For outstanding research on modelling the interactions between crops and their environment has resulted in new understanding and better strategies to predict crop yields and soil functions, reducing measurement costs, improving farm management and enhancing agricultural production.

Dr Mark Styles

Mark is considered an expert in materials characterisation and mechanical engineering. His creativity and analytical skills have proven critical in commercial, strategic and academic projects.


Mr Mike Collins

For building on international collaboration activities to optimise performance of components and drive down the cost of building solar fields, ultimately bringing Concentrating Solar Thermal Energy closer to market in Australia.

Dr Berkay Ozcelik

For expertise in materials science and microbiology and combating medical device related infections, particularly against antimicrobial resistant bacteria.

Dr Anais Pagès

For working on the boundaries between organic chemistry, evolutionary biology and ore deposit geology to build new understanding of the role micro-organisms play in concentrating metals in rocks.


Dr Lee Hubble

For outstanding research contributions in developing next generation nanomaterial-based sensor systems across far-reaching applications with global impact.

Dr Zhongkui Luo

For outstanding research on soil carbon and nutrient cycling, generating new process understanding and strategies to increase soil carbon sequestration, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance agricultural production.


Dr Ryan Shannon

For research excellence in radio astronomy, in particular for demonstrating that observations of pulsars can be used to detect gravitational waves and study the formation of galaxies and black holes throughout the Universe.


Dr Samantha Burnham

For bringing us one step closer to a blood test for Alzheimer’s disease, specifically patenting and publishing a panel of blood-based biomarkers that accurately estimates amyloid protein burden in the brain, an early indicator of the disease.


Dr Michelle Colgrave

For groundbreaking research in the field of proteomics – the study of proteins using mass spectrometry – specifically, the investigation of the barley proteome focusing on hordein (gluten) quantification.


Dr Bruce Webber

For exceptional research that challenges long-held ideas on how we manage invasive species in a rapidly changing climate and that has significant implications for global change adaption strategies to protect biodiversity.


Dr James Petrie

For outstanding contribution to the design, construction and development of the metabolic pathway leading to the production of the critical omega-3 long chain fatty acids EPA and DHA in crop plants. These fatty acids are of great importance in human nutrition.


Dr Ben Hoffmann

For research into the ecology and management of invasive ants, especially on Indigenous lands, which has resulted in internationally significant management outcomes.


Dr James Tickner, CSIRO Minerals

Dr Tickner works in the field of radiation instrumentation – that is, coming up with novel ways of using radiation to solve practical measurement and imaging problems in industry. Ionising radiation (X-rays, gamma-rays and neutrons) can penetrate deep inside many materials and the unique ways in which they interact with matter can reveal a great deal of information about the objects being examined. Dr Tickner combines expertise in nuclear physics, computer modelling, experimental ability and practical experience to create new ways of solving challenging industrial problems. His particular area of expertise is ‘on-line’ instrumentation – that is, systems that operate out of the laboratory in real-world applications. The diverse range of areas in which he has worked includes humanitarian demining, elemental analysis of bulk materials, on-stream mineralogical analysis, trace element detection and X-ray, gamma-ray and neutron-based security imaging. He leads a team of students, postdoctoral fellows, research scientists and engineers that takes ideas from conception through to commercial, installed systems.


Dr David Newth, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research

Dr David Newrth has made significant advances in massive agent based modelling and its applications to Australian response to infectious disease outbreaks, bio-terrorism, climate change and national security.Since joining the CSIRO Centre for Complex Systems Science, David has applied the tools and methodologies of complex systems science to to great effect in finding novel solutions to tough problems.


Dr Tim Muster, CSIRO Manufacturing and Materials Technology

Dr Muster will be traveling to two destinations in the USA to gain experience in the use of micro-multielectrode analysis.

Dr Glenn Wilson, CSIRO Exploration & Mining

Dr Wilson will be collaborating with Professor Alan Jones of the Geophysics Section in the School of Cosmic Physics at the Dublin lnstitute of Advanced Studies (DIAS), Ireland to gain practical experience in the processing and interpretation of 3D MT data from the world-leading MT group based at the DIAS.


Ryan McAllister, Sustainable Ecosystems

Ryan will be visiting CIRAD and CEMAGRAF in Montpellier, world leaders in integrating human behaviour into models of complex systems with links between society and the environment.


Joy Dempsey, Livestock Industries

To visit Santa Fe Institute Mexico to attend summer school on behaviour of complex networks that mediate biological interactions; and visit the University of Missouri USA to learn techniques in a reproductive facility; and to present a paper at the American Society of Animal Science/American Dairy Science Association in the USA
Jo-Anne Rasmussen, Molecular Science

To visit Austria, Netherlands and America to investigate techniques for biocatalysis, CLEA technology for biotransformations and further develop her skills in combinatorial approaches to producing biocatalysts through mutagenesis.


Evelyn Krull, Land and Water

Soil carbon and vegetation change in Australia’s grazed woodlands.

Andrew Groth (Part support)

Aerospace grade composite materials and fabrication techniques.

Michael Bange (Part support)

Alternative farming systems, application of crop simulation modelling processes and temperate effects on cotton production.


Jawahar Patil, Marine Research

Genetic (transgenic) method to prevent establishment of aquatic feral populations and controlling existing pests.