ANU Emeritus Professor Barry Ninham AO FAA has been awarded the Matthew Flinders Medal by the Australian Academy of Science for his work in the physical sciences, including technological innovations for the developing world.
Professor Ninham and his colleagues designed world-leading technologies for desalination and for cleaning recycled water of bacteria, viruses, drugs, arsenic and nuclear waste. This technology is particularly relevant to third-world countries where access to clean water is challenging.
Professor Ninham is the world's leading researcher on colloid and surface science, an interdisciplinary science combining physical, chemical and biological sciences.
He is renowned for his work in the self-assembly of biological molecules and the theory of molecular forces.
"This honour celebrates a truly spectacular research leader," said Professor Tim Senden, Director of the ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering.
"Barry is one of the most remarkable intellects I've met. His insights have been as deep as they are broad, covering the terra incognita between disciplines such as physics, chemistry and biology."
Professor Senden said Professor Ninham founded the ANU Department Applied Mathematics, which he led from 1970 to 1995.
ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt AC congratulated Professor Ninham for winning the Matthew Flinders Medal.
"To be recognised with the Matthew Flinders Medal is a great achievement that highlights Professor Ninham's commitment to his research and acknowledges his influence within the scientific community," Professor Schmidt said.
The Medal is awarded every two years to Australia's most influential and inspiring scientists. Professor Ninham will be presented with the award at Science in the Dome in 2017, where he will also deliver a lecture to leaders in the Australian scientific community.