Three UNSW academics are among 21 leading scientists to be elected to the Australian Academy of Science, the most of any Australian institution.
UNSW Professors Justin Gooding, Fedor Sukochev and Toby Walsh have been recognised for their outstanding contributions to mathematics, chemistry and artificial intelligence.
Professor Gooding, Scientia Professor and founding co-director of The Australian Centre for NanoMedicine, uses chemistry to modify surfaces at the molecular level to enable them to specifically recognise biochemical molecules and to transfer electrons with them in biological fluids.
His achievements include the molecular wiring of the enzyme glucose oxidase (a diabetes monitor), molecular wiring of the redox protein cyctochrome-c to silicon, a peptide electrode array to detect metals, ‘DNA electrodes’, and porous photonic silicon with immobilised peptides able to detect protease activity – aiming for an infection-sensing chip.
Sukochev, Professor of Pure Mathematics with UNSW’s School of Mathematics and Statistics, is a world leader in the use of algebraic approaches to solve complex analytic problems.
His research lies in the area of mathematics inspired by quantum mechanics. He is an internationally recognised expert in three related but distinct areas: noncommutative analysis, non-commutative geometry, and non-commutative probability.
Walsh, Professor of Artificial Intelligence at UNSW’s School of Computer Science and Engineering, has made important scientific contributions in three closely related areas: artificial intelligence, constraint programming and computational social choice. These contributions have strongly influenced both the theory and practice of how optimisation problems are solved in industry.
Also a Research Group Leader at NICTA, Walsh has also been a pioneer in theoretical artificial intelligence, building on ideas from fields including statistical physics, economics and game theory to study many complex and challenging optimisation problems such as scheduling and vehicle routing.
His algorithms are included in the leading open source and commercial tool kits that are used to solve such problems in industry.
Dr Daniela Stock, a UNSW Conjoint Senior Lecturer based at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute has also been recognised for her pioneering work on molecular rotary motors involved in biological energy conversion, known as rotary ATPases. The research has led to major new insights into biological energy conversion.
The new Fellows will be admitted during a formal ceremony in Canberra today and present their work at ‘Science at the Shine Dome’ on 24 May.