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On the red carpet

More accustomed to labs and small offices, UNSW’s top early career researchers received the red carpet treatment at the University’s Postdoctoral Academy Awards.

The event – with life-sized images of Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman and Keith Urban – was hosted by the Faculties of Medicine, Science and Engineering in UNSW’s Lowy Cancer Research Centre.

The top prizes were awarded to postdocs with the highest publication record for the year. 

Dr Alex Ng from the Faculty of Engineering was acknowledged for his prolific output, publishing on the use of remote sensing techniques for earth observation, among other research areas.

“The Academy is a great opportunity,” said Dr Ng. “It gives us the chance to talk to different people who are in the same situation.”

UNSW Science’s postdoctoral researcher given the top honour was Dr Peter Reece, whose research includes microphotonics, a branch of technology that deals with directing light on a microscopic scale, increasingly used in optical networking.

“I had no idea I was going to be given this award,” said Dr Reece. “It’s nice to get feedback in the broader picture about how you are going.”

Also recognised was UNSW Medicine’s Dr Yuri Bobryshev, whose work focuses on immune inflammation in different pathologies, in particular in atherosclerosis and Barrett’s oesophagus.

Senior academic staff who had supported the young researchers were also given prizes. 

The Academy was established three years ago by the Faculties of Medicine, Science and Engineering to support the careers of postdocs through seminars and mentoring.

One of the most recent seminars was hosted by UNSW Chancellor David Gonski, who paid tribute to the hard work of postdoctoral researchers and said that while we marvel at top athletes, we should do the same for great researchers.

The Postdoctoral Academy program is to be expanded next year to include all UNSW Faculties.

Media contact: Susi Hamilton, UNSW Media Office, 0422 934 024