ANBUG awards

Following a recent review of our ANBUG awards at the 2018 AGM, ANBUG will be recognising the achievements of our members annually in the following areas:

ANBUG Career Award – for sustained contribution throughout the recipient’s career to a scientific subfield, or subfields, using neutron scattering techniques.

ANBUG Neutron Award – for outstanding research in neutron science and leadership promoting the Australian neutron scattering community (>10 years post PhD).

ANBUG Young Scientist Award – for outstanding research utilising neutron scattering by scientists within 10 years of PhD conferral when accounting for significant career breaks.

ANBUG Outstanding PhD Prize – for a PhD thesis on research using neutron scattering techniques submitted to a university in Australia or New Zealand after 1st January the year prior to the award year (i.e., 1st January 2019 for the 2020 award).

Nominations for the 2020 awards closed in September 2020. The Awardees for 2020 are below, congratulations to them all.

ANBUG Awardees 2020

Congratulations to the ANBUG awardees for 2020. Brief profiles of the award winners are given below and a more detailed profile of each award winner can be found here.

ANBUG Career Award 2020 – Prof. John White (Australian National University, Canberra)

Professor John White has been working in the field of neutron scattering science globally for 60 years.  He rapidly undertook leadership roles at major neutron research facilities including acting as the neutron beam coordinator at Harwell (UK) and director of the ILL (France). John continued his involvement in advances in neutron science upon returning to Australia in 1985 as a professor at the ANU. He was instrumental in the development of the reflectometer and AUSANS instruments at HIFAR, which directed the design of their successors at OPAL. John’s influence continues to permeate through the Australian neutron scattering community through those he has taught and mentored, many of whom are still active researchers in neutron scattering science throughout the world. The ANBUG membership would like to congratulate John on his exceptional career.

ANBUG Neutron Award 2020 – Prof. Anna Paradowska (ANSTO, Lucas Heights & University of Sydney, Sydney)

Professor Anna Paradowska works as a scientist but is an engineer by training and in her heart. Hailing from Poland, Anna completed her PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Monash University before becoming an international expert in neutron diffraction stress analysis. Anna’s research bridges the industrial and academic worlds and she has co-held academic  appointments whilst working on neutron strain scanner beamlines Engin-X (RAL, UK) and Kowari (ANSTO, Australia). Anna currently has a joint appointment between ANSTO (ACNS) and the Univseristy of Sydney. Anna has pioneered industrial engagement at ACNS and her goal is to support Australian and global industry to build long term collaborations between industry, universities and neutron scattering facilities to improve manufacturing of complex industrial products. ANBUG congratulates Anna on her fantastic work in this area and looks forward to seeing where her ultra-collaborative approach will take her next.

ANBUG Young Scientist Award 2020 – Dr David Cortie (University of Wollongong, Wollongong)

Dr David Cortie is currently an ARC DECRA fellow at the University of Wollongong, his alma mater. His research focusses on the interplay between structure, dynamics and magnetism in quantum materials. In the last seven years since his PhD was conferred, he has made great use of polarised neutron scattering technique to investigate the properties of materials from the bulk scale down to the nanoscale, making key contributions to the emerging fields of nanostructures and thin films. ANBUG would like to congratulate David on his impressive contributions to Australian neutron scattering in this early stage of his career.

Outstanding PhD Award 2020 – Damian Goonetilleke (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe; formerly the University of New South Wales, Sydney)

Dr Damian Goonetilleke completed his PhD at the University of New South Wales under the supervision of Assoc. Prof. Neeraj Sharma. His project focussed on the operando structural characterisation of materials for energy storage. He is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Battery and Electrochemistry Laboratory (BELLA), a joint lab of BASF SE and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, where he investigates cathode materials for Li-ion batteries. Damian’s thesis combined structural characterisation of electrochemical devices under operation using both neutron and X-ray scattering techniques. His work has led to insights on how to improve the performance of existing devices, whilst revealing pathways towards new devices and materials for energy storage. ANBUG congratulates Damian on his outstanding PhD studies and wishes him all the best for his future career.

Past awards


Career Award for sustained contribution – Stewart Campbell

Neutron Award (>10 years post-PhD) – Vanessa Peterson

Young Scientist Award (<10 years post-PhD) – Rico Tabor

Outstanding PhD Prize – Timothy Murdoch


Outstanding PhD Prize – Grace Causer


Career Award – Rob Robinson

Award for Outstanding Research – Chris Ling


Award for Outstanding Research – Ross Piltz


Award for Sustained Contribution – Ian Gentle


Award for Outstanding Research – Maxim Avdeev

Sustained Contribution – Chris Howard


Award for Outstanding Research – not awarded

Sustained Contribution – Margaret Elcombe


Award for Outstanding Research – Prof. Erich Kisi (Newcastle University)

Sustained Contribution – Prof. Brian O’Connor