21 May 2010

International honour for top researcher

The most prestigious learned society of Hungary, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, has elected Professor of Natural Resources Engineering, Professor John Buckeridge, an Honorary Member

Academy President József Pálinkás opened the 180th General Assembly of the Academy (established in 1825), which was attended by President of the Republic of Hungary, László Sólyom, and which elected new members.

Professor Buckeridge, Head of RMIT University’s School of Civil, Environmental and Chemical Engineering, said the appointment was an honour and a unique opportunity to collaborate globally.

"RMIT is well known in western Europe, so I look forward to telling our story in central and eastern Europe.

"Civil and structural engineering, chemical engineering and environmental engineering are disciplines that have very significant roles, individually and jointly, in ensuring the sustainable management of our planet.

"The interface between these disciplines with biological sciences will ultimately determine whether we have a biosphere to manage," Professor Buckeridge said.

Mr István (Steve) Világos, Victorian Honorary Consul of the Republic of Hungary, said: "I am very happy to hear of Professor Buckeridge's election to the Hungarian Academy of Science and I offer my heartfelt congratulations.

"Hungary and Australia enjoy affable and supportive connections. Relations between the countries have been strengthened due to Hungarians finding a home in Australia and relocating from Europe for various reasons, including the 1956 uprising.

"On behalf of the Consulate, I look forward to hosting a 'Barnacles and Blue Gums' lecture by John in the near future," Mr Világos said.

Steve Somogyi, Chief Operating Officer and Vice-President Resources, said the University was fortunate to have researchers of Professor Buckeridge’s calibre.

“Given my Hungarian background and passion for science, I was delighted to introduce John to Steve Világos and hope we can grow the relationship,” Mr Somogyi said.

In addition to his role as Head of School, Professor Buckeridge maintains a wide international involvement in engineering and the environment.

He is immediate Past President of the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS). He is President Emeritus of the International Society of Zoology, He chairs the IUBS Ethics Commission and is Honorary Professor of Engineering Ethics at Wismar University of Business, Technology and Design (Germany).

In 2004-05 he acted as consultant to UNESCO’s World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST), in the development of universal norms in environmental ethics.

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