One of RMIT’s leading researchers, Professor Calum Drummond, has been awarded with a national medal for his groundbreaking fundamental research in chemistry.
Drummond, RMIT Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation and Vice-President, has been awarded the HG Smith Memorial Medal from the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) for his ability to fundamentally advance a field of research in chemical science, as evidenced by the preceding 10 years of publications.
The annual medal is given to the person deemed to have contributed the most to a particular field of chemistry in Australia.
This medal is not Drummond’s first RACI award. It follows a litany of awards which include the Rennie Memorial Medal (1989), the Applied Research Award (2002), the Industrial Chemistry Division RK Murphy Medal (2004), the Green Chemistry Challenge Award (2005) and the Physical Chemistry Division Medal (2006).
“Personally, it was most humbling to learn that I was the recipient of this 2015 award, when the extraordinary calibre of the discoveries and achievements of previous recipients is considered," Drummond said.
“It also provides the encouragement to continue my approach to conducting and managing research by focusing on research excellence coupled with a passionate pursuit of research translation outcomes to benefit Australia.”
Martin Bean CBE, RMIT Vice-Chancellor and President said: “Calum is to be congratulated on his success and the RACI recognition is well deserved.
“The fundamental research and its translation to practice in the area of advanced materials, which underpin this recognition, has led to productivity gains of up to 100-fold in new materials discovery, as well as to allow a myriad of other applications in the world of chemical sciences to be advanced by the academic and industrial research community worldwide.
“This achievement is an indication of Calum’s research being an inspiration to the internal and external research community and a catalyst for innovative solutions and a driver of impact.
“Global demand for innovation – creating better outcomes using new knowledge and practices – is rising relentlessly and his approach to research has consistently reflected this mantra.”
As well as leading RMIT’s Research and Innovation portfolio, Drummond leads a research team of 10 scientists in the School of Applied Sciences, developing next generation advanced materials, including improving the understanding of liquid and soft matter structure.
Since 2005, he has published 104 refereed journal papers and 3 book chapters. He has also had 9 patents granted or filed in this time, while his journal papers have been cited more than 4800 times.
RACI was founded in 1917 as both the qualifying body in Australia for professional chemists and a learned society promoting the science and practice of chemistry.
Almost 100 years on and RACI has over 6,000 members with an extensive nationwide network and a presence in every State and Territory.
Its members work across all Australian industrial sectors, in food and hygiene; climate and environment; energy and resources; analytical and forensic; health and biotechnology; education and the public service.
Story: Petra van Nieuwenhoven