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It has been a big week for science with an Australian Professor winning a prestigious award and the federal government slashing the cost of degrees in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects.

Professor Kourosh Kalantar-Zadeh of the University of NSW has been awarded the Robert Boyle Prize by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Professor Kalantar-Zadeh is a 2018 Australian Research Centre (ARC) Laureate Fellow and Chief Investigator of the ARC Centre of Excellence FLEET. He is also an Honorary Professor of Electronic Engineering at RMIT. 

A prolific researcher, Professor Kalantar-Zadeh has authored more than 425 research articles and reviews and was named among the top 1% Highly Cited Researchers internationally by Clarivate Analytics in both 2018 and 2019. In 2019 he was awarded the Walter Burfitt Prize from the Royal Society of NSW. 

President and Vice-Chancellor at UNSW Sydney, Professor Ian Jacobs congratulated Professor Kalantar-Zadeh on behalf of the University.

The Prize is named after Robert Boyle, who is widely regarded as being the first modern chemist and a pioneer of the famous modern scientific method known as Boyles Law, which relates pressure and temperature.

Earlier in the week Federal Education Minister, Dan Tehan, announced a 20 per cent cut to the cost of applied science, IT and engineering degrees.

The Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating (AIRAH) CEO, Tony Gleeson, STEM graduates, particularly mechanical engineers and those proficient in environmentally sustainable design, will be a key part of designing the net-zero-carbon buildings that are pivotal if Australia is to realise its environmental commitments under the Paris Agreement.

“It is AIRAH members that are working in critical areas such as big data analytics, renewable heating and cooling, resilience, data centres, healthcare facilities, infection control, building physics and façade design, and of course refrigeration,” he said.

 “Indeed, the HVAC&R industry is essential to Australia’s health, comfort and productivity. So, incentives to encourage students along the path to take up courses of study in areas such as mechanical engineering are to be lauded.”

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