The Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, Warren Snowdon, today announced the Australian Government is funding a new scholarship for an outstanding American professor to work with world-leading scientists from Australia.
The new position, the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Advanced Science and Technology, is the result of a partnership between the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) and the Australian American Fulbright Commission.
The Australian American Fulbright Commission established an Australian program in 1949 to provide scholarships for study between the US and Australia. It has since awarded scholarships to more than 2,700 Australians and 2,000 Americans.
“I’m pleased to announce this is the first Fulbright Distinguished Chair to be established in science and technology in Australia and joins the Fulbright Flinders University Distinguished Chair in American Political Science,” Mr Snowdon said.
“These two are among the most prestigious of Fulbright scholarships internationally. Worldwide, there are only approximately 40 Fulbright Distinguished Chairs.
“The Distinguished Chair will share knowledge and skills with counterparts in the Defence Science and Technology Organisation and build networks that will underpin future collaboration.
“This may include work in DSTO’s current priority areas such as advanced sensing, advanced aerodynamics and hydrodynamics, biotechnology and biological sciences, health and nutrition sciences, hypersonics, autonomous systems, robotics and smart materials.
“We know that sharing knowledge among scientists and international collaboration on projects of mutual interest underpins success in applying science and technology solutions to our national security,” Mr Snowdon said.
Mr Snowdon said some 43 Fulbright scholars worldwide have been awarded the Nobel Prize. Prominent Australian science alumni include medical researcher Basil Hetzel, biochemist Dr Keith Boardman, mathematics professor Terence Tao, microbiologist Professor Nancy Millis, and chemical physicist Sir Alan Walsh whose work revolutionised quantitative analysis.
The Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Advanced Science and Technology has been funded for an initial three years, with applications opening in February 2012 and the first chair expected to start in 2012-13.
The Chair is a four to five-month appointment at DSTO or another research institution in Australia linked to DSTO.
During the appointment, the Chair will work on a specific research project in a priority area for DSTO and share knowledge through guest lectures, seminars and other opportunities.
Alice Plate (Minister Snowdon): 0400 045 999
Karen Polglaze (DSTO) 02 6128 6384
Defence Media Operations: 02 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664