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MEI Online: People News: Australasia: July 25th 2007

 
 

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:: Tom Healy’s Lifetime Achievements Honoured

Professor Tom Healy's achievements in the field of colloids and interface sciences and his commitment to science mentoring were acknowledged recently with the awarding of two honours.

Tom Healy, the Chair of theParticulate Fluids Processing Centre (PFPC) Science Board at the University of Melbourne, and a founding leader of the Centre was honoured for his achievements in fostering the careers of fellow scientists by winning the inaugural Australasian lifetime award for mentoring excellence from the journal Nature. Tom's mentorshiip has aided many scientists to achieve excellence in their fields both in the national and international arenas. Tom's nominators highlighted his ability to mentor not only his own students and colleagues but the wider field of colloid and interfacial science. He has been instrumental in advancing Australian research in the field to amongst the world's best. The research atmosphere he creates is supportive and "family-like" and enhances collaboration both within the field and beyond. He is renowned for bringing together individuals from diverse fields to create multidisciplinary teams. The establishment and success of the PFPC is a prime example of this talent.

Tom has a keen interest in advancing the careers of his students. He encourages a broad experience during their candidatures which includes the opportunity to travel overseas. In 2002 the School of Chemistry, University of Melbourne established the T.W. Healy Award to commemorate Tom's distinguished career. The award enables a student to attend a conference of international standing to allow the student the opportunity to present the results of their research to others in the field. Indeed his student mentorship extends beyond the University and nearly 40 years ago he and his colleague Dr. Bob Hunter of the University of Sydney, established a biennial student conference in colloid and surface science to help young researchers network with their peers. In fact, this format has now been replicated in several regions of the world, including Europe, the USA and Japan.

Tom Healy
Tom Healy

All of Tom's nominators agreed that Tom is the epitome of mentors. His influence and guidance has extended beyond the University system. His achievements in colloid research have been applied in many areas including the mining industry, government and academia. Therefore his mentoring has extended beyond the University environment, an approach which was particularly ground-breaking in his earlier career when collaborative research across fields was not the norm as it is today.

The weekly international journal Nature is one of the most prestigious research journals. It publishes first class research outcomes in all fields of science and technology. The Nature Mentoring Awards recognise outstanding achievement in scientific mentoring and by extension, the fostering of scientific creativity. This prestigious award is a well-deserved acknowledgement of Tom's commitment to advancing both researchers and research.

In recognition of his lifetime contributions to the field of colloid and interface science, Tom was also awarded a Certificate of Merit by the Board of Editors of the Journal of Colloids and Interface Science.

 

 

   

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