Eureka Prize finalists announced

24 July 2015

Dr Phillip Urquijo and Professor Marilyn Renfree AO have been named as finalists in the prestigious Australian Museum Eureka Prizes.

Dr Urquijo, from the School of Physics and the Centre of Excellence for Particle Physics (CoEPP) has been nominated for the Eureka Prize for Emerging Leader in Science. At just 33, Dr Urquijo is the Physics Coordinator of the Belle II experiment based at the KEK laboratory in Japan where he leads an international team of 600 physicists. The Belle II experiment will use the SuperKEKB particle accelerator to smash electrons into positrons in the search for new physics.

As Physics Coordinator, Urquijo is charged with defining the entire Belle II physics analysis program – typically such a role is undertaken by far more senior researchers. He also leads the Australian effort in Belle II, which comprises 22 staff and students from the University of Melbourne, four from the University of Sydney and one from the University of Adelaide.

Professor Renfree, who studies mammalian reproduction and development in the School of BioSciences, has been nominated for Outstanding Mentor of Young Researchers. Over three decades she has provided inspirational supervision and long-term career mentoring for young researchers, particularly for women working in the field of life sciences. Her passion for science has a profound, positive and enduring influence on young researchers, shaping the way they conduct themselves in their own careers and in their lives.

Professor Renfree is genuinely committed to training and encouraging bright young minds, and her protégés are now making significant contributions to the science community both in Australia and overseas.

The Eureka Prizes were established in 1990 to reward outstanding achievements in Australian Science. The winners of the 16 prizes will be announced at the Eureka Prizes Award Dinner at Sydney Town Hall on 26 August.