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PM’s Science Prize for David Solomon

David Solomon

Professor David Solomon from the University of Melbourne, has been awarded the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science for his role in revolutionising polymer science.

Professor Solomon, a professorial fellow in Engineering, was joint winner of the $300,000 prize with Professor Ezio Rizzardo from CSIRO.

When we think about everyday items such as paint, tyres and our computers, it is likely that some of its component materials will have been produced using revolutionary chemical theories and processes invented in Australia by Professor Solomon and his collaborator Professor Ezio Rizzardo.

Their techniques are employed in almost every university chemistry department, and the laboratories and factories of up to 100 companies. David Solomon, born in the Great Depression, began working for a paint factory in Sydney at 16. Now 81, he is still pursuing research as a professorial fellow at the University of Melbourne.

This formidable team has been able to harness the power of organic chemistry to provide unprecedented control over the structure, composition and properties of the polymers that are now used in almost every facet of our lives. In essence, they devised a means of custom building plastics and other polymers for tasks at the cutting edge of technology.

“I am delighted to have won this prestigious award. I pay tribute to my co-recipient Professor Ezio Rizzardo and the entire research team,” Professor Solomon said.

From the University of Melbourne Media Release.

A number of media outlets reported on The Prime Minister’s Science Prize:


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