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AMOS Awards 2023

AMOS is delighted to announce the award recipients for 2023 as detailed below. We would also like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the Awards Committees for the great work they do in running our Awards Program.

Uwe Radok Award

The Uwe Radok Award is for the best PhD thesis in the AMOS fields of oceanography, glaciology or climatology, awarded in Australia. It honours the contributions of Dr Uwe Radok who was one of Australia’s pioneers in meteorological and glaciological research. He was Head of the Department of Meteorology at the University of Melbourne from 1960 to 1977 and played a leading role in the development of Australian Antarctic meteorology and glaciology. 

The Uwe Radok award for best PhD thesis in 2022 has been awarded to Rishav Goyal from UNSW for his thesis titled “Dynamics of the Southern Hemisphere extratropical atmospheric circulation”. Rishav’s the explored the drivers and impacts of asymmetries embedded in westerly winds. This included quantifying the importance of ozone in driving past and future changes in extratropical atmospheric circulation, determining the Zonal wave 3 pattern is generated tropical deep convection, and developing a new Zonal wave 3 index for the Southern Hemisphere. Rishav’s work resulted in a large number of first authored papers that are being cited widely and was described by one of his examiners as a “tour de force”. Rishav was supervised by Matthew England, Alex Sen Gupta, and Martin Jucker.

Zillman Medal

The Zillman Medal acknowledges senior scientists who have carried out most of their research in Australia and have made a significant contribution with a record of innovative and transformative research. The award is named in honour of the distinguished contributions of Dr John Zillman to Australian and international meteorology and science.  Dr Zillman was the Director of Meteorology from 1978 to 2003 and President of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) from 1995 to 2003 and is now an honorary senior adviser at The Bureau of Meteorology.  

The Zillman Medal for 2023 has been awarded to Dr Harry Hendon. Harry, like John Zillman, spent the bulk of his career at the Bureau of Meteorology, starting as a Principal Research Scientist in 2001 and finishing as a Senior Principal Research Scientist in 2020.  Hailing originally from the United States, Harry first spent time working in Australia at CSIRO in the 1980s, was back in the US in the 1990s, and since 2021 has been an Adjunct Professor at Monash University. While in Australia Harry made seminal contributions on the organisation of tropical convection, the Madden-Julian Oscillation, air-sea interaction in the tropics, the Indian Ocean Dipole, tropical-extratropical interaction, the Southern Annular Mode, and polar stratospheric variability. His research has been particularly insightful for advancing the science of subseasonal to seasonal prediction. He was a key player in the Bureau’s switch to dynamical model based seasonal prediction in 2013. Harry was ranked in 2018 as Australia’s top atmospheric science researcher and was elected in 2016 to the prestigious level of Fellow of the American Geophysical Union. At his recent retirement symposium, his role as a mentor and as the ‘go to’ person for tough problems on the general circulation was recognised. 

Priestley Medal

The Priestley Medal recognises personal excellence in meteorological, oceanographic or climate research carried out substantially within Australia by a mid-career scientist no older than 45 years.  It commemorates the life-long contributions of Dr C H B Priestley, the first Chief of the CSIRO Division of Meteorological Physics, to meteorological and oceanographic research. 

The 2023 Priestley Medal has been awarded to Dr Andrew King a Senior Lecturer in the School of Geography, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes at the University of Melbourne.  Andrew’s research has made important contributions to understanding of climate variability, climate change, temperature and rainfall extremes, seasonal climate prediction and climate impacts. His research on extreme event attribution has contributed to the growth and prominence of this area in Australia and overseas. His research on assessing climate change projections in terms of global warming levels (1°C, 1.5°C and 2°C) has been very important for public and government understanding of climate change impacts at different levels of global warming and the Paris Agreement targets. Andrew has had a major influence on public understanding of climate change through developing an active and far-reaching engagement and media profile. He has published 87 refereed articles (30 as first author) and more than 70 articles in The Conversation on his published research and on extreme events. He was co-convenor of the AMOS national conference in Fremantle in 2020 and Chair of the Melbourne Centre Committee during 2015-2016.

Christopher Taylor Award

The Christopher Taylor Award recognises professional meteorologists for their initiative in contributing to operational forecasting and supporting activities in Australia. Christopher Taylor was a Bureau of Meteorology analyst and forecaster from the mid-1970s until his untimely death at age 35 in 1988. He had a natural curiosity in, and an enthusiasm and energy for investigating observed weather phenomena and operational forecasting problems, which was largely carried out in his own time.

The Christopher Taylor Award in 2023 goes to Jim Fraser to acknowledge his profound career-long contribution to operational excellence at the Bureau of Meteorology. After nine years in the Bureau’s research program, Jim transferred to the national operations centre where he contributed to, and ultimately led, the team involved with the implementation and real time operational support of the atmospheric numerical weather prediction (NWP) models, including the introduction of the Bureau’s operational ACCESS models in 2010. His dedication to ensuring that operational systems kept operating often required long hours tracking down problems and devising solutions. Jim’s many innovations include a range of specialised charts for forecasters and technical teams including the NWP model comparison charts used routinely for many years in morning met briefings and novel guidance product charts for aviation, amongst others. He famously extended the colour palette of Bureau ACCESS charts to include two shades of “deep purple” for temperatures above 50C, a change that was featured in many media outlets in 2013 and which was listed as one of the National Museum of Australia’s Defining Moments in Australian History for that year! Jim has been a member of AMOS since 1994, attending numerous AMOS conferences and encouraging his staff to submit papers and attend AMOS conferences.

AMOS Science Outreach Award

The Science Outreach Award recognises AMOS outreach ambassadors, who inspire other AMOS members to undertake science engagement activities, and additionally recognizes those who engage with the public, politicians, schools, businesses and communities, to educate and inform those groups on topics associated with AMOS themes.

The 2023 Science Outreach Award has been awarded to Associate Professor Ailie Gallant of Monash University. Ailie is one of Australia’s leading communicators on climate change and extreme climate events. Her efforts to build climate literacy in the general public have been impactful and sustained over many years. These include media interviews with ABC (many outlets), 3AW Melbourne, SBS Online, BBC, The Guardian, Channel 7 news, and the Sydney Morning Herald, as well as co-hosting radio’s 3RRR Einstein-A-Go-Go science show and featuring as a monthly guest on 774 ABC Melbourne Evenings program as “The Weather Detective” teaching audiences interesting things about the weather. She has also given numerous invited public talks for local councils, community groups and schools. As the Deputy Director of the Monash Climate Change Communications Hub she is enabling a wider outreach agenda across a large group of climate science communicators. Ailie’s extensive outreach activities are done largely outside of her core duties as an academic, where she conducts research and supervises graduate students on topics of climate change and variability including drought and urban heat islands. 

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