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Distinguished chemistry Professor awarded Curtin Honorary Doctorate

Media release

Lauded chemistry Professor and previous President of the Australian Academy of Science, Professor Andrew Holmes, has been presented an Honorary Doctorate of Science by Curtin University.

Professor Andrew Holmes and Curtin University Council Member Mr Damian Gordon

Professor Holmes is a distinguished chemist whose pioneering research interests span molecular organic, polymer and biological chemistries and materials science.

In particular, his work on conjugated polymers has helped revolutionise the way we think of plastics and paved the way for the emerging field of ‘plastic electronics’ – in which semiconducting polymers can replace traditional materials such as silicon in the displays of our ‘smart’ devices including televisions and smart phones. Among his achievements in the area of bioactive molecules, he has contributed to the discovery of key proteins implicated in downstream intracellular signalling processes.

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry said she is honoured to present Professor Holmes with an Honorary Doctorate in Science for his outstanding contribution to the field of chemistry, as well as his inspirational leadership.

“Professor Holmes is a true science statesman and advocate who is a leader in the promotion of science in Australia and Australia’s scientific contributions internationally. He plays a major part in science policy development and is a passionate advocate for the promotion of STEM learning in schools,” Professor Terry said.

“Under his leadership, the Australian Academy of Science initiated the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) initiative which is designed to catalyse gender equity action to improve the promotion and retention of women and gender minorities within STEM.

“This important work by Professor Holmes outside the laboratory is just as valuable as his research, where he continues to inspire science professionals and those aspiring to enter the field to achieve great things.”

Professor Holmes’s most recent work was focused on developing flexible printed solar cells that could one day be used in large arrays to provide a low cost source of renewable energy.

Professor Holmes has published more than 600 scientific papers and was the second most highly cited UK physical scientist of the first decade of this century. He has also been the deserving recipient of many prestigious accolades including Australia’s highest honour – Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia.

Professor Holmes was presented with his Honorary Doctorate in Science from Curtin University at a graduation ceremony on February 13.