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Curtin scientist wins 2014 WA Tall Poppy Award

Media release

Curtin scientist Dr James Miller-Jones has been named Western Australian Young Tall Poppy Scientist of the Year at the 2014 WA Young Tall Poppy Science Awards.

Dr Miller-Jones receives his award from Curtin Dean of Science, Professor Jo Ward

The annual awards are presented by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science (AIPS), and recognise outstanding young scientists for their research and/or academic achievement as well as excellence in communication and community engagement to promote an understanding of science.

Dr Miller-Jones, who is a senior lecturer in Curtin’s Department of Imaging and Applied Physics, was a runner-up in last year’s awards.

Dr Miller-Jones leads a large international collaboration that utilises the world’s most powerful radio telescopes to understand how jets of matter form and evolve in low-mass black holes.

Professor Graeme Wright, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Development said James is a wonderful champion for science as well as science communication.

“This award is due recognition for his radio astronomy research as well as the outreach activity that exposes his work to a wider audience and encourages young people to consider careers in science,” Professor Wright said.

“James was a finalist in 2013 and we are delighted that he has received the top award this year.”

Tall Poppy Award winners participate in education and community outreach programs in which they become role models to inspire school students and the broader community about the possibilities of science. This involves a range of science promotion activities, including visits to schools, educational seminars, workshops, museum talks and public lectures.

The Tall Poppy campaign was created by AIPS in 1998 and the WA Young Tall Poppies were first awarded in 2010.

Dr Miller-Jones is the fourth Tall Poppy winner from Curtin, after Dr Lorenzo Ntogramatzidis (Senior  Lecturer, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, in 2011), Dr Ryan Loxton (Senior Lecturer, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, in 2012) and Dr Michael O’Leary (Lecturer, Department of Agriculture and Environment, in 2012).

Dr Miller-Jones is the first from Curtin to be named Western Australian Young Tall Poppy Scientist of the Year.

Curtin has been a sponsor of the WA Young Tall Poppy Awards since their inception in WA in 2010.


About Dr Miller-Jones’ research

James and his team hope to transfer their understanding of  jets of matter in low-mass black holes to the jets launched by super-massive black holes, which evolve over millions of years but are powerful enough to regulate black hole growth, star formation, and even galaxy evolution.