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John de Laeter Award for research leadership

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Curtin’s Institute of Theoretical Physics Director, Professor Igor Bray, has won the inaugural John de Laeter Award, awarded by Curtin University to staff in recognition of their outstanding contribution to research leadership and excellence.

A dedicated advocate for early science and mathematics education, Professor Bray is internationally known for co-developing the Convergent Close Coupling theory, which has led to advances in astrophysics, plasma displays, lasers, lighting and fusion energy.

Widely recognised for his work in the field of atomic collision theory, Professor Bray has published more than 300 papers and received more than 5500 citations during his career.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research and Development, Professor Linda Kristjanson, said Professor Bray had worked long and hard and was an energetic and accomplished PhD supervisor who has published more than 100 joint publications with his students.

“He has received numerous awards and has been a top three finalist in the WA Scientist of the Year Award in 2009 and 2010, as well as amassing national competitive grants totalling in excess of $13m,” Professor Kristjanson said.

“In his spare time he generously gives his time to speak to school-aged and high school students to motivate them to aspire to scientific careers.”

Professor Bray said he was honoured to receive the esteemed award named after one of his professional role models, the late Emeritus Professor John de Laeter.

“It has been my pleasure to work at Curtin University and be part of a thriving research culture that has been embraced by the entire community. I am very grateful for this award and recognition from Curtin,” Professor Bray said.

Professor Bray’s achievements include winning the Pawsey Medal in 1998, awarded by the Australian Academy of Science for outstanding research in physics and his election as a Fellow of the American Physical Society and The Institute of Physics.

He is a member of the ARC Selection Advisory Committee for Physics, Chemistry and Geoscience and has recently taken on the role of Curtin’s Head of Department of Imaging and Applied Physics.


Professor Igor Bray
Head of Department of Imaging & Applied Physics, School of Science, Curtin University
Tel: 08 9266 4416; Email:

Andrea Barnard, Public Relations, Curtin University
Tel: 08 9266 4241, Mobile: 0401 103 532, Email:  


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