Australian scientists recognised at international geophysics meeting

July 17, 2019
Emeritus Professor Chris Rizos (left) and Professor Brian Kennett AO FAA FRS.

Emeritus Professor Chris Rizos, an observer on the Academy’s National Committee for Earth Sciences, was voted in as President-Elect of the International Union for Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) during the General Assembly on 16 July.

The IUGG is a non-profit global organisation dedicated to promoting international cooperation in earth sciences.

Through his new role, Professor Rizos hopes to raise visibility of IUGG and communicate its continued relevance for global science, as well as increase engagement with early-career scientists in developing countries.

Professor Elaine Sadler AO FAA, the Academy’s Foreign Secretary, commended Professor Rizos on his election and its impact on science in Australia.

“Professor Rizos’s appointment is an excellent example of Australia’s reputation as an active and valuable member of the international science community,” she said, “His service will enhance Australia’s authority on the international stage and cultivate relationships that can facilitate meaningful research.”

Professor Rizos is the second Australian President in the union’s 100-year history. He is a professor of geodesy and navigation at UNSW Sydney, a member of the bureau of the IUGG, and previously served as Chair on the union’s Visioning Committee and the Strategic Planning Committee.

The IUGG meeting also saw Academy Fellow Professor Brian Kennett AO FAA FRS awarded the International Association of Seismology and Physics of the Earth’s Interior (IASPEI) Medal 2019 for his contributions to seismology and to IASPEI.

The medal, presented on 13 July, recognises his scientific achievements and efforts to sustain IASPEI goals and activities.

Professor Trevor McDougall AC FAA FRS was also elected President of the International Association for the Physical Sciences of the Oceans (IAPSO), the primary body responsible for maintaining and improving oceanographic standards and practices. Professor McDougall was previously Vice-President of IAPSO and he is Scientia Professor at the UNSW School of Mathematics and Statistics.

The Academy’s involvement in the IUGG General Assembly included a networking reception to celebrate Australian geodesy and geophysics, commemorate the IUGG’s centenary and recognise Australia’s role as one of the union's nine founding members.

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