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Dr Paul Francis from Deakin University’s School of Life and Environmental Sciences has been awarded the inaugural Robert Cattrall Early Career Medal by the Analytical Chemistry Division of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute.
The medal is awarded for excellence in pure or applied scientific work over a 10-year period that involves a substantial analytical chemistry research effort.
Congratulating Dr Francis, Professor Frank Stagnitti, the Chair of Academic Board, said: “Paul's undergraduate campaign at Deakin was exemplary and it afforded him all three prizes that the School had to offer.
“In 2002 he won the Rex Williamson Prize and a Jim O’Donnell travelling bursary from the Royal Australian Chemical Institute. In 2005, he was awarded the Gordon Kirkbright Bursary by the Association of British Spectroscopists for his pioneering studies on near-ultraviolet and near-infrared chemiluminescence. He is only the second Australian to win this prestigious international honour.
“Paul Francis is, by any measure, an outstanding early career researcher who has already made an exceptional contribution to Analytical Chemistry. He enjoys a significant international reputation for his work, which has led to invited reviews and co-authored book chapters.” Winning the medal has a special meaning for Dr Francis.
“It is an honour to win this,” he said. “What is particularly pleasing is that it was named after someone who helped me considerably with my PhD.”
Though still an early career researcher Dr Francis is very much a Deakin veteran.
“I started here as an undergraduate,” he said. “That was in 1995, so I have been here for a long time. One of the main reasons for that is I really like the Deakin people.”
“We have a relatively small team of chemistry researchers, but we are productive because everyone co-operates really well and that is a very positive aspect of working at Deakin.”