Electronics innovator elected President of the Australian Academy of Science

November 13 / 124

Professor Andrew Holmes
Professor Andrew Holmes

A pioneer of research in organic electronics, Professor Andrew Holmes, has been elected as the next President of the Australian Academy of Science.

He will assume the role after the Academy’s next Annual General Meeting in May 2014. The presidency alternates between the physical and biological sciences every four years.

Professor Holmes is a Laureate Professor of Chemistry at the Bio21 Institute, a CSIRO Fellow and Distinguished Research Fellow in the Department of Chemistry at the Imperial College London.

Professor Holmes said he will continue to emphasise the role of scientific evidence in supporting policy decisions.

“I also would like to thank Veski, where I now serve as a Board member, for supporting my return to Australia,” he said.

The current President of the Australian Academy of Science, Professor Suzanne Cory, said the Academy would benefit greatly from Professor Holmes’ international reputation and experience.

“Professor Holmes will lead our Academy with great distinction, energy and integrity,” she said.

“As Foreign Secretary, he has worked tirelessly on behalf of the Academy and its programs, with the deep conviction that Australia’s future prosperity depends on strong research and education in science and mathematics and in further developing international science linkages.”

Professor Holmes graduated in chemistry from the University and pursued PhD studies at University College, London. He then moved to Cambridge University, where he had an illustrious career, becoming Professor of Organic and Polymer Chemistry and Director of the Melville Laboratory for Polymer Synthesis.

In the 1990s, Professor Holmes achieved international prominence when, in collaboration with Cambridge physicists in England, the team developed a new class of light-emitting polymers. These polymers transformed technology for televisions and computers with lightweight, super-thin, flexible video screens bright enough to be viewed even in direct sunlight.

Professor Holmes returned to Melbourne in 2004 as a Federation Fellow to establish a laboratory at the then-newly established Bio21 Institute. He was instrumental in forming the Victorian Organic Solar Cell Consortium.

He has been accorded many honours. In 2000, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society and awarded its prestigious Royal Medal in 2012. He was elected as Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 2006 and appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2004 Australia Day Honours list.

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