Winners of the 2023 measurement awards

The National Measurement Institute (NMI) announced the winners of the 2023 measurement awards at a special event during National Science Week. The 7 finalists showcased their work during the ceremony, while the audience voted for their favourite to win the coveted People's Choice award. 

Australia’s Chief Metrologist, Dr Bruce Warrington, applauded the winners and finalists. 

‘Metrology is the science of measurement, and that’s in everything we do. From cooking to medicine, in industry and at home, trusted measurement is key to getting the results we want every time,’ Dr Warrington said. 

‘As technologies and industries advance, we need new ways to measure up to the changing world around us. The NMI measurement awards highlight the huge breadth of our field, and the incredible people in it.’

Meet the winners

Prof Mark Taylor
Winner – Barry Inglis Medal for sustained contributions to Australian metrology
Mark Taylor is Victoria’s Chief Environmental Scientist at Environment Protection Authority Victoria. His research expertise covers environmental contamination in aerosols, dusts, sediments, soil, water and potential risks to human health.

Prof Taylor has developed new techniques to study contamination in a huge range of human environments. This includes blood lead levels in children, firefighter exposure to PFAS chemicals, and soil health for residential veggie patches. His work has protected the health of thousands of Australians, and inspired global research efforts on trace elements in our environment.
Adelaide University Atomic Clock Team represented by Dr Rachel Offer
Winner – NMI Measurement Impact award for measurement-related achievements demonstrating real-world impact | People's Choice award
The Portable Atomic Clocks team at the University of Adelaide is made up of 10 core early-career researchers and engineers. They have been working to develop alternative secure and independent sources of time for Australian Defence.

These clock technologies provide independent and assured timing signals in GPS-denied environments. They also deliver signals that out-perform timing derived from GPS by many orders of magnitude.

The team won the NMI Measurement Impact Award for their world-first portable, autonomous atomic clocks.

Keeping accurate time to navigate has been a problem for centuries, including at sea. Most modern timing systems rely on satellite-based solutions, but these are vulnerable if that connection is lost. Tested on a naval vessel off Pearl Harbour in military exercises earlier this year, the team’s portable optical clocks proved to be vastly superior to current defence technologies. The clocks are the first of their kind to operate outside a laboratory.

The team is represented by Dr Rachel Offer, who completed her PhD in Physics at the University of Strathclyde, Scotland. She joined the Luiten Precision Measurement Group at the University of Adelaide in 2020.
Dr Zhiwei Sun
Winner - Measurement Achievement Encouragement Award (formerly the NMI Prize) for measurement-related achievements by early to mid-career professionals
Dr Zhiwei Sun is a senior researcher at the University of Adelaide specialising in optical diagnostics for thermo-fluids, with a focus on combustion and multiphase flows.

With over 15 years of expertise, he adeptly develops and applies advanced optical and laser-based techniques. This work contributes significantly to our understanding of fluid dynamics, reactions, and heat/mass transfer processes.

Dr Sun won the Measurement Achievement Encouragement Award for the development of a micro-focusing shadowgraph technique for microparticle sizing.

Imagine taking a photo of a few people who are moving through a crowd. You might get them, but the image would also capture the blur of people moving in front and behind them during the shot. The same problem applies to Australia’s iron ore industry, where current techniques take an overlapping snapshot of the ore samples.

Dr Sun’s technique uses new focusing techniques to filter out interfering samples in front and behind, allowing fast measurement of particle properties that can’t be achieved with current systems.