Quantum physicist and Defence scientist take out top awards on World Metrology Day

NMI Prize and Barry Inglis Medal winners announced on World Metrology Day.

Professor Bowen, Barry Inglis Medal winner, pictured with a custom high performance microscope his team recently developed that uses quantum light to overcome photodamage in biological specimens.

Today is World Metrology Day. This year’s theme is ‘Measurements for global trade’, recognising the importance of the science of measurement in helping Australian industry to access and compete in global markets.

To mark the day, Australia’s National Measurement Institute (NMI) Chief Executive Officer and Chief Metrologist Dr Bruce Warrington has announced the recipients of the Barry Inglis Medal and NMI Prize. These awards are held annually and recognise significant contributions to measurement science, research and leadership. This year’s recipients highlight the broad range of organisations undertaking and applying measurement research in Australia.

“I would like to congratulate Professor Warwick Bowen as the 2020 Barry Inglis Medal recipient, for his role in the development of quantum technologies and innovative practical solutions to the benefit of measurement science,” Dr Warrington said. 

The Barry Inglis Medal recognises Professor Bowen’s work at the University of Queensland developing ground-breaking sensors, enabling the study of individual molecules, medical imaging, and mineral exploration. He has partnered with Australian industry to commercialise these technologies, and made an outstanding contribution to health, industry, and fundamental research outcomes. 

Renee Webster, NMI Prize winner, preparing to analyse chemical warfare agents for their molecular fingerprints.

This year Dr Renée Webster is the recipient of the 2020 NMI Prize in recognition for her work as part of the Department of Defence Science and Technology Group. Dr Webster’s efforts included the development of new analytical approaches to improve our understanding of the complex chemistry of fuels at high temperatures and trace impurities produced prior to combustion,“This work is particularly important for high performance military aircraft and contributes to the safe and effective operations of the Australian Defence Force,” Dr Warrington said. 

As Australia’s peak measurement body, NMI plays a vital role in supporting manufacturing to innovate, as well as giving regulators, industry and consumers confidence in the safety and quality of products and services. World Metrology Day is held annually on 20 May to celebrate the international Metre Convention, signed in 1875 to establish a global measurement system for trade and innovation.

Celebrating World Metrology Day


Hello, I’m Bruce Warrington, Australia’s Chief Metrologist and today we are celebrating “World Metrology Day”.

This day celebrates the central role of metrology, or measurement science, in trade, scientific discovery and innovation. 

Today marks the 145th anniversary of the international “Metre Treaty”, establishing a common framework for today’s world-wide uniformity of measurement.

This year’s theme for World Metrology Day is Measurements for global trade.

Around 40% of the Australian economy involves international trade, so the theme recognises the importance of measurement in helping Australians compete effectively in global markets.  

It also reinforces that measurement gives confidence in goods and services, both for Australians and for our trading partners.

Nations can trade confidently because their products and services have been measured and tested against standards, to show they meet specifications or comply with regulations. 

As Australia emerges from coronavirus, this confidence is more important than ever, as Australia looks to its export trade to boost the economy. Measurement will also promote resilient and self-sufficient industry, by enabling innovation and securing access to new global supply chains.

So today we celebrate the role of measurement in global trade, and wish everyone a Happy World Metrology Day!

Find more information globally on World Metrology Day on the BIPM/OIML website

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