A double win for Macquarie University at Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science

20 October 2016

  •   Professor Michael Aitken awarded for creating and commercialising tools that are making global markets fair and efficient
  •   Gary Tilley awarded for science teaching and mentoring science and maths student teachers

Professor Michael Aitken, Professor of Management-ICT strategy at the Macquarie Graduate School of Management, and Gary Tilley, Seaforth Primary School teacher and practicum supervisor of Macquarie’s Opening Real Science program, were today honoured with prestigious Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science.  The pair took out two of the seven Prime Minister’s Prizes awarded to scientists, science teachers, and innovators in recognition of their contributions towards Australia’s current and future scientific capabilities.

Professor Michael Aitken was awarded the 2016 Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation for his work creating and commercialising tools that are making global markets fair and efficient. Early on in his career, Professor Aitken was surprised to learn that securities regulators were authorising changes to the structure of markets with no evidence-base either before or after each decision they made. Professor Aitken subsequently designed and built the Thomson Reuters Tick History Service to solve this problem. He then built the SMARTS Market Surveillance Service to operationalise the concept of fairness, one of two key concepts (the other being efficiency) that all regulators are required to measure pre and post every market design change.      

“I’m very thankful that the work we’ve done has been recognised at such a high level,” said Professor Aitken.

“To see the positive impact of the research on a global scale has been a wonderful thing, I hope that by helping our financial markets the research has also contributed to the future funding of innovation worldwide.”

Gary Tilley saw an opportunity to help train science and maths student teachers at Macquarie University through its Opening Real Science program and was awarded the 2016 Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools for his contributions.

“I saw an opportunity to mentor younger teachers and help train science and math teachers at Macquarie University through the Opening Real Science program,” said Mr Tilley.

“This prize recognises the fantastic effort that a whole school community has put together. I hope other schools see what we’ve done and consider it as a road forward for them to make science front and centre, and get their students excited by science too.”

Macquarie University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Corporate Engagement and Advancement) Professor David Wilkinson attended the award ceremony with the prize winners.

“Professor Michael Aitken and Mr Gary Tilley have both made incredible contributions to the fields of science innovation and science teaching. Their achievements speak to the world-class research taking place at this University.”

The other Prime Minster’s Prizes for Science award winners include Professor Richard Shine, Professor Richard Payne, Dr Colin Hall, Associate Professor Kerrie Wilson and Suzanne Urbaniak. All the award recipients were presented their prizes by the Prime Minister and the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science at a black-tie event on Wednesday 19 October 2016.

Filed under: Alumni Business Education Events Featured Research Science & nature Technology