Thomas Ranken Lyle Medal

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The Thomas Ranken Lyle Medal is awarded at most every two years by the Australian Academy of Science to a mathematician or physicist for his or her outstanding research accomplishments.[1] It is named after Thomas Ranken Lyle, an Irish mathematical physicist who became a professor at the University of Melbourne. The award takes the form of a bronze medal[2] bearing the design of the head of Thomas Lyle, as sculpted by Rayner Hoff.[3]

The medal was founded by the Australian National Research Council (ANRC) in 1932,[2][4] and first awarded in 1935.[1][3] When the Australian Academy of Science was established in 1954, it took over the roles of the ANRC, including administration of the medal.


Year Recipients[1] Contribution
1935 John Raymond Wilton [3]
1941 George Henry Briggs[5]
1941 Thomas Gerald Room[5][6]
1947 John Conrad Jaeger[7]
1947 David Forbes Martyn[7] atmospheric tides[8]
1949 Keith Edward Bullen
1951 Thomas MacFarland Cherry
1953 Joseph Lade Pawsey[9]
1957 Bernard Y. Mills
1959 Eric Barnes[10]
1961 H.O. Lancaster
1963 Graeme Reade Anthony Ellis[11]
1963 Patrick A. P. Moran[11]
1966 Stuart Thomas Butler nuclear reaction theory, plasma physics, and atmospheric tides[12]
1968 George Szekeres "a wide range of mathematical disciplines" including
fractional iteration of functions, numerical integration, graph theory, and relativistic kinematics[13]
1970 Robert Hanbury Brown
1972 Hans Buchdahl
1975 John Paul Wild radio astronomy of the sun[14]
1977 Kurt Mahler number theory[15]
1979 Edward J. Hannan statistics of stationary processes[16]
1981 J.R. Philip
1981 D.W. Robinson
1983 Rodney J. Baxter
1985 Allan Snyder
1987 Donald Melrose
1989 Robert Delbourgo
1989 Peter Gavin Hall
1991 Bruce H.J. McKellar
1993 Neville Horner Fletcher
1993 Erich Weigold
1995 Chris Heyde martingale limit theory[17]
1997 Anthony W. Thomas quarks and nucleon structure[18]
1999 Ernie Tuck
2001 Ian Sloan
2003 George Dracoulis nuclear structure[19]
2005 Anthony J. Guttmann[20]
2007 Yuri Kivshar nonlinear optics[21]
2009 Victor V. Flambaum unified field theory, parity violations, fundamental constants[22]
2011 James Stanislaus Williams [23]
2013 Cheryl Praeger [24]
2015 Michelle Simmons
2017 Joss Bland-Hawthorn


  1. ^ a b c Thomas Ranken Lyle Medal Archived 28 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine, Australian Academy of Science, retrieved 2010-06-06.
  2. ^ a b "National Research: Annual Meeting of Council", Brisbane Courier, 18 August 1932.
  3. ^ a b c "Lyle Medal Award", The Argus (Australia), 16 January 1935.
  4. ^ "University Senate", Sydney Morning Herald, 16 August 1933.
  5. ^ a b "Lyle Medals Awarded", Sydney Morning Herald, 10 July 1941.
  6. ^ Hirschfeld, J. W. P.; Wall, G. E. (1987), "Thomas Gerald Room. 10 November 1902–2 April 1986", Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, 33: 575–601, doi:10.1098/rsbm.1987.0020, JSTOR 769963. Also published in Historical Records of Australian Science 7 (1): 109–122, doi:10.1071/HR9870710109. An abridged version is online at the Bright Sparcs web site of the Australian Academy of Science].
  7. ^ a b "Physicists receive coveted medals", The Argus (Australia), 20 August 1947.
  8. ^ "Tides found in atmosphere", Sydney Morning Herald, 9 September 1947.
  9. ^ "Two scientists honoured", Canberra Times, 13 January 1954.
  10. ^ G.E. Wall, Jane Pitman and Ren Potts,"Eric Stephen Barnes 1924-2000" Archived 7 March 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Historical Records of Australian Science, 2004, 15, 21-45
  11. ^ a b "Australian Scientists: Two Australian professors have been jointly awarded the Thomas Lyle Ranken Medal for 1963", Sydney Morning Herald, 7 September 1964.
  12. ^ Watson-Munro, C.N. (1983), "Stuart Thomas Butler 1926–1982", Historical Records of Australian Science, 5 (4).
  13. ^ Giles, J. R.; Wallis, J. S. (1976), "George Szekeres. With affection and respect", Journal of the Australian Mathematical Society Series A, 21 (4): 385–392, doi:10.1017/S1446788700019212.
  14. ^ "Thomas Ranken Lyle Medal 1975: John Paul Wild", Historical Records of Australian Science, 3 (2): 112, 1975, doi:10.1071/HR9760320112.
  15. ^ "Thomas Ranken Lyle Medal 1977: Kurt Mahler", Historical Records of Australian Science, 3 (3–4): 189, 1977, doi:10.1071/HR9770340189.
  16. ^ "Thomas Ranken Lyle Medal 1979: E.J. Hannan", Historical Records of Australian Science, 4 (2): 109, 1979, doi:10.1071/HR9790420109.
  17. ^ "Lyle Medal to Heyde", Columbia University Record, 20 (30), 26 May 1995.
  18. ^ "Medals awarded at AGM: Lyle Medal, Anthony Thomas" (PDF), Australian Academy of Science Newsletter, 36: 4, April – June 1997, archived from the original (PDF) on 2 March 2011.
  19. ^ "Senior Award Presentations News and Views: Australian Academy of Science 50th Anniversary Annual General Meeting 5–7 May 2004, 2004", Nuclear Physics News, 14 (4): 33, 2004, doi:10.1080/10506890491034974.
  20. ^ "Awards and other achievements" (PDF), Gazette of the Australian Mathematical Society, 32 (2): 136, 2005.
  21. ^ 2007 award citation, Australian Academy of Science, retrieved 2010-06-08.
    Professor Yuri Kivshar, Head, Nonlinear Physics Centre, Research School of Physical Sciences and Engineering, Australian National University
    Yuri Kivshar is a world leader in nonlinear physics and optics, widely recognised for his contributions to our understanding of self-trapping and energy localisation, pioneering results in the theory of optical solitons and vortices, and the world-first predictions of many important effects in nonlinear physics of periodic photonic structures. Most of his theoretical predictions have been verified and demonstrated experimentally. Yuri is a leading figure in the interchange of ideas between nonlinear optics and atom optics. His research is multidisciplinary in background and focus.
  22. ^ 2009 award citation, Australian Academy of Science, retrieved 2010-06-08.
    Professor Victor Flambaum FAA, Scientia Professor and Chair of Theoretical Physics, School of Physics, The University of New South Wales
    Victor Flambaum has performed pioneering research in the area of the violation of fundamental symmetries and tests of unification theories of elementary particles. With collaborators he developed a new method to perform the most accurate atomic calculations of parity violation. These calculations allowed the standard model of elementary particles to be tested. Recently he proposed new ideas which have led to fresh directions in the search for variations of the fundamental constants of nature, including astrophysics (Big Bang nucleosynthesis, quasar spectra), nuclear physics (nuclear clock), and atomic and molecular spectroscopy (atomic clocks).
  23. ^ 2011 award citation, Australian Academy of Science, retrieved 2011-03-10.
    Professor James Stanislaus Williams FAA, Director, Research School of Physics and Engineering, Australian National University
    James Williams developed ion implantation processes which are widely used in the microelectronics industry for manufacturing computer chips. He has developed phase change memory technology based on silicon which is expected to play an important role in next generation of high density memory devices. His work on compound semiconductors has made an impact in optoelectronic device technology. He has provided exceptional leadership in materials science in Australia and is highly regarded internationally for his contributions in electronic materials.
  24. ^ 2013 award citation, Australian Academy of Science, retrieved 2013-06-04.
    Professor Cheryl Elisabeth Praeger AM FAA, School of Mathematics and Statistics, The University of Western Australia
    Professor Cheryl Praeger has transformed our understanding of groups acting on large systems, producing new theories, algorithms and designs that have advanced every �field that exploits the symmetry of large systems. Her research has led to significant new directions taken up by mathematicians internationally. Her algorithms have enhanced powerful computer algebra systems which have transformed research and teaching of algebra.