Science stars shine bright in City of Canning

Professor Donna Cross of Shelley has been nominated for the 2017 Premier's Science Awards for her work in making life safer for children.
Ryan Urquhart, also nominated for the 2017 Premier's Science Awards, studies black holes in galaxies.
Ryan Urquhart
Professor Donna Cross of Shelley has been nominated for the 2017 Premier's Science Awards for her work in making life safer for children. Ryan Urquhart, also nominated for the 2017 Premier's Science Awards, studies black holes in galaxies. Ryan Urquhart

TWO of the brightest science minds in the state live in the City of Canning and were announced as finalists in the 2017 Premier’s Science Awards on July 18.

The awards celebrate WA’s best scientists and outreach initiatives across four categories.

Professor Donna Cross, of Shelley, and Ryan Urquhart, of Wilson, join 17 other scientists from around WA as award finalists, with winners announced on August 14 during National Science Week.

Professor Cross is a leading researcher with the Telethon Kids Institute and UWA.

She is Australia’s leading researcher investigating ways to reduce bullying and increase the cyber-safety of children.

Her extensive school and community-based research have influenced health promotion practice, government policy and has advanced the wellbeing of young people.

In 2012 Professor Cross was named Australian of the Year for services to children’s health.

Mr Urquhart is a PhD candidate at Curtin University and is based at the International Centre For Radio Astronomy Research in Bentley, where his research focuses on how black holes consume matter. By combining observations from across the electromagnetic spectrum, he has achieved insights into the universe’s most rapidly feeding black holes.

Mr Urquhart has discovered new black holes in nearby galaxies and his work has changed how astronomers view these sources.

Premier Mark McGowan said advances in science improved the lives of West Australians, including through better health and medical treatments, protection of the natural environment, and new and better industries.

“These awards recognise the outstanding work of our local science community, both in research and engaging the community with science, and the people behind that work,” he said.