EDWIN MAYES - Winner 2015 Ian Snook Prize

The 2015 Ian Snook Prize of was awarded to Edwin Mayes on the 16th March, 2015, and presented by Marie Snook.

Edwin's PhD project was on the use of energetic physical vapour deposition methods for growth of ZnO based transparent semiconductors in general, and more specificity band gap tuning of ZnO using Mg. The project entails growing thin films then using photolithography to make visible blind UV photodetectors. This project was supervised by Prof Dougal McCulloch.

Edwin grew up in Brunswick, attended the Sophia Mundi Steiner School, Abbotsford and then University High, Parkville. He joined RMIT Applied Physics as a mature age student, graduating with distinction and going on to obtain First Class Honours.

His Prize money supported his attendance at the

International Conference on Metallurgical Coatings and Thin Films (ICMCTF) held in San Diego California in April 2015. He presented a talk, which was well received.

Of his attendance at the conference, Edwin said:

"I had the opportunity to speak with several high profile researchers some of whom were working on similar materials. I also spent some time at the trade show (a part of this conference) discussing coating technologies and characterisation methods and getting advice on how to better use our own instruments.”

 Marie Snook's Speech:

It is a great honour to present the 2nd Ian Snook Physics Prize.

It is almost 2 years since my husband passed away. During this time I have been overwhelmed by the expressions of affection and respect for Ian.

In December I attended the Ian Snook Conference on Chemical Physics. Speakers came from the US, England, Japan, Perth, Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane and Melbourne. Congratulations to the organizers and participants. It was a great success, and a tremendous tribute to Ian. The proceedings are to be published in a dedicated edition of the Journal of Molecular Simulation.

In addition to this prize, Professor Bill Hoover from Nevada has established an annual prize  of US$500 in honour of Ian. Each year Bill plans to challenge the scientific community to solve a specific problem. Last year’s winner, an Italian scientist, provided the best solution to a problem in random number generation, a topic, which fascinated Ian.

Our efforts to raise money for this prize have been richly rewarded.

University has donated $22,500. RMIT Applied Physics held 2 Trivia nights to date, and these have raised over $9,260 and were great fun nights.

Colleagues, friends, family and students have also generously contributed bringing the total to date to $68,760. A fantastic effort.

I would like to thank all those people, who have contributed, and all those who have been touched by Ian.

I especially wish to acknowledge Steve Eichblatt, who recently gave $12,500. Steve is an American, who did his undergraduate degree in Applied Physics, but for family reasons returned to the US to do his PhD.

Of Ian he said:

He was the first real physicist that I ever studied with. In addition to the physics, he taught me what it is to be a physicist, and made me want to be one myself. 

 I am honoured to help keep Professor Snook's memory alive. I was lucky to have studied with him. He was certainly an influence on me as a young man deciding the course of my life. I am sure he was for many of his students. 

Congratulations Edwin Mayes. I hope the Prize will help you in your journey to also become a real Physicist.