Adam Yeo Winner 2016 Ian Snook Prize

The 2016 Ian Snook Physics Prize was awarded to Adam Yeo on April 13th, 2016 at the Annual Applied Science Award Ceremony. It was presented to Adam by Marie Snook.

Adam Yeo

Adam Yeo came to RMIT after completing a BSc(Honours) and a Masters in Physics/Biotech at the prestigious Yonsei University in South Korea. He came to Australia to be closer with his immediate family members, and enrolled in the Master of Medical & Health Physics in 2010. He converted to a PhD to maximise his research training and realise potential outcomes from his research project.

In the latter stages of his PhD, Adam gained full-time employment as a Medical Physicist with Radiation Oncology Victoria at Frankston Private Hospital, which is a position directly related to his PhD studies as well as leading to Professional Accreditation as a Radiation Oncology Medical Physics specialist. 


He has recently achieved professional Certification, and his PhD thesis has now been examined and Passed Subject to Minor Amendments at almost the same time as he received notification of the Ian Snook Physics prize.

During this same period of completion of his PhD and professional certification, Adam has also managed to get married to his lovely wife Sharon, and together they have brought a beautiful daughter, Rose, into the world.

Adam’s research:

Under the supervision of Prof. Rick Franich and Prof. Tomas Kron, his research topic/objective was to model and verify radiation doses delivered to deformable moving organs in radiotherapy. 
He developed:
  • a novel deformable 3-dimensional dosimeter; 
  • a systematic method for assessment of deformable image registration, 
  • a methodology to validate a mathematical approach to calculating these deforming dose distributions, and finally 
  • an application in a clinical setting related to liver cancer. 
His research during his candidature yielded:
  • 6 papers (4 as first author) published in high quality international journals, 
  • 3 peer reviewed conference papers, 
  • 8 oral conference presentations (+posters and co-authored others' talks)


Marie Snook's Speech:

The Ian Snook Physics Prize was initiated, after the death of my husband in April 2013, to commemorate Ian's great contribution to RMIT, RMIT Applied Physics and to his field of Qantum Physics.

The Prize was established in conjunction with the RMIT Foundation and has been funded by family, RMIT and the generous donations of friends, ex-students and colleagues.

Three Trivia nights hosted by Applied Physics have raised money and a further $12,500 was donated by Steve Eichblatt, an Applied Physics graduate now living in NY city. Steve credited Ian with inspiring him to pursue a career in Physics. We have now raised around $74,000, which is a great tribute to Ian.

This prize  is specifically intended to be used for travel to conferences or collaborations.

Ian was devoted to the nurture and development of the students, to encourage them to pursue their passions and to help mould their careers. The progress of scientific research relies on communication between scientists and conferences play a vital role. It is important to assist young scientists to present their own research and meet the leaders in their field, so they can gain new insights and ideas.

Ian often paid his own way to conferences, diverting his research funding to the students so they could have this opportunity.

He would be delighted that he is still helping students in this way to access an international audience.

This is the 3rd Ian Snook Physics Prize to be awarded, and the calibre of the winners has been outstanding.


In 2014 the first Prize was awarded to Jan Jeske.

Jan studied Open quantum systems, where external conditions may cause perturbations or disturbances, such as fluctuating magnetic and electric fields, to the small scale systems being studied.

These pertubations are referred to as “quantum noise”.

Under the supervision of Assoc. Prof. Jarad Cole, Jan studied the influence of spatial correlations in the environmental noise of quantum systems.

In August 2014, Jan used funds from the Ian Snook Prize to attend  a Quantum Systems Conference in Cambridge, UK.

This was hosted by the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences.

At the conference, Jan met Martin Plenio from Ulm University, Germany with whom he has published a paper. He also met Sougato Bose, from University College London, who he discovered had just examined his thesis.

My husband, Ian, had a similar experience meeting one of his thesis examiners soon after he obtained his PhD.  Ian’s examiner told Ian his thesis kept him occupied over a long distance rail journey. Ian doubted it was a pleasurable journey.

Since obtaining his PhD, Jan is working as Research Fellow in Theoretical Chemical and Quantum Physics at RMIT.

Of the prize, Jan said

“If it wasn’t for the Ian Snook Prize I wouldn’t have presented this research overseas and I am deeply grateful and hope that the Ian Snook Prize will continue to support PhD students in their travel to conferences and collaborators.”


The 2015 recipient of the Ian Snook Prize was Edwin Mayes

His PhD project investigated the growth of thin films of ZnO based semiconductors, using energetic physical vapour deposition methods.

Photo-lithography was then used to make visible blind UV photodetectors.


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 at the conference discussing coating technologies and characterisation methods and getting advice on how to better use our own instruments.”


Currently Edwin is working at the RMIT Electron Microscopy Facility and continuing his research with Professor Dougal McCulloch

It is with great pleasure that I present the third Ian Snook Physics Prize to Adam Yeo, who is about to submit his thesis. Adam’s research under the guidance of Assoc. Prof.  Rick Franich involves  modelling and verifying radiation doses delivered to deformable moving organs in radiotherapy. 

To date Adam has published 6 papers – an outstanding achievement.

Congratulations Adam. I trust your career will also benefit from the Prize money.

I am honoured that the memory of my husband’s achievements continues.