Former head of Geoscience Australia, Neil Williams, has won the Haddon Forester King Medal.
The medal, which is awarded every two years and recognises contributions to earth sciences, was given to Williams in recognition of his long and distinguished geoscience career.
Dr Williams has made an outstanding contribution to the geosciences during a distinguished career that has encompassed academia, industry and the public service,” Geoscience Australia’s CEO Chris Pigram said.
"His outstanding achievement has helped Australia reach a position of world leadership in the use of geoscience as an essential underpinning capability for natural resources management, particularly in the fields of minerals and petroleum exploration,” Pigram added.
Under Williams leadership Geoscience Australia acquired vast amounts of airborne geophysical and gravity data which was used to build the world’s first complete national coverage of airborne magnetic and gravity maps; was part of Australia’s submission to the UN on the limits of the continental shelf, which added an extra 2.56 million square kilometres to Australia’s marine jurisdiction; and stimulated investment in offshore petroleum exploration.
In 2006 Williams was also awarded the public service medal for his provision of geo scientific advice to the government and industry.