Founded in 1660, the Royal Society is the world’s oldest scientific academy. Dr Rizzardo’s name is recorded on a roll-call of some of the world’s most distinguished scientists including Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Stephen Hawking. The main criterion for election as a Fellow is scientific excellence. In 2010 there were more than 600 candidates nominated for election to 44 available positions.
Dr Rizzardo’s election recognises his pioneering work in the field of polymer chemistry. He has been the leader and key member of teams that have devised and developed a number of polymer production methods that have revolutionised polymer science. Much of this work is highly cited in scientific publications and in patent literature.
“In any field, peer acknowledgement is everything and being elected to the Royal Society is like climbing the scientific Everest. I am both elated and grateful for this honour,” Dr Rizzardo said.
One of the technologies pioneered by Dr Rizzardo is the patented Reversible Addition-Fragmentation chain Transfer (RAFT) polymerisation technology, which has led to major improvements in the properties of coatings and paints, electroactives, fuel additives and biomaterials. The technology has been licensed to a wide range of Australian and international companies.
With over 500 active patents, the impact of Dr Rizzardo’s ground-breaking polymer science on many aspects of daily life will grow exponentially over the coming years. Applications being used or in development include: paints, engine oil additives, water purification, flexible plastic electronics and solar cells, cosmetics and drug delivery.
Dr Rizzardo is also a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. He was awarded CSIRO’s Lifetime Achievement Medal in 2009.