David Dewhurst Award

Award for Biomedical Engineering Excellence

David Dewhurst Award –
Award for Biomedical Engineering Excellence

The David Dewhurst Award honours Dr David Dewhurst, one of Australia’s first prominent Biomedical Engineers. In 1974, he established the Institution of Biomedical Engineering (IBME), an early forerunner of the professional associations now representing biomedical engineering in Australia.

Find out more information about David Dewhurst.

David Dewhurst has recently been added to the Australian Dictionary of Biographies. The ADB lists some 13,000 entries about Australians who have made a significant contribution to Australian Society.

The David Dewhurst Award is awarded annually to a member of the Biomedical engineering team who has made a significant contribution to the discipline.

2022 Nominations Open 1 March 2022
Close 1 August 2022
Eligibility Criteria
Terms and Conditions
Submission Guidelines
Presentation of the Award

Eligibility Criteria

The Award is presented for outstanding service to biomedical engineering through:

  • a highly significant contribution, or contributions, through technical innovation relating to the science or practice of biomedical engineering; or
  • long standing eminence in biomedical engineering science or practice; or
  • exceptional and sustained management or leadership relating to biomedical engineering; or
  • a notable combination of the aforementioned qualities and achievements.

Terms and Conditions

  • Nominations are invited from the Chairman or office bearers of the Biomedical branches affiliated with the College and are to be submitted through the Division representative on the Board
  • Nominees do not need to be members of Engineers Australia
  • Current College Board members are not eligible to accept nomination for this award

Submission Guidelines

You must provide the following with your submission:

  • Submit the nomination online 
  • Nominee’s current CV including employment history and achievements
  • Nominee’s current Biographical Information
  • Nominee’s portrait photo


Presentation of the Award

The Award consists of a framed bronze medal and certificate and is presented at a special meeting or function of the College selected as appropriate by the Board of the College of Biomedical Engineering.

2019 Winner

Dr Alan Finkel AO

HonFIEAust CPEng EngExec

Dr Finkel commenced as Australia’s Chief Scientist on 25 January 2016. He is Australia’s eighth Chief Scientist. Prior to his appointment, he served as President of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE), and for eight years as Chancellor of Monash University.

As Chief Scientist, Dr Finkel is leading the development of the national hydrogen strategy at the request of the Council of Australian Governments. He also led the 2016 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap, the 2017 Review into the National Electricity Market (“Finkel Review”) and the 2018 STEM Industry Partnership Forum report. He serves as the Deputy Chair of Innovation and Science Australia.

Dr Finkel has an extensive science background as an entrepreneur, engineer, neuroscientist and educator. He was awarded his PhD in electrical engineering from Monash University and worked as a postdoctoral research fellow in neuroscience at the Australian National University.

In 1983 he founded Axon Instruments, a California-based, ASX-listed company that made precision scientific instruments used at pharmaceutical companies and universities for the discovery of new medicines. After Axon was sold in 2004, Dr Finkel became a director of the acquiring company, NASDAQ-listed Molecular Devices.

In 2006, he focused his career in Australia and undertook a wide range of activities. He led the amalgamation that formed the Florey Neuroscience Institutes; he became Chair of the Australian Centre of Excellence for All-Sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO) and was a director of the ASX-listed diagnostics company Cogstate Limited. He was Executive Chair of the educational software company Stile Education, Chair of Manhattan Investment Group, Chief Technology Officer of Better Place Australia and Chair of Speedpanel Australia.

Dr Finkel was the 2016 Victorian of the Year, and received the 2015 IET Mountbatten Medal (UK) and the 2019 IEEE Joseph F. Keithley Award in recognition of his work in advancing the field of scientific instrumentation.

A winner of the Clunies Ross Award for facilitating international neuroscience research, Dr Finkel is committed to science education. He co-founded Cosmos Magazine, which in addition to magazine publishing operates a secondary schools science education program. At ATSE, he led the development and implementation of the STELR program for secondary school science, which has been adopted in more than 600 Australian schools. As Chief Scientist he has led the development of the STARportal information web site for extracurricular STEM activities.

Dr Finkel also established the Australian Course in Advanced Neuroscience to train early career neuroscientists.

Past award recipients

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