10 August 2007

CEO of The Dow Chemical Company and UQ graduate Dr Andrew Liveris spoke on the benefits of smart science when he visited the University yesterday.

Dr Liveris travelled from Michigan to present the winner of a new award established in his name at the Hawken Engineering Building, St Lucia.

The 2005 UQ Alumnus of the Year said it was in industry’s best interests to support young scientists, particularly in light of global problems such as climate change.

“In Australia, America, and other countries, the number of students pursuing science careers has diminished, and at a time when we need them the most,” Dr Liveris said.

“Budding young scientists are not only critical to the future competitive advantage of entire nations – including Australia – but are also the incubator for innovations and sustainable solutions to world challenges like alternative energy or water scarcity.”

Bachelor of Engineering / Bachelor of Science student Sean Muir is the first winner of the annual prize, which is funded by Dr Liveris and open to final-year UQ Chemical Engineering students.

With a cumulative grade point average of 6.88 (out of a possible 7), Mr Muir has recently completed research at Princeton University and co-published an article in the Solid State Ionics journal.

Dow is the world’s second-largest chemical company, recording a $50 billion turnover in 2006.

The winner of the 2007 Premier of Queensland Expatriate Achievement Award, Dr Liveris leads Dow’s “Vision to Zero”, which aims to eradicate incidents, injuries, illnesses, accidents and environmental harm throughout its operations.

“Smart science delivers sustainable solutions to society that help reduce the footprint of industry and society at large on the global environment,” he said.

“We are all part of the problem, and science is an integral part of the solution, but only if we inject holistic sustainable thinking and chemistry into the process.

“Fortunately, I am in a position to help and what better place to do this than at my alma mater.”

Media: Steve Haddad (07 3366 7533, s.haddad@uq.edu.au) or Lea Sublett (07 3365 1107, l.sublett@epsa.uq.edu.au) at UQ Engineering, or Cameron Pegg at UQ Communications (07 3365 2049, c.pegg@uq.edu.au)

Images to accompany the story can be found here. For high resolution copies, contact Jeremy Patten (07 3366 7685, j.patten@uq.edu.au)