The 2006 ANZIAM Medal

The Selection Panel for the 2006 ANZIAM Medal proposes that the Medal be awarded to Professor Graeme Wake. We cite the following outstanding contributions by Professor Wake in terms of the selection criteria for the medal.


Graeme Wake's research career is very broad-ranging, both in areas of application and in its mathematical basis. He has published more than 175 papers, most in refereed international journals. His first paper in 1964 was entitled Calorimetry of oxidation reactions and his third in 1969 was entitled Uniqueness theorem for a system of parabolic differential equations. This movement between real applications and mathematical methods has been a constant theme of his research ever since. Thermal problems, especially involving chemical reactions and combustion, have continued as his major application interest, and parabolic differential equations as a major mathematical method. However, there have been many other interests, especially lately in biological areas and dynamical systems. His work in any one alone of the research areas to which he has contributed would constitute a solid achievement; taken together, it is particularly impressive.

Prof. Wake's academic and professional merit has been recognised by awards, appointments, and elections to significant bodies. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 2004, and has been a Fellow of the NZ Mathematical Society since 1999 (and President of that Society twice, first in 1979-80) and a Fellow of the IMA in the UK since 1977. He has supervised more than 22 completed PhD theses, and is Associate Editor of five international journals. His academic career has included Chairs at Massey University, University of Canterbury and University of Auckland, as well as senior visiting appointments in the UK and USA. He is a strong and competent academic leader, carrying the flag for Applied Mathematics with great vigour in NZ and internationally.

Prof. Wake has made very substantial contributions to ANZIAM. He was elected to the Chair of the Division in 1995, serving two years as Chair, and two years as Deputy Chair. In fact Wake was the first New Zealander to be so elected. He was universally recognised as having done an excellent job in his two years in the Chair, and in particular was able to manage efficiently the fact that most of the business of ANZIAM relates to Australia, while maintaining a uniquely NZ contribution. Even prior to his period as Chair, and indeed prior to ANZIAM's transformation (to which he contributed substantially) from a Division of the Australian Mathematical Society, he was an active supporter of ANZIAM, a regular attender at its conferences, and an Associate Editor of its Journal. More recently, he has been Director of its Mathematics-in-Industry program, and again was been responsible for the first migration of the annual MISG meeting across the Tasman in 2004. He is now a senior figure on the world mathematics-with-industry stage.

Graeme Wake has shown by his enthusiasm, energy and achievement over a long career that he meets the criteria for this award. The Selection Panel recommends that Professor Wake be awarded the ANZIAM Medal for 2006.

Updated: 11 Jan 2008