The 2014 JH Michell Medal


Dr Ngamta (Natalie) Thamwattana has made pioneering contributions in the areas of granular materials and nanotecNThamwattanaJHMedal.jpghnology. Natalie was awarded her PhD in 2005 for her work on exact solutions and analysis of important industrial granular flows, such as discharge from hoppers. Soon after that, Natalie was a co-founder of the Nanomechanics Group at The University of Wollongong. Her work in that area involves the interaction of atomic and molecular nanostructures, producing accurate and simply expressed analytical results for calculations that had previously been attempted only by numerical methods.

Natalie has published 60 fully refereed research articles in journals including Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series, Physical Review B, Physical Review E, Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, Journal of Nanoparticle Research, Quarterly Journal of Mechanics and Applied Mathematics, Journal of Mathematical Chemistry and Philosophical Magazine. In addition, Natalie has published 11 conference papers and a book chapter and is co-author on a provisional patent. So far, Natalie has supervised five PhD students to completion.

Natalie has been a wonderful ambassador to potential and current students for science and mathematical studies. In 2009, she presented a subject, “Mathematics for Nanotechnology” at the AMSI Summer School. In similar vein, Natalie has served on the Australian Mathematical Society committee for early-career researcher events and has coordinated three such events. In 2011, Natalie was chair of the NSW ANZIAM Branch and also organized a function for women in mathematics at the annual meeting of the Australian Mathematical Society. Currently, Natalie chairs the AustMS selection committee for Lift-Off Fellowships and Van der Poorten Travelling Fellowship.

Having two young children has not stood in the way of Natalie’s achievements during her early career. She goes about all her work with great insight and displays infectious enthusiasm. Dr Ngamta Thamwattana is a worthy recipient of the J. H. Michell Medal.

Updated: 23 Feb 2014