The 2019 JH Michell Medal

The JH Michell Medal, named in honour of John Henry Michell, is awarded annually by ANZIAM to an outstanding new researcher who has undertaken distinguished research in applied and/or industrial mathematics, where a significant proportion of the research has been carried out in Australia and/or New Zealand. There have been 17 winners of the JH Michell Medal, dating back to 1999.

The JH Michell Medal Committee for 2019 was highly impressed with all of the nominations; however, there was one nominee who stood out as the most outstanding. The 2019 JH Michell Medal is awarded to Professor Ryan Loxton from Curtin University.

2019 Michell Medal
(Photo Credit: Curtin University)

Ryan Loxton is a Research Professor and ARC Future Fellow. After completing his PhD on optimal control in 2010, Ryan progressed rapidly through the academic ranks, reaching full professor at the age of 34 to become one of the youngest ever professors at Curtin University. Since his PhD, his research has moved into areas such as nonlinear optimisation, operations research, and system identification. He has co-authored over 50 papers across a broad range of international journals in applied and computational mathematics, attracting over 1400 citations on Google Scholar.

Ryan’s research has applications across a wide range of industries such as mining, oil and gas, agriculture, and industrial process control. Indeed, Ryan is a passionate advocate for industry engagement and has worked with many companies including Woodside Energy, Linkforce, and Vekta Automation. He currently leads the optimisation theme in the new ARC Industrial Training Centre on Transforming Maintenance through Data Science, which is funded by a $3.9 million grant from the ARC plus matched funding from industry partners Alcoa, BHP Billiton, and Roy Hill.

Apart from this ARC Industrial Training Centre grant, Ryan has attracted substantial research funding from both industry and the ARC, including two ARC fellowships, three ARC Discovery grants and one ARC Linkage grant. Ryan has worked with the company Linkforce since 2014 on optimising shutdown maintenance operations in the resources sector, which has led to award-winning software technology. Ryan’s research with other companies such as Woodside Energy and Global Grain Handling Solutions has also led to real impact through new decision support tools based on rigorous optimisation algorithms.

Ryan has been recognised for his research by being awarded the 2014 West Australian Young Scientist of the Year – he was the first mathematician to win this award.

The Committee regards Professor Ryan Loxton as an outstanding early career researcher and as a worthy recipient of the 2019 JH Michell Medal. Well done Ryan!

Prof Scott McCue (Chair)
A/Prof Mark Nelson
A/Prof Nigel Bean

Updated: 08 Apr 2019