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Researchers at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) have been honoured for their contributions to astronomy at the 2024 Astronomical Society of Australia Awards (ASA) last night.

The ASA Awards recognise the contributions made to astronomy by individuals at various levels, from senior researchers to postgraduate students.

Left, Dr Sabine Bellstedt, Front, Dr Kate Harborne, Back, Professor Aaron Robotham

The four recipients honoured from The University of Western Australia (UWA) node at ICRAR include Professor Aaron Robotham, who received the Anne Green Medal for his work developing ProTools, an astronomy software solution used to process data at ICRAR and other astronomy organisations globally.

The software has been integral in projects involving the Hubble Space Telescope and the James Webb Space Telescope.

Professor Robotham said the award showcased the increasing importance of blending science and technical work so that future researchers could become more versatile in the workforce.

Dr Kate Harborne was recognised with the Prize for Astronomy Software Development for her creation of the SimSpin software. This software enabled users to build simulated galaxies that could be compared with real observations, aiding in understanding the astrophysical drivers of galaxy evolution.

“It’s an honour to receive this award and see SimSpin being used by other astronomers around the world,” Dr Harborne said.

Dr Sabine Bellstedt received a highly commended award for the Louise Webster Prize, acknowledging her outstanding post-doctoral research, while former ICRAR student Tamsyn O’Beirne was highly commended for The Bok Prize, honouring her exceptional research as a Masters student.

ICRAR student Tamsyn O’Beirne was highly commended for the Bok Prize.

Ms O’Beirne, whose research delved into the properties and abundance of faint and dark galaxies, said she was incredibly grateful to receive a highly commended award for the Bok Prize.

“It not only validates the hard work that went into my Masters thesis but also provides motivation for my astrophysics career ahead and shows me that I am on the right path,” she said.

Executive Director of ICRAR, Professor Simon Ellingsen, said he was delighted to see ICRAR researchers being acknowledged for their dedication to science and discovery in radio astronomy.