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The 2023 award recipients are Angelica Waszewski from ICRAR/Curtin and joint winners Skevos Karpathakis & Jennifer Hardwick from ICRAR/UWA.

The Ken & Julie Michael Prizes were made possible by a generous donation from former chair of the ICRAR Board, Dr Ken Michael, and recognise the achievements of ICRAR’s graduate students. This year’s prizes were presented by the WA Minister of Science, the Hon Stephen Dawson, at the end of November’s Board meeting in the presence of supervisors, the Board, and the two Vice Chancellors.

Angelica Waszewski (ICRAR/Curtin): Angie’s research investigates the otherwise invisible solar wind via widefield measurements of interplanetary scintillation with the MWA. Her work on solar monitoring has direct practical implications in the context of coronal mass ejection events (CME). Major CMEs could lead to widespread damage to satellite systems and electrical power distribution networks. Angie has already authored several papers and has been actively involved in outreach, community and ICRAR events, including Stargirls STEM Camp and ICRAR-Con.

Skevos Karpathakis (ICRAR/UWA): Skevos’ work focused on designing, building, and deploying instruments for free-space optical communications. During this research he received a major award to develop instrument capability, as well as contributing to the success of feasibility and demonstrator grants. His work resulted in several publications and contributions to industry connectivity and training.

Jennifer Hardwick (ICRAR/UWA): Jennifer’s work focused on the angular momentum of galaxies and how it varies between different galaxies and what role it plays in galaxy formation. This resulted in three published papers. She developed a new technique that can be applied to archival data and produced the largest sample of galaxy angular momenta, both of which have important legacy value to the wider astronomical community. Her work resulted in a media release.

Congratulations to the winners and their supervisors, and to all the applicants for their achievements. Thanks to Dr Ken Michael for his generous support for this Prize, first awarded in 2017 to Chenoa Tremblay & Tristan Reynolds, in 2018 to Ahmed Elagali & Sam McSweeney, in 2019 to Mengyao Xue & Fei Qin, in 2020 to Dr Pikky Atri, Dr Kate Harborne & Benjamin Dix-Matthews, in 2021 to Stefan Duchesne, James Buchan & Ruby Wright, and in 2022 to Torrance Hodgson, Jishnu Thekkeppattu, Jessica Thorne & Mitchell Cavanagh.