The award is named in honour of the late Sir Ian McLennan and recognises his contributions to the application of science and technology to Australia's industrial development. The Sir Ian McLennan Award was established in 1985 by the leaders of Australian industry and technology to recognise outstanding contributions by CSIRO scientists and engineers to national development.
Selection is based on demonstrated achievement, through effective interaction with industry, that shows potential to benefit the economy or community. Preference will be given to commercial successes with strong economic returns and achievements resulting in significant national and/or community benefits (e.g. through being adopted by public authorities and resulting in substantial benefits to the environment). For interactions with industry, candidates will be judged according to the extent and manner of their cooperation with industry partners. This criterion recognises that commercial or other decisions outside CSIRO's control may result in an achievement not being adopted; it is the willingness and extent of involvement with industry that will be recognised. This award was first presented in 1985 and is awarded every two years.
- Frank de Hoog (Mathematical and Information Sciences). For innovative research into key processes in the manufacturing and mineral processing industries spanning his 30 year career at CSIRO. These included: devising a new approach to coil winding of sheet metal such as steel and aluminium for BlueScope Steel; and the determination of the operating parameters of the Kelsey Jig, a centrifugal machine which separates valuable minerals for the mining industry and has earned Australia billions of dollars in export revenue.
- Geoffrey Smithers (Food Science Australia). For his leadership in project partnerships which have resulted in several 'world-first' developments for the Australian dairy industry including: Recaldent™ for application in oral healthcare; a range of milk protein ingredients in partnership with Murray Goulburn; whey growth factor extract in partnership with Bonlac Foods, GroPep Ltd, and most recently TGR Biosciences Pty Ltd. See also Dairy products for improved human health.
- Peter Reid (CSIRO Plant Industry). For his contributions to the cotton industry by the development of some specific and outstanding new varieties. A number of his varieties have been international benchmarks in yield, disease resistance and fibre quality. Key examples are Sicala V-2 for resistance to verticillium wilt; Sicot 189 and Sicala 45 for resistance to fusarium wilt; Sicot 71 for exceptional yield potential; Siokra V-16 for adaptation to rainfed systems; and Sicala 40 for earliness combined with good yield and fibre quality. See also Genetically modified cotton varieties.
- Pathiraja (Thilak) Gunatillake (CSIRO Molecular Science). For his work on the design and synthesis of biostable polyurethanes for medical implants such as the Elast-Eon™ family of polyurethanes, which has received international attention due to unique properties. The polyurethanes fulfil a worldwide void for medical grade materials, insofar as they combine outstanding flexibility with resistance to degradation in the body. See also Elast-Eon™ biocompatible polyurethane.
- Tony Miller (CSIRO Mathematical and Information Sciences). For his work on the development of algorithms and software for the optimal design of spectacle lenses. These form the basis of a unique set of lens design tools which has enabled SOLA to deliver a wide variety of innovative lens designs, including a full range of progressive lenses, atoric and aspheric single vision lenses, and sun lenses optimised for wrapped frames consultant mathematician with the Lens Design team at SOLA International's R&D Centre in Adelaide. The impact of this technology on the world spectacle lens market has been significant, with SOLA's worldwide lens sales being over US$500 million for fiscal year 2000.
- Paul Gottlieb (CSIRO Mineral Engineering). For his predominant role in the development of the QEM*SEM system for mineral analysis the world's leading image analysis system for mineral samples. The impact of this technology on the Australian minerals industry has been huge in the area of productivity gains and the assessment of new deposits. See also QEMSCAN® mineral analysis.
- Mary Ann Augustin (Food Science Australia). For her work on the chemistry of the milk system that allows modification to develop specialised milk powders and improve the performance of liquid milk products as food ingredients. The most extensively used of Dr Augustin's innovations is a technology that allows milk powder manufacturers to guarantee that their product will be stable during subsequent processing in the manufacture of recombined products. This technology is now providing a substantial competitive edge for Australian companies.
- Robin Bedding (CSIRO Entomology). For his pioneering work the use of nematodes (unsegmented worms) for the traditional and novel biological control of a range of insect pests. This has had a major impact on national development of the forestry industry and is leading to the establishment of a new export industry. Dr Bedding's application of his discoveries about the biology and ecology of one kind of nematode has broken the grip of the sirex wasp on Australia's one million hectares of pine forest. This pest could have caused damage estimated at $1-4 billion in each rotation once it had spread throughout Australia. See also Entomopathogenic nematodes and Sirex wasp eradication.
- Bruce McAuley Thomas (CSIRO Radiophysics/Australia Telescope National Facility). For his work on the development of Australian-based technology for the design of feed horns for communication antennas and for the general electromagnetic design of earth station antennas to receive and transmit signals. The expertise developed by CSIRO in partnership with various companies has resulted in the establishment of a new high technology industry in Australia, now worth $100 million. See also Antennas for radio telescopes and satellite communications publications
- John Possingham (CSIRO Horticulture). As Chief of CSIRO's Division of Horticulture from 1967 to 1971, Dr Possingham was responsible for a package of technical advances for growing wine grapes that have contributed significantly to the recent economic success of the industry. These include: grape mechanical harvesting and mechanical methods of pruning grapevines. Mechanising Australian vineyard operations has enabled a range of flavoursome grape varieties with small bunches to be grown. These were previously very expensive to hand pick. Dr Possingham arranged for the introduction, testing and release of high yielding clones of small-bunched varieties of grapes, such as Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, which have greatly improved the quality and increased the base value of Australian wine.
- Raymond Smith and colleagues (CSIRO Exploration and Mining). For significantly changing exploration strategies in the mining industry, particularly in regions where mineral deposits are concealed beneath laterite. Dr Smith's leadership capitalises on a breadth of perspective that spans geology, geochemistry and geophysics plus knowledge of exploration practice. The CSIRO methods in regolith geochemistry have been key contributing factors in the discovery of some important new gold deposits. Two of them the Plutonic and Bronzewing deposits discovered by Great Central Mines NL are world class deposits with combined resources of over six million ounces of contained gold. The winning team consists of Dr Ray Smith, Dr Ravi Anand, Mr J. Wildman, Mr H.M. Churchward, Dr I.D.M. Robertson, Mr C. Phang and Dr T.J. Munday. See also Regolith geochemistry for mineral exploration.
- Jonathan Banks and the Stored Grain Research Laboratory team (CSIRO Entomology). For their work on developing improved technologies for protecting grains in storage, particularly against insect attack and reducing industry's reliance on chemicals for grain protection, thus helping exporters meet increasingly stringent requirements for residue-free products.
- Les Edye (CSIRO Tropical Crops and Pastures). For his work on the identification, release and commercialisation of two new stylo cultivars, Verano and Seca. Since their release in the mid to late 1970s, Verano and Seca have been planted on over 700 000 hectares in northern Australia. The potential area suitable for stylo pastures is 36 million hectares.
- Robin Hill (CSIRO Exploration Geoscience). For his work on how some Western Australian nickel deposits are formed enabling Companies to demonstrably increase the effectiveness and success rate of their exploration activities. One of the deposits identified using Dr Hill's concepts is estimated to contain (if developed) about $2 billion worth of nickel metal at current prices. See also Nickel deposits.
- Don Beech (CSIRO Tropical Crops and Pastures). For his contributions to the development of the Australian chickpea industry.
- Bill Denholm (CSIRO Mineral and Process Engineering). For his contribution to the development of SIROSMELT, an environmentally friendly metal recovery process. See also SIROSMELT.
- Graham Price (CSIRO Geomechanics). For solving problems with the foundations of North-West Shelf gas platforms.
- Norm Thomson (CSIRO Plant Industry). For the breeding of two new and successful cotton varieties, Siokra and Sicala. See also Cotton breeding and new cotton varieties and Genetically modified cotton varieties.
- Dieter Plate (CSIRO Wool Technology). For his work in developing the Sirospun technology, which produces worsted weaving yarn in a single step. See also Sirospun.
- Albert Rovira (CSIRO Soils). For his work on cereal cyst nematode (CCN), a pest that costs wheat growers in southern Australia $80 million a year.
- Hari Sinha (CSIRO Mineral Products). For his work on the zirconia powders process leading to the construction of the world's largest zircon processing plant. See also Zirconia powders process.
- John Coleman (CSIRO Chemical and Wood Technology). For developing an automatic, high-speed process for producing waxed, corrugated cardboard boxes.
- Brian Sowerby (CSIRO Mineral Engineering). For his work on an innovative coal analysis system, COALSCAN. See also Coalscan - on-line analysis system for the coal industry.