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One of the University of Wollongong’s most vibrant personalities was honoured on Friday night (10 February) at the inaugural Leon Kane-Maguire Address.
Professor Kane-Maguire was one of Australia’s leading research scientists with his work leading to many international awards and the development of several new fields of science.
He was made an Emeritus Professor of the University when he retired in 2010, celebrating a lifelong commitment to science and education. Leon sadly died in 2011.
At the evening event held at Innovation Campus, Master of Ceremonies and Dean of Science Professor Will Price said that Leon’s passing was a terrible time for the University.
“It was a dreadful loss to us all but here we are to celebrate his work,” he said.
Attended by 120 guests including Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings, former Vice-Chancellor Emeritus Professor Gerard Sutton, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Judy Raper and members of the Kane-Maguire family.
The event was a happy celebration of Leon’s contribution to research, the building of research teams and the communicating of science.
The inaugural address was fittingly given by Leon’s twin brother, Professor Noel Kane-Maguire.
Director of the Intelligent Polymer Research Institute and great friend of Leon, Professor Gordon Wallace, highlighted how Leon had an infectious attitude to science and education.
“He instilled a spirit of adventure of scientific discovery, the excitement of sharing new knowledge with other people, he had unbelievable enthusiasm for communicating a wide variety of people about science,” he said.
The theatre in the new AIIM Processing and Devices Facility at the Innovation Campus was officially named the Leon Kane-Maguire Theatre by Professor Noel Kane-Maguire, as he unveiled a bronze plaque featuring an image of Leon.
During the event the Leon Kane-Maguire Student Prize was awarded to the highest achieving student completing an honours degree in the University of Wollongong School of Chemistry. Donated by Barbara Kane-Maguire and family, the prize was awarded to Geoffrey Pidcock who completed a Bachelor of Nanotechnology Honours Degree in 2011.