Australian woman scientist wins global award

Margaret ElcombeDr Margaret Elcombe of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) is the first Australian winner of the prestigious annual international Women in Nuclear (WiN) Global Award.

Dr Elcombe is a world-leading pioneer in the design, development, building and operation of neutron scattering instruments – which are used to measure and test material composition of common objects from food particles, to long-life batteries, railway tracks and aircraft wings. For 41 years Dr Elcombe has worked at ANSTO, using neutron scattering and X-ray techniques to solve complex challenges across Australian industry. The tools which she uses at ANSTO are used to assist everything from the mining, aviation, railways, infrastructure and construction sectors.

Despite officially entering retirement in 2008, Dr Elcombe continues her work in the field, regularly visiting ANSTO’s Bragg Institute and publishing as recently as this year.

“I simply consider myself a random human particle in the box of life, who hasn’t yet decayed,” said Dr Elcombe.

“I’m taken aback to have been chosen from a group of such brilliant women in this field. Without everyone at ANSTO I certainly would not have received this award.”

ANSTO Chief Executive Officer, Dr Adi Paterson, praised Dr Elcombe’s commitment to her field and to nurturing Australia’s upcoming science leaders.

“As a pioneer of nuclear science, Dr Elcombe commands the highest international standing, and this award is much deserved,” said Dr Paterson.

“She probably wouldn’t like me saying this, however, I believe Dr Elcombe is a true role model to all scientists at ANSTO and across Australia.

“She has nurtured the careers of countless students, and is a true inspiration for all young women and men in science both here in Australian and internationally.

“ANSTO is truly proud to call her one of our own.”

Australia should be too. Congratulations Dr Elcombe.

Image: ANSTO.

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