Australian and New Zealand
Optical Society    

The W.H. (Beattie) Steel Medal is the most prestigious award of the Australian and New Zealand Optical Society. The medal, named in honour of the Society's first Chair and a distinguished member of the Australian optics community, is awarded annually to recognise an outstanding career contribution to the field of optics in Australia or New Zealand by a member of ANZOS.

The award is normally presented to a nominee at an advanced stage of their professional career with a strong and sustained record of leadership, service, and innovation in the field of optics in Australia and/or New Zealand. It is hoped that the successful nominee will be able to receive the medal and deliver a talk at the next ANZOS Conference following the announcement of the award.

Nominations may be made either by or on behalf of any eligible candidate. The award is judged by a committee appointed by the ANZOS Council. The committee reserves the option to seek additional information about candidates for the award.

Applications from female candidates and members of other historically under-represented and disadvantaged groups in STEM are strongly encouraged.

Selection criteria

Nominees should

  1. have demonstrated a significant and sustained research contribution to the field of optics and photonics in Australia and/or New Zealand;
  2. have demonstrated significant support and contribution to the optics and photonics communities in Australia and/or New Zealand. This may include for example mentorship, community service, advancing the education of optics and/or promoting the value of optics to the wider community.
  3. normally be at a senior stage of their career or possibly already retired.


  1. Applicants must be current members of ANZOS.
  2. Due to the highly competitive nature of this award, nominations will be retained in the pool of candidates for consideration for a maximum period of four years.
    For 2024, this means nominations submitted in 2019 or earlier will not be considered.
  3. Nominations which have not been successful after four years are removed from the pool, but a revised nomination may be submitted after a stand-down period of two years. 

Submission components

  1. A nomination letter of up to 3 pages describing the main contributions made by the nominee to Australian and/or New Zealand optics.
  2. Curriculum vitae
  3. List of publications
  4. Two letters of support from established members of the community. Where the nomination is submitted by the candidate themselves, the letters of support should be sent directly by their authors to the ANZOS secretary. 
    Nominators are responsible for 1) advising the referees of the selection criteria to be addressed, 2) ensuring that the referees supply the reference letters to the ANZOS secretary by the closing date.


  1. Nominations must submitted via email to our ANZOS email. You can address your submission to the ANZOS Secretary.
  2. The two letters of support should be sent directly by the referees to the ANZOS Secretary.
    Nominators are responsible for ensuring the letters reach the Secretary by the closing date.
  3. For the 2024 award, all nomination materials must reach the ANZOS Secretary by the closing date of 21 June 2024 (deadline extended from 07 June).

      Previous winners of the medal are:

  • 2023: Professor Cather Simpson, University of Auckland
  • 2022: Professor Heike Ebendorff-Heidepriem, University of Adelaide
  • 2021: Emeritus Professor Peter Hannaford - Swinburne University 
  • 2020: Professor Ben Eggleton - University of Sydney
  • 2019: Professor Chennupati Jagadish - Australian National University
  • 2018: Professor Halina Rubinsztein-Dunlop - University of Queensland
  • 2017: Professor Yuri Kivshar - Australian National University
  • 2016: Emeritus Professor Tony Klein - University of Melbourne
  • 2015: Professor Joss Bland-Hawthorn - The University of Sydney
  • 2014: Professor Tanya Monro - The University of Adelaide
  • 2013: Professor John Harvey - The University of Auckland
  • 2012: Professor Barry Luther-Davies - The Australian National University
  • 2011: Professor Min Gu - Swinburne University
  • 2010: Professor Han Bachor - The Australian National University
  • 2009: Professor John Love - The Australian National University
  • 2008: Mr Achim Leistner - CSIRO
  • 2007: Professor Kenneth Baldwin - The Australian National University
  • 2005: Professor Brian Orr - Macquarie University
  • 2004: Professor Ross McPhedran - University of Sydney
  • 1999: Professor Dan Walls - University of Auckland
  • 1997: Professor Jim Piper - Macquarie University
  • 1996: Dr Parameswaran Hariharan - University of Sydney and CSIRO
  • 1995: Mr Bill James - James Optics, Melbourne
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