The 2017 Prize

The 2017 Ian Snook Physics Prize was awarded to Ryan Smith on May 10th, 2017 at the School of Science Award Ceremony. It was presented to Ryan by Marie Snook.

Ryan Smith



Marie Snook's Speech:

Tonight it is my pleasure to present the 4th Ian Snook Prize.

This prize was established in memory of my husband, who passed away 4 years ago.

Donations and fund raising Trivia Nights have made the prize a reality. In Particular, generous donations by Steve Eichblatt have significantly boosted the fund.

Steve was an American RMIT graduate student, who has attributed his determination to pursue a career in Physics to Ian.

Through his donations he feels he is in some way repaying a debt he owes to RMIT and Ian. His contribution will ensure that this prize will continue at its present level or higher. 

Ian Snook came to RMIT Applied Physics as a young scientist from a Post-doctoral fellowship at ANU in 1973 and continued until his death in 2013, doing research up until 1 week before his death.

At RMIT, he became an exceptional lecturer, who not only inspired students, but was inspired by them.

Through hard work and long hours, his research career blossomed and he and his fellow lecturer, Bill Van Megan, became internationally acclaimed researchers in Colloidal Physics.

In many ways, Ian’s career reflected the transition of RMIT from a College of Advanced Education to a University and he played a pivotal role in establishing the high ranking that Applied Physics now carries.

Ian was appointed as an inaugural Professor to the new University, being appointed as Professor of Quantum Physics. He established himself as a leader in nano-physics with many collaborations with Industry and colleagues internationally and Australia wide.

He saw these collaborations as an essential part of research and made sure that this was an integral part of his students’ development.

Ian was excited by all aspects of science, and his passion was contagious. He supervised 34 postgraduate students including the first Masters and PhDs graduating at RMIT. Many of his past students are highly regarded scientists.

He would be delighted that his work with students is continuing with this prize, which gives the recipients the opportunity to develop their careers by attending conferences or by visiting collaborators.

It is a privilege and an honour to present this year’s prize to Ryan Smith, another outstanding candidate.

I congratulate you, Ryan, and wish you all the best in what I am sure will be an outstanding career.