Director, Ian Wark Research Institute
BSc(Hons), MSc, DipEd, DIC, PhD, Dr h c Abo Akademi Finland, FAA, FTSE
Laureate Professor John Ralston AO is a physical and colloid chemist with complementary training in metallurgy, whose research interests embrace various aspects of interfacial science and engineering. He is the founding director of the renowned Ian Wark Research Institute at the University of South Australia, and a Professor of Physical Chemistry and Minerals Processing.
Throughout his career, he has held invited professorships in Cape Town (South Africa), Lulea (Sweden), Bristol (UK), Utah and Florida (USA), and he holds an honorary doctorate from the Abo Akademi in Finland, as well as honorary professorships in materials science and engineering at Tianjin University in China, and the Graduate School of Engineering at the University of Tokyo. In 2005, he was named the University of South Australia's first Laureate Professor in recognition of his distinguished career achievements locally and internationally. Laureate Professor Ralston was also the principal researcher who led the initiative to establish the Australian Mineral Science Research Institute in 2006, a world-leading virtual institute in particle science and engineering based at the Wark Institute.
In 2008, he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia, and the previous year he was honoured as South Australian of the Year and also South Australian Scientist of the Year. In 2009, he received the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering Council's prestigious Clunies Ross Lifetime Achievement Award. He is also a Fellow of both the Australian Academy of Science, and the Australian Academy of Technological Science and Engineering.