The Liversidge Lecture is awarded at intervals of two years for the purpose of encouraging research in chemistry.
It was established under the terms of a bequest to the Society by Archibald Liversidge, who was a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Sydney from 1874 to 1907.
Professor Liversidge taught Tim’s great-great uncle during this time, a testament to the passion for science and knowledge running through several generations of the latest recipient’s family tree.
Tim is a Professor of Chemistry at UNSW Sydney. He studied at the University of Sydney, winning the University Medal for Theoretical Chemistry in 1997, before completing a PhD at the University of Cambridge.
Tim worked in postdoctoral research roles in Basel, Switzerland, and at CSIRO, before joining the University of Sydney as a lecturer. He rose to Associate Professor before moving to UNSW as an ARC Future Fellow in 2014.
The judging panel noted that “Professor Tim Schmidt is an internationally recognised leader in his field.
“His research concentrates on spectral manipulation using excitons, with applications including solar energy conversion, including the application of triplet-triplet annihilation up conversion to solar cells, investigations into the mechanism of singlet fission, and luminescent solar concentrators.
“His work has been recognised by awards including the Broida Prize (International Symposium on Free Radicals 2015), the Coblentz Award (2010), the RACI Physical Chemistry Lectureship and the RACI Physical Chemistry Medal (2021).”
Previous recipients of the Liversidge Lecture include Hans Freeman (1978), Donald Napper (1984) and Sev Sternhell (1992), who all taught Professor Schmidt as a student at the University of Sydney.
“I’m humbled to receive this award from the Society,” Tim said.
“It’s an honour to follow some of the great names in Australian chemistry, including several who played an influential role in my education.
“Hopefully I can do justice to their legacy and help to educate and inspire a future recipient in the same manner.”
Robert Hunter, another former recipient of the Liversidge Lecture (1988), did not teach Tim directly but did buy drinks for the University of Sydney student and his classmates.
“In 1997, a schooner of Coopers was $2 in happy hour,” Tim said.
When it comes to building a rapport between teacher and student, following Hunter’s particular example is a considerably more costly exercise for academics in 2022.