The NSW Bushfire Risk Management Research Hub — a research collaboration among Western Sydney University, University of Wollongong, University of Tasmania, and University of New South Wales (UNSW) — has won the prestigious 2021 NSW Environment, Energy and Science (DPIE) Eureka Prize for Applied Environmental Research.
Rachael Nolan and Matthias Boer from the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment are among the team recognized for their extensive research into the devastating Black Summer bushfires. The team’s diverse research findings, including into droughts, fuel dynamics, and the social and environmental impacts of the fires, have informed recommendations made by the NSW Bushfire Inquiry.
Nolan said winning the Eureka Prize was a great recognition of the NSW Bushfire Risk Management Research Hub’s work, which includes working closely with industry partners to improve bushfire management. “Working with the NSW Bushfire Hub and our industry partners is incredibly rewarding. I’m thrilled our research has been recognized with this Eureka Prize,” said Nolan.
Matthias Boer, who leads the fire research group at the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, said there was no other consortium in Australia with such a broad perspective on fire risk management. “The NSW Bushfire Hub is a unique multidisciplinary collaboration of universities in which each brings their research strengths to solving some genuinely complex questions around fire risk,” said Boer.
The Australian Museum Eureka Prizes are the country’s most comprehensive national science awards, honouring excellence across the areas of research and innovation, leadership, science engagement, and school science.