Prizes & Awards

At UNSW Engineering, your hard work doesn’t go unnoticed. Students are awarded through a variety of initiatives such as the highly prestigious Dean’s Awards and the Dean’s Honours List.

For previous year’s winners, please visit the Dean’s Honours List & Dean’s Awards Recipients Archives.

Dean’s Awards

The UNSW Engineering Dean’s Awards are designed to recognise the faculty's high-achieving students – those who have a minimum High Distinction average (an overall cumulative myUNSW WAM of 85).

Students who maintain this high level of academic excellence can look forward to graduating with First Class Honours. Dean's Awards are just one way we offer our students recognition for their hard work.

UNSW Engineering students who are currently completing an undergraduate degree who have at the end of the previous year: 

  • Successfully completed a minimum of 48 Units of Credit at UNSW* 
  • Completed at least 24 units of credit in the previous academic year* 

Awards are not available to students who: 

  • Have recorded a Fail 
  • Have completed the final year of an undergraduate degree within the UNSW Faculty of Engineering, and are Graduands.† 

* Industrial training/experience and exchange are not counted as 'completed' units of credit. 
† Graduates, instead, are considered for Honours and the University Medal. 

Selection is based on a student's overall cumulative myUNSW WAM. All courses undertaken, not only Engineering courses, are included in the calculation of a student's WAM. 

Students do not need to apply for the Dean's Award. The selection process is run by the Faculty and all eligible students are automatically considered. 

A minimum overall cumulative myUNSW WAM of 85 (High Distinction average) is required to be eligible for a Dean's Award. 

A limited number of Dean's Awards are awarded each year, so eligibility does not guarantee receipt of a Dean's Award. From 2016 there will be 100 Dean's Awards presented each year. 

Awards in each school will be distributed evenly across all stages: 

  • Stage 1 status is reached when 48 units of credit are completed 
  • Stage 2 status is normally reached when 96 units of credit are completed (minimum of 93 units of credit required) 
  • Stage 3 status is normally reached when 144 units of credit are completed (minimum of 141 units of credit required) 
  • Stage 4 status is normally reached when 192 units of credit are completed (minimum of 189 units of credit required**) 

Note: Students may only receive a Dean's Award once for each stage. Results for the Dean's award are published at the beginning of the succeeding year 

** Only applicable for combined programs e.g. BE(Hons)/BSc or BE(Hons)/BCom. This does not apply to BE (Hons)/MBiomed programs as stage 4 of these programs is at the Masters level. 

Dean’s Honours List

The Dean's Honours List recognises high achieving undergraduate students in UNSW Engineering programs. Students who have maintained a high-grade average are included on the Dean's Honours List. If they continue to achieve this level of academic excellence they can look forward to graduating with First Class Honours.

UNSW Engineering students currently enrolled in an undergraduate program who have at the end of the previous year: 

  • Successfully completed at least 48 units of credit (UOC) at UNSW towards an Engineering program *
  • Completed at least 24 UOC in the previous academic year. *

Awards are not available to students who: 

  • Have recorded a Fail 
  • Have completed the final year of an undergraduate degree within UNSW Engineering, and are Graduands.† 

* Industrial training/experience and exchange are not counted as 'completed' units of credit. 
† Graduates, instead, are considered for Honours and the University Medal. 

Selection is based on a student's overall cumulative myUNSW WAM. All courses counting towards their current degree (not only Engineering courses) are included in the calculation of a student's WAM. 

A myUNSW WAM average as follows is required to be eligible: 

  • For programs started before 2015, ≥75% 
  • For programs started from 2015 or later, ≥80% (to align with new First Class Honours cut-offs). 

Students may only be included on the Dean's Honours List once for each Stage. 

  • Stage 1 status - 48 UOC completed 
  • Stage 2 status - 96 UOC completed 
  • Stage 3 status - 144 UOC completed 
  • Stage 4 status - 192 UOC completed. 
  • Industrial training and exchange are not counted as 'completed' units of credit unless transfer credit has been given. 
  • Graduates are not considered for the list but for Honours and the university medal. 
  • Stage 4 status only applies to double degree program students but does not include programs in which stage 4 is at the Masters level (e.g. BE/ME Elec, BE/MBiomedEng). 
  • The Dean's Honours List is not an award. Students will receive confirmation from the Dean but student transcripts will not show your Honours List achievement. 
  • Results for the Dean's award are published at the beginning of the succeeding year.

2015 Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year

Cyrille Boyer, winner of the 2015 Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year, is mimicking nature to create functional polymers and next-generation nanomedicines to treat infectious diseases.

He is the deputy director of Australian Centre for NanoMedicine, UNSW School of Chemical Engineering and a member of Centre for Advanced Macromolecular Design (CAMD).

Cyrille has co-authored over 150 research articles, 5 book chapters and 7 international patents. Read the featured story.

The Malcolm Chaikin Prize for Research Excellence in Engineering 

At UNSW Engineering, we offer some great opportunities to Postgraduate students, such as the Malcolm Chaikin Prize for Research Excellence in Engineering. This prize of $10,000 is awarded each year for the best PhD thesis in UNSW Engineering. 

Postgraduate Research Symposium 

UNSW Engineering’s Postgraduate Research Symposium is an annual event for students who expect to submit their thesis in the following year. 

Students present their research to fellow students, research staff and industry experts, giving them the opportunity to showcase their work and develop their presentation skills. The event also allows students to network and compete for prizes 

This three day symposium is held at our Kensington campus. Attended by all Engineering Postgraduate Research students, it features keynote talks and panel discussions from academic and industry leaders. 

Several prizes, sponsored by the UNSW engineering faculty and schools, are awarded for outstanding presentations.  

Presentations are submitted via Moodle and should include: 

  1. Student information: student name and number, name of supervisor and school, and a primary (and optionally secondary) theme as listed on the submission site 
  2. A short title and an abstract of up to 500 words (this may be taken from your thesis abstract)