Miraca Gross has no doubt helped more than her fair share of Mensa members so it's appropriate that UNSW's Professor of Gifted Education is acknowledged by the organisation itself.

Professor Gross is the only non-American to be given the Lifetime Achievement Award from Mensa's Education and Research Foundation.

The award is presented to an individual whose work in fields relating to human intelligence and giftedness has been especially outstanding over a long career.

"The inaugural award, in 2000, went to Professor Julian Stanley of Johns Hopkins University who was one of the truly great scholars of all time in psychology and education," said Professor Gross, the Director of The Gifted Education Research Resource and Information Centre.

"I am so honoured and humbled by being given this award as I was privileged to have Julian as a valued colleague and beloved friend."

Professor Gross started her career as a teacher in Scotland, before becoming a specialist teacher in gifted education.

A representative from Mensa in Australia, Sam Simmonds, spoke about the importance of Professor Gross's work, and the value it has in identifying those with a high IQ whose talents might otherwise be hidden.

Professor Gross, who is Professor of Gifted Education in the School of Education, was given a commemorative plaque and medal at a special event hosted in the University's Council Chambers. She will also receive an honorarium and an issue of the Mensa Research Journal will be dedicated to her selected research articles.