Two outstanding UNSW scientists - Professor Les Field and Dr Marcus Cole - have won national awards for excellence from the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI).

Professor Field, UNSW's Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), won the Institute's most prestigious prize, the 2010 Leighton Memorial Medal, for outstanding research, technology and national leadership in chemistry.

"The Leighton Medal recognises eminent service to and leadership in chemistry in its broadest sense and Professor Field is the exemplar of these criteria having had a tangible, long-lasting impact in the field of chemistry in Australia," the citation said.

"In the leadership arena, Professor Field's insight and ability to create an environment that attracts good calibre individuals and encourages them to produce high-quality research has repeatedly come to the fore."

Senior lecturer Dr Marcus Cole was honoured for his contributions to the development of organometallic chemistry.

Dr Cole has significantly influenced the direction of contemporary metallo-organoamide chemistry and is widely regarded as a world expert in the application of ligand steric bulk to the kinetic stabilisation of unstable chemical functions. In 2009 he won a NSW Young Tall Poppy Award.

Read the full story at the Faculty of Science newsroom.

Media contact: Bob Beale, Faculty of Science newsroom | 0411 705 435