Professor Kurt Lambeck receives Prime Minister’s prize


Emeritus Professor and geophysicist, Kurt Lambeck (ANU), received the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science for his work on the ‘breathing Earth’, detecting sea level change, and developing precise navigation, using geophysical techniques.

This award is an important step in the recognition of the importance of geosciences for Australia’s future.

Kurt’s original work in the 1960s enabled accurate planning of space missions. It led him to use the deformation of continents during the ice ages to study changes deep in the mantle of the planet. It also led to a better understanding of the impact of sea level changes on human civilization in the past, present and future.

Professor Lambeck revealed how our planet changes shape—every second, every day, and over millennia. These changes influence the movement of continents and the orbits of satellites.

Today’s highly accurate GPS-based systems build on his work and enable precision agriculture, new ways to explore for minerals, and the remarkable navigation tools we all use in our smartphones.

The Prime Minister and the Minister for Science presented the 2018 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science to ten outstanding researchers, innovators and teachers at a dinner in Parliament House, Canberra, last week.

For transforming our understanding of our living planet, Kurt Lambeck receives the $250,000 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science. He is an Emeritus Professor at the Australian National University in Canberra.

Read about and watch videos on all seven Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science at


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