Queen's Birthday Honours 2016: Professor David Solomon co-inventor of plastic money gets recognised
13 June 2016
Sydney, Australia – As reported in The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper, Professor David Solomon has received the top-tier Companion (AC) recognition in the Queen's Birthday Honours list, but he only has to open his wallet for proof of his value to science.
The type of polymer banknote he co-invented [Innovia’s own Guardian™], first circulated in Australia 1988 and has since been exported to 34 countries including Canada, Chile and Vietnam, and is soon to be released in the UK.
However, Professor Solomon, 86, an honorary professorial fellow at the University of Melbourne's Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, is not the big-headed type.
Although the banknote is "a great achievement and I don't want to downplay it", he is prouder of his broader breakthrough of working out how to custom-build plastics by controlling the structure, composition and properties of polymers.
The chemistry is applicable to fields as diverse as cosmetics, computers and paints. He was admitted to the elite Royal Society in 2004 and, in 2011, he and Professor Ezio Rizzardo were jointly awarded the Prime Minister's Prize for Science.
Currently, he is working with Professor Greg Qiao, Head of the University's Polymer Group, to develop new paints, car oils, and biomedical applications such as eye implants.
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