Prof Brian Schmidt

Professor Brian P. Schmidt AC FAA FRS is the Vice-Chancellor and President of the Australian National University and a Board Director of AAL. Credit: Jamie Kidston/ANU).

Brian Schmidt is Distinguished Professor of Astronomy and the 12th Vice Chancellor and President of the Australian National University. For his work on the accelerating universe, Brian Schmidt as leader of the High-Z SN Search team was awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics, jointly with Adam Riess and Saul Perlmutter. Schmidt has worked across many areas of Astronomy including supernovae, gamma ray Bursts, exo-planets, and metal poor stars. He was the lead scientist of the SkyMapper telescope from inception through to 2015. Professor Schmidt has previous served on the AAL Board from 2007-2015, and as its chair from 2013-2015. He has served on, the AAT Board (2004-2009), the Australia Telescope Steering Committee (2010-2013), the Questacon Advisory Board (2012-2015), the Council of the Australian Academy of Science (2012-2016), and the AURA Gemini Oversight Council (2008-2014), and since 2015 on the Australian National Science and Technology Council (and its previous incarnations). He also serves as Chair of the Go8, and as a member of the Fulbright Australia Board, and Ian Potter Foundation Board.

Brian completed joint undergraduate degrees in astronomy and physics at the University of Arizona (1989), an astronomy master’s degree (1992) and PhD (1993) from Harvard University. Brian Schmidt joined the staff of the Australian National University in 1995, and was awarded the Australian Government’s inaugural Malcolm McIntosh award for achievement in the Physical Sciences in 2000, The Australian Academy of Sciences Pawsey Medal in 2001, a Australian Research Council Federation Fellowship in 2005, and an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship in 2010. In 2006 Schmidt was jointly awarded the Shaw Prize for Astronomy, and shared the 2007 Gruber Prize for Cosmology and 2014 Breakthrough Prize in Physics with his High-Z SN Search Team colleagues. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, The United States Academy of Science, Royal Society of London, Foreign Member of the Spanish Royal Academy of Sciences, and Foreign Member of the Indian Academy of Sciences. In 2013, he was made a Companion of the Order of Australia. Brian also runs Maipenrai Vineyard and Winery, a 2.7 acre vineyard and small winery in the Canberra District which produces Pinot Noir.