Dr Ezio Rizzardo


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Ezio Rizzardo AC FRACI, FTSE, FAA, FRS was born in Onigo, Italy in 1943, immigrated to Australia with his family in 1957 and completed his high school education at Epping Boys High School in Sydney. He graduated with First Class Honours in Applied Organic Chemistry from the University of NSW and was awarded a PhD in Organic Chemistry by the University of Sydney in 1969 for his studies of the photochemistry of organic nitro compounds with John Pinhey.

He joined David Solomon’s group at CSIRO in 1976 after postdoctoral work on synthesis of biologically active compounds with Richard Turner at Rice University (Houston), Sir Derek Barton at the Research Institute for Medicine and Chemistry (Boston), and Arthur Birch at the ANU. His research at CSIRO has focused on the development of methods for understanding and controlling polymerization processes. Research highlights from the teams he has led include radical trapping with nitroxides, nitroxide mediated polymerization, chain transfer and ring opening polymerization by addition-fragmentation, and the RAFT process. He is co-author of some 210 journal papers, which to date have received over 20,000 citations, and co-inventor on 44 worldwide patents.

He has received a number of awards for his research including the Australian Polymer Medal and the H G Smith Memorial Medal from the RACI, the Chairman’s Gold Medal and Most Prolific Inventor Award from CSIRO and a Centenary Medal from the Australian Government for contributions to society and polymer science. In 2011 he was awarded the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science and was ranked 18th in the Thomson-Reuters’ list of the world’s top 100 chemists over the past decade. In 2018 he was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC).

Other Interests

History, Sports

Current Roles

  • Honorary Fellow

  • Honorary Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne

  • Adjunct Professor at Monash University

Academic Qualifications

  • 1966

    BSc (honours 1)
    University of NSW

  • 1969

    University of Sydney

Professional Experiences

  • 1969-1971

    Post doctoral fellow
    Rice University, Houston, Texas

  • 1971-1973

    Post doctoral fellow
    RIMAC, Cambridge, Mass. Usa

  • 1973-1976

    Research Fellow

  • 1976-2000

    Senior Research Scientist to CSIRO Fellow

  • 1976-2009

    Leader of many projects
    CSIRO and CRC for Polymers

  • 1980-2000

    CSIRO Division's Management Committee

  • 1992-1994

    Inaugural/Interim Director
    CRC for Polymer Blends

  • 1994-2017

    Management Committee
    CRC for Polymers

Achievements and Awards

  • 1976-2017

    See full CV in attachments below